Letter to myself.
[Content Note for all kinds of shit that will follow. Child Abuse (Physical, Mental, Emotional and Sexual), Violence towards Children.]
How’s life going? It’s a bit shit at the moment isn’t it?
Those things Dad does to you, not your fault. He burnt your hands in the sink because he wanted to, not because you deserved it. He smacks you with his hand, again, not because you deserve it, but because he needs the control over you. He seems to feed on fear. You are allowed to be afraid of him. You don’t have to listen to those mean words he says. The cane, his shoes, or even his hands, they will hurt. They will cause you more tears, but remember, that you don’t deserve those beatings. That pain that is being dished out as a punishment is overkill. Explaining to your teachers why you couldn’t sit down, will be embarrassing, but you will get through it.
No one will come to rescue you though Kiddo. Those people you are crying out for help to, they either don’t hear you, or choose to ignore you. Again, this is not your fault.
You have been listening to those mean words for a few years now and they aren’t true. You aren’t lazy, you aren’t ugly, you aren’t a waste of space and you are most certainly treasured. You are loved. By people you don’t always see. You aren’t stupid either, there is a brain in that head on those shoulders of yours that you can and will use for a great many number of things. You are an awesome little person. I know you don’t feel like one, but you are.
Dad being ‘ill’, isn’t your fault and you shouldn’t be taking the flack for it, but you are and you continue to. You are a brave young person who is hurting. It will take you a while to figure out what when wrong and why, but you will get there. The anger you carry later on in life, is because it will take you a good few years working out what went so wrong and working out that you weren’t to blame for it.
That thing that older boy does to you, definitely not your fault. That itch and flu you get after it, was him. He gives you something called Herpes. Something you won’t know you have for a long time. It makes you really ill, continues to do so, but you power through. The pain and shame you feel, will disappear, in time. Know this much little one, you aren’t to blame.
It’s not your fault that dad treats your other brother and sister like shit too. You shouldn’t have to be the grown up either. Mam works to make sure the bills are paid (the debts dad runs up don’t help) and to make sure you have food, although it won’t be much, Mam will make sure you eat.
Those books that you adore so much, they will provide you with an escape. Just remember you can’t stay there. As nice as it is to get away, you can’t stay there. The scary books you read, that is to try and make the hell you are living in seem a little better. Something to compare it to.
All the times you are allowed out to play, enjoy them. Enjoy climbing in the trees, riding your bike, walking in the river and reading in the sun, because you will get grounded for months at a time for not doing something small. The injustice will tear you up and make you feel you aren’t good enough. Again, not your fault. You are a child. There is only so much you can do and having a spotless house whilst your dad sits and watches the news, isn’t one of those things.
I know why you spend ages in the shower, scrubbing yourself until you bleed, it won’t help. I know you don’t talk about it because he told you that you are always lying, that no one will ever believe you. They will and they do.
The picking of your skin, it’s a coping mechanism. There are better ways to deal with the stresses that you have, picking and cutting is not one of them. It will happen, just make sure you use clean things, dirty broken glass will cause infections.
Don’t feel guilty for feeling jealous either. Watching your cousins opening their fantastic Christmas presents when all you got was a colouring book and some pencils, is okay. Don’t hate your Mam for that though, as I said earlier she made sure you got something when there was no money. She made sure that there was something to unwrap, because dad was spending money they didn’t have. Not your fault! The jealousy will be something you understand when you are older, I promise.
Those tablets, they don’t fix anything, they will just make you sick. Don’t do it.
Things look shit, but you are a fighter. You are awesome, you are funny, you are important, you are worthy, you deserve love. You are a little gem.
Life is going to throw some really painful lessons your way. You will understand a lot more as you grow older and start to see the situation from a different perspective.
Love you little one.
Love the big one xx