A LETTER TO MY 11 YEAR OLD SELF

You're Going To Be Ok...

Dear Adejoke,

 

I just want to let you know, that at the age of 26, you will be writing this letter, crazy right? – Ok so, you will start at 26 then complete this at 27. You literally take a while to finish this since you’re still growing and trying to understand.

 

You’re 11 now. I know at this point you are just so confused and scared. You are just coming to terms with the fact that, you’ve missed out on year 7 and now have been accepted into secondary school, to start year 8! (so excited). Not even questioning, how you even got admission as SHE didn’t even discuss anything with you; plus, you thought it was normal to just stay at home for a year and to be taught by her.

 

Right now, you’re just thinking to run and get help, you’re distressed. Therefore, you go to your auntie’s shop (may her soul rest in perfect peace) and you mention that you’ve just had an altercation with her. You let her know of the voices SHE claims to hear. Your auntie is going to look you in the eye and say she knew something was up, don’t let this scare you because you’re going to be ok...

 

You have started school, you’re so happy, you see this as a fresh start but hold on now Adejoke, secondary school is NOT going to be that great for you, it’s going to be very tough! – I’m SO sorry, it’s not going to be all fun and games! You do have amazing friends though! They comfort you when needed and they somewhat understand your circumstances. Your peers are going to call her mad, they are going to make fun of you due to her waiting outside the gates at the end of every school day. They will make fun of your hair as SHE never changed it for you that often, conflict with your school peers will be a common factor you will face. You’re going to be taken away from her fully by a teacher and not return home. You will be living with extended family because SHE doesn’t speak with immediate family – but look at this, you reunite with everyone (family that you share memories with, mostly, the remaining of your cousins) at a later stage AND they are ever so annoying and lovable at the same time ha-ha, but do you know what, you’re going to be ok.

 

Adejoke, listen to me, you are beating yourself up about everything! It is not your fault that all of this is happening to you. Stop telling yourself that you hate God, stop telling yourself that you never want to be around her again – none of this is your fault. You are just trying to comprehend everything that’s happening to you and no one really understands. I know you have a lot of empathy, I know you are kind and thoughtful, I know you don’t feel like anyone has you or her best interest at heart however, don’t allow hearsay or opinions get to you, do not be so bothered by the ignorance, do not get physical with anyone (you have too much strength, I’m going to need you to think about the consequences) or start to threaten them. Watch your mouth as well, words can cut deep for some and it will be hard for you to take some things back. Try to forgive more, I know most of the times you don’t care about certain individuals or things, it’s so easy for you to drift and not look back – that attitude you will need to leave at the door girl, that tends to push people away – but I guess I understand, you are not to be taken advantage of. Oh girly, the pain and hurt you’re carrying is overpowering, you will go through days of being open and then some not wanting to talk about it – just stay positive, I promise, you’re going to be ok.

 

He is back from Nigeria. You’re 16 now. The happiness that rises from within you just can’t explain! SHE is getting better now.

 

I want you to know that every year after this, will be challenging. It is going to get harder and no way near easier, especially with friendships/relationships, but you bear it. SHE is not looking that great every time you visit so you drift away because you can’t bare seeing her in that way. You will have support and trust me on this one, the support from these two particular males in your life is the best! You have endured it – You have always been a strong, courageous and a cheerful individual. You always light up the room everywhere you go, your confidence takes you to places, you make your friends laugh and put people before you, please don’t change…

 

FEAR is going to test you a lot throughout your growth but don’t lose hope and let some of your qualities go to waste. You are going to need God more than ever, allow him to be your shield, allow him to be your strength, allow him to give you a heart where you will be open to receiving support from others who genuinely want to give/help! You deserve a big well done, just tell yourself this and remember most importantly: you don’t need any recognition from anybody. Your reward will come and time is a healer – faith and hope will go a long way for you, you just wait and see…

 

Lots of Love you cheeky girl!

 

Arike x

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