If I could go back in time and give myself any advice, it would be to my 9 year old self. To this fresh faced chubby little kid, who has before him a lifetime of choices, I would say the following:
“There is not an ounce of pain in this world that you should endure for the unity and happiness of others.
There is no degree of compromise acceptable if it undermines your self worth and nobility.
The happiness and progress of others should never be at the expense of your feelings.
If they are your family…they will fight for you, they will stand by you, they will honour your safety, see to your protection, safeguard your boundaries and never silence you.
If they fail you more than once on this…irrespective of what blood and birth entails, they are not family.”