Dear 9 year old me,
I know you are hurt, I know you don’t understand what is happening around you, that you are being sucked into this black hole and you find no escape, I know you want scream for help but you have no idea what the hell is wrong with you!
For all those times that those bullies teased you, belittled you, called you names. Because you were fat. I know you cannot sleep at night that you wander in the garden and look at stars and wish that this would end.
Dear 10year old me,
It hasn’t ended, it is getting worse. They call you a pig, a monster, a buffalo; they call you such rude names, that you don’t really recognise your name anymore. You know you shouldn’t give heed to the bullies, but you begin believing in them. You start seeing the monster in yourself that they said existed.
Dear 10year old me,
I know that when you enter the kitchen, the knives call to you. You try so hard to dim that pain, but the physical pain of those cuts and bruises is nowhere close to the pain that makes you cause them. I know that accident wasn’t really an accident that you went into that scooter on your bicycle on purpose. All those things that you tried and failed each time; because I know you are not scared of dying, but are scared of living. And I wish I could come and hug you, oh so tight, and tell you to keep going, because you are meant to live, that you will be loved, and that you will turn out just fine.
Dear 11 year old me,
you are in a different school, in a different town, in a different state. You try forging a new identity for yourself, but they never seem to see beyond your weight. You weighed the heaviest in your class, and the day they were medically examining all students, you lied to your peers that all those extra kilos were because of the extra no. of pure wool sweaters your mum made you were under the blazer. At 11 no one really questioned that, but you knew the truth.
Dear 12 year old me,
I know, it keeps getting worse, again a new school again being called the new fat boring kid. You try to look smart; you spend your entire recess at the library not to catch up on the reading, but because no one would sit with you for lunch.
Dear 13 year old me,
you are in hopes that the people in this new place would accept you. You wind up at the library and find Harry Potter. The series is your escape from the world around you, but the Dementors they seem so personal so real, as though Rowling had entered your mind, lived your life, felt what you feel and given it a name…but Rowling was wrong because ‘Expecto Patronum’ didn’t make it go away and chocolate always doesn’t help.
Dear 15 year old me,
yet at a different school, a different city, still the same “fat new boring kid”. You don’t mind being called fat anymore; In fact it’s the most non hurting thing people say compared to all the other things that they say, behind your back, often to your face. I know you spend your school intervals locked up in a bathroom stall, crying, because you tried so hard to look like the other girls, but you just cannot pull of wearing a mini skirt as it exposes those hideous thighs and your sweater is a tad bit tight but it’s the biggest size they have got. You got yourself fringes, hoping to change their perspective, why can’t anyone see beyond your weight.
Dear 16year old me,
you found love, the feeling is exhilarating, you had never imagined in your wildest dreams that you would find a high school romance. He is a nice bloke, but honey, blinded by love you let him molest you, you let him touch your body in ways you don’t like, but you don’t protest because you think this is your only chance at love, and if feeling a little uncomfortable will give him pleasure, will make him stay, it might be worth the effort.
Dear 18year old me,
it’s time for college, you choose an all girls institution, because you were too nervous to be in a co ed, because boys intimidate you, tease you, and girls, are easier to handle because you have always been the ugly agony aunt. But college scares you because in college people wear the clothes they prefer, and you can no longer blame that hideous uniform for the way people perceived you.
Dear 19 year old me,
you finally realised that the relationship you have been dragging on for 3 years was never worth it. It has drained you emotionally,bruised your self esteem, hurt your body. That yes there might be more chances for you, that yes, you may find someone who will love you for who you are. Because you are not your weight!
And I know how difficult it was for you to tell the love your life that you didn’t love him anymore, which you did but you knew that the relationship was a piece of cake for him but a knife for you.
Slicing you up, slowly.
You finally had the courage to seek some help, you got a diagnosis; you know new, that you are not crazy, that it was just the chemicals in your mind that make you think those bad things, that having weight issues is one problem, the bigger problem was the Depression, that black dog, that Dementor that has been following you ever since you became the butt of all jokes in class, to now when you are in college.
Dear 20year old me,
I know it is tough for you. The Dementor has not left. Now you know it’s not a Dementor but Cylothymia and Dysthymia. You are learning to cope with it. You are trying, it is hard I know.
I know that every moment that your best friend was in the hospital battling cancer, you prayed to God that he gave your life to him. Because it is the irony of life, that your friend was optimistic, happy, and dying, but you were pessimistic, depressed and cursed to live.
They say that you should love yourself. It is oh so hard to love the things the society, culture and media makes us hate, to love those stretch marks, and those thunder thighs, and those love handles and that saggy bum. But I know you are trying.
The Dementor is the one thing that has been constant with you, all through these years, you don’t mind him anymore. You have become numb to his existence, so instead of eradicating him, you are trying to love yourself despite of him. But it isn’t easy. Because he still makes you believe that you are a monster! Sleep is your only solace but oh your mind wouldn’t let you sleep, so you exhaust yourself, you starve yourself, and over exercise, so that you are so fatigued that as soon as you hit the bed you get sucked into a dreamless lull.
But some days are so tough, you cannot make yourself get up, you live alone now, so dad cant wake you up, your brother cannot cheer you, your dog cannot comfort you, and you cannot run into ma’s arms and sob because you had a really bad day.
Dear 20 year old me, that 9 year girl old would have never imagined that she would grow up, that she would live to graduate. I know you have the Dementor, I also know that you have that 10 year old inside you, crying at 3 a: m wishing and praying that she could die.
Dear 20 year old me, despite all your flaws, your weight, height, stretch marks, thighs, bingeing, procrastination, depression, I am still proud of you. I am proud that you somehow managed to get this far. I am proud that even on days when you wish you were dead, you sometimes make it to college, I am proud that you are trying to carve a niche for yourself, trying to be someone not defined by her weight and her mental illness.
I am proud of you because despite of all those troubles that are holding you down, despite the fact that you feel like you are drowning, choking, and just cannot breathe, despite the fact that your future looks bleak and black; you are trying if not to live, but to survive.
And 20 year old me, if that 10 year old saw you now, I know she would come running to you, tears rolling down her cheeks and hug you so tight, and that she would be proud of being an earlier version of you, like you are today, 11 years later, proud to be a more refined version of her.
Dear 10 year old me, I don’t have a time machine, I cannot meet you, I wish I could erase all the sadness from your life, I wish I could hug you tight, and inspire you to carry on. But had it not been for you, and all the sadness you went through there would never have been this version of me. I am sorry I know how bad you felt, but I want you to know, I am proud of you. And whatever the world might say, I love you, and that is all that matters.