This is a letter to myself and to the little girls who feel as if there is no place in this world for a girl like them.
I know it’s hard being the fat kid at school. I know you don’t want to wake up in the morning because you’re tired of feeling ugly and being told “Girls can’t play sports like guys”, “Just let the boys do it”, “You’ll never be good enough”, and the endless influx of doubt and discouragement you face from teachers and schoolmates.
I understand that depression is not even in your little eight year old vocabulary and that you think when death is your best option you’re just “sad” and that the feeling will wash away. But it won’t, not if you continue to let their words affect you.
You’ve been hurt, hurt so badly that tears don’t even form anymore. You put on a facade of toughness and bravery but really you’re scared. Scared that it’s true, that if you let them see your sadness then they will continue. You’re discouraged by everyone in your life and the few good people there to guide you have been distracted.
Your parents love you, and your sister does too, although she gets into trouble and causes you way too much pain, she will grow up to learn that you are sisters through thick and thin. Yes, you hate your sister and your parents. You hate them because they can’t tell how bad it hurts. Because she’s depressed too but she’s destructive and you’re the golden child. You hate everyone because they’ve only ever hurt you and you have no more trust to give away.
Every time your world falls apart it feels like you have no space inside your chest to put a beating heart. There’s no room for love so you say you’re “independent” and that you “love” it but you truly hate it. You hate that at 12 years old you have to be the glue to hold your family together. You despise the fact that the issues destroying your relationships are brought to you by others to solve, and you’re everyone’s shoulder to cry on. But where’s your shoulder? Who would let you cry on them?
I know it’s rough. I know that there are days when you’re left home alone and the knife is calling your name so you grab it, run to your room, lock the door, and cry with the knife shaking on your belly. I know that those pills you took read “take 2 daily” but you decided 20 was a better amount. I know that you hide your emotions with a smile and grace that no adults I know could pull off.
I know everything because I am you. I am the version of you who is only just now realizing her self-worth. I am here to let you know that you’re not a lone soul. You are perfect, maybe it doesn’t feel like it but you are. There’s no need to hide your feelings because if everyone depends on you then you should be able to depend on them. If they do not offer their shoulder then don’t offer yours.
You were placed on this earth to give little girls and women around the world the courage to be themselves and regret nothing. Now that I am reflected on your decisions, on our decisions, I’ve decided that we have done nothing wrong. It was the people surrounding us that made you do those terrible things to yourself.
I’m here to tell you that it’s okay, you’re going to be okay. You are beautiful, strong, daring and bold, intelligent, kind and incredibly unique. This is all I could ever wish for you. I want every little girl to read this and know that we are all our own version of a woman. It is okay to be depressed but don’t be afraid to ask for help and know that just because the people in your life were bad doesn’t mean they all are. You will grow up to be a feminist, equal rights advocate, and lover of all people.
Don’t lose sight of the positive because negativity surrounds you.