What We Don’t Know

Annie Mueller
5 min readAug 7, 2023

Hello, can we be friends?

I have been through several versions of hell and remained myself. But also not myself. Not the same self. A different self. I have shed each self like a skin, slithered out, tender and grieving and not even knowing the newest version.

What are the features, what are the bugs?

Have you done this also? I bet you have. I can see a familiar knowing in your eyes. (You look a little haunted, to be honest. It’s okay.)

These experiences have rocked me and shattered much that I love but I have not given up. I have not lost myself. I still know and love myself. I still feel and recognize the little girl I was — she is here. I have kept her safe all these years. I have kept her alive.

You have done the same: kept yourself alive, through so much, maybe even when you didn’t want to. I’m so proud of you for doing that, for staying here. It’s so difficult. I know.

Yesterday I was sitting with my son who not so long ago didn’t want to be here anymore. We were just chatting. He said, I really like my life now. I’m enjoying it. I’m so glad to be here.

I didn’t cry because there’s no faster way to shut down a conversation with a teenager than cry but I did on the inside, if you know what I mean.