A letter to my six year old self
Wednesday afternoon (again). Immediately after making the below entry, I went over to JuJu's site and found a really great idea for a writing assignment. Basically, the idea is to picture yourself at the exact moment that you first started feeling badly about yourself and your body and decided that eating was a good way to make you feel better about yourself, then write that child a note to comfort them. Below is my attempt to do just that.
I know how hurtful it is when kids at school make fun of you and make you cry. I remember exactly the way that you're feeling right now - how you want to rage, scream, hit something, and, most importantly, do anything at all just to make it stop.
I don't know why some kids feel that it's OK or even fun to be so horrible to someone that just wants to be liked and have friends. Perhaps someone hurt them and their only way of dealing with their pain is to hurt someone else. I'm not sure why, but I know that it happens, and that it hurts, and that it doesn't hurt any less when you're a grown up.
When you come home from school upset because you've been bullied by other kids, I know that your mommy tells you that you should have a piece of cheese or something else in the fridge to make you feel better. I know that you always do what Mommy tells you, because she loves you and she just wants to help you stop feeling sad. Mommy is wonderful at bandaging skinned knees and rubbing your tummy just the right way to make it stop hurting because Mommy is a nurse and she knows about things like that. Unfortunately, you can't put a Band-Aid over it when your heart hurts, and sometimes Mommy doesn't know how to fix what's wrong.
What I've learned as a grown up is that sometimes there isn't a way to fix it - sometimes you just have to let it hurt until it goes away. It's OK to be mad and, if you want to scream or yell or hit something, go ahead and do it. Feeling bad doesn't make you a bad person and it doesn't mean that you'll never be happy again. It's also OK that some people don't like you - it really is their loss, just like Mommy tells you - and it doesn't mean that you're not a good person or a good friend, it just means that everyone's different, including you. Don't let their decision not to like you make you change to try to be more like them. Being different is a good thing - it's a gift - and you are different, and special, too. Feel proud of that, don't hide it under a rock because others are so insecure about themselves that they can't appreciate your individuality.
Don't ever hide behind food when you feel mad or sad because it's not going to make you feel any better. Only time will heal you
Sometimes when you feel sad, the best thing in the world is to put your head in Mommy's lap and let her hold you until you feel better
Stand up and be proud of who and how you are because you are special and wonderful
I'm here for you, anytime you need me, so you'll never be alone.
I also got a really great thought in the mail from my friend, Shelly. Shell just lost her grandma and her mom is battling cancer, so she's been through Hell lately. She said, "please do all you can to appreciate the ones you love and the strangers you meet. Life is so very fragile, but also so available to us to take by storm." She's right, as usual.