A few short letters to different stages of myself.
Dear 3-year-old self,
Why did you hit that kid? You were scaring the preschool teachers with your violence. I know that he threw a lego at the back of your head, but you didn’t have to hit him for it. There were much more peaceful ways that you could have settled that. Go apologize to you teachers.
Dear 6-year-old self,
What is wrong with you? Why do you run around the house screaming and laughing? You’re scaring your grandma. You’re also annoying the neighbors. They can hear you. Also, stop playing doorbell ditch. If you continue, you’ll get caught. Trust me, I know.
Dear 7-year-old self,
In the second grade play for thanksgiving, why did you start screaming? I know that you don’t like being on stages, but you didn’t have to ruin the play for the rest of your grade. Your second grade teacher felt really guilty for forcing you to participate in that play. If that was your plan, though, you succeeded. She never made you participate in any other group activities. She did call your dad though. He wasn’t very happy about it.
Dear 8-year-old self,
Why are you so dead set on trying to scare your teacher? I know that you don’t like her, but she basically fearless. You’ve tried everything from pretending there was a ghost in the room, to convincing the janitor to let you into the classroom before your teacher got there and jumping out from behind her desk. Nothing has worked. You can’t scare her. You’ve already tried your “drawing eyes on everything” tactic. It didn’t work. No, you aren’t allowed to bring a snake to school, same goes for your aunt’s pet tarantula. Stop wasting your time.
Dear 9-year-old self,
Why do you eat paper? I know it doesn’t taste very good, so why do you eat it? Are you trying to become a goat or something? Paper isn’t healthy, and you know it. The teacher gave you a whole speech about how unhealthy paper was the last time that you told her that you ate your homework. She said that paper can cause sickness or serious health issues because of the ink and germs that are on the paper. She’s right and you know it. You looked it up when you got home to confirm her claim about paper being unhealthy. Were you trying to get yourself sick? Please stop eating paper. Your health affects my health, so please stop.
Dear 10-year-old self,
Your dad loves you. I know you don’t think he does, but he’s a single parent. You have to understand that he can’t always be there for you. You and I both know that you deserve better than what you’re getting, but we also know that the world isn’t fair. I still haven’t come to terms with it, but I really hope you can. At some point, you stopped hearing compliments. I need you start hearing them again. I need you to know that no matter what you hear, you are not worthless. You need to start listening to the good side of things.
Dear 12-year-old self,
I know that we’re only a year apart, but for both of our sakes, hang out with people. I know it’s hard, and I can’t say it pays off, because I’m still working on it, but it helps to not be alone. I’m sorry that you’re always alone. That sucks. But you don’t have to always be alone. You’re choosing to be miserable, and I know that’s what scares you the most. Yes, therapy sucks, but don’t stop. You can switch therapists, but don’t stop. You may not think it helps, I don’t think it helps, but if it keeps you from crying alone in the dark on Friday nights, don’t stop.
-Your 13-year-old self