Let's just say we now have a conduit to our past self. What would you say? How would you comfort yourself as a younger person? How would you encourage your younger self?
I've thought of these questions many times. So, inspired by a Facebook letter that someone posted, I finally decided to send an impassioned letter to my 14-year-old me. A time that seemed hopeless.
Never mind that by telling our younger selves of what is to come, that will change what is to come. But irrespective of the space-time continuum that we Star Trek and other sci-fi fans have learned about in countless episodes and movies of the genre, here is what I would say.
Dear 14-year-old me:
You are so much stronger than you know or believe. I know you've been told otherwise so many times, but the truth of it is you are strong.
In less than 10 years, you'll meet and marry a man that is so supportive and loving you can hardly believe it in your wildest dreams. And the love you both feel for each other will deepen and last for decades (33 1/2 years right now and still growing).
In about 20 years, you'll embark on a choice with children that will help parents parent in a way that is fair and keeps the dignity and respect of those children intact. All you've been through at home will come into play in order to make life better for those and other children.
In about 30 years, you'll publish your first book. A book that will lead to the creation of a safe haven for abuse survivors around the world in a way that you can't imagine. A safe haven for them to share their stories. And you will further provide encouragement and support for those courageous survivors, one-on-one, face-to-face, in groups, on stage, male and female.
In about 40 years, you'll have published additional books that help others all over the world. So all that you've been forced to deal with, now and in the past, at home and at school will have purpose in ways you cannot fathom.
Right now you are in seemingly unbearable pain. But you don't really want to die. What you want is to be out of that pain. And what I want to tell you is it's that pain that will be your driving force. And that things will get SO much better. They really and truly will.
With all my love,
Me at 55 years old
What would you say to your younger self?