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Author Topic: Just one thing... What would you say to your younger self?  (Read 1029 times)
Harri
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« on: January 04, 2019, 08:13:28 PM »

If you could go back in time and tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?  What age would you go back to?  

Rules:  You can make more than one post but in each post please only  say just one thing.

I'll start:  I am 10 years old and I would say "Harri, you are capable of great love"
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2019, 08:45:16 PM »

I'd go back to myself at 13 years old and say,

"Stay calm and don't fight with your mother every time she is upset, even when you know you're right."
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2019, 10:29:59 PM »

One thing I would tell my younger self:

Do it now, everyone will doubt you, but you can do the thing.

Young me would have understood it 
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2019, 12:22:11 AM »

Snap, how cryptic of you!   

major_psych that is some good advice!

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"Tree of the young brave king"


« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2019, 01:40:29 AM »

Excerpt
Snap, how cryptic of you!

 

Just do it (tm) 
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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2019, 05:49:22 AM »

Great idea for a thread Boss Beagle

I would go back to the 12 year old me and tell him: "It's ok Kwamina, it's not you, there is nothing wrong with you.".

Why the 12 year old me? Because I still very much remember the period I slipped into depression as a child. I was 12, it had been building for a while and one day sitting on the couch, it was like a switch turned in my mind... .
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2019, 08:18:26 AM »

'This will pass. One day you will be happy'
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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2019, 02:29:39 PM »

I would tell the 10 year old Cat, "Believe in yourself. Trust your instincts. Be yourself. You don't have to be like others. You bring a unique gift to the world--and that is the real you."

I'd also have her read Reviving Ophelia, which of course wasn't written back then, but we can do whatever we want in a fantasy anyway.
 
https://www.amazon.com/Reviving-Ophelia-Saving-Selves-Adolescent/dp/1594481881
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« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2019, 02:50:58 PM »

To 14 year old me:

Trust your instincts. You know the truth about your mother no matter what your parents may say. You're OK as you are, and you will be OK.
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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2019, 03:52:56 PM »

These are all wonderful thank you for joining in.  Kwamina added in why he chose the age 12 and I think that is a great addition (smart Parrot!)  I picked the age 10 in my first post because I think that is when there was a big turn in me, in terms of closing off and doing on the defensive angrier side of things.  While I think in some ways that helped me survive, part of me wonders what I could have done to hold on to what was real then (I mean real about me). 
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2019, 05:32:44 PM »

id have told 14 (freshman) me that romantic relationships in high school come and go. spend time with friends, doing stuff you love, and make your academics a priority.
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2019, 07:07:56 PM »

This is pretty heavy, Harri, but constructive. Good thread.

I would go back to when I was a toddler and tell myself over and over that it’s not my fault. Forgive the “Good Will Hunting” takeaway.

If I had known different back then I could’ve gotten others involved. Especially in my early adolescence. Turns out, it didn’t turn out that way.
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« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2019, 11:24:36 PM »

  to everyone here.

I have another one: 
Stop turning away from what you know to be true.  Stop choosing to stick your head back in the sand. 

I would have said that to my 26 year old self (I think that is the right age).  A bit of very tough love from me and to me. 
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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2019, 11:54:51 PM »

Spread your wings with a well considered destination.
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« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2019, 09:22:43 PM »

I would say "Harri, she is lying to you." when she was so dysregulated and caught up in her hatred and anger.
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« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2019, 10:08:55 PM »

I would say the following to myself on the eve of embarking into both relationships that resulted in marriage:

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
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« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2019, 11:17:00 PM »

I would go back to the days when i was around 35-36, when I asked my over-sensitive and very quiet and obedient 6-7 yr old daughter, not to be ‘so sensitive’ and never knew or realized how she was being bullied by some of the children in school and outside. Instead, I would have protected her and encouraged her to stand up against the bullies and given her the self confidence I always had even though I had no one really guiding me. I never understood how fragile she was and I regret my inaction when she needed me most. She doesn’t believe me when I tell her now what I did was wrong and I regret it and I don’t know how to convey it to her.
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« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2019, 11:54:03 AM »

I would like to think that I could tell my child-self to speak up about mistreatment.  But, knowing that I didn't have the personality to follow through on that, I would tell my 20-year-old self, "This is NOT normal.  Seek help now."
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« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2019, 12:11:31 PM »

How someone treats me, is how they feel about themselves. I have had the experience of being treated badly on so many occasions when I did nothing wrong. I have also had the experience on many occasions of being treated with upmost kindness and care when I have acted really badly, which included letting me know that they knew I could do better because I wasn't that kind of person.
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« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2019, 05:27:53 PM »

I would tell myself not to be afraid, hiding feels good, don't do it, you don't need to, you're free.
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« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2019, 11:39:37 PM »

I'll tell what I told myself at 15 when I held the .22 long rifle to my head and half depressed the trigger: you can survive until you're 18 and a legal adult, free to make your own choices.   And I did on my 18th birthday.  

