Dear Lil, I’m writing from the future to give you some advice; you really need it and you don’t have friends who will tell you the truth, your family is unsupportive, absent, or just plain wacko, and you are on your own thought you won’t really understand and internalize how terribly alone you are for another 10 years if you continue on the path you are on. You do not have to be as alone as you are.
Kim will suffer irreparable brain damage in a car crash tomorrow night, November 6th, 1977 as she comes back to Columbus from a concert in Bloomington if you do not stop her from being in the car with her friend Mike, the drunk driver who will die in the crash. Rick will survive but his walk will always show the trauma he will experience. She will and come out of the coma on December 16th and will cling to life until Friday, January 13th, 1978. Do whatever it takes. Both of your lives could be so very different. Just do it.
Then, finish your degree as quickly as possible. You are bright, attractive, and capable of anything you to which you put your mind. Go to the recruiting center for graduating seniors, get a job, and get the hell away from Sluggo and Indiana. Nancy and Sluggo may have been fine in the funnies, but they are not good in real life. If you don’t heed my advice you will spend the next ten years suffering from the insecurity he reinforces in you. He is a loser, and even though he is predictable, and gives lip service to the feminist ideals you cherish, these traits do not mean anything. If he respected himself or you he would have finished school and asked you to marry him by now so a catch like you doesn’t get away.
If you want to get a 10 year jump on things you could decide when the chemist and poet decide to split to check out the chemist, you will marry him in 11 years any way, so you might as well get a jump on him, ahem, early. But you might also take your thin tie man, whom you will meet in the library, far more seriously and actually open up to him about yourself. He actually fell for you far more than you will know until the next century.
But you should be aware that if you do nothing differently, you will have the most wonderful, intelligent and beautiful daughter in the entire world. You might try to not be stung be a scorpion near Rose Canyon Lake when you are about 3 or 4 months pregnant with her and see if she isn’t a bit easier to raise than she was for me this time through.
You are beautiful, sensitive, intelligent and powerful. Do not doubt that. You had been raped twice by the time you were 16 and more than one of your “normal” relationships was actually abusive. Never blame yourself for any of that. You were a naive 15 year old kid who had been isolated much of your life. You were not to blame. Those who should have kept you safe did not. Sleazoids look for vulnerable youth. None of this was your fault. Adopt Nerthus as you guardian goddess and use her as a role model. Do get to know Myrdene well. Check out the condition called Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy as it will explain much you cannot now understand, talk to David while you can and see if he knows Mom did the same thing to him that she did to you, talk to Dad about his dad and find out more about his family interactions, ask him anything and everything that crosses your mind because he will be gone before you are 30.
So, overall, save Kim, get away from the loser sooner, and become independent earlier. You can do it!
Update: Friday, 9 November 2012
I wrote this as part of a Mid-Life, Women of a Certain Age, Blogging Group Blog Hop. I wrote it while I was in Mexico and my iPad and the intermittent connection there and the code I needed to post to include this following part of the hop were not playing well together. Fortunately the originator of this hop, Chloe, allowed us until midnight tonight to get the code properly configured.
This may be the best entry you have written. What an interesting concept, like the butterfly effect in reverse. What would we all say to our 20 year old selves?
Nancy Hill says
I can’t take credit for the concept, just the personal implementation of it. A Facebook group of women bloggers/writers to whom I belong, Gen Fab, wrote on this topic for a blog hop. Me, being me, gave it a speculative fiction feel. But there are other dimensions and strange elements of the universe which our puny minds cannot even begin to contemplate. So who knows?
Joy Weese Moll ( says
I really wish you could tell your 20-year old to prevent that car crash. Sounds like, not just you, but the world would have benefited from Kim’s longer life.
Sounds like you have really overcome a lot, with or without being able to send letters back to yourself at 20. And all with grace and power.
Nancy Hill says
Thanks Joy, I rarely think about “what ifs,” but this topic for the blog hop allowed me to do that and I surprised myself with the blog post that resulted. Grace and power may be an over-statement, but I have been fortunate in having the ability to reframe experience and make the best of most things.
My heart breaks for the 20-year-old you, considering all the trauma and sadness to come (piled on top of all that already did). I need to meet you in person and give you a hug. You are a strong, beautiful, resilient and wise woman. I’m so glad I have the opportunity to get to know you through GenFab.
Nancy Hill says
At times my heart breaks for that self too. She did not really understand so much about the unacceptable nature of a lot of what she had accepted and was still accepting, but that self was tenacious and resilient, learned to not accept so readily, and survived to be me, a pretty neat woman, all things considered. There are many stories of strength and survival that were told through this blog hop. The times around 1970 were tougher on young women than many of us realized until quite recently, I think. Pioneers do not have guidebooks. Hugs are always gladly accepted.
Chloe Jeffreys says
Lil, I wish you could go back and save Kim. That is so sad. There is a girl in town who was irreparably brain damaged in a car accident that was caused by her sister’s drunk driving. The sister lived. I can’t imagine the guilt I would feel if that were me.
I don’t know why it is so hard for us to get away from those early men who weren’t good for us. This seems to be a common theme in this bloghop. I think young women are too concerned with coupling up. Maybe it is that estrogen that is finally waning,.
Lynn Forbes says
Lil, my heart breaks for your pain and sadness. You are beautiful and strong.