Dear 15 year old me,
I know you don’t want to hear this, and it is okay if you don’t retain any of it, but hear me out Jubilee.
You are going through a really hard time. You’ve had an on again-off again relationship with cutting your skin, and you don’t think there is any way you can ever fully stop. You picture yourself at 35, still picking up a razor. This is not your future. You will stop. You’re not destined to leave 200 marks a day on your thighs, and there will be a day when all of those gashes will turn into scars.You worry that your scars are ugly and that no man will love you. Luckily, you are wrong again. They aren’t unlovable, and your husband won’t give them a second thought. He accepts you for you.
You have started dating a guy, and I know that you think he is the one. You believe that you are one of the lucky girls who happened to find their soulmate at 15. I know that you wish this to be true so much it hurts, but this is not how things will pan out. When this relationship started you thought that you knew what you wanted. You wanted to only live give your heart to one person. But as you dated this boy, the gifts and declarations of love he gave you began to wear down your defenses. He even asked you on numerous occasions, “If you truly thought we would get married, why do we need to wait? Don’t you love me? Or are you unsure of me?” You felt guilt to your core and felt that you needed to prove to him how very wrong he was. You didn’t have doubts. Jubilee, oh Jubilee. I don’t judge you for this. You were lost and didn’t know where you could possibly turn. When all was said and done, on your 16th birthday, you realized that he never wanted to see your face again. All those dodged calls and family emergencies were not based in reality. He was done with you, and he never intended on seeing you again after that day.
Maybe deep down you thought that he could save you. You wanted him to save you from your childhood secret that you had kept from those closest to you. One that you had let slip to a few people around you, but no one had saved you yet. You have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. You have nightmares 5 times a week of being raped and try to hide it from those closest to you. You want to tell no one and everyone at the same time. You remain closed off to family but unhealthily open to acquaintances. You want someone to care, even if they barely know you.
You will get through this. PTSD is not an easy things to live with, but you will learn ways to cope with the trauma of your past. You will learn that your identity comes from who you say you are, not how you were treated. There is always hope.
I know that you love the organization, “To Write Love on Her Arms”. You even hope to get their tag line, “rescue is possible” tattooed on you. You have repeated these words constantly to yourself, hoping that with enough repetition they will finally feel believable to you. The truth is, you don’t believe it. You believe you are destined to live in pain and to live as an afterthought, the damage left after a tornado.
Jubilee, this is a lie. Rescue is not just possible, it is a reality. You will survive this. You will survive the abuse. You will survive your broken heart. You will survive your self harming years. You will not just maintain your heartbeat, you will actually find happiness.Yes,happiness, that thing you believe to be a myth. You will be rescued. You will put your hope in God and in yourself. You will give yourself grace to deal with the trauma of each storm.
I know you feel older than you are. I know you think you are smarter than every adult around you. Jubilee, you have so much to learn. That is okay. It is okay to not know it all. It is okay to admit you need help. I believe in you. Trust someone who has been through these experiences with you; you will get through it all.