Dear Inner Child:
My therapist says that I should “converse” with you. I’m not really sure what that means. I waver between thinking that this is complete new age hippie bunk and thinking that he probably has a very good point. I don’t like thinking about you. You make me remember the worst time in my life. Not just because of the emotional and physical abuse, but because unlike every day of my life since then, I had absolutely no choice in the matter. You represent the only time I was ever a victim.
I want you to know that you are fine now. Everything you hoped growing up would be, it is, and so much more. When you fantasized about being an adult, you never imagined friends, or family or love. How could you have? You had no idea what those things were like. But I have them. I have a little apartment with an amazing man, who’s stuck by my side for the last 8 years. I have several dear friends, who believe in me, and who enjoy talking to me and who I enjoy and believe in back. I have a job where I’m still green, but people seem to like the things I do and they respect my opinions sometimes, and take the time to explain things and work with me.
Grandma is right to some extent, being an adult isn’t all fun and games, there’s the stress of money and performing at work, cleaning my house and being generally as good as I can be. But the rules are my own. I’m in charge of my life. And that can be incredible, and scary and awesome all at the same time.
All those adults that go around whining about how shit everything is don’t know what you and I know, they don’t understand the primal glee that comes from the kind of escape we made. Yeah, I have a lot of responsibility, and maybe I’ll fuck it up and lose everything, but that’s a small price to pay for the simple luxury of choice.
I know you don’t feel safe in your home. You shouldn’t, it’s an unsafe place. I know you’re frequently suicidal, and that you spend a lot of time wondering what the penalty is for murders committed by people under the age of 10. I’m glad you didn’t kill him, he dies more miserable than we could ever make him. Although I did personally advocate for him staying in the nursing home where he insisted that they were mistreating him. He died there. I don’t think I’ll ever feel sorry for that. It was a small bit of revenge for what he did to us. I know you think about revenge a lot. I can still feel your impotent rage, all consuming inside me. Something to remember him by, as long as we live.
I also know that you dream of escape, and this letter is to tell you that we made it. I carried you with me, through years of struggle, and uncertainty. And terrible things happened, and amazing things too. Even though you are only 20 short years away, I want you to know that in that small span of time, my life has been more awesome and more incredible than I ever thought it could be. I want you to know that we are loved today, and that we are safe today, and that you are wonderful for having survived.