Letter to my child-self

Me at age two.

For most of my life I wanted to pretend you didn’t exist. You embarrassed me and made me look bad. You cried too much and made scenes. You were weak, sickly, scared of everything, and easily frustrated. You didn’t know how to talk to people and usually ran them off by telling them too much too soon. You were easily overwhelmed. You were too sensitive and didn’t know how to roll with the punches. I hated you. I just wanted you to go away and stop getting me in trouble and making everyone hate me.

I am so sorry. I was wrong. I’d been brainwashed by others. I didn’t want to understand you. It was too dangerous. I might have been punished or bullied for it. I was in fact. I couldn’t let that happen anymore.

It wasn’t your fault you had problems. That was done to you. You had no say. You were a thoughtful and deep child, who loved to analyze and understand things. You were intelligent and read a lot, always wanting to learn about everything you could. You were curious about human behavior and more than anything you wanted to be loved. You felt deep in your bones that the love you needed wasn’t there for you and you tried to find it elsewhere. But you already had internalized the message that you weren’t enough. That message was a lie.

You didn’t know it but your sensitivity wasn’t a weakness, it was your greatest strength. You just hadn’t learned how to use it and you were made to believe it was bad, but that’s another lie. It’s a sophisticated gift that is lost on children but you can grow into as you age. It shouldn’t have been a shameful thing; it should have been celebrated and nurtured because it meant you could see the truth about the world and the people around you. I’m sorry I couldn’t see how strong you were. I’m sorry I couldn’t see how much I needed you.

I can see you there, peeking out and wanting so badly to come out.
You deserve better. I’m not embarrassed by you now, for I have come to realize how much I need you to teach me how to be authentic and fully engaged. Let me hold you and love you. Cry your tears and laugh your laughter and teach me how to be you again, but this time tempered with the wisdom of an adult.
Come on out.

Everything is okay. There is nothing to be ashamed of. I was wrong to be ashamed of you. You are not weak. You are strong, much stronger than you know. You should have been understood and loved for who you were, not who they wanted you to be. I understand you. I want you to be who you are. I want you to teach me everything you know that I have forgotten.

Smile and come out. There’s nothing to be afraid of.


3 thoughts on “Letter to my child-self

  1. Reblogged this on Dawn V. Cahill and commented:
    Lucky Otter’s letter to her 2-year-old self. Does this resonate with you as much as it does with me? This sentence is almost verbatim what a dear family member said to me recently: “You should have been understood and loved for who you were, not who they wanted you to be.”

    Liked by 2 people

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