A letter to my teenage self

Amy 3

I’ve thought long and hard about publishing this. The last thing I want is for people to feel sorry for me but I have been through some tough times in my life and with that I have gained valuable life experience.

This blog has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me and being able to write things down is my therapy.

Not only has blogging taken me along a wonderful and exciting career path, it’s helped me find my independence and has been something that I have succeeded at, all on my own. For a long time I felt that my children were my only accomplishment but I have discovered that I love to write and I have found my voice.

This letter is for all the teenage mums and the women who have suffered abuse. For the women who have been told they are not good enough or they will never achieve anything. There is light at the end of the tunnel, you will come out the other side. All you have to do is believe in yourselves and I truly hope that you are able to find your voice too, however that manifests itself.

This is for you as much as it is for me…

”Dear Amy

It’s almost your 18th birthday and I’m sorry to tell you your Dad is about to pass away. After his long battle with illness and years of you expecting it to happen at any moment. The news will be the most shocking you’ve ever heard. You’re going to go completely off the rails and you use his passing as an excuse for your bad behaviour for a really long time, too long.

Soon after this you get in a relationship with someone who seizes the opportunity and your vulnerability to take advantage of you. He will scar you both mentally and physically, there will be a time when you almost won’t make it, your injuries are so severe. What happens that day will haunt your dreams for the rest of your life but he will not break you, so please stay strong.

Throughout these dark times you find yourself pregnant, you are only 18. This new life will help to lift some of the sadness that you’ve been feeling. You can’t believe that there will be a little baby boy completely dependent on you and who will love you no matter what. He will need you so much it gives you purpose, he’s your saviour.

Almost a year later to the day your second baby will arrive. A little girl, still as perfect now as she ever was and a delight and joy that you could never imagine possible. Being a Mother is going to make you feel the most special you have ever felt in your life.

From somewhere you will find the strength to leave your abusive relationship. Life is hard work but you are really good at being a Mummy!

It is your calling. There is no other love like it.

It hurts that there is such a stigma surrounding young mummies. You are told that you have ruined any chance you ever had of a successful career by having children so young and might as well claim benefits. Despite this you get up at 5.30am and walk the children a mile to the nursery so you can go to work. You do this rain or shine and once you’ve paid the childcare fees you’re only ten pounds a week better off but it’s worth it for your self-esteem.

It continues to amaze you how other people pass judgement and assume you are not doing a good job as a Mother. This upsets you more than anything else. You do your absolute best but you will always feel a little bit inadequate, as if you are not taken seriously enough. This perception is magnified by the time the children get to school. By means of defence you make conversation as eloquently and articulately as you are able, perhaps even to the point of curtness at times so people know that you are to be taken seriously.

Inside you have so much to prove, just because you are a young mum doesn’t mean you are stupid or incapable or unintelligent. You so desperately want to validate your worth.

Sometimes you don’t want to get out of bed and deal with another day or another bill that comes through your door, but you cope because you have to. There are more happy days than sad especially when you look into the eyes of your beautiful children, looking at them is a quiet reminder of the reasons you work so hard.

Any time now you’re going to reunite with someone you met years ago. He will be your knight in shining armour. When he’s around you won’t have to feel afraid or not good enough ever again. He will hold your hand and settle you when you have those terrible night terrors. He will treat your children as if they are his children.

As the lines with the names against them on the kitchen wall mark the passing of time it will feel as if there’s never been any other way.

Those years will pass by swiftly. You understand one another, finding each other hilarious. He will be your best friend your confidante the one who knows each and every one of your secrets. He calls you ‘Lucky’.

You will long for a child of your own together, not that the other children aren’t special to him, of course they are. He just wants to know that feeling of his own little newborn baby in his arms. Who can blame him? You will suffer many years of sadness at not being able to conceive, eight in total. There will be two losses along the way.

Just when you thought it would never happen and in your darkest hour, God will be listening to your prayers at exactly the right moment. With medical help you are given one chance, you will be blessed with a pregnancy. The two of you will share a daughter and she will bring you all so much joy and happiness. Your lives will be so full.

I know you feel sadness and despair at times and I know life isn’t fair. You can’t always understand why these things have happened to you. Try to remember that each and every one of us is put on this earth for a reason.

Where there is sorrow in your life there is also hope.

You are not weak, worthless, useless or ugly.

You are strong a survivor and braver than you think.

One day in the not too distant future you will live the life that you dream of now, and this I can promise you.

With love, You (aged 34)
If you enjoyed this post and like my blog I would be really touched if you nominated me for a BritMums Brilliance in Blogging award in the ‘Fresh Voice’ category. Just click the badge below and follow the instructions on the BritMums site. Thank you so much if you decide to nominate!

