Monday, March 18, 2013

Dear Kid (At Whatever Age)

     I'm talking to you, the one with the difficult life. You, the kid, who can not understand why the other kids on the school bus are so happy about weekends, and summer break. Because I know you dread weekends, and you have no words to explain how you feel about the horror that is summer break. In those weekends and breaks there pass too many hours where you have no reprieve, nobody to save you. Whatever happens in those hours - the yelling, hitting, other unspeakable things is always unpredictable. There's not a thing you can do to make it okay. No matter how good you try to be you will never be good enough to make it stop.

     I know you play in your closet a lot because it makes you feel safer. Something about being unseen brings you great comfort. I have heard you wish there was a closet inside your closet. I have heard you wish you could die. I know your nightmares are not limited to sleeping hours. I know they dance around in your head all the time. You're always scared, even when things are 'okay' because you know how precarious 'okay' is. You never know who you can trust. You especially never know 'for how long'. 

    I know you watch people, and try to interact in ways which let them know you like them, without ever really belonging. Because belonging, as you know, is not so great. I know you love those people who you do not trust. You love them very much. And then sometimes you wish they would die. Because you hate them, too. I've heard you vow to never, ever, ever let those people see you cry. Sometimes you can't help it and it makes you mad at yourself. Then you make that vow again, with even more resolve. 

    Maybe you don't think about yourself alone. Maybe you think about siblings. I know this makes it even more difficult. You can't decide whether you would rather protect them at your own peril, which you know is futile anyway, or stay as far away as possible. I know you don't trust anyone. I do not blame you. But I still want you to know something. 

     One day, if you create your life carefully,  this will all feel like someone else's life you read about in a book. You'll empathize, sympathize, and maybe shed a tear for the characters, but you will be able to be out of that story. So now you have to do the thing other people were not able to do for you. You have to make good choices. You have to behave as if you deserve only the best people in your life. You have to treat yourself as if you are precious and your own well being is the most important thing there is. Because it is. You have to cling to whatever good you can and fight away the rest with those swords of resolve you have created. You can do it, because if life has given you one gift, it is resolve wrapped around strength. Exercise it in every situation. Wield it like a deadly weapon. 

     I am on your side. And even though it doesn't feel like it, so is most of the world. Right now, while you are in the middle of chaos, I tell you it is possible for you to do this. Please, believe me. Please know there are others who made it. You can make it, too. 

Here's another person who made it through. She realizes how the story moves away from front and center of your heart, to a more long-term storage. Read what she says here.

     *If you or someone you know is suffering abuse there are many places to turn. Here is a list of a few: 

Mama’s Losin’ It


  1. Thank you for sharing. There are so many of those kids around and they need to know they are not alone.

  2. Oh my gosh, this made me tear up. It breaks my heart to think there are children like this that have these feelings. Great blog post.

  3. I just want to take that little girl right into my home and show her what feeling safe and what loving Summer vacation is all about. It breaks my heart to know my own kids probably go to school with friends who are living this way. I wish we could help. This was so brave of you to write, but I don't doubt it will help a lot of people! Thank you!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing the link to this post. When faced with certain circumstances we all feel just like this child no matter the age.

  5. There are far too many children living that life. This is a very powerful letter. Thank you for sharing it with the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse, and thank you for speaking out.

  6. I have goosebumps. Thank you for writing this and for sharing it.

  7. This is so thoughtful and true. Thank you for writing it and I'm so glad you included it in Tracie's Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse. I think it's so important for those kids in this situation and for those who may see the kids struggling or know the adults they've become to read.

  8. "I know you watch people, and try to interact in ways which let them know you like them, without ever really belonging."
    That sentence sums it up for me. In spite of healing and growth and control of my destiny, it's still hard to shake that feeling of not belonging, of not WANTING to belong. This is a beautiful letter; it strikes right at the nerve. Too often I encounter a kid just like this. I know all the signs and it breaks my heart.

    1. I do the same thing. As a matter of fact when we moved into our new neighborhood last year I explained to my husband. I just want to be the neighbor they see who always smiles at them, waves at them, has a kind word, will help them out with what they need. But that's it. I don't want to spend much time with my neighbors. I've always been this way. When other neighbors build little groups and hang out together all the time I go the first time I'm invited then I don't go again unless I can't get out of it. It makes me so uncomfortable when I go and then I remember why I don't do such things.

  9. I am speechless. I wish I could have written this letter with the same strength and grace and conviction as you. This letter is remarkable - and if only I could share it with everyone who needs to read this - to give strength to those who don't yet know they have it. And then, to click on the link in your last paragraph and find a very familiar blog post staring back at me. Hugs.

  10. Thank you for such a moving and well written piece. It is sad that there are a lot of children who feel this way. I've endorsed you on Sverve and shared this letter so that others might be able to read this as well. I'll be checking back to read more.... Keep up the great writing!