My Dearest 12-year-old Self,
I was just sitting in my bedroom and I realized I haven’t spoken to you in a very long time. I have to start with saying, I’m sorry I haven’t written sooner. I really don’t have a grand excuse for the fact that many years ago when I simply abandoned you and only worried about how others felt. I just got up one day and left you. I didn’t even turn around to make sure you were ok. I spent years wasted in hallow relationships. I refused to admit that I was the problem, I had allowed anyone who wanted to, to take almost anything from me. I did a lot of drinking. I would punish my body and any opportunity I had I would let others be entertained with that pain. It’s true, drinking your sorrows away only drowns them in a shallow pool. When those sorrows want to, they simply come up for air and splash embarrassment over your ego.
I remember when you believed dreaming anything made it true. For many years you were there for me. When the pain was unbearable, I would call on you and you would take me away with your imagination. I loved the adventures you took me on. It was your excitement that made me want to be creative. Because of you I enjoyed making people laugh. I would perform for them and the recognition became addictive. People would ask me,
“When are you going to grow up?”
I would remember you and I could hear your voice say,
“Who says I have to?”
One of my favourite memories was the day I saw the original Superman movie. Seeing Superman fly made me want to wrap a red towel on my back and I spent 2 hours running up and down my stairs, thinking I was Christopher Reeve. Thank you for that.
I know that was you.
I also want you to know I don’t blame you for all the times that you couldn’t stop the bullying. I don’t blame you for letting a boy stomp on my head repeatedly until I almost passed out. It wasn’t your fault. I truly don’t blame you. You were there for me after it happened, when I realized I had to find a way to go on and you took me away to somewhere different. Please don’t feel bad that I had to spend time at a child psychologist’s office to figure out if I had a learning disability. I never told anyone that it was because of you. You helped me dream during the day. When I went to bed I only had nightmares. You couldn’t be there for me every minute, I know that now and I don’t blame you for the nightmares.
What I’m sorry about is for not remembering how important you are. You always told me that everything would work out and tomorrow would be a new day. I really needed to remember that when I thought I had no future and started planning my death. I had very dark times and I tried forgetting about you with drinking and drugs. I wish I had remembered how loyal you were and are to me. You were my best friend, through and through.
I want you to know that no one can change how I feel and how I remember you. When I think of you and how vulnerable you were, I remember how much you made me laugh. For a long time I thought I grew up lonely, I now know I might have been lonely but I was never alone. You never left my side when I took Drama for the first time or when I played soccer to hopefully get the approval of my father. When I never got that approval, you didn’t falter, you told me to go on.
I know I let you down. I could have been nicer to you. I criticized you thinking that was what you needed, just because others put you down. I wonder many times what kind of person you would have grown up to be if I just believed in you. Maybe if I believed in you a little more you wouldn’t have to pretend to be sick just because you didn’t want to answer questions in class. Maybe you wouldn’t have started drinking to be accepted by other kids. You did however help me find how amazing writing was. I never knew I could put down my dreams onto paper.
I didn’t realize how much I missed you throughout all these years. You always forced me to be myself and try as much as possible to laugh, even at myself. You and I were outnumbered. So many others enjoyed hurting us. Please know that I am so very sorry that I couldn’t protect you.
The reason I am writing to you today is to let you know for the last year and a half I spent a lot of time being angry at myself for letting you down. I caused you a lot of pain.
What do I want?
I want to let it all go. Enough reminding myself of the pain. You see I have found a truly wonderful and loving person and she gives me all the love I could ever possibly need and want, and for the first time in my life I truly believe I deserve her. I want you to know I will be ok. I want you to know how much I will always cherish you. You are a big reason for who I have become. There are parts of you that I still think about and I let people know about, because you are a very funny kid. You were an amazing storyteller, I don’t care how crazy people thought you were. Always know, I think you are incredible. You are my hero. Stop by anytime, you know how to find me. By the way, in case I didn’t say it enough…