To the 16-Year Old Me

Dear me at 16:

Yeah, I’m fully aware that it isn’t all butterflies and rainbows like you’d hoped. Last month you had to deal with a traumatic situation at Mimi’s, and then you were forced to live with those people yet again. You’re still being “home schooled”, whatever that means these days, and you’re trying to just conform to the way mom and lard want you to. Oh — lard is what you call him in the future, when you realize saying his name gives him more dignity than deserved. It might sound mean now, but you could call him worse things, right?

You won’t get your license until you’re nineteen, but you’ll find solace in working at the Forney Sonic for a while, until around July, and with babysitting as well. Your work weeks with Sonic will consist of sixty hours — which is illegal at your age — but you won’t be able to do anything about it, nor will you really feel like you want to. However, you’ll save up enough to buy yourself a prepaid cell phone. Buy it.

When summer ends, you’ll be shoved back into the public school system by lard with his thirst for control in full swing. He’ll name off lame excuses, blaming you for everything. That’s emotional abuse, and you’ll realize it can’t be any worse than the rumors that floated around about you whilst you were gone. Just tell people that you really weren’t pregnant, and it’ll all be alright eventually. Think of what happened in February as God’s way of foreshadowing what would happen in October.

Once you get back into school, you’ll feel better. The move you had to go through because of mom and lard’s debt probably won’t ever stop being stressful. There’s nothing you can really do. The answer is in the money. The child support money is something you still won’t see, but you definitely won’t see it when you get really sick and need to see a doctor. They just won’t care. And your grades are gonna suck. Your absence will be poor as well — because you’ll keep getting sick, but neither mom nor lard will care about you. You’re just a fucking paycheck.

That’s why you’re going to make a new email account and email dad. Make sure to mention ‘cult’ or something like that, and tell him how to pay your cell bill. Tell him you don’t have much time online but have more time on your phone — like during school or on the bus — to talk to him. Tell him your mom and lard won’t let you pay your bill because they want to use it toward paying back their debt they’re blaming you for. Tell him anything and everything. He’ll reply and pay it, and then you two will talk there until October after you visit him. But it’ll be okay. Make sure you only do this after lard goes off to work and mom leaves to take the kids to school. You’ve got ten to fifteen minutes, but prepare for about eight. Lock the doors (front and garage) before you start it, though. That way you know when they’re back and have some extra time. You’ll do this late September and early October because, for whatever reason, you got grounded. I think it was because of something stupid, like always.

Anyways, make sure you clear the history.

And don’t tell them. Make sure to tell your best friend, Amy, what happened. She’ll offer you a safe place at her house. I didn’t take her up on it, but I tried once. It didn’t end well.

October 14th to November 2nd will be hell.

Good luck. :*

P.S. Try to get your art piece from the showcase. I wish I had. Because mom won’t let you go with her to unroll you. She’ll be too pissed off and won’t give a damn about you. I don’t think she ever did.

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Comments on this post

Christine’s gravatar

Wow. This is powerful. I really like reading this because I think it’s so important to take what we know NOW and use it…but I also think it’s interesting to look back and see what we might have said to our younger selves. Throughout all of this post, what I’m seeing is perseverance and growth and that’s really cool to see.

Agent Q’s gravatar

…And this is some of the reasons why I like “to my [insert younger age here] self” letters. It really helps you look back for better or for worse. Brings out a different effect from writing to your future self, but it helps brings things into perspective. I agree with Christine. It’s a powerful letter.

Stephanie’s gravatar

I am still in the process of catching up on blogs, and just read through all of your posts! I especially like this reflective post because it shows that you’ve progressed since then.

Depression is stupid and attacks different people in different ways at different times. You’re one of the unlucky ones, and you know that. But I’m just glad to see that there were moments in the holidays that you enjoyed this year, even if it’s not your favorite time of year. (Christmas carols, to me, get annoying fast.) Take care!

Kya’s gravatar

Wow. If only that younger self had you.

Veronica’s gravatar

That was really hard to read, only because I can relate to a lot of things you were writing about, and also because I am currently 16. I wonder what I’ll write about in a letter to my 16-year-old self in the future.

Caity’s gravatar

I wish we really could write letters to ourselves in the past. It would be incredible to impart wisdom that we now know because it would save us an awful lot of trouble. I suppose that’s part of the journey, though.

Sara’s gravatar


I loved what you wrote to yourself, but most of all, I loved the responses, especially the one from Veronica:~)

You’ve come a long ways, haven’t you? It’s not been easy, but you’ve done it and you will continue to do it…to make this journey called “your life.” That’s not to say it will be easy, but the lessons are there, as well as the actions you’ve taken to help yourself grow. Just always remember this and keep writing, okay?