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A Letter To My Former Self‏.

Dear former self,

I’m writing to remind you that I haven’t forgotten you. Your presence rings in the back of my mind like a bell off in the distance.

It’s been a full-on 10 years since we last connected on a real level. There have been four births, the first of which was very traumatic.

That first year of motherhood that you were catapulted into had you walking around with this dark shadow attached to you that you couldn’t seem to shake.

You were thrust a baby into your arms that despite you birthing you didn’t find an immediate connection with, and it took some time and a lot of effort for you to discover it, under all the layers that you slowly peeled away.

The second birth revealed within you a roaring goddess, fierce and capable. You were re-birthed a woman who was able to tap into her subconscious divinity that was buried deep, and you came to life.

Those first two years of juggling two small ones very close in age were amongst the hardest of your life, but you fumbled your way through it and found a semblance of rhythm, which was completely smashed to smithereens by the time the third child, the wild one, came along.

She brought with her a presence and power that was so unpredictable, yet so captivating, that you had no choice but to throw your hands in the air and hop on the ride that she took you on.

The fourth child, blessed be, brought stability and foundation and closure. Your coping mechanisms were so engrained already that the dance of chaos was just second nature.

You didn’t have an easy childhood, although this may not have been evident to passers-by.

The people who hurt you were very clever and guarded about the way they operated, and you held your heart in your hands, broken, way too many times.

You had your trust abused and broken far too many times by people who should have been there for you, to love you unconditionally and fight for you.

Your calls for help went unheard during your formative years more than you should have encountered in an entire lifetime. But you weren’t irreparable, at least not permanently.

Despite being shuffled from one professional to the next when it wasn’t you who was doing the abusing, you fumbled your way through until you met your husband — a man who was unlike any other, and with him your new life began.

Thankfully, you were able to use your distorted childhood as a model of exactly how to not parent, so you have raised four incredible daughters together.

They pull at you, demand your every being and more, but they are worth more to you than you could have ever thought possible, and you would walk over hot coals and back for them.

They stretch you beyond where you believed you could ever go, but they love you intensely, and despite the chaos, you wouldn’t ever have them any other way.

I know you’re tired. I know you sometimes slump against the cold tiles in the bathroom, crying into your hands as your eldest daughter screams for hour upon hour.

I know you feel helpless, I know you feel like nothing you ever do is good enough. I can feel how exhausted and spent you are, and how sick of complaining about the same things you feel. But your daughters know you love them.

And you’re doing better than you realize. Sure, they may be feisty too, just like you, and your second daughter has definitely inherited your temper which I know scares you. But it’s okay.

Because they know that you are there for them, no matter what.

It feels like some days you’re just treading water, and hours go by before you realize that you haven’t actually done anything for yourself, at all.

Having to negotiate time to eat, time to even sit down and enjoy a cup of tea in the sun can sometimes feel like a massive hurdle to overcome.

Your thought feels tight, and you feel breathless, because you just feel so overwhelmed at the prospect of how to be a better parent to support these girls of yours.

It can be all-consuming sometimes, and the desire to just run away often creeps in when the baby is once again pawing at your breast, fractured sleep, and there are intense needs demanding to be met coming at you from all angles.

I’m writing to tell you that soon a time will come when the pressure will ease. It’s coming, I promise. I’m slowly watching you make yourself more present, coming to the surface. Playing with clothes, embracing your beautiful individuality.

You’re learning to let go more too, and that is no easy task, especially when you so desperately want to be loved like you know you deserve but failed to receive as a child, no matter how vehemently this may be contested by those involved.

But let me tell you that love doesn’t have to be hard, or constantly trying. Love can be light, easy. Love isn’t about convincing someone of your worth, love is being accepted and embraced — flaws, imperfections and all.

You are worth so much. I’m so sorry you are hurting.

I can’t promise you that the pain will ever go away, and neither will the sadness — but I can encourage you to seek your joy and love in those who have proven themselves time and time again to be worthy.

They’re right here, you know who they are. Take the time to appreciate the beautiful land you have been blessed to live in.

Let your arms be raised to the skies, and dive with wild abandon into the journey you are flying on already. You’re on the right path now.

Trust. Love. Embrace the skin you’re in. You are a masterpiece.

Love, Me.

***

JessicaOffer02Jessica Offer lives on the Sunshine Coast in Australia with her wonderful husband and four spirited daughters. Two of her daughters and her husband have autism (ASD), but they’re all awesome. Along with her tribe of girls, Jessica has two cats called Frankie & Harriet. Jessica loves getting beach therapy, doing Yoga, immersing herself in books and cooking. She tries daily to find some happiness amidst the chaos, which isn’t always easy but she’ll keep trying. You could contact Jessica via her website, Instagram or Facebook.

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