I think I knew then what I know now,  that I'm responsible for my own life.  

That,  and I should have taken grades more seriously when I was 13, to better get into university... .
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« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2019, 03:02:44 PM »

Reading all of these great replies I am struck by how capable we are now which I think is pretty remarkable considering what we had to work with.  Granted, we may struggle still, but I am hearing self-acceptance, love, wisdom. 

All hard won of course.
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« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2019, 07:03:25 AM »

Turkish  I’m glad that you chose differently. I’ve been there. We wouldn’t have these bright and shining rug rats to love and raise had we made different choices.
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« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2019, 08:39:41 AM »

'This will pass. One day you will be happy'
My daughter says that after an anal salute.
tell myself over and over that it’s not my fault.
I remember saying that to myself all the time. It helped.

I’d go back to when I could first walk and say “Run, Run like the wind !”. I’d give myself a letter addressed to social services and say, post this". And also leave a fully laded ice cream van for myself.

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« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2019, 02:21:32 PM »

HC,   I’d be ready at the wheel of that van while you were making your getaway. This sounds like a movie in the making.

I think that I would tell myself, in adolescence, to call the police or at least start some kind of intervention. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it’s fortunate that no one got killed in my household.
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« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2019, 02:27:44 PM »

Here's another one for my younger self while I was still living at home: "Your mother is carrying around a terrible amount of grief and sadness. It's not your job to be her cheerleader or motivational speaker. You cannot fix her."
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« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2019, 07:34:43 AM »

I would want to tell her that one day it would be better. That good, emotionally healthy people would see her as she truly is, and that she is a beautiful person, worthy of being seen.

And then I would want to give he a big, long hug.

Libra.

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« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2019, 05:54:50 PM »

I would tell myself that one day my situation will begin to improve. One day I will be bigger and stronger. I would encourage my young self to understand that this isn’t normal and that I need to tell enough people until action is taken. I would try to convince my young self that I wasn’t only experiencing abuse, but that criminal actions were being perpetuated on me. I think I would also just sit next myself and listen to what I had to say and I would trust myself.
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« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2019, 02:34:22 PM »

My beautiful 13 year old self - Yes my darling, it really is that bad, but do you know what, me and you are going to make it, together we are going to get out of this place and into the brightest of sunshine. Your going to be successful beyond your wildest imaginings, your going to set yourself free from all of this. Your on the right track, believe in yourself, you know more than you think you do. I love you, always. I got your back! Be a sunflower, turn towards the light.   
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« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2019, 09:31:25 AM »

Third grade when my teacher held me and let me beat my hands on her chest crying "You don't love me.  You don't love me."  I know now and she probably did then that something was going wrong at home.

I'd say never call abuse something it is not.
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« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2019, 09:17:35 PM »

Nickerdoodle, that just about broke my heart to read.  I bet she remembers that day as clearly as you do.  

freespirit, that was beautiful.  Thanks for sharing.  

WTL, I wish you had someone who could have told you all that back then.  I am pleased though that you have grown enough to be able to say it to yourself.  

Libra, you are worthy of being seen and heard.  I can see your beauty from here.  

Cat, what wise words to share with little you.  

HappyC, you just managed to make my eyes fill with tears and put a smile on my face at the same time.    

For me, i would say to my 10 year old self find the joy and love and hold on to it for darker days will be coming but you will get through them and it will be glorious.  
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« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2019, 12:40:28 PM »

Just be quiet, WTL. Don’t let yourself be noticed.
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« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2019, 12:45:56 PM »

I’d wouldn’t say anything because I’d be playing hide and seek with WTL.
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« Reply #33 on: January 21, 2019, 12:53:09 PM »

Maybe we should be raking in the bucks as living art. Paint our bodies and sit outside of Starbucks. Not moving a muscle.   hide and seek sounds like more fun, though. How are you, HC?
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« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2019, 04:15:49 AM »

Thank you Harri, for giving so freely. It is beautifull to see. 

To my 16 year old self: Never stop believing in yourself. Deep, deep down you know what's wrong and what's right. Trust your instincts and hold on to your values, no matter what. You can take the loneliness, you're used to it. It will pass... .

