by Geraldine Cunha
Hi baby Ger. You are so adorable. You came into this world at 10lbs 10oz. Such a big, beautiful, and bouncing baby girl. You are beautiful and perfect just as you are, but somehow the world could not accept you. I know that growing up was a challenge. You were teased and bullied by those closest to you. I remember the countless nights and days you cried. I remember those times when you wished for a better life and a new family. I wish I was there to wipe those tears. All you ever wanted was to be loved, appreciated and feel that you were enough as you are! That never happened then sweetheart, but I wish I could have held you back then and assure you that everything would be okay.
I saw the teenage Ger as you struggled to accept and love yourself. It was very hard for you to love yourself especially with the constant criticism from your mother about your weight. I wish you understood then that she loved you, and all the anger, criticism, and pain she inflicted on you really had so much more to do with her than it did with you. She really was loving you the best way she knew.
I wish I could hold your hands and take you back to that time you stood in front of the mirror crying and wondering why you looked the way you did. I wish you could see how beautiful you really were. You were amazingly beautiful. You had a beautiful smile, bright brown eyes, and your brown and golden blended hair was just so beautiful. You didn’t look like the girls you wished you looked like, but you sure were very beautiful. And oh, how I wish I could have assured you back then that one day you’d blossom into a lovely, strong, and beautiful woman. But even with those tears shed, my darling you were always so resilient.
Even though it seemed like you had lost yourself beneath all the lies, you believed you would find yourself again one day. You surely did!!!
My beloved Ger, It pained my heart back then to look at what you had settled for. The way you allowed all those guys to just use you. You were far more worthy…YOU ARE FAR MORE WORTHY! I wish I could have saved you from those choices, but I do understand. I understand that all you really wanted was to be heard, to be understood, to be accepted, to be wanted, to be valued, and to be loved. If only you understood then the value of you, but it’s okay darling. Those experiences have taught you a lot. Even though you have closed your heart and put up walls one day you’d set your self free from that prison.
Ger, you’re so smart and ambitious. You have always been. You’re one of the most ambitious girls I know and in spite of the many poor choices you’ve made I’m so proud of you that you still kept pushing on to accomplish the goals you have set for yourself. I wish I was there to whisper this in your ear. For some reason, you keep looking at yourself and all you saw were failures. But you were far from being a failure. You were and still are a champion!
Lady Ger, I look at the woman you are now and my darling you are a force to reckon with. I wish you truly knew and believed it. I saw you, my dear. The adult you, that have locked yourself away from the world because you were tired of being hurt! You just wanted peace, but you see running away is never the answer. I’m happy that eventually, you figured that out.
I saw the hope in your heart, but I also saw the hopelessness in your eyes. I saw the pain, the anger, the insecurity, and I just wish that at that time I was able to hold your hands and say this too will pass.
Ger, I also saw that new skill you adapted. That skill where you learnt to put on a facade and you did it so well. It was all in an attempt to keep people at bay, but that’s not the way darling. It is not the way. You used to smile and laugh so hard when around others, but the minute you got home in that room and reality set in the ghosts came out the closet and suffocated you in sorrow. You were a prisoner in your home, and a prisoner in your own body. If only you knew then that there is a better way. If only you knew that running and hiding was not the solution because depression is a bully, and if you don’t confront it, it will bully you to death!
But Ger, I have to commend you because I really don’t know how you survived it at times. I remember those days when I looked on and thought ….this is it …this is definitely it ….our time has come to meet our maker…You had jumped off the cliff. But then something would happen, something would change… I never knew what it was, but before I know it you were grasping to get back on top of the cliff.
It was in those times that I was sure that you were here for a purpose. I knew it.
How could a person be at the door of death and recover? How was it possible? Not just once, or twice or thrice? Many times…but you had that comeback power.
Ger, I wish I was courageous enough to help you then, to reassure you, to value you and to understand you, but I now know that all we’ve been through was not in vain. You’re now a strong beautiful woman…. You have always been, but the difference now is that you know it.
You still struggle sometimes, but you don’t hesitate to confront your fears. You are no longer afraid to face your depression, and you are not ashamed to share your story because you know that it is what makes you, YOU.
My beloved Ger, you still laugh hard and smile boldly, but at least now I know that it is real!
I began writing this letter to you from a place of regretting I wasn’t bold enough to be there for you, but in the course of writing I have realized just how strong, how determined, how resilient, and how courageous you were!
You could have thrown in the towel many times but you didn’t. Here you are today writing this love letter to yourself.
You didn’t quit Ger! And for that I love you, I love you so much and I am sure that even though the journey still has bumps, twists, and turns I am assured that we will be okay.
Sending love and light,
*Geraldine writes from Belize
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