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Dear Rachel,

Today you are 18, with a tattoo, a septum piercing, and your arms almost healed up. You would be so proud of how far along you have come. There are a lot of things I am going to cover right now so please don’t roll your eyes or discard my advice i’m just trying to help.

When you’re at his birthday in your cute little blue dress, do not follow him upstairs. I know he’s older and he looks cool but don’t follow him. When he takes your small hand pull it out and run away. Tell mommy what he said to you. I know you dont know whats happening but if you don’t do the above or you forget it’s okay you will get over it. You will grow from it, it will take a long time but in around 10 years you will find guy friends who will treat you like a little sister. Trust them. They won’t do to you what he did. The 2 boys I tell you about will go through highschool with you. Don’t loose them.

Speaking of being a little sister. Don’t antagonize him. I know you love to be right and you think he won’t snap but love you are so wrong. Please if you see him getting angry go to your room and stay there until mom comes home. Now sometimes it truly is not your fault but you can’t get away just don’t try to fight back it will make him more angry. Now I know you want everyone to know what he did to you but don’t show just hide it. Otherwise the school will call mom and tell her that you can’t stay at home with him. I know you think mom doesn’t love you cause she lets him stay in the house  but he’s her child too. She loves you dont doubt that.

When you ask yourself if you should message him on facebook, do it. But don’t you dare pick up that razor when you read his responses, I know what he says will hurt but please love don’t take it out on yourself. You didn’t do anything wrong! Plus you will end up being best friends in the future. And if the urge is too strong and you do end up harming yourself dont tell him. God please dont get drunk at your party and “let it slip” when you know he’s there. Im sitting here almost 3 years later and he still tells me how he thinks about that night. Even years later you’re going to go to a party and yell at him. I know you want him to know how he made you feel but he doesn’t need to. You might have gotten over it but he still feels deep sadness for what he pushed you to do.

The one thing I must tell you is thicken your skin, you can’t let what people say about you get under it. Because there are so many people who care for you; and you’re going to meet a girl, yes shes a little older then all of your other friends. But god if you don’t meet her, I just don’t know what will happen to her. If all the things I have told you to avoid, you don’t, there’s going to be a night when you tell her and that boy everything. She is going to bring you inside after and cry on your shoulder for hours. Hold her, you have changed lives and while you’re holding her remember that.

I’m going to end this on a good note when you go into high school you have to take an elective. Take the short story option. Because of this you will learn to write and love you are not going to want to do anything else. You will learn to express yourself without it ending in blood on the sheets. And when you are sitting on your bed crying about boys who dont know you love them. And when you are asking yourself why you keep doing this, grab your computer, rip open that pack and write. Love just keep writing. You will get it all out and you will feel better I promise.

Stay safe and when it comes to college and the rest of your life you’ll be fine, you can do this. I believe in you the way you, you believe in everyone else. And god forbid anything happens to you just remember the most important person loves you and that’s you.