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Comments

  • Anita Cleare

    Written on 2nd April 2015

    Reply

    I really enjoyed reading this post, thank you. There is so much learning that we want to pass on to our children as they voyage towards adulthood, and you have put it into words so well. The hardest thing is knowing that they will need to go out and make mistakes for themselves before that learning will truly be understood.
    Anita Cleare recently posted…How to help your child have a positive body imageMy Profile

    • Amy

      Written on 2nd April 2015

      Reply

      Hindsight is always so clear isn’t it? Thank you for your words Anita they mean a lot x

    • Amy

      Written on 2nd April 2015

      Reply

      Thank you so much Lucy, thanks for reading and commenting I really appreciate it x

  • You Baby Me Mummy

    Written on 2nd April 2015

    Reply

    Oh huni, you are totally amazing and such an inspiration. I have tears and goosebumps and love this post. Thank you for being brave a publishing it. You are remarkable xxxx
    You Baby Me Mummy recently posted…My Weekly Weigh InMy Profile

    • Amy

      Written on 2nd April 2015

      Reply

      Oh Aby thank you so much, your support means the absolute world to me I’m so grateful to call you my friend xxxx

  • Leigh - Headspace Perspective

    Written on 2nd April 2015

    Reply

    Blimey lovely, that’s one hell of a story. I’m sorry to read of your dad’s death, and of the abuse you suffered. Very true words you have written: life is not fair, and you will wonder why these things have happened to you. But you are stronger than you know. I always think it’s sad that we discover this strength as the consequence of tragedy. xxx #BrilliantBlogPosts
    Leigh – Headspace Perspective recently posted…Have Courage, Be Kind: This Is ForeverMy Profile

    • Amy

      Written on 2nd April 2015

      Reply

      Thanks ever so much Leigh for your kind words,that means so much thank you xxx

    • Amy

      Written on 4th April 2015

      Reply

      Thank you, how lovely of you. I really appreciate you taking the time to read as I know it’s a bit long but so much to be said. Thanks x

  • Natalie / UEM

    Written on 5th April 2015

    Reply

    This brought a tear to my eye, you are truly an incredible woman, and a great inspiration for your kids. As I read it I thought of a friend who was in a similar position at the same age, she was basically made to feel she was worthless but she’s now a nurse after finishing uni last year and about to marry someone who was in our class from year 7, he completely saved her. I always knew she would do great things, just as I’m sure your friends did about you, the hardest part was getting her to believe it.

    You’re blummin amazing lady and don’t ever forget it xx
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  • Katie / Pouting In Heels

    Written on 9th April 2015

    Reply

    Amy, Amy, Amy – this is just beautiful and so incredibly moving.

    I know I haven’t known you for very long but I’m ever so proud of you. For battling, for trying, for surviving and more importantly, for THRIVING.

    Because you’re not a survivor my dear, you’re a THRIVER. You’ve taken all that rubbish, all that pain, all that abuse, all those dark horrific days and used them to turn your life into something wonderful and that is no mean feat. No mean feat at all.

    You’re also a comrade. My comrade. :) Because so much of what you say in this letter has resonated with me, because I too experienced something similar as a young woman, in my late teens.

    Because I too loved a man whose behaviour was often monstrous and like you, even though I don’t think you truly ever recover it, I truly believe that relationship (although horrific) has helped to shape me into a better person.

    (I wrote this about it donkeys ago which you might like and will no doubt understand > http://www.poutinginheels.com/life-a-letter-to-women-in-abusive-relationships-from-a-survivor-of-one-me/ )

    You really are a wonderful, positive, inspiring person Amy. Just reading this gave me a great insight into your strength. Thank you for sharing your story. I know myself, that this is no easy thing to do. Much love.

    XXX

    P.S I am SO bloody glad I have found you and your blog x
    Katie / Pouting In Heels recently posted…Great Gift Ideas for Your Other HalfMy Profile

    • Amy

      Written on 13th April 2015

      Reply

      Katie, you make me cry. I was in the supermarket when I read this it honestly it brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry that you have suffered too. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your encouragement and your beautiful words. Your friendship means so much and I am so grateful to have found you as a person and your wonderful blog too xxx

    • Amy

      Written on 13th April 2015

      Reply

      Thank you Alan,I think you’re absolutely right I wonder this often. Thank you for commenting.

  • martyn

    Written on 9th April 2015

    Reply

    This is truly beautiful and brought tears to my eyes.

    With hindsight we see so much yet without it we wouldn’t be where we are or have some of the blessings that we do have.

    You wrote this perfectly. It showed exactly what it needed. The hurt, upset and pain and through that the hope, blessings and happiness enough to make anyone hold on through.

