What would you say?

One of the reasons I adore my therapist is that she gives me homework. Not only does she help me face my shit in her office, she helps me piece together the rough edges of my emotional puzzle when I am home alone with my thoughts.

I've had nearly two weeks to write a letter to my 13-year-old self. Two weeks of mulling over what I would say.

13 is my magic number. It's the age I was diagnosed with Stage Four Acne Vulgaris. Within a year, my face (and parts of my body) were covered in lesions and my new name in school was Freddy Krueger. It's also
 the age I lost my virginity. I didn't so much lose it, as it was taken away. And just like that, my puzzle fell apart.

I just completed the letter, and am amazed. I told that girl things I need to hear today.

Love, does not equal shame.

To feel wanted, does not equal being used.

Loving yourself does not mean feeling hurt.

The dark corners of my childhood are finally coming to light, as I discover the choices I am making as an adult are a direct reflection of my past.

Being honest with ourselves isn't always easy, but it's the only way we can break free from the darkness that holds us back.

So tell me: what would you tell your 13-year-old self?
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"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson