To me, twelve years ago.
I wish I could tell you that in 3 weeks, you will do one of the the bravest things you will ever do.
You will try and sleep the night before, shaking with fear again, not knowing that the following day will change your life.
How could you know that you will find the courage you never thought you had and be liberated?
Thinking back, I would tell you to plan it, to have been better prepared for it. But you will realise in time that had you not left when you did, your life would have ended sooner than intended.
You will long for a hand to guide you through it all. You will not have one.
The struggles you will face, you will do alone, fighting not only for yourself but for the two stars that will need you to shine for them.
You will forget to, caught up briefly in a dream of lost time. You will not find it, nor yourself.
As time goes on, there will be more bad days than good. New worries and hardships to face as you continue to lose your identity.
And though you birth a new light, you will see darkness everywhere else, in the eyes of those who no longer know you, in the corners of your safest spaces.
The niggling at the back of your mind carefully pushed away, you just exist.
I wish I could tell you that it will be easy, but the last few years leading up to now will be that hardest you will face.
You will relive your traumas many times, memories surfacing of a time when you were supposed to be protected. People who led you into a place where abuse continued.
Talk about them. Loudly. Cry. Allow the sobs to take over then dry your eyes, wipe your cheeks and keep your head held high.
The breakdowns will be tough, of a magnitude you have never known. And just when you feel that nothing matters, you will find strength.
Reasons to keep yourself alive will become clear again and you will heal more every time.
The questions you have will go unanswered and no one will apologise or admit to any wrong doing.
You will learn that you do not always need to understand the whys of it all. Only that they happened and it was not something you were able to control.
In spite of this, you will become a woman who can be proud of herself, achieving things that right now, you believe could only happen to others.
You will find that support you craved.
Don’t wait too long to realise that you are not always being attacked, and that your defensiveness is not the right thing to do.
You will grieve the childhood you never had, the words that guided you to a further eight years of abuse. The actions which made you believe you were deserving of the blows you endured during that time and the years that followed.
You will not forget, nor forgive anyone but yourself. After blaming yourself, living with regrets, looking for ways to explain the self hatred, you will finally realise that you are not at fault for what happened for too many years.
Some of the pain will ease, the anger will not.
It will be the tool you use to better yourself, to create something that will help others.
My darling, I wish I could tell you that it will take time and hard work to start loving yourself. I wish I could warn you how difficult it is going to be.
How it will take a heartbreak you never saw coming, your life in the hands of someone else who doesn’t want you and doesn’t see your worth; to finally find a place you belong.
Hindsight; A year later, realising that when you are strong, people will be afraid of not being able to control you in your vulnerability.
Your heart will mend slightly but the break will crack further.
You will not cry this time for the person who let you down again, now fully aware of the conditions that need and needed to be in place so you can be loved.
Instead, you will hold your head high in worth and walk forward into a future so full of fire, no one will tear you down again.
You will start this.
Twelve years later, I will get there.