(This story contains sensitive themes such as self-harm, depression, sexual abuse, mental health, and mature themes/words.)
I stare at the journal in front of me, not quite present in the moment. Just minutes before an argument had occurred between my parents and I, of course on a reoccurring topic. My life. It's been two years since I've graduated from high school, and a lot had changed since then. The full reality of adulthood hit me, and the impending growth of thoughts weighed me down.
I didn't know where I was going in life, at all. My childhood dreams of becoming a Pediatrician was cut short when I realized that it wasn't my dream, but instead the dream of my family. At this revelation, my motivation for success was flushed down the toilet, along with my grades for my first semester of college. I dropped out the following semester and got a job leading me to where I am now.
Working for a shithead employer and living with my parents. They've been pushing for me to get a better job, but the motivation wasn't there. I've become entirely lazy in my life, and had no care for anything at all. I guess you can say I'm just a soul floating in the wind with the same cycle; eat, work, shit, and sleep.
All of this together has led me here, to this blank piece of paper. You see, I've become a journalist. No, not some big shot writer working for New York Times Company, but a simple day to day writer of the events in my life. I guess you can say I write to my diary, but in this case I'm an adult, and we adults call it a journal.
Today's prompt is tricky, not because I don't have any juicy details to write, but because the conversation we had was intense. It was so intense that the aftermath of it took me somewhere dark. It took me to my past, and that wasn't a topic I liked to talk about. Sighing, I lean forward and press the pen into the paper. All the words I wanted to say were there, but couldn't be written. How am I supposed to write about such a dark topic that I had locked up a long time ago? Breathing in deeply I close my eyes before exhaling and opening them. Everyone has to confront their evils sometime. Slowly, I let the words flow out through my pen stroke.
"Dear..Me of the Past,
I'm not going to put a cap on what age you are right now, cause I'm pretty sure at every age you've been through in life there's been some fucked up shit going on. I wanted to write to you, knowing you'll never receive this. How stupid does that sound? Anyways, there's some things I thought you should know, that would've been helpful in a tremendous way.
First of all, you're not going to please everyone. Since the day you've popped out of your mothers hooha it seems that you've en-grained into yourself that everyone and everything should come first. No. That's not how it works. This world is freaking selfish, and everyone and anyone who lives in it just is. So, become selfish for yourself. Putting everyone first did nothing but hurt us. I wish we would've caught on earlier, but we didn't.
Second, you've gotta grow a backbone. Trust me, we do build one by the age of 20, but it will do way more justice if we do it earlier. I thought being silent would help us avoid any problems that could hurt us, but it didn't. Instead it does the opposite, it gives us crippling depression, and emotional problems. NOT GOOD.
Third, I know we've had self-image issues for quite a while, and I'm sorry you have to go through it. I have no advise on how to make it better for us, because we haven't worked through it yet. I will tell you, that we do find comfort in our family sometimes, but it'll only be momentary relief. This will be the the second hardest part of our walk in life, but we'll get through it. I'm here now, is all I can tell you.
And lastly...it wasn't your fault. You were five when it happened, and the man that did it to you groomed you into believing things. Things that aren't true. As you grow up, you will believe that it was your fault, and you will feel disgusted with yourself. You will hate and loathe yourself, up until you reach here and now. This, and the memories of what he did to you will be the first hardest part of our walk, because we're finally learning how to heal. And it's not easy. You will do some actions to hurt yourself, and I wish that you didn't, because it will only dig us deeper into this dark cage. And that majorly sucks. If I could I would reach out and hug you and reassure you that everything would be okay, but I can't.
So instead, I write this letter today in hopes that you will forgive me. I will lock you up for 20 years in that dark cage, and I won't let you have a chance to heal. I'll refuse to look at you, I'll refuse to help you, and I'll neglect and ignore your cries for help for so long you go silent. I can't tell you it gets better yet, because we're still going through it. It's an ongoing process that I hope will come to an end for us in the future. For now, I want you to know, that here in your future, I've decided to release you from that cage I put you in. I don't yet know how this will affect us, but I hope that we can fight through it. Please, keep surviving.
Elara Hope Cecelian "
Tears drip down onto the page as the words contort into blurriness. Why am I crying? It was such a short letter to myself, I don't understand these tears. I sigh frustrated at my leaking face, furiously wiping at it with the sleeve of my sweater. After I've calmed, I breathe in closing my eyes once again, and exhale. Staring at the page I reach forward ripping it out and folding it in half before walking out to my living room. Everyone had receded into their rooms by now, and the fire place was the only thing lit. Stopping in front of the fireplace I reach down and grab the lighter, before standing upright. Unfolding the paper I stare down at it, both sides of the paper full of writing. The lighter goes ablaze with the flick of my finger and I light the edge of the paper. It starts burning slowly, before I open the fireplace and throw it in. I watch as it burns slowly, until its nothing but ashes. I keep staring at the flickering fire, before a small smile slowly graces my lips. I had finally..unlocked the cage that had been holding me back for years. I don't regret it, one bit.