Dear Younger Me:
I wish I could tell you that life gets easier. I wish I could tell you that the pain you are facing now is the only pain you will go through, but I’m not going to lie to you. Your journey is not an easy one, but it DOES get better. One beautiful thing about you is your heart. You love and give HARD; which is both a blessing and a curse. As the tears roll down your face, picture that I am giving you the biggest hug. You will feel alone countless times throughout this life but know God will be there with you each step. You are not alone my love. Hope is coming.
In this life, the only thing you can control is yourself. This means your feelings, your actions and creating your own happiness.You can’t control if people like you — even if you are the kindest person to those you meet. Some will have no reason. I know, confusing right?! You will get upset, but try to not take it personally. Here’s the thing, these people will be threatened by the light that you carry. They are comfortable in their darkness and it has NOTHING to do with you. Don’t let the school bullies have your power, instead ignore it. It will be hard, but continue to treat people (even the most difficult ones) with kindness. Eventually, you WILL find people who like you for YOU, flaws and all.
The pain will come, but it will also go. The stuff that you witnessed as a child for years (your father’s issues with alcohol, your mother’s depression and hoarding issues, the physical violence you witnessed, the constant yelling and screaming you heard, the bullying you went through at school due to your eczema) are all NOT YOUR FAULT. Say that with me: THESE THINGS ARE NOT YOUR FAULT. I know you might not want to hear this but your pain has a purpose. The things that you are currently going through will make you stronger than most. The person you are becoming, even despite all of this is going to help SO MANY PEOPLE. Your story will be one of POWER. You will be an overcomer of suicidal attempts/thoughts, depression, anxiety and childhood trauma. You’re more powerful than you think. Many will be able to relate to your story and the healing power you have will touch everyone you meet.
Be kinder to yourself and your body. Once you hit 30 years old, something will happen to your body that will appear to be really scary. You will get very anxious and fearful. Countless tears will be shed. You will go through several ER trips and doctors before finding the answer. You will realize the stuff that you have been through in life has actually been stored in your body not just in your brain. What? Yeah I know, crazy stuff right?! You will realize that trauma, especially witnessing it; has an effect on the body. Start listening to what your body is saying to you. Pay attention to the random upset feelings in your stomach, chest and headaches. As we age, we learn that our bodies change. Slow down and just BREATHE. Our body communicates every day; listen to it. Eat healthier, get more sleep and focus on taking one day at a time. Tomorrow is not promised.
God is saying to you “you do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” (John 13:7).
Hold on Jennifer, hope and joy IS coming. You are NEVER alone and I love you.
Jennifer Adams is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in Trauma Healing. Jennifer blogs and creates content for RunwayRedLA, on social media and her very own blog, highlighting all things fashion, beauty, skincare, lifestyle and wellness! Jennifer has worked with brands such as Famous Footwear, Toms, Michael Todd Beauty, Ny and Company, NYX Cosmetics, Love your Melon, Lindt Chocolate and many more. Jennifer loves God, reading, writing, thrifting, eating Mexican or Italian food and spending time with her friends.