A Letter To My Daughters, And To All The Daughters Around The World

By Michaela Massoletti

To my daughters,

When I look into your big, sparkly blue eyes, I see a light that burns so bright. I am overwhelmed by the lightness that you each bring this world, while also feeling the weight that a mother feels in her heart hoping to always be able to protect her babies. I know you are only 3 and 7 years old and the world is still a bright and magical place. I know that your bodies are simply the vehicle you ride in to explore and experience life, but I want to write this because one day you may see it differently. Life moves fast and I can’t stop the worrisome thoughts that one day I will have two teenage daughters who will probably be highly aware of their bodies, as most teenage girls are. 

Being a girl can be scary and complex. I want to keep it simple for you always, like it is now. I know that I can’t, so I will do my best to share with you my hopes and concerns. 

Mommy has something to tell you about herself. I tell you this story so that maybe you don’t have to ever feel what I knew all too well for far too long; destructive self-loathing, feelings of shame, and constant questioning of myself.

When I was 11 years old, an older boy forced his hands up my shirt and groped my body as if it was his to touch. I yelled, “stop!” I begged him to let me go. I said, “no!” He didn’t listen. Instead, he pushed his hands further up my bare stomach to cup my newly developed breasts. He grabbed me between the legs over my pants and pushed his body up against mine. I hadn’t even held a boy’s hand or had my first kiss. I wasn’t aware that my pre-teen changing body would mean that everything I thought I knew about the world would dissipate. I finally broke free of his grip, but the hold stuck with me.

I began starving myself shortly after this. I wanted to disappear. Literally. Now acquainted with my hips and thighs, fully aware of my body, I felt I stuck out. Suddenly my legs were no longer for running up and down the soccer field or the basketball court. They were for guys to look at and critique; to goggle at like meat. Physically maturing into a body of a woman, I restricted my caloric intake as a form of inflicting pain upon myself. I didn’t realize that I was using my newfound eating disorder as a means of torturing myself, because it must have been my fault. Being young and confused, I became convinced that something was wrong with me and that my body somehow suggested that I wanted it to be ransacked. So, control. I thought that if I could control the size of my body, then I could have power.

My wonderful daughters of mine, I pray you never experience that feeling of complete powerlessness at the hands of someone else. I hope that the power you seek in life is not to try to control your circumstances by aiming to disappear. My dream for you is that you unapologetically live out loud, blaringly noisy and roaring with strength. Don’t ever let someone else’s smallness dim your shine. 

These are my hopes for you, and all the daughters in the world:

• May you hold tightly to your innocence as long as you can.

• May you always feel comfortable inside your body, no matter what it looks like.

• May you never question your worth.

• May you always keep your sense of wonderment and awe.

• May you love yourself and know that you are so much more than what size pants you wear.

• May you never be ridiculed or talked about.

• May you never be judged for what you look like. 

What breaks my heart is that I know, from my own experience and the experience of many others, these things will happen. I just hope they don’t crush you like they did me. I desperately pray that even if you are ridiculed or judged that you brush it off and move on as your incredible selves. This world can be tough, and people are fallible. Words can definitely hurt and sometimes really terrible things happen but please don’t let them sear your heart and leave an imprint on you. Your greatest responsibility in this life is to love yourself and know you are enough.

I promise to continue seeking personal growth, evolve and stay present as your mom so that when the day comes where you begin to see the world a little differently, I am there at that juncture. You will always have me in your corner, fighting to keep that light in you shining. 

I love you more than you know.

Michaela Massoletti is a mother, wife, and a woman in recovery with 11 years of sobriety.  She is an aspiring writer, and believes that by speaking her truth, it may empower other women to find their voices.

Tags: × × × ×

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.