Chris’s Letter

Dear Teenaged Self,

I know it’s hard to believe but first and foremost you need to know that all the heartache, tears and grief from your crazy family will combine to make you a strong, loving adult with an incredible family of your own.

Everything you are dealing with now…developing an eating disorder because close members of your family call you fat and lazy and accuse you of being on drugs even though you’ve never touched a drug but watched them not only use but also sell…allowing yourself to be pressured into doing things with guys that you aren’t comfortable with in the hopes that one of them might like you enough to be more than “friends”…working so hard at your job and working more hours than a teen ever should so that you can know what it feels like for once to have a little bit of money and not feel like the poor kid…praying that someone will ask you to the next dance so you don’t have to sit at home while your friends are out on what you imagine to be wonderful dates…spending as much time as possible at anyone’s house but your own and counting down the days until graduation when you can venture out on your own and break free from the past mistakes you have made and from the fear of perpetuating your family cycle of drug and alcohol abuse, emotional and physical abuse and the pattern of marrying a man just like your father and his father and his father…YOU ARE STRONG ENOUGH TO BREAK THE PATTERN OF YOUR FAMILY AND MAKE A GOOD LIFE FOR YOURSELF.

I won’t say that you won’t make mistakes along the way and not all of it will be easy. Gradually though you will realize that the image you see in the mirror is distorted by all those hateful words you heard and you will start to see beauty both inside and out. You will start to appreciate your body and what it is capable of a little more every day. Gradually you will gain the strength to fight back against those hateful words and finally say that enough is enough and remove y1`ourself from the people who are so hateful and embrace the members of your family and the friends who are truly loving and supportive and always have been there trying to make the positive voices louder than the hateful ones. Gradually you will start to love yourself, which will lead you to finding someone who loves you more than the world and more importantly loves you for being exactly who you are. Gradually you will learn that while it’s nice to have money, a job and things are not what defines you. Your relationships are still strong with those friends who helped pick you up and get you through those awful teenage years and those friendships are worth more than anything you can buy. Those friends will and have dropped everything at a single phone call to be at your side even from several states away. Gradually you will learn that you are not destined to become your family mistakes and you will build a life of love and laughter. It’s not always a perfect life and it’s definitely not always easy but I promise it’s worth it.

Twenty years down the road you can look back and feel confident that despite all the tears and heartache, you were strong enough and you had good enough friends and loving family members on your side to make the right choices and rise above the patterns and become a mother of two beautiful children with an amazing support system of family and friends who would do anything for you and you would do the same for them.

Thank you for choosing the positive and continually working to eliminate the negative.


Your adult self