One advantage of having been forced to count only on myself for so long: I was very headstrong and not likely to give in to peer pressure. That helped me through some serious rough patches in my teens.

Libra.
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« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2019, 04:54:16 AM »

Libra, I wish that I possessed your virtue of individuality when I was a teenager. I gave into a lot of peer pressure and it caused me a fair amount of grief. Now, I attribute it, as a guy, to not having a positive role model from my dad. I was drawn, and still am to what I perceived as strong males. The popular guys that had a mean streak. I’ve since trimmed the fat from my life, but I wasted a lot of time trying to seek approval. I invested myself in some highly narcissistic friendships. Narcissistic males can be down right awful. The closer you get to them, the more they show themselves.

I need to amend my statement. I’m still drawn to strong males, but they’re not toxic people. They’re strong in positive ways. Work ethic, values, confidence and bravery. They’re also kind and supportive. Somewhere along the way a paradigm shift took place. Reflection and a bit of regret tells me that I wish I could’ve had the will that you describe. It is what it is.

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« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2019, 05:01:55 AM »

For me, i would say to my 10 year old self find the joy and love and hold on to it for darker days will be coming but you will get through them and it will be glorious.

You got through it. Now, you’re helping others “get through it”. What you’re doing and what you’ve committed yourself to is indeed glorious. Thank you.
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« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2019, 05:17:30 AM »

I'd tell my 5 year old self that it IS ok to cry when I get upset, and I'm not too sensitive, and I'm allowed to feel and express whatever comes to me despite the parent screaming at me to stop because I don't deserve to.
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« Reply #38 on: January 22, 2019, 06:05:30 AM »

Hi, Dotner.  You’re right. Kids should be allowed to cry, and the tears should be validated to a reasonable extent, not disregarded. I relate to you. My dad used to be very disappointed in me when I would cry. I guess I wasn’t manning up enough for him. Without going into great detail, I eventually comforted him because he cried during my adolescence. It’s funny how things work out sometimes. Comforting an abuser. Who would’ve guessed.

We’re glad that you’re with us. Looking forward to interacting with you more.
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« Reply #39 on: January 22, 2019, 06:37:12 AM »

WTL, don't put me on a pedestal just yet … I was far from independant or strong! I managed to cling on to some boundaries that were never breached though.
Let me try to explain:
For the whole of my teens I was the doting, ever-faithful lap dog to my one and only 'best friend' ever. I suspect she may have been NPD, but even without the label: she was highly manipulative and completely self-centered. I was 20 before I realised this and managed to break away from her influence.
I was introduced to my 'safe place'  in my teens  thanks to this 'friend'. I used to work there every holiday and weekend, which got me away from my home situation. It may have been emotionally safe, but it was a very unhealthy environment: the guys (4 to 10 years our seniors), would ply us girls with gin and vodka, take us to clubs we were underaged for, and mainly try to bed as many of us as often as possible. I went along with the booze and the clubs. I never got drunk enough to not know what I was doing though (my dad is/was an alcoholic), and my mind and body were off limits. I was known as the ice queen, which suited me just fine.
My friend was the oposite... .she loved the attention, tried to wrap the guys around her little finger, and - in my opinion - got used like a rag doll along the way. At least I never got stalked at the school gate by 40-something guys for some bump and grind in the car before going home and doing my homework. 

Sorry, got a bit off topic here... .I just wanted to clarify my words to my 16 year old self a bit more.

I can be very harsh to myself about the things I've done in the past, but I cling to those few values I did manage to uphold: I didn't toy with peoples' feelings and trust, I never lied and manipulated, and I kept my self safe, no one could get to me or hurt me.

WTL, if you look deep within, I'm sure you'll find some values you also clinged to. The core you was always there, it was just pushed down too deep too long. That core shines through on these boards, and is highly valued and appreciated. It's time to dig it up and believe in it again!   

Libra.
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« Reply #40 on: January 22, 2019, 12:29:01 PM »

Yep, I was right.  I can see your beauty all the way over here Libra.

Thank you all for sharing and being willing to be vulnerable with us here.  You all have given me insight into myself and a broader perspective of the potential we all have to learn and grow and heal. 

Can you all see the wonder and beauty that lies beneath the sorrow we have had?  I can.  Our strength, generosity,  kindness, love, wisdom... .
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« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2019, 12:48:54 PM »

I can see it. Grasping it for for good is difficult.
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« Reply #42 on: January 22, 2019, 12:54:47 PM »

WTL   

I don't mean there is beauty in the abuse, because lets face it, it sucked.  Rather it is in us, the parts of our spirits that survived intact despite the odds, the ability to keep trying and wanting more for ourself.  Hell, just believing better is possible.  It is remarkable and beautiful.
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« Reply #43 on: January 22, 2019, 04:04:08 PM »

At 15 I would tell myself that I am perfect just as I am.

