Advice to your 16 year old self
*poof* You have been granted the one-time-only opportunity to go back in time and deliver a letter to yourself on the eve of your 16th birthday. What would you say to a younger you? I'll start.
Dear 16 year old CJ,
I know that guy is great looking and cool and a bad boy and seems like he's heavily into you. He's also a violent, controlling abusive maniac. Run. Run far. Run fast. Do not look back. He'll break your heart and your collar bone and possibly (though you'll never be able to prove it) tamper with the brake lines on your car.
Wear your seat belt, even if it does wrinkle that pretty yellow blouse. A jagged scar on your forehead lasts a lot longer than wrinkled clothes. I know, you're not planning to roll your car 6 times across that farmer's hayfield, but, honey, that's why they call them accidents.
I know it's hard being the shortest person in any group of your peers, but you are going to sprout another 4 inches this year. It might not be all you hope for but at least you'll make it over the five feet mark.
Stop trying to fix and cover for your parents. Their problems are their own and they had those problems long before you were born. You are not the reason their lives went to hades in a handbasket.
You are stronger than you know. One day, you will be happier than you can imagine right now.
Love and Hugs,
50 year-old CJ
PS -- I love you.