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I found a picture of you today. You weren’t even half of a day old yet when the picture was taken. Your eyes were closed; maybe you were sleeping by this time. You had gone through quite a lot already in your short life, so you deserved a rest. Finally you were allowed to relax after you had tubes shoved down your throat and plenty doctors and nurses examining you.
I bet you didn’t like being born, considering all you went through already. Believe me; it’s not usually so bad. Usually it’s much easier, without all the frantic people surrounding you. I’m sorry you had to go through all that. You didn’t deserve it. You were only a baby, after all.
You had a little lung trouble. Apparently there was fluid blocking your airway. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but it’s not that hard to fix. You were fine soon enough, as your quick cries filled the room. You didn’t cry for long; you were destined to be a quiet baby. Not that that’s a bad thing; I’m sure your parents will love you for that.
I bet you’re a little uncomfortable right now. You can move all of your fingers and toes, but only your left arm will go up and down. Can you and your young brain work hard enough to understand that there’s a problem? I know you don’t know this right now, but by the time you are two you will be able to move just about every part of you, including that seemingly dead arm. I know it seems like a long way away, my darling, but it comes way before you know it.
I’m so sorry, sweetheart, I’m so sorry for you. You don’t know it now, dear child, but you are going to have to go through so much. It will hurt, sweetheart, it will hurt a lot. You will get so close to rock bottom, maybe even hit it. You will be young, sweetheart, only a young girl of 13. Your mind will have just developed into that of an adult.
While you still have the look of someone so young, you will have the mind capacity of someone much older. Logic will become one of your most trusted friends in every situation you find yourself in. While the circumstances are anything but your fault, the things you do to get out of it will be choices all your own.
It will start when you are three years old. That will be when you begin to understand that there are people in your life that you must not be fooled into trusting. They may be people close to you; they may be people that you thought you were close to. But there are people in your life that you simply cannot trust.
From then on it only gets more complicated. For awhile school helps to define some sense of normalcy. But then even that doesn’t do the trick. After the divorce of your parents, kids start to notice all the different cars coming to pick you up each day. They start to ask questions. Are you an orphan? Are you in a foster home? Don’t worry, sweetheart, none of it is true, and very soon all the rumors stop when someone sees you with your mother in the parking lot. Divorce becomes more common amongst your friends, but never one like yours. One the one hand, it’s nice to be different. On the other hand, it makes you more than alone all the time.
You get a reprieve for awhile. When you are nine, things seem almost okay. You get to be a normal person, with normal friends and a normal life. But that happens during the day. But at night, well, at night is when the monsters in your mind come to play. Terrorizing, running about your room, doing all they can just to scare you. But you learn to control your nightmares, to a point.
Sometime after you turn ten, it gets just as bad in the daytime. But instead of at night, when it’s only a dream, this is all real. It’s not your fault, but it’s still going to happen to you. And I’m so sorry sweetheart, but there is nothing you or me can do to stop the inevitable events that will happen now and throughout your life.
It’s going to get worse. Once you’re 13, life doesn’t matter to you anymore. It’s the only thing that fuels your hatred, towards no one more than yourself. You turn to self harm, finding ways to punish yourself for the things you hate about yourself most. But everything you do goes under the radar.
When you are fifteen, sweetheart, you are going to hate me. You will hate me oh so much, and with good reason. After all, I’m the one that stabs your fingers with sewing needles and punches you in the stomach at all hours of the day and night. I don’t mean to hurt you sweetheart. And seeing you, as nothing more than a helpless young baby, I can’t help but feel awful for hurting you. But you’re not the one I’m hurting. You are only a child. You have not yet been sculpted by choices and events and circumstances beyond your control. I’m sorry it’s you that ends up in the line of my fire. It shouldn’t have been and I’m sorry. Contrary to your belief, you don’t deserve it.
I bet you think I can’t really know all of this about you. You already know you can’t really know someone else as well as I claim to know you. But sweetheart, I am you. Fifteen years ago that was me in that hospital bed you’re lying in now. I didn’t know what the life ahead of me was to bring. I wish I could go back and tell you, sweetheart. But you’re stuck in that picture, fifteen years ago. I wish I could go back and change something, so we don’t end up the way we do.
You are going to grow up to be me, darling. You will grow into a fifteen year old girl with so many insecurities and self-esteem issues that you end up taking an hour out of each day to change your appearance as much as you can with makeup and a flat iron. It works enough that you keep doing it, but you can see the negative effects it has on you. You grow to hate yourself, and therefore me, more and more with each passing day.
I have found a solution, sweetheart. Actually, you will find it when you are about 12. You will realize that you don’t have to live if you are in so much pain each day. Wouldn’t death be a better solution? But of course, we let ourselves get convinced that it’s not the answer and that things are going to get better.
But they haven’t, sweetheart. They haven’t and I doubt they ever will. Not that I, or you, will be around to see. You will die when you are fifteen, not by one of the monsters or murderers you become so afraid of, but by none other than your own hand. The last thing you write will be a story directed at yourself, fifteen years in the past. After that, you shall take your story and your picture, and you will lay them down beside you. And then my sweetheart, only then, you will finally be able to escape your life.