My therapist asked me this and I was really stumped by it; I’d never thought of it this way. It’s taken me a while to think about it, but I think I’m ready to talk about it now, so here goes, if I could speak to my eleven-year-old self what would I say?
Life will be hard
It will be so much harder for you to navigate through all the hardships that are coming your way, you’ll think that you possibly couldn’t take any more hardship, but you’ll be wrong. You will need to claw yourself back from the abyss on a few occasions, you don’t think you’ll make it at times, but you’re still here.
You are strong
Things will happen that are out of your control, but you will be strengthened by them, they will fuel you. You will grow from it into a beautiful person with a beautiful soul, you might get lost, and you will be scared; but you will never let it define who you really are. You have so much inner strength and you are not afraid to share it with those who might need it.
You are smart
Dad sees it, how smart you are, but no one else will, you think that you are stupid and put yourself down. You will self-sabotage this because you’ll feel that you’re turning your back on the people and the village that you so love, but your not. Your brain is wasted by thoughts and you are so scared that your friends will tease you but guess what? They aren’t your friends.
Nobody is perfect
You will think that everyone is better than you, you may still think this at times, but don’t be fooled by those cookie cutter people who look so perfect from the outside. No one is perfect, you are going to spend most of your life thinking that everyone else is better than you, don’t think it for one second, there is no perfection no matter what Mum may think, and you are better for knowing it now.
Take time for yourself
It’s not your responsibility to do everything for everyone, you already do so much for your parents and in a few months time it’ll get twice as hard, do not feel selfish because you need to take a little break to recharge. Your mum will call you selfish for it, she will twist everything to be about her, don’t let her, tell her you have joined another after school club and go hang out or read a book.
You are so caring
To the point where you put everyone’s needs above your own as mentioned above, you are the most caring daughter your parents could ever have asked for, you are always helping others with problems, and you always try to mediate if any of your friends have fallen out with each other. No one deserves your level of caring so never question it again.
Stop being a people pleaser
You will find yourself in bad situations because you are always trying to fix other peoples problems, some people may turn on you for it and you’ll wonder why they can’t see how hard your working for them. You do not owe anything to anyone, you do not owe anything to your friends, you do not owe anything to your family.
Do what you love
Do not become a nurse because mum wants you to be one, when you turn seventeen you will just start to realise you have a choice in the matter and it will set you spiralling. You will take time to find what you love, but here’s a hint you already know what you love, you just might have to get sidetracked before you find it but you will eventually.
Yeah, stuff will start going down with mum, you will try and be the perfect daughter, but as we spoke about earlier no one is perfect. You will do anything to make your mother accept you, she will not act very well soon, but just please know it’s not you who she’s mad at. She’s mostly mad at herself but is dealing with deep-seated issues that you will eventually put together when you’re older.
There is no such thing, not every man is going to be this way, you will try about anything to save a tortured soul, but just know that some people don’t need saving. Instead look for wolves in sheep’s clothing books, and get your head out of romance. You look at boyfriends on TV and in books but not every man is as understanding as they are.
You are loved
You feel unworthy of it, but people in your life right now actually love you, you might not feel it but it is completely true. Your inner thoughts will tell you lies and poison you against those that love you, but when you look up they will always be there no matter what happens. When you’re in the dirt you’ll know.
You’ll get rid of the fringe
I know you hate it but in a few years, you’ll be able to get rid of the damn fringe and bob that has plagued you since well always. You’ll be able to do what you want with your hair but you will hate it so much, hate it to the point that as an adult you love having different styles and colours all because you hated that bob.
I hope I haven’t been too hard on my eleven-year-old self but a part of me feels like those are the things I needed to say, eleven is when my anxiety turned from an occasional thing to a full-blown disorder, one I would keep secret because of a much deep seeded shame. It felt like it back at the time, with mentions of mental hospitals and my father’s depression causing havoc. But it was ok, there was nothing to be ashamed about, and now I know that more than ever.