At 26 I would tell myself not to get married to prove things to other people.

Panda39
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« Reply #44 on: January 22, 2019, 05:33:59 PM »

Welcome back, Panda . I introduced S4 to my memory box today. I showed him pictures of his grandma and grandpa. He was most intrigued by a choker that my first dog had to wear. He was a Shepard mix. He was pure white and my mom told me that I could keep him because my dad had a thing for white German Shepherds. His name was Bear. He looked like a little Polar Bear when he was a puppy. I could say so much more about that pup, but you’re back and I don’t want to run you off.

I would tell myself that my parents were bluffing when they threatened to take him away from me.
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« Reply #45 on: January 22, 2019, 06:28:34 PM »

Excerpt
I would tell myself that my parents were bluffing when they threatened to take him away from me.
That makes me sad to know they did that.   

Panda, you are always a perfectly perfect Panda... .too bad your mom could not see it.  Her loss.
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WTL
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« Reply #46 on: January 22, 2019, 06:51:22 PM »

Yeah, they knew where to poke. It’s all good. They’re not around to do that anymore. You know, you give so much to this community. How are you, Harri? Truthfully.
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« Reply #47 on: January 22, 2019, 08:14:32 PM »

Libra, thank you for the kind words. I don’t really know how to respond. I just want you to know that your words mean a lot. Thank you.
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« Reply #48 on: January 23, 2019, 01:23:55 AM »

WTL, you are more than welcome.
I hope you'll allow the positive to trickle through to that core-you, so it can float upwards just that little bit more.

It is so good you have some things you can share with your son. I miss that with my kids. When they ask about my childhood, or even about my father, I still draw a blank.

Looking closer, I can see a white, fluffy dog alongside the silhouette of the lonesome wanderer. You are not alone, WTL!

Libra.
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« Reply #49 on: February 05, 2019, 12:11:27 AM »

I would tell my 5 year old self that it is okay to enjoy the good times but know that they are not capable of handling the bad stuff and it has nothing to do with who you are Harri.  You are not to blame.
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« Reply #50 on: February 08, 2019, 12:34:00 PM »

I would tell her ‘you are good, you are smart’
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« Reply #51 on: February 08, 2019, 02:52:29 PM »

Hi safe and calm.  I like your user name.    

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« Reply #52 on: February 09, 2019, 04:49:39 AM »

I would have told myself "share your fears and pain with your grandmother." I needed an outlet and didn't have one or think of finding one.
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« Reply #53 on: February 09, 2019, 11:19:07 AM »

Hi Harri, thanks. I chose safe and calm as a reminder that I am no longer the child who did not have or feel this and that I have the tools to feel safe and calm
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« Reply #54 on: February 09, 2019, 12:09:52 PM »

That is powerful stuff there safe and calm.  I like how it is both centering and an aid to step forward.   

alphabeta, sometimes I think the hardest thing to deal with is the missed opportunities.   
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« Reply #55 on: February 09, 2019, 04:56:15 PM »

I would tell my 12 year old lonesome self:

I see you
I hear you
You are lovable
You are loved
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« Reply #56 on: February 12, 2019, 12:33:37 AM »

I would say to my younger self (at every age) "Ask more questions."
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« Reply #57 on: February 12, 2019, 07:55:59 PM »

I would hold my younger self in a hug and say, "I care. I love you so much."

My 5 to 7 year old self needed to hear that, especially when she heard her parents fighting and hurting each other downstairs and knew no one cared because no one knew.
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« Reply #58 on: February 12, 2019, 09:50:52 PM »

I would say to my younger self (at every age) "Ask more questions."

good advice at every age!
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     and I think it's gonna be all right; yeah; the worst is over now; the mornin' sun is shinin' like a red rubber ball…
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« Reply #59 on: February 14, 2019, 08:39:21 AM »

I’d get Woolspinner a woolly straight jacket, so she could hug herself all day long. Or maybe just give her mine.

I would tell myself blood is irrelevant. Spend time with people that show you respect (i.e. everyone but your NPD and BPD). I’d also explain medium chill (i.e. its what you do before you drink the wine).
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« Reply #60 on: March 21, 2019, 05:28:41 PM »

I would say Don't make yourself small so others can be big.
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