• Beth Matthews

Dear... | What I wish I could say (Part Four)

Just a quick note from me - these letters are part of a series and they are deeply personal. I would like to explain that these letters were written in the height of the UK lockdown and I was in a phase of manic depression suffering with insomnia so these letters are quite erratic. However, I thought they were important to share as whilst they were written in a dark period, they are also honest and I wanted to share my truth. So, read at your own discretion!


Dear 16 year Old Me,

She lives in a fairy tale, Somewhere too far for us to find - Paramore, Brick by Boring Brick

(Trigger Warning - reference to emotional and physical abuse)

Oh 16 Year Old Me... I'm so sorry. I'm sorry for a lot of things.

You know how at 20 (or above) you watch old Disney films? My God, how clueless did you realise you were at 16?

I'm sorry for a start, I wish I could have protected you from that first heartbreak... But it would have happened at some point and I'm glad it happened when it did because you became stronger. However, you built walls too high, defences too strong.

As you grew some people broke through and brought you back to life. That first heartbreak taught you how to care deeply about the people that mattered. And how to sense those who didn’t matter.

Unfortunately the one thing it couldn’t save you from was the Evilness that some people possess. Some people are just bad - period (as Americans would say).

Some people, they’ll reach for your throat and bruise your face. I wish I could’ve warned you about them and protected you from it.

But, in a sadistic way, I’m glad that happened too. It helped make you who you are today.

You have been and will always be a little bit sexually ambiguous, you never had a chance to explore without being ashamed, so how could you possibly know? But there’s no need to be ashamed of this. There’s no need to be ashamed of anything that makes up who you are.

I wish I could say that being 23, things are clearer. But, they’re not. If anything, they’re more confusing than ever. Sex causes more pain now than when you lost the big V, nothing feels good, periods aren’t regular and pretty much everything turns you on. All at the same time?!

At 23 I have a sneaking suspicion of Endometriosis or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (neither of which are nice). But, bottom line, at 23 things don’t feel any better than they did at 16. I’m truly sorry about that.

But I can tell you, at 23 and living with a life-changing disability, you’ll never feel stronger or surer of yourself and the decisions you make. Babe, you are so worth it. Survive this, and please, don’t hurt yourself.

You will find a way to love yourself and as a teenager, you don’t know everything. As much as you think you might.

Forever you,

Me. X

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