A Letter to 12-Year-Old Me

loveHi. I know you are probably confused as to why I am calling you Rae and not Rachel.

You know how you never felt really comfortable being called a woman, or how you thought “she” just didn’t suit you? You were right. You now identify as non-binary, and I am super pumped for you to learn about that.

With that out of the way, I wanted to talk about trauma and what’s happened to you recently. You were sexually assaulted, and the people telling you you are lying are really, really wrong and are going to make you doubt yourself. They will invalidate you. And you will become silent. Not forever, obviously, because I am writing you this letter, but it’ll take some time and some new friends in adulthood.

You are going to go through this again, and it hurts to write that. But you will, and you will survive it. It’ll be someone you love with all your heart. He has brown eyes and is very charming. And he’ll do some damage.

My dear, dear friend you will experience heartache and loss and abuse but you come out so much stronger and more compassionate on the other side. You are such a wonderful, well-rounded human now. You have a job supporting other young people, you’re working on moving out, and you’re on the Board of Directors for a national organization (at 22 holy crap!). There is so much to look forward to.

I want you to know I love you. I know you don’t love yourself yet (you are getting there) and I know you cannot see the future. But you are such a valid, incredible, vibrant young person, and I want to congratulate you on sticking to who you are and what you believe in.

As Elton John said, “I’m still standing after all this time.” And you are too. Thank you so much for staying alive. I couldn’t have done it without you.


Your Future Self

Rae LaBrie is a young adult who’s striving to make the world a better place, one step at a time. They are currently working at PPAL and serving on Youth MOVE National’s Board of Directors.

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2 thoughts on “A Letter to 12-Year-Old Me

  1. Rae, this is an incredibly moving and thought provoking blog. You ARE INCREDIBLE and you ARE CHANGING THE WORLD by sharing and helping us all evolve. I am blessed you are part of my world and will support you in your journey in any way I can.

  2. Dear Rae,

    That makes me want to write such a letter to my 12-year-old self. It would be interesting to do now that I am 60! Thanks for sharing.

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