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Dear little Melissa,
I see you, I acknowledge you.
You were afraid and alone, and I am sorry. I couldn’t protect you. I was afraid myself. I am writing this to you.
I am writing this for the girl who grew up in the darkness. I want her to know there is light to be found.
I want to share my experience, strength, and hope. I want to hold space for my little girl and give her the grace she deserved.
We often think about all the people we have harmed and the guilt we have caused others, but we need to put ourselves on the list of people we need to forgive.
I forgive you, my younger self, for not knowing what you didn’t know. You were expected to know how to think or act. You did a wonderful job of surviving and camouflaging yourself to fit in.
You did a great job of keeping the secret of shame in your family. You did a great job of searching for your body’s natural desire to find love, even though you had to look in all of the wrong places.
I give you permission, little girl, to let your guard down now. To forgive yourself for the love that you thought you weren’t worthy of.
You are worthy and deserving.
I free you from the generations of chains you have been dragging. The darkness that has permeated your being for so long.
You can take off that fake smile now and stop pretending. You are free to be you, strong emotions and all. It’s okay that you won’t fit into every crowd. You no longer are expected to be a chameleon. There are people who you won’t blend with, and that’s okay. You can quit trying harder—just rest and be.
Let go of all the shame that has bound you for so long.
The neglect and abandonment you felt were real. But now we can acknowledge that and move on. We can forgive. We can let go. We can breathe through our disappointment.
We can take the memories we have and use them for good. We can create a space for healing now.
You are loved, adored, and cherished.