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I would tell her about the man that would ruin our lives, and promise to hold her close. But if my words reach her too late, I would hold that little girl. I sit with her as she cried alone all of those empty nights. My note would tell her that all the days were not going to be easy.
Then maybe I would not have been so vaguely alone. I would not have been drifting in the blackest waters, searching for some solid ground. At least that small child would have something to hold onto. A note. Proof that someone out there in the universe cared.
If I could send a message to myself as a little girl and my words were too late, I would tell her to put down the knives, to toss the pills, to take all those painful moments and say, I'm sorry you're so alone. I'm sorry there is no one here to listen to your story but I do know it well. You're words are not lost to deaf ears.
If I could reach back for just one second I would use it to wrap my arms around her in the darkest moment. I would stop my own hands from beginning this battle with my flesh. I would stop the blade. I would stop so much.
If I could give that child, myself so long ago, one thing. One gift across the years of echoing agony, I would give her a friend. Someone that held no judgements. No cold shoulders. Only love.
So if I can sit here now and promise all those warm, happy things for a child that no longer exists, why can't I give it to myself now?
Why is it so hard to forgive my reflection? Forgive my own flaws. Why is it so hard to put down the knives, to pretend that bottle isnt in the other room? Why can I not love this person I am now? Why can't I forgive myself?