About a month ago, I was challenged by a friend to write a letter to my 12 year old self. He knew how difficult it would be, knowing all the hardships I had been through over the years, with a rape, the loss of my high school sweetheart, and abuse within the family. I must admit, it was one of the hardest letters I’d ever written, aside one I had written to my dying father. I spent weeks in tears and emotional turmoil writing this letter, trying not to be too specific, not wanting to scare this 12 year old, who didn’t know just what was going to happen. It was difficult writing it in a general sense, rather than trying to explain specifically what was going to happen and when.
So here’s my letter…
The next few years are going to be quite the challenge for you. Some of those stepping stones into your adulthood are going to be very rocky and difficult to balance on. Your life at home is going to be a bit confusing as your parents continue their battles to keep the family together. Your mom is going to really need your help with the girls as she will be busy at work and your father soon steps out of the picture. The girls will be a bit confused as they are very young, but your love and support will help them. They may not understand, but having you there will be very important.
Life is not going to be easy for you, as you enter high school. You will encounter people from other schools, some who are disrespectful of others from different neighborhoods. If you can, try and avoid being alone after school. In quiet places, especially those unsupervised. And if anything happens, don’t blame yourself, don’t be afraid to tell someone about it, even if you are threatened against it. If you are hurt or in a bad situation, don’t hesitate to seek help from an adult. If not your own parents, then a teacher or a coach, that’s what they are there for. To help you, to protect you. School may be difficult at times, but don’t let that discourage you. Keep your head up. There are a lot of people who do love you and have been with you since you were very young.
You are going to fall in love at a very young age with a wonderful young man, who will be disappointed that he wasn’t there did you in the prior years, but he is going to be your ‘savior’ in the year that he is with you. Be sure to embrace him and what you have. You are going to need him in your life, especially during that time you are together. Let him hold you and don’t be afraid to come out and talk to him as you need to. Treasure that time you have with him as it will be shorter than you expect it to be, and he will be gone before you know it. He will be the one who will teach you about love and what it means.
When he’s gone, embrace your friends as you will need them. It’ll get a little rough again and you will feel as though the world is fighting against you and that you just want to let go for good. But you will be presented with some helpful options along the way. When you make your final decision, don’t leave everyone out of the loop. Share your plans with your friends. Let them show you how much they love you and want to continue being a part of your life. You’re going to need them in your future, as they will need you. Of these decisions, some will be easy, while others will need some serious consideration. You will have some new friends around you to help support you and what you do. One friend you meet in your late teens will be extremely special. The love that you have for each other will be something that lasts for years to come. Although you end up going your separate ways, you will always have a very special bond that will never die. He will be a friend, a brother a confidant, and in some ways, a lover. You will find that you can talk to him about anything and everything. Although a large physical distance will end up between you, your hearts will be together for eternity.
You will finally end up where you want to be. Where you will probably spend the rest of your life. There, you will meet a man who you will most likely spend the rest of your life with. You will also work well together. As with anyone, he will have his faults, as you will, but don’t let that discourage you. There will be other resources to reach out to. Just be assured that the relationship will not be an abusive one as you’ve seen in the past throughout your childhood. Something you can look forward to and be grateful for. Of course, every relationship has its problems, so you will have some issues that you may not be able to iron out, which is where your writing will continue to help you. Don’t stop your poetry and story writing. In just a couple of years, you will pick up the guitar. Don’t give that up, as it will come in handy and give you another way to express yourself. It will give you solace and peace. Something that you will need throughout your years.
You will enjoy opening up your heart and home to young people you know who need some extra tlc. This will bring you joy and a lot of love. And eventually, you will reunite with someone who has brightened your days at one point. He comes back into your life a few years later in a more special way. Don’t let this affect your life as you know it, but let him bring more to it. He will want you to know that you are special and loved even though there are times you don’t feel it. He is always there. Embrace that, and him, as much as you can. As he will tell you, “Reach for the stars, accept only your own abilities, remain true to yourself and offer what you can. This practice makes inner peace and happiness easier to obtain.”
As I’ve said, things won’t be easy, but be strong. Your strength, with that you get from others will help. Be sure to look upon this letter from time to time, and you will eventually understand my words of support and advice.
From your 44 year old self.