When I was a child, I was a terror, because I didn’t understand what was going on around me or how to cope with my confusion and angry feelings. I didn’t know how to ask for help, all I knew how to do was lash out.
As I look back now, twenty-some years later in my early thirties I realize how little I believed in and how misunderstood I felt as a child. And how much easier my life would have been had I known then what I know now.
Here is some of the advice I wish I could have given my childhood self, and some things to keep in mind for kids who act out. What would you tell yourself if you could turn back time?
1. Everything will be okay.
This is a hard one to believe, I know. But its the only thing that you ever have to know. Everything will be okay, if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.
2. You will find Love.
I. Was. Boy. Crazy. There is no doubt about it. But none of the boys liked me back. So my pursuits were yes endless, but they also became steeped in self loathing and self doubt as the boy’s reactions and opinions of me seeped into my mind instead of rolling off my shoulders. I wish that I could tell my younger self that I would find love, a real, true love as an adult.
3. You are loved, even though it doesn’t seem like it.
Oh man, I just want to scream at myself on this one. Your parents love you! They really do! Remember that parents are people too! They can’t always be happy so stop thinking they hate you when they’ve had a long day. Your parents work extremely hard and love but they do, but they are human too.
4. Keep making art.
Don’t ever stop making art. You gave it up for years and your world turned gray and your heart slowly bled itself dry. Please never stop making art. Art feeds your soul and keeps you alive and connected to your spirit. Never ever stop making art.
5. Believe in what you want to be when you grow up.
You wanted to be so many things when you were younger. And I want you to know that each of them was COMPLETELY possible. Choose any of them or all of them, just don’t give up on what you see as the vision of your future.
6. I love you.
My heart breaks knowing how sad, lonely, confused, and broken you felt, because I felt that too. I love you, which means that you love you too. Always love yourself and show yourself that you do by doing what you love and by practicing self care.
7. Love your brothers, don’t hate them, they love you.
I know it was hard being an only child and having Mom all to yourself. I went through that too. Those little boys loved you so much which is crazy. Love them back. They will turn out to be some of your closest and best friends when you are an adult.
8. Stay away from people who force you to do things that you know are wrong.
Please… just take this advice. Trust your older self, that “friend” is not worth it and is also the reason why you never speak to your childhood best friend again.
9. Begin learning to let go of what you think should be, and live in the moment of what currently is.
This one is hard even for me now. But if you start now, you’ll be able to help us both be able to live in the moment and let go much easier.
10. Tell the people you love that you are grateful for them.
Life isn’t short, it is long. But life can end unexpectedly. Tell those that you love how grateful you are for them and how much you love them every chance you get. Don’t regret having not said something. Let them know you love them.
What advice would you give your childhood self?
If you are struggling with depression, thoughts of suicide, anxiety, or PTSD. There is help. Please call for help:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Call:
or call 911
They’re available 24 hours everyday and even have an online chat if you can’t bring yourself to talk about it out loud.
I have depression, anxiety, & PTSD. Thankfully after years of help, I’m able to identify my triggers. Living with depression is draining, deafening, and can be deadly.⠀
On the other side of depression, I am able to remember the helpful tools sooner and not loose days to depression. Journal pages that help me manage my depression.
Every day won’t be perfect, but there is help.
I love you, Jenny P.⠀⠀