Dear Mum and Dad,
You know that phone you saw me using last night and then asked where I got it? I’ve actually had it for over year now. I bought it with all the pocket money and birthday money I saved. I got it so that I could talk to the cute boy in my class who became my boyfriend, cos you wouldn’t let me call him.
We started texting about friends, teachers and school, the usual stuff. Then, when he asked me to send some nude photos, I did. It was pretty exciting at the time (#dieifmyparentseversaw). Anyway, it’s not like it means anything, all my friends do it and they get lots of attention.
Oh, there are these funny videos on Tik Tok where girls send ‘dirty’ texts and photos to their boyfriends while they’re with family or friends, and film their reaction. It’s soooo funny!
I’ve been thinking about doing it as well, would be awesome to see how many people think I am funny and cool.
This makes me think about 3 things I really wish you knew:
1. It’s so hard to say no to friends (or as you might call it, peer pressure) … I do think about what might happen if things go wrong, but I ignore it cos fitting in is really important.
2. I’m different now and my body is changing. Boys are noticing me. You think I am the same but everyone else can see I’m different now, more mature. I worry what you will think of me now that I’m not a little girl. I don’t want to disappoint you. I just want you to treat me like a mature person, I think that would make it easier for me to talk with you and share my thoughts and feelings. The new me.
3. It’s so uncomfortable to talk about sex with you but I feel lost trying to understand it… There’s so much I don’t know or understand about sex, but I pretend I know, which makes it really confusing but also exciting. I feel really awkward trying to talk about sex and boys with you, so I learn most things from Tik Tok and my friends. I wish I could talk to you the way I used too.
I imagine you’re not hugely excited to talk about sex with me either but I need your help. I feel mature, but deep down I know I have a lot to learn. I don’t want to feel awkward talking to you about sex.
Oh, my boyfriend and I broke up last week. A few days later when I was walking to class, I heard someone cough ‘slut.’ I didn’t know who it was or why he said that… Later one of my friends told me my ex shared the photos I sent him with his friends. I’m so embarrassed! I‘ve been pretending I’m sick to get out of going to school. I really dread going to school knowing that these photos are being spread around.
I don’t want to feel so alone…
Can we please talk?
Thanks to the reflections from our Intern Social Worker, Caroline Dinh, whose inspiration for this blog was her 12-year-old self.