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Trigger warning: abuse and self-harm mentioned.

Dear sweet girl, 

I know you don’t want to be seen but I see you. I know you use alcohol, cigarettes, cutting, and weed to numb your pain. I know you think your relationships with men are consensual and you feel you need them because you are missing something.

I know you’re being abused by a family member and you feel stuck because no one would take your side or believe you.

I know you question how God could allow things to happen and convince yourself it’s your fault and you deserve it and He must be punishing you.

I know you take Benadryl at night just to shut your thoughts off when nothing else works, hoping you never wake up.

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I see you doing these things, not because you’re rebellious, not because you are a bad teen, not because you are hopeless, but because you have been hurt by those who should be trusted adults. You’ve been blamed and shamed for things that happened to you that are not your fault. You turn to these because you have no one to ask for help. You have so much guilt that has never been yours to carry. You have no one in your circle who will understand or help you and I’m so sorry you don’t have that.

But please hang on—better days are coming, I promise.

In 15 years you will know real love.

You will have trusted, loving people in your circle who help you walk through the journey to healing. You will see that those men were predators and you were a victim and you were not to blame for any of it. You will be brave enough to confront abuse and cut ties with those who hurt you and refused to change. You will learn to heal and work hard to love your own babies the way you deserved to be loved.

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You will see Christ’s love was always unconditional and He never blamed you or punished you but walked with you when no one else was there. You will beat your addictions. Your scars will fade. When you are hurting, you will have amazing people to talk to and help you work through your pain.

Most importantly you will look back at your 15-year-old self and you will love her and understand her better than anyone. I promise you will look back and see how far you have come and you will breathe a sigh of relief, knowing you are so courageous, so strong and so loved by so many.

So hold on and don’t give up, better days are ahead and we’re in this together.

I love you. Happy birthday!

Love,
Me

Author’s note: If you are a struggling teen right now and have no one to go to, please know you aren’t alone and things do get better. And you are always, always welcome to reach out to me anonymously and I can find you resources to help you. You are so loved.

Amanda Kilgore

Amanda is a homeschool mama of three and a wife to her best friend of 16 years. She enjoys cooking, gardening, exploring the outdoors, and keeping her family healthy through natural living. Lover of Jesus, coffee, and a good TV show with a comfy blanket after the babies are in bed. She is passionate about raising awareness about child abuse and mental health struggles and hopes that sharing her story openly will help others.

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