Believe it. Claim it. Own it.

Hey, little me,

I want you to know that you are strong and resilient. You are beautiful. You are smart, and you can do anything you put your mind to. How is that, though? How do I know that? I know that you’re resilient because you’ve yet to give up. No matter how much you went through and no matter how hard it got, you stayed strong. I know you’re beautiful because you look like me. Also, I know this because you have a beautiful light brown complexion with beautiful brown eyes and a cute button nose; you’re the perfect size for a girl your age; and your hair looks great. And intelligence? I mean, just look at our test scores—amazing. These are facts I know; however, you lack this knowledge. You lack this confidence. You don’t know that you deserve happiness. You deserve to be loved the right way. You don’t know you deserve peace. And you are worth so much more than you know.

You know what? I know you’re not going to believe me, so I’m going to give you examples to prove it to you. You remember in first grade, we read all the way to level S, and nobody else made it as far as us. You are literally the standard for test scores at school. Straight-up intelligence.

Not to mention all the boys like you because of how pretty you are. You get compliments almost everywhere you go. Natural beauty.

You remember when you had a big science project in 3rd grade that was going to make or break your grade? It was a project about the digestive system. You used fettuccine noodles as the intestines, elbow macaroni noodles as the liver, and beans as the stomach. You worked hard and accomplished it. And you got an A!

You have been through a lot, and that has caused you to mature faster. Having to deal with what dad is doing to you and being torn Not knowing what to stand for. Not knowing if you should tell. Not knowing who to tell even if you were to speak up. It’s a lot. The way Mom and Granny Donna treat you. Not to mention Great Granny’s death on your hands. I applaud you for holding it together. That’s a lot of character development at such a young age. That takes a lot of mental strength. That takes a lot of resilience.

I know you hear this a lot from everyone, and you never believe it. This is coming from me! Your future self is telling you what everyone else wants you to see. Believe it. Claim it. Own it. You might be somewhere balled up and crying in your closet. If you are, cry, because crying when needed is important. Except this time, when you finish, get up, wipe your tears, and tell yourself that you will be okay. Tell yourself that this is not the end. Tell yourself that it will get better for you. Know that you will find inner peace, and when you do, protect it with your life. Let nothing and no one disturb your peace. If they do, cut them off. Don’t let anyone treat you poorly, and never settle for less than what you want and deserve.

I really hope that you feel motivated when you read this and that you take everything I’m telling you into consideration and give it your best shot. Know that it’s not going to get better on your first day. It’s a journey to better your mental health and your self-confidence. It takes time. Don’t give up easily. Don’t ever think I’ll be disappointed in you because I know how tough of a battle this is. I believe in you, so believe in yourself. I’m already proud of you and how far you’ve come. Make me prouder by continuing to move forward. All it takes is effort and a desire for change. I love you, little one.

Siobhan Pittman – DeLaSalle Institute – DMSF Class of 2027