Letter To My 15-Year-Old Daughter

Letter To My 15-Year-Old Daughter

no one in authority understands you
or wants to know who you really are
or thinks you can handle things
and/or be responsible

…i thought these things too
and we are/were probably frequently right
but maybe not always
maybe not when the chips were down
maybe we are not as alone as we think

you think i am some “ultra-christian-woman
who thinks you are a dangerous teenager”
but labels are more dangerous than you or i could ever be
and when we label each other
we stop seeing what’s on the inside
and i care about what’s on the inside of you

i care that you can hear me
without your label getting in the way
i am not who you think i am
and maybe you don’t know me at all

i grew up poor
with an alcoholic stepfather
and parental neglect
and sexual abuse
and being smart was my ticket out
and boys were my ticket to love and acceptance
and man i was so addicted to their love
i gave them everything i had
and they tore me apart in my
“love me love me” need

i acted out the part of the good girl
and got away with murder
and lied to everyone
and the house of cards got taller
and taller
but sooner or later, that house falls
and the debris is heavier than you’d think

i live the consequences of my choices
and i am grateful that i got out alive
and able to love someone worthy…
and though i might now thank God,
i once laughed at people like me
and called them foolish pawns,
smarter than that, i’d saved myself
(i’m a fucking genius baby!)

i see the potential of your choices
all the possible futures ranging out before you
and want to grab some of the good ones
to toss like rose petals in your path
and i want to take those bad ones
and hurl them far away

but instead i watch helpless
because you can’t hear me
behind what you think i’m saying
and who you think i am

my experience is worthless to you
can you hear me?

(c) Sandi Adams
2004

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