Sunday, 6 January 2008
A letter to my 13 year old self.
Gosh what seems like an age ago I was tagged to write a letter to my 13 year old self. So here goes.
Hi Gillian . . .I wish more than anything that I could stop you worrying so much. You are good enough you know. Yes you are quiet and others may even think you a bit odd, but that will become a plus later on . . .people will like you because you are different.
Don't worry about homework and school so much – you are bright, but events in your life will happen and you will fail at school . . but not at life.
Don't worry about the fact that you were called a Granny at your first school dance, because of the way you dressed – you will develop your own style of clothes and you will be comfortable with what you wear.
Um – this obsession with body image is going to get a great deal worse before it gets better. You will become very ill with anorexia . . .you will refuse hospitalisation and you will find a way through. It will always be there to haunt you, but you will find a way of living with it and mostly keeping it under control, rather than letting it control you.
You will one-day become more comfortable with and even grow to like you – but it will take many years of self development. You will learn that being brutally honest with yourself will teach you a great deal about who you are and what makes other people tick and will help you to survive. Most importantly you will learn that for other people to like you, you must first learn to love your self first . . .internal locus of evaluation. To live for external praise is to live on a shore washed by ever-shifting tides and offers no security.
You love of reading and writing will always be with you and you will succeed as a writer in some small measure . . .and then you will try again . . .at this point I don't know what happens. You will also find a creative outlet on photography. You will later in life indulge again in your passion for the stage – this will have mixed blessings.
You will find love and you will be hurt and you will hurt. You will conquer your fear of living alone and become much stronger because if it. You will also gain independence and understanding.
You will always love Xmas and you will never grow out of your love of snow.
But life for you is about to get a great deal worse . . .you Mother will go into hospital when you are 14 – it will be discovered she has cancer. She will die on January 20th 1970 when you are 15. You will cope - that is the only comfort I can offer. Sadly you won't be able to grieve until many years later and then it is very painful – I wish I could tell you to let go and grieve at the time of your Mother's death – but I can't and you do get through and learn an important lesson. You will also lose your maternal Gran and Grandad in 1970 and an Aunt and Uncle.
Your Father won't be able to cope with your Mum dying and six months later he will re-marry. You and your step mother will not get on – she will drive you out and you will leave home at 16. You will feel totally abandoned by all your relatives and that is the way it will be . . . it will take quite a lot of therapy to learn to cope with that abandonment . . .but you do get there. You will go from a child wrapped in cotton wool to a child thrown out . . .to an adult with understanding, but there will be bitterness along the way.
You will have a roller coaster of a life for many many years. . .but you will learn a great deal . . .I think in many ways you will benefit from all that happens to you – particularly because you do learn.
You will find your soul mate and you will have children and you will love them all deeply . . . but the roller coaster will still roll on for many more years.
You will have ups and downs with your health – the migraines will be with you until you are 50. You will have autoimmune diseases – there will be times when you despair . . .but you will get throughand you will learn the joy of pain free days.
There is happiness and contentment and amazing opportunities to learn amongst the ups and downs of the years to come – treasure each and every moment – they are ALL extraordinarily valuable . . . they will make you what I am.
I am proud of you and I will never abandon you and . . . you know what . . . I am proud of me too . . . big hug . . .