My precious child,
I am writing to you today to say all the things that you always longed to hear and never did:
How I wish I could reach out and take you in my arms, shelter you from your fears, and protect you from all harm. I know that is not possible, but perhaps the desire to help and the act of expressing that I care about you will help a little. If I could, I would wipe away your tears and mend your broken heart. I would hold you and hug you and keep you safe. I would shield you from the hurtful words and painful blows and even more harmful caresses that left lingering scars on your body and even longer-lasting and unhealed wounds upon your mind and emotions.
I would have been accessible to you whenever you needed me. I would have attempted to give you strength when you felt weak and helpless. I would have tried to cheer you up and reassure you that you were not alone and that you belonged and were valued and cherished. I would have striven to inspire you with hope that your future could be better. I would have listened to your dreams and encouraged you to pursue them, assuring you that they were possible. I would have built up your self-esteem by showing you that you were a smart, capable, resilient, talented, handsome, and unique kid who was worthy of respect. I would have attempted to find for you whatever knowledge and help and support that I could not supply myself. I would have convinced you that you were not a freak, were not to blame, and that you would heal and find happiness.
I wish that at the times when you pondered ending your own suffering, I could have intervened. I wish that I could have been the faithful and trustworthy friend that you needed and never found. I wish that I could have made you laugh when you were sad and distracted you out of your depression. I wish I could have been the kind and gentle and loving mentor that was not a danger in any way. I wish I could have taught you how to be a man and erased your insecurities and self-doubt. I wish that my love could have overcome your self-loathing.
My child, I am sorry that no one was there for you when you needed it most. I am sorry that you endured for years on your own. I am sorry that there was not a single safe refuge for you – not at school, not at church, and not at home. I am sorry that I could not give you what you needed – because although I was always there… I was you.
So now – I want to promise you that I will never abandon you. I will always be loyal and considerate of your feelings and welfare. I will do all within my power to help you heal, to make you feel loved, and to find acceptance, happiness, and fulfillment.
Dear little one, my younger self, I am faithfully,
Your older Lee
They have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but they have not gained the victory over me.
Plowmen have plowed my back and made their furrows long.
But the Lord is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.