I know you hate me calling you that. I know you'd rather I use one of the millions of aliases you've buried yourself under over the years, the way you used to hide under pillows or disappear into piles of leaves, or cover yourself in snow while the other kids made snow angels (because you didn't have wings - you're the abominable snowman).
You're still that little girl, as much as you disguise it - the only difference is that now you're hiding in words and clothes. I know what you're doing with all of that lace and the skirts and PVC. The way you wear provocative clothing so that people look at you and judge you by the threads, so you can always tell yourself that if they hate you, it's not you, it's just the clothes instead (you're not a coat-hanger or a mannequin, babe. You don't have to be afraid).
One day, you won't feel like you have to be someone else, or hide who you are. One day you won't whisper those nicknames over and over again to yourself like a mantra or some half-hearted prayer, wishing that a new name would swallow you up and give you a whole new identity/soul/personality, whatever. One day you won't be in a hospital bed, wishing that the nurses would refer to you by your patient number on the plastic barcode bracelet. You won't look at your family and wish that they had a better, more deserving daughter. I'll tell you a secret: one day, you'll look in the mirror, and smile. One day when a psychiatric registrar calls out your name, you won't shuffle forward with a blush, ducking your head to shadow your face with your hair. You'll stand up and say "Yeah, that's me" - because you'll no longer be ashamed. One day you'll think that maybe, just maybe, you're beautiful too.
If I could, I'd break down your locked bedroom door and burst in, armed with lime milkshakes and horror fiction, vintage clothes and porcelain dolls and kaliedescopes and magic eyes and music boxes and antiques, and all of the things you like. (And you really can stop being so dramatic about those hidden posters of girls kissing girls hidden in the closet under your shoes - your parents don't actually mind. Let's reduce some of the angst honey, because honestly? Later it'll just be a little embarrassing. And the fact that they're LITERALLY hidden in that metaphorical closet? Seriously babe, it's not poetic irony).
I'd sit with you and we'd eat jellybeans (pink and white ones only, because let's face it, they're the ones you're after) and tell you that there are two things I wish you'd taken more time to learn and grow. Acceptance and forgiveness.
You need to accept yourself. You need to learn to forgive the things about you that you cannot change - your impulsiveness, your sensitivity, the reckless spending (you're going to have to adjust to that - really), the bipolar, your skinny hips, your pale skin, the scar on your lip. You need to forgive your past mistakes - the words you said that hurt, the misunderstandings, the yelling, the anger, the sadness and regrets. You need to forgive the people who didn't understand you and hurt you in return. You need to accept that they're like you - they're people with faults too, (like the crockery you damaged and broke when you screamed and threw plates at the wall, wishing they'd shatter like your skull) and they're just scared. You're all just a little scared. But that will change.
You're braver than you know, kid. You'll be all right. And all of this obsessing about "any other rose would smell as sweet"; ever notice that the nicknames you pick tend to start with R? I think deep down, you're trying to come to terms with who you are. So let's just cut to the chase - your name is Ruby, babe. And as annoying as it is to hear people sing "Ruby Tuesday" or "Ruby don't take your love to town", it's nice to have someone look at you, and for you to laugh back instead of shying away, to roll your eyes, tongue in cheek, and say "yeah, that IS my name, don't wear it out."
P.S. keep eating peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon. Every day. Because in a few years, you'll be allergic to it. I can't convey the sorrow this will bring. Cherish every last peanut-buttery spoonful of goodness while you can.
Ruby Tuesday, trying to take her love back in time