Dear Jessica

Dear (younger) Jessica,

I hear you and see you. You didn't get the chance t be seen or heard when you needed it. And now you have decided to take over. I appreciate your passion, but I am kind of trying to love and fully embrace life right now. So let's have a chat.

You were hurt. You were assaulted. You were wronged. And then...they shamed you and lied about you and did all the terrible things no one should do to a child of 15-16 years. 
Not you. THEM. But they have also moved on. 
So should we.
Let go. 
You are such a badass woman now with so much to be thankful for. 
Let go. Dion't forget, never forget. Just relinquish. They were wrong. You were a child and you had a boundary. It was violated. That is nothing to be ashamed of, what would you tell your child?
Let go.
It's time to stop being angry. It's poisoning you. There have been and are amazing men. Amazing people. They have loved and do love you. They have supported and do support you.
You are safe. You are accomplished. 
The past should stay there. Be here now, inside me, with me. See through my eyes the beauty of the life WE have. Hold tight to it. Be in it.

It was not your fault.
It was not your fault.
It was not your fault.
It was not my fault.
It was not my fault.
It was not my fault.

See a trend?

I love you sweet and brilliant girl. You grow into a badass woman. A mother. A wife. Brilliant, educated, strong, silly. Your life is awesome.

Let's live it together.

***This letter was written months before the news decided to set off on a triggering storm for many. It took me a while to bring it back up for myself, but it felt like it needed to be shared. I was 15/16 when my body was no longer my own. My perpetrator is a father and husband now. He has never apologized or ever been punished for what he did. I wonder if he thinks about the young girl he hurt so badly when he looks at his own daughter. I wonder what he would do if it was his daughter. Will he teach her that her body is not her own? That she owes it to a boy if he "loves" her? Will he say that it is ok for girls to be labelled as sluts, while boys are applauded for sexual conquests? Will he shame her?

Ultimately, it does not matter. What matters is that I shake this shame off. What matters is that I step forward, fully into the woman I am now. Is this easy? Fuck no. It sucks, it hurts, it is daily work. But I see myself more clearly now than I ever have in these past 20 years. I am not afraid. I refuse to give in too worry or self-doubt. I am meant for far greater things. YOU are meant for far greater things. Do not give your biggest critics or adversaries front row seats to the show of your life. Those seats are the prime real estate you save for people you CHOOSE to be there. Choose wisely. Choose love. 

I love me.
I love you.
We can do this.

Embracing my badass self today,

PS. I am, at my core, a research scientist...which means I give credit where credit is due. The front row seat remark comes from a fantastic book by Dr. Brené Brown, Braving the Wilderness. 


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