Dear Sweet Little Girl,
There are so many things I want to tell you. I’m not even sure where to start. This is the hardest letter I’ve ever written. Words don’t seem to exist that are worthy enough to express all of what I want to say; all of what you deserve to know.
I know the darkness you’ve endured. I know the hell you’ve been through. I know the details you don’t talk about. I know the shame you feel. I know the anger, resentment, and devastation you feel. I know how small you feel. I know how unheard you feel. I know how disrespected you feel. I know how invisible you feel. I know. I hear you. I see you.
I know what he did to you. I know every memory you have stored of what happened and I am thankful for the ones you’ve forgotten. I know how stupid you feel that this happened and that you let it go on for so many years before trying to stop it. I know he was/is only a couple years older than you, but he had immense power over you. You have no reason to feel stupid; you were a confused 4 year old little girl when it started and over time it just became part of your life. I don’t want you to feel stupid for allowing this to happen, what could you have done to change it then anyways. I want you to feel proud of yourself for the courage it took at the age of 12 to say “No, this can’t happen anymore.” I know how scared you were to say no. I remember that moment like it was yesterday:
The two of you were alone at a farm house out in the country; babysitting if memory serves me right. It was late, so the kids were in bed (I say kids, but you were only a kid yourself). The past 8 years taught you what to expect from him that night; without fail he made his move. This time was different than the last 8 years, this time you did something he didn’t expect. I remember the fear that filled your body, your heart raced, how would he react? Would he get angry and violent? You knew what you had to do. You summoned all the courage in your body and you told him “No”. And to your surprise, he didn’t push it. You were free, you were finally free from his grip.
I was, and still am, so very proud of you and thankful that you had the courage to stand up and protect yourself.
I know how damaging this has been to you and on how many levels it has damaged you. I know this runs deep, I still feel it today. The mention of his name makes my skin crawl. The disregard of how this makes you feel is so infuriating. I’ve gotten so angry about the disregard, but I have been no better to you than they’ve been. I’ve allowed it. I’ve enabled the disregard for what you’ve been through. For that, I am so deeply sorry. I should’ve done a better job of protecting and defending you. You needed me and I let you down. I wasn’t strong enough to give you the support you needed. I hope you can forgive me for failing to be what you needed me to be.
I had some growing, healing, and learning to do in order to show up for you in the way you needed me to. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long, but I am here now. You have my word that I will always be here for you from this moment on. You will never have to deal with this on your own again. You have my time, my attention, my compassion, and my love forever and always. You are worth so much more than I ever let you know.
None of what happened to you is your fault. You didn’t deserve any of it. You are precious. Let go of the shame that you’ve been carrying, it isn’t yours to bear. You have been so brave and so strong for so long. Now it’s time for you to be free of the burden of our past. I’ve got it from here, you are free to be a carefree child, you’ve earned it.
I love you!
Your Functional Adult Self