There's a tag going around on YouTube that intrigued me. YouTubers are posting videos about what they would say to their younger selves. I have so much I would say to my younger self so I had to get in on this.
Dear 10 Year-Old Me,
You are getting made fun of right now for being too girly. Unfortunately, we live in a society where femininity is seen as weak and inferior. People believe that the closer you are to a boy, the better you are. Don't let other peoples' ignorance change you. It is an incredible thing to be feminine and strong and you are incredibly strong. You will see later in your life just how strong you are. Embrace your girly side and flaunt it apologetically. Ignore the people making fun of you. They are insecure and need everyone around them to feel the same way. If you can't ignore them, challenge them to a race. Nothing shuts them up faster than being left in your dust.
Dear 13 Year-Old Me,
Things in your family are getting pretty bad. You don't know it yet but what you are experiencing is abuse. Your brother is out of control and verbally and physically abusing you. Your parents are using emotional abuse to train you to be his literal and figurative punching bag so that they don't have to deal with him. You are depressed and angry, and it has caused you to give up everything you love and shut down. It's important to know that what you are experiencing has nothing to do with you. Your whole family have major issues that they are not addressing and unfortunately this will still be going on when you are an adult. As awful as it might be to say, your brother is insignificant. He's an abusive misogynist and has no interest in changing. There's no excuse for his behavior. One day he will no longer be a part of your life. Your parents are different. Let go of your anger towards them. You don't know it now, but they experienced just as much abuse growing up as you are. It's likely that abuse has plagued this family for generations. The difference between you and them is that one day you will acknowledge that you are a victim of abuse and will work long and hard to heal and overcome it. One day you will no longer be a victim but a survivor and you will not only break the cycle but use your experiences to help others. They may never address their past and remain victims their whole lives. That does not warrant anger towards them but sadness for them. Perhaps as they see you heal, they will be encouraged to do the same. In the meantime, your education is your way out. Stop slacking and put all of your effort into it. I don't mean just in school either. Keep writing, keep reading every book you can find, keep meeting new people, keep going new places. Look for as many new and positive experiences as you can find.
This post is getting pretty long. I still have more to write so I'm going to continue this in another post.
To be continued...