Woman looking after into the distance
Mental Health

A Letter To Myself

Country of Origin: The United States of America

(Audio recording by Jordan Luz)

Hi, it’s been a while. 

I’m sorry I haven’t talked to you in a bit. It’s just been hard. 

I don’t know what to say to you, or even bring anything up with you. I think about you all the time, especially late at night. You’re on my mind, and I wanted to tell you… I hope you know none of what happened was either of our faults. The world, it’s just messed up. And we just got caught in the middle of it all. 

Please don’t hate yourself. Please don’t hate me. 

I’m sorry we went through everything we did. We didn’t deserve that. You didn’t deserve that. You were only 14. You didn’t deserve to go through what you did. Any of it. 

But I promise you, so much has changed since then. We’ve gotten better. We’re trying to heal. We have somebody who loves us unconditionally, who treats us with love and care now. Somebody who respects us and our boundaries, and  I promise you that we turn out okay. But I can’t promise you that we’ve healed completely. It’s not possible to have completely healed in the time since. There’s been too many incidents, too many stories. We haven’t healed as fast as we would’ve liked. I feel that it’s near impossible, but I do think it’s within reach. We’re getting help now, real help. But sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough. When I think of you, what happened to us, I get uneasy.

You tried so hard to get help, and no one helped us. It makes me doubt if anybody is really going to help us now.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry we haven’t talked, it’s just. Like I said you know? It’s hard to talk to you. Sometimes I try to pretend you don’t exist. As if you’re not part of me and who I am now. As if you aren’t the reason I am who I am. The reason I’m so scared of living. It’s hard to confront you when I don’t want to remember you. I’ve pushed you away for so long. Hidden you deep within me, praying you’d never see the sun. Screaming out “Merciful G-d help me please,” all while begging that you didn’t exist, that what we went through didn’t exist. But it did, and it hurts. It hurts so fucking bad, and I hate you for it. Why couldn’t you have been stronger? Why couldn’t you have stood up for yourself? Why didn’t you? Why? Why did it happen to us? Who let this happen to us? Why? Just why? Tell me, please. I want to know. I really need to know. It hurts and I hate it. I hate you. Every day, every night, every waking moment of my life, I fear you and I hate you. 

I hate the idea of existing when I know you still live within me, when their touch still lingers on my skin and there’s no turning back time, no taking it all back. I want it to disappear. I want the you of who I once was, to disappear.

I don’t want to live like this; I don’t want you to exist within me. I want to be happy. But instead I struggle waking up every morning and cry myself to sleep at night. I live every day feeling like I don’t deserve to be here, and I hate that. I hate it so much. I want to be healed of all that was you, all of what you went through, and who you are to me. I want that part of me to be gone. I want to never have hurt the way I hurt before. I want everything that has happened to me to never have happened to me. 

So why did you let it happen to us? Why did it happen to us? How did it happen to us? Why us? Why? Why me? Why can’t we just let it go? Why can’t we heal? Why are we stuck in the past of who we once were when we‘ve come so far? Why can’t we be okay? Why can’t we just be okay? Please, please tell me. 

I’m begging you. I want to know. I need to know. 

Why did all of this happen? Why can’t I be okay? Why? Why did this happen to us? Who up and decided, yes. Her. Make her suffer. Make her wish she was never born. Make her feel like the worst mistake to have ever been made. Make her feel like her existence is horrendous and have her suffer every second that she’s alive. Make her hate herself. Consume her from the inside out until there’s nothing left within her. Make her feel like an empty shell of a human being that doesn’t deserve anything. Make her feel like the worst piece of shit alive.

I’m sorry. I’m blaming you for that one thing, as if there wasn’t more that contributed to our pain. But do you see? See what happens when I talk to you? All of this. All of this comes rushing out. All of these tears. All of this hurt. It doesn’t feel the best, but I think it’s long overdue. I don’t know how to talk to you without crying. I don’t know how to feel. I’m sorry if it takes a while for us to talk again. I just. I can’t handle who I am whenever we do. I just wish you knew what I know now. I know you desperately wanted it all to end. All the pain and anguish. 

I know you; I am you, and I’ll admit there are times where I still feel that way. But it’s different now. Our life is different now. You’re loved in so many different ways, by so many different people.

You matter, and I know it doesn’t feel that way, but you do.

You really do. We’ve honestly come so far. I wish I could have told you all of this back then. We could’ve started our healing process sooner. 

But it’s better late than never, right?

Thank you to Hazel Koritzer, Christina Lee, and Apurva Makashir for their inspired edit on this piece and everyone else on the Mental Health team

If you are interested in submitting a piece to the DG Sentinel, please visit our submissions page here.

Arielle Caspillan was born in 1998 as a First-Generation Filipino American. She struggled with English but found that the best way to express herself was through literature. Urged forward by an affinity of self-expression and writing, she followed her passion and achieved a bachelor’s at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and master’s degree at Grand Canyon University. Upon completing her degrees, Arielle began her TESOL certificate while working in early childcare, and writing on the side in hopes one day it will be her full-time job. She is also an avid dance battler, with her dog as competition.


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