In the meantime, Krystal has opened her blog to a guest post series called, "Letters to my YA self." In this series, YA authors will be posting heartfelt letters to their former selves. I'm not sure if you'll shed any tears, but I can say that the brave ladies posting certainly did. We have a few spots let, so if you are a YA writer and want to participate in the series, let me know in comments.
Now without further ado....our first letter comes from Krystal herself:
I know you're in pain. I know the world around you seems cruel and heartless. In many ways, it is, but you have to be stronger than the world, you have to be bigger than the world. Many horrific things happened to you, and you have reacted horribly.
You've pushed away your friends and family. You've allowed your schoolwork to suffer. You view yourself as unworthy of friends, unworthy of love, unworthy of any relationship remotely healthy.
But you're wrong. Go figure.
You are so much more than you give yourself credit for. Fear rules you now, but it won't later. Soon, you're going to come to terms with what that man did to you. Soon, you're going to come to terms with how your parents reacted, with their fear, with their hurt. Soon, you're going to realize the past doesn't matter, that the present and future are the only things you should concern yourself with.
Recovery won't be easy. When you make a clean start, you'll retreat further into your depression. New places don't make the pain go away. New places don't mean people are different.
Evil lives everywhere.
You'll barely make it through school, and you'll value yourself less and less every day. You'll live out of cars, you'll get a job at a hotel just so you can find a place to sleep. "Friends" will come and go. Family will be there when you call, but don't ask for help.
You don't need it. Survival will come at the hands of you, through your rehabilitation, through your learning about who you are inside.
Don't change who you are; be who you are.
When you hurt, tell someone. When someone asks you a question, tell them what you believe, not what you think they want to hear. When someone shows you kindness, show them kindness in return. And there will be many people who open their arms for you.
Don't ever forget them, and don't resent the people who should have been there. Forgive them.
You will meet a man, and this man will see every one of your glorious inner-qualities. Every one of your failures, he will see the positive that came out of them. Everything people made fun of you for, he will laugh and say you're cute. Every fear you had about love, family, parenting, marriage, he will make disappear. He will love you more deeply than you can imagine with your young mind.
He will do this because you love you.
Be strong, Krystal. Survive. Life gets easier.
Krystal at 32
Okay I'm a little teary eyed. That was beautiful, Krystal. Thank you so much for sharing that with us.