#BEDM Day 22 - Letter to my 13 yo self


22 days done, 9 to go...not that I'm counting or anything....*looks shifty*.

Today's mission is: If you could talk to your 13 year old self, what would you say?

Strap yourselves in. Trigger warning for everything. 


Dear 13 year old Leah,

This year you start having periods. I'm sorry to say they don't get any better and you have about 40 more years of this shit, so painkillers are your friend. Oh, and even though you're not going to discover the art of self-love for another 3 years, it totally helps with the cramps.

You're going into the most uncertain and challenging times of your life - at home, in school, and in your relationships with others, but above all this, your body will be the thing you are made to feel bad about the most. Yes, you were a very tubby child, but if not for the adults around you making you feel bad about your body, you'd be absolutely fine - in fact, by the time you're 15 your love of the outdoors and walking will mean almost all your puppy fat goes and you are muscular and strong as an ox, but you won't realise that until 20 years later when it's far, far too late. Kids are always cruel, but it's not really their cruelty that will affect you - it's the arseholes in your own family and church who'll do that - people who SHOULD know better. You'll remember one time at nan's when the adults were having a dig, and your cousins joined in too, because what adults get away with unchallenged kids think is acceptable behaviour. You stormed out over to the rec away from the bastards and to cry, wondering why your mum never stood up for you. 20 years later you'll realise it's because they did the same to her, and then you can't be upset with her any more.

I'm not going to lie, the next few years are going to get gnarly. When you're 14 and away to visit your dad for the first time in years your mum is going to move an alcoholic rapist into your home. He's going to make your life a living hell for the next 5 years, try to sexually assault you (luckily you had no use for the 10 inch knife down your trouser leg at the time but I know you would've chopped it off at the root at the earliest opportunity), smash up the bathroom twice, ban you from entering the living room for the entire years he's there, make you leave school and go out to work to support your mother who is struggling to fund his booze habit, make you buy (and cook) your own food as soon as you start work and then nick most of it so you are forced to go hungry, beat the shit out of your dog so badly she goes blind, and all the while your mother will support him, even after he tries to coerce you into bed. Worse than that, she'll eff off out constantly leaving you alone with him in the house so often that you get a lock put on your bedroom door and lay in bed, scared to make a sound so he'll know you're in, scared to even breathe. You'll spiral into ill mental health that will see you check under every bed and in every wardrobe for years to make sure you're safe in the house until finally, you move in with your mum's friend 5 days a week so you at least can concentrate on your school work.

You'll only get a break from this when you break down telling your dad about it aged 18. You hadn't been really close with him for a long time but soon you'll be living with him and he'll be sleeping on a mattress on the floor for a year so you don't have to put up with the abuse any more. By 19 you'll be moved out of the town that caused so many bad memories and off to start a new life. Things will get brighter. You're tougher than you know. That alcoholic prick dies, and your only regret will be you're too far away to piss on his grave. You make it up with your mum, and your dad is there for you. What he didn't do in your early childhood years he'll more than make up for in time. 

You'll meet and go out with a few arseholes, but long, long into your future you'll meet someone who'll make you realise the rest happened just so you knew what you didn't want in a partner. 

Far from letting the events in your life poison you, you are more aware of the suffering of others as a result and try to be kind, because as you know all too well, you can never tell what a person is dealing with behind closed doors.

Oh, by the way, when you're 15 you'll have a dalliance with Sun In hair lightener. It won't go well, trust me. You should always wear sunscreen, but you won't. You really are a stubborn bugger.

Your positively ancient older self
x x x

Thanks for reading, and if you're feeling sad for me, don't. I got through it all, and I'm happy. I don't think about this stuff too much because it makes me sad, but it needs to be pulled out and dealt with once in a while.

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