THE UNMASKING: A Letter to My Teenager

I write this letter in honor of all the teenagers that enter my office (or my life) wearing a mask - afraid and ashamed to show the world who they are for fear that they are not enough. I write this letter for the "unsaveables" who feel they are beyond repair and don't deserve help. I write this letter for that foster kid who feels there is no way out of the situation they're in. I write this letter for hope...

Dear Teen,

I'm going to say this to you, because maybe you don't hear it enough or maybe you hear it and you don't believe it yet. I'm writing this so you can come back and read it whenever you need to hear it/see it/ convince yourself that it's true... Keep reading it until you believe it!

You matter!
There is a place in this world where you fit!
You're not damaged goods!
You CAN do the impossible!
There ARE people who are looking up to you!

Yes, you make mistakes - we all make mistakes! 

No you won't have it all figured out, but that's why there are people in your life to help you! No, I can't erase the trauma that happened to you. Perhaps it wasn't even your fault, but you control what it turns you into. It does not have to define who you become! If "that thing" is all you can think about, I would encourage you to seek help so you can begin to heal.

Your parents might be annoying! 

Let me let you in on a little secret....come closer... it's probably because they love you, but might not understand you! They are trying their best just like you. There is this weird thing in life where communication signals get all mixed up and if you're a teenager right now - you're probably at that weird place with your parents. If you persevere through it, it will be ok.

HEY! Wait a minute! If you're the teen that doesn't live with your parents - I didn't forget about you!  

So you've had some issues with your parents and it feels like they've given up on you: there is still hope! Maybe you can't start with your parents right now, because you've made a ton of mistakes and they aren't trying to hear you TALK about changing anymore. If that's you....Reach back out to that one adult who seems like they're trying to make a connection with you! They can help you! The work will not be easy, but if you are sincere you can do it!

Hey pretty girl - just wait before you decide to numb the pain by cutting! Hold on there handsome - before you drown your sorrows in alcohol! There is hope!

 So what if you don't have all the answers right now - none of us do and that's ok! I hear you saying, "Seida this all sounds great but I AM HURTING! You don't know what they did to me, what they said to me, how they treated me - the people who were supposed to love and protect me or that person who died!" You know what I say to that? I say yes it happened... yes it hurts.... yes it's an extremely difficult thing to deal with - but healing CAN take place! Numbing the pain is temporary relief and when you come down off of your high...you will still need support. Why not just get the support now? I can assure you someone somewhere cares!

I would encourage you to take off the mask you've been hiding behind and be who you are! Initially it will be uncomfortable. You will be scared. You won't like the way it feels. There will be people who will reject you - yes, I won't lie to you.

But oh my God there are people who will LOVE you - JUST AS YOU ARE!

I wish you could see the potential that I see! I wish you could feel the power you hold in your hands when you believe you can do something. I wish you knew that the world needs more people just like you! The next part of our conversation would most likely go something like this...

 

 *Quote from Erin Hanson

*Quote from Erin Hanson

 I know you're scared! I know you're confused! I know you don't think you can do it, but you can and you will!

That idea you have? Pursue it! If you fall you're that much closer to success! A wise woman told me when I thought I had failed "Congrats! You had the courage to do what others have feared!"  I would encourage you to find someone who can walk you through your journey to healing! Find that adult that you trust, because even if they can't be exactly what you need they will guide you to resources that help you on your journey.

Hey Teen! Yes, YOU!

YOU are our future and we can't survive without YOU!

Listen to this song and believe it!!

Need to talk? Crisis Call Center: 800-273-8255

Prefer to text? To text anonymously with a crisis counselor: 741741

Need more information?

http://www.crisistextline.org/textline/

http://www.teenhealthandwellness.com/static/hotlines

https://teenlineonline.org/