Outside Looking In

I see them. A good decade behind me. Making mistakes I’ve already learned from. Learning lessons that are already ingrained into my psyche and my heart. I want to save them from themselves but I can’t do it from where I stand. How do I tell them that the path they are going down will only lead to further damage to their self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. How do I explain that trying to undertake such an act at this point in their life could ruin them, possibly forever? How do I tell them what they perceive as harmless fun can have irreversible consequences to their lives ten years down the line? How can I show them these things without telling on myself? The truth of the matter is that I can’t. They wouldn’t believe me. In their mind, I couldn’t possibly understand what it’s like and how they feel. The truth of the matter is that I understand all too well. And I’m afraid for them. I’m scared that they’ll ruin their lives in such ways that nobody can help them. I’m scared that they’ll cut their destinies short. I’m scared for their husbands and their children. Because even though these imaginary people are ten to fifteen years into the future, the actions that they are undertaking right now could jeapardize them. I don’t know how to help them without showing them my own battle wounds. If I thought it would make an impact – if I thought they would change – if I thought they would come to the realization of just how dangerous their actions are – then I wouldn’t mind showing them my scars. I wouldn’t mind telling them of the consequences of such action. The consequences I had to face at eleven, nineteen and twenty-three. Even if they end up judging me. Even if they end up resenting me. Even if they end up shunning me – if it saves at least one of them. It would be worth it. But I can’t tell them anything from where I stand. I am on the outside looking in and in their eyes, I couldn’t possibly understand how it is and what they feel. Little girl, I understand all too well.

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