Letter to my teenage self....
Saturday, January 26, 2013
You have already been through such a lot in your short life. I know you are going through it right now and I can see you starting to struggle. You have been such a tiny little thing all through your childhood and slowly the pounds are creeping on. Depression in teenagers is still misunderstood and people don't talk about it, but talk you should.
The relationship with your father is at it's worst. You've learnt how little he understands about the abuse you suffered by his Uncle who you call Grandad. He died when you were 15, but the scars are still there, and you feel completely rejected by your father when he asks about what happened. His response when you said you can't remember everything really threw you and you vowed you would never go back to Tilburg to visit again (and I'll tell you, you stick to your guns however much he blames you for it!)
The advice I have to give you is this: not all men are like your father, or your Grandad. Look to your Grandfather for a role model (he is a doctor, and clearly adores and does his best to protect his family). You take after your Grandfather (and mother), you are beautiful, smart and funny. You have shown that when you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything you want...look at how against all odds, you played county volleyball. Who would have thought anyone at 4'10" would manage that! But you did!
You don't have to hide behind food. You are so much stronger than you think. People look at you and think of you as such an amazing person for getting through the tough times....but don't look for them. You have control over the men that you seek. You are worth far more than being with a man who will abuse you. Remember they are like that because of their own insecurities, not yours. You don't have to listen to them saying you are fat, you don't have to accept that you are worth nothing more than being stuck in a relationship where he clearly does not appreciate you as an individual.
The most important thing is to love yourself! You don't need a man, but when you do have a relationship, make sure that you do it because he loves you for you!
Now I am older, two very abusive relationships later, 3 kids and 3 different fathers and a textbook yo yo dieter I can see how much I do not love myself, but I am learning. People tell me how they think I am the strongest person they know, and I have a really hard time believing them. I still do not have a relationship with my dad and that saddens me, but I have my own life now. I have an amzing relationship with my Grandfather, but he is 87 and has alzheimers. It won't be long before he really forgets who I am (he mixes me up with my mum all the time), but I am grateful for him for being such an inspirational role model.
I have two girls of my own (one in her early teens) and I have strived to make sure that life is not the same for them. I can't say it's been perfect, there are things the eldest daughter has seen in the relationship with her own father that I wish had never happened, but I hope that I can teach her that there are other ways to deal with her grief and troubles other than tucking into whatever is hanging about in the fridge.
Your loving adult self