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A letter to myself, last summer

Olivia

Founder of Millennial Girl, Interrupted, a senior in a small Connecticut high school. I've been through many treatments and recoveries and am eager to share the lessons I've learned!

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Olivia,

I know you’re going through hell right now. I hear it in your voice and I feel your loneliness through the recordings you made of just yourself, talking. Your brain’s on fire, everything hurts. I understand. I have a story for you. Your mother will tell you this in a few months, but I want you to her it now. I know you’re entirely alone these days, but I’m here now.

Your mom suffered a terrible heartbreak when she was young, a little older than you. Like you, she was traumatized and miserable. She thought she’d be with this person for the rest of her life, and his gross betrayal felt like the end of the world. I know that’s what you’re feeling now. There’s no mistaking your misery. Wanna know what happened to your mom?

She moved on. It took a long time. It took a lot of ruminating. It took some sketchy adventures and some serious time. It took his new girlfriend stalking her. It took three divorces of his, vindication. But she moved on. If she can move on from that, you can move on from this.

In just a few months, you’re going to try to kill yourself again, but you’ll fail. After you do, you’re going to be so grateful to be alive. Remember that feeling, from freshman year? You’ll have it again, but this time you’ll be mere months away from college. You’ll have people around you who love you, again.

You won’t have moved on yet, that’s the bad news. These things take time. But your brain isn’t on fire anymore. Sometimes it sparks at night. but it hasn’t burned nearly as bright as it is for you, now.

You’ll have lost some weight, but you were all expecting that, and it’s not too much. In fact, you managed to keep your eating disorder at bay for a year and counting. You’re healthy and toned. I’m SO proud of you.

Not having him around is a blessing, and while having him in your head is a curse, he fades more and more every day. I know it doesn’t feel like it could be a blessing now. It is.

You won’t have gotten an apology. Everyone around you says it’s horrific, your parents are fuming, your friends and relationships are too. But there will be no apology, none at all, and you’re coming to terms with that. Again, I’m so proud of you.

It’s summer again. The warm blanket of air reminds you of last year, when you couldn’t eat, could barely breathe, when you traveled around New England to save him, when you realized it was all some sick trick, when you couldn’t stop screaming, when you vomited in the bushes. But it’s a year later, now. You’re with your friends, back from college and lovely as ever, and you’re finding meaning.

I know this is not the case right now. I remember your pain well. Now, though, all is well. The war is over.

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