    You are, lovely lady, such a strong inspiration!
    martyn recently posted…An Average Day in Home SchoolMy Profile

  • Isabella @ Fairies & Pirates

    Written on 9th April 2015

    Reply

    This is such a powerful post, thank you for sharing. You should be so proud of yourself and what you have managed to overcome and achieve and the strength you have found in what must have been a very very difficult period. An inspirational post with an inspiring message! x
    Isabella @ Fairies & Pirates recently posted…SiblingsMy Profile

  • Keri Jones

    Written on 12th April 2015

    Reply

    Hi Amy, this is the first time I have read your blog and I know it wont be the last.
    This post was so honest and beautifully written. It’s lovely to read you’re in a good place now, it sounds like you suffered a lot. I’m so pleased that you found your knight in shining armour. Here’s to the future, health and happiness of your little family xxx

    • Amy

      Written on 13th April 2015

      Reply

      Welcome, that is so nice to hear. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and for your lovely words. That honestly means a lot to me and I really and truly appreciate it, thank you xxx

  • Self-doubt and dealing with disappointment

    Written on 17th May 2015

    Reply

    […] although she wasn’t sure what these awards were all about she had voted for me because my post ‘A letter to my teenage self’ had really touched her and she thought I deserved it. I honestly can’t tell you what that email […]

    • Amy

      Written on 8th June 2015

      Reply

      Hopefully it will help to write it down you as much as it helped me x

  • Marta

    Written on 20th May 2015

    Reply

    Wow Amy, what a beautiful post.

    Every time I read something from you seems like you know me and that you took a piece of my life and put it into “paper”.

    My past and current life somehow resemble with some words that you write, the bad relationship, the knight in his shiny armor.

    But why? Why did we had to suffer like that at such a young age? How did that guy think that he could hurt another human being so much?
    We’ve been through so much and yes I believe we got out stronger and better persons for that, but… no one should suffer in the hands of others.

    But in the end we really are in a better life and I’m truly happy for you – Finally living your dream.

    With love,
    x Marta
    Marta recently posted…A new way of seeing things in lifeMy Profile

    • Amy

      Written on 8th June 2015

      Reply

      Hi Marta, thank you so much for your comment. On the one hand I’m thrilled you resonate and are touched by what I’ve written yet on the other I am desperately sad you have been through similar. I am sorry that you have suffered in the same why and I do not know why it happens; what I do know is that when you come out the other side you are stronger for it and it sounds as though you are a strong lady. I am truly happy for you too and thank you again. Take care x

  • Jo Winwood

    Written on 23rd May 2015

    Reply

    This post made me cry and smile at the same time. I’m so sorry you had to go through such terrible times. Well done for staying strong for your children; well done for finding your Prince Charming; well done on blending your family. I’m so happy to have found your blog and look forward to reading more!
    Jo Winwood recently posted…BEDM Day 23 – Healthy LivingMy Profile

    • Amy

      Written on 8th June 2015

      Reply

      Hi Jo, thank you so much for your kind words, they really mean so much x

  • Adventures of a Novice Mum

    Written on 23rd May 2015

    Reply

    What stories of triumphs over adversities you have! So glad you met your Mr Right. Incredible what redemption children bring and how time and distance helps with healing. I’m so glad you made it and that you’re riding high. What wealth of experience you have to share with your generations to come. Good on you for sharing. :-) #aNoviceMumTwitterFeed
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  • Emma

    Written on 29th May 2015

    Reply

    This put tears in my eyes. Well done – you didn’t let life beat you and worked so hard to make a better life for your family. Thank you for your honesty, it’s inspiring.

    • Amy

      Written on 7th June 2015

      Reply

      Thank you that’s so kind, I really appreciate you reading and commenting x

  • Fola lewis

    Written on 30th May 2015

    Reply

    I love this post. I was very VERY unexpectedly brought to tears. Maybe it rang a few bells with sometimes feeling inadequate. I love that you are encouraged by life and your journey has made you stronger. I’ve not felt like this from any other post before so wow, you are such a strong woman! X
    Fola lewis recently posted…Essentials when flying with your babyMy Profile

  • Dirty nappy

    Written on 2nd June 2015

    Reply

    This is an amazing post, I’m so glad you had the courage to post and share it xx

  • HonestMum

    Written on 4th June 2015

    Reply

    Darling Amy, I reading this crying, thank you for being so brave and sharing your story and for overcoming the abuse to be an exceptional, incredible woman, mother, blogger and professional, I cannot wait to meet you and feel like I know you already, much love x
    HonestMum recently posted…Proud in my BikiniMy Profile

    • Amy

      Written on 4th June 2015

      Reply

      Oh Vicki, your words always pick me up. You are so lovely to me. I feel like I know you too. Can’t wait to give you a big hug when we meet xx

  • Emma

    Written on 6th June 2015

    Reply

    What a beautiful post. It is so open and honest without being pitying or attributing blame. You have obviously come so far in your life, put your kids at the centre of your world, and I am glad it is all working out for you now. I’m sure this post will help others who are struggling.
    Emma recently posted…Free From Fridays – 5th June 2015My Profile

  • Mrs G

    Written on 9th July 2015

    Reply

    A very brave blog, very moving.
    I agree the darkest times in our life are the hardest to write about. I’m not sure I’ll be ready for a long time to write about any of my sad times, even though I know someone out there might connect with it.
    Well done hun x

    mMT

    • Amy

      Written on 16th July 2015

      Reply

      Oh Lucy, thank you my love that is so nice of you to say and I really appreciate your lovely comment xx

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