Dear Younger Me…
10 Things I Would Say to 10 Year Old Me…
- Some people just don’t have the capacity to look after other people’s children. Be grateful for what they’re able to do, forgive them for what they can’t.
- It’s hard to imagine when you’re the child they’re failing that you could ever see it this way, but forgive. Or at least, work on letting it go. The earlier you start on this the better — maybe then the anger will not grow roots and find it’s way into your bones.
- Speak up. Your secrets will choke you otherwise.
- Don’t write down in words that can be understood what you wouldn’t shout in the street.
- Journals, diaries — whatever you want to call them — inevitably find their way into the wrong hands. If you can’t own it yet, wait. If writing it down is the only way to survive, write. Then tear the pages out, chew them up and swallow your words.
- When you’re bullied at school, don’t fake your periods just so you can go home.
- Or stick your toothbrush too far down your throat because you’re in boarding school and that is ‘home’. There are no ‘sick days’ in boarding school.
- Your sister will know you’re faking the periods, and the cramps, and the matron will know you puked on purpose. I guess she’s seen it all before, but you won’t know that.
- If you go to all those lengths just to get home, when you finally do and your sister asks what happened, tell the truth. You still have to go back, and this will be your only chance to speak up.
- When no one sees how bad it’s getting, remember, you are a gazelle in amongst the lions. Run. Hide. Find your safest place. I can tell you this, even though it doesn’t feel like it right now, you will survive.