Dear Danielle, I know the world can seem like a scary place when you’re a kid. You feel like no matter how hard you try, you don’t fit in. You want to be everything - pretty, successful, smart, popular, a good student, a giving person, perfect. Well, the truth is you can’t be everything. You can’t be perfect. In life you will make mistakes, you will gain and lose friends and you may not always look your best, but that is okay.

I know that kids pick on you. All you try to do is to be nice to everyone, because that’s what the adults tell you to do, but it doesn’t stop the teasing. The only thing I can say is don’t base your self-worth on the things these kids say. It is because you are sensitive, caring and kind that you are an easy target. One day you will look back on this time and realize that none of what they said was true. You are not fat, not weird, not ugly and not a loser. You are beautiful, wonderful and strong. You are yourself and that is okay.

I know that you worry about the future; you worry a lot.  What will you do? Will you ever find love? Will you ever have a family? Will the world become a better place or will it fall apart at the seams? I wish I could tell you that the bullying stops tomorrow - it won’t. I wish I could tell you that the anxiety will go away - it doesn’t. I wish I could tell you that life will be a walk in the park - it isn’t. What I can tell you is that you become strong and learn to deal with your anxiety the best you can. You end up in a job you love, helping kids just like yourself who feel alone and different. Finally, and most importantly, you have a wonderful husband and beautiful son who are your world. In the end, Danielle, no matter how scared you feel, everything will be okay.