Family, Mental Health, mental illness

Letter to My Teenage Niece

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Dearest girl,

When you were starting middle school, we all groaned, because most of your aunts and uncles attended that same middle school. I told your uncle JJ to not talk about it – “Don’t scare her,” I said. Besides, I attended a middle school at one point too. It didn’t matter what school; mine was for primarily well-off kids, and guess what? It still sucked. It’s a hard time for everyone, no matter what your background, what you look like, or who you are. One word: Puberty.

I started struggling with mood the most when I was fourteen, and I knew that crap ran in my family. Also, there were a lot of crappy situations involved for me. You can relate.

I know we are not related by blood, so this is not something you would inherit from me. I want you to know that I have felt your pain. I also know that my pain is not yours, and our situations are different; and all I really have to offer is a listening ear (day or night) and all the hugs and love. I am telling you this not to compare our struggles. Your struggles are truly what matter most to me right now. That being said, if you ever have any questions about me, I am happy to answer.

For our group photo today, the sign I made about what I love about you referenced how you inspire me to love unconditionally. I mean this so entirely, my dear. I have never loved any teenager like this! Still, I have loved you since I met you. You were five. I truly believe you are the most amazing person in the world, next to your uncle. You two are my favorite humans. Your spirit is unwavering and your smile lights up a room.

And the “unconditionally” part? You aren’t perfect: you have moody times (have I mentioned “puberty”? ) and sometimes you are the teeniest bit … let’s say, sisterly, to your siblings. (wink.) I have never, ever felt my love for you waver in the slightest. I can’t believe it ever will. I honestly wish I could be around you all the time. You make every day that I’m with you better. Whenever you don’t attend family events, I am truly disappointed that I don’t get to see you. (Ask JJ. I’ve whined about missing you to him on multiple occasions.)

You are amazing. You deserve only the best, and I wish life would offer that to you forever. Of course, I can’t promise that. In fact – I can unfortunately guarantee the opposite. It’s not always going to be easy. But I want you to get to the part where it’s better. Never give up. I love you so much.

Always and forever,

Aunt Savannah

2 thoughts on “Letter to My Teenage Niece”

  1. What an incredible post. You write so eloquently. May I just add, I would go back to being 20 again in a heartbeat. I would never want to be a teenager again. Once was enough! But it did help shape me into the person I am today.
    Love you so much! Both of you. All of you❣️

    Liked by 1 person

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