Thought for the day… When you are almost 50 and your mother sends a message about how awful you were at the age of 14…nobody wanting you and you not wanting to go home where the abuse was happening…all at the same time as she lets you know that she has forgiven you for all that pain you caused her…if this is what forgiveness looks and feels like then I don’t want it. It is quite a talent to turn love and forgiveness into a weapon of mass destruction…very glad that I am stronger than that and that I did get out of it. I am almost 50 and I can see where my inner working model came from. She didn’t mention a single good or amazing thing I have done…she only sees where I hurt her, when I was a child. I often tell others that the pain of a traumatic childhood lasts a lifetime, and I speak from experience. She will always be my Mom, and I will always wish she was better…more loving…safe. Why do I tell you this? Our children are young, still forming. They don’t have years of experience and an education to support them. My mother’s words didn’t break me this time but they did remind me of past pain. Over 35 years between now and then and yet one word from my mother and it’s back. For our kids the pain is fresh, it is present. For our kids there are constant reminders of their loss and abuse. You can’t stop all of their pain, but you can accept that it is real. You can’t make them forget their abuse, but you can have empathy for how they feel. I know that we want to fix it, seeing their pain is difficult, but even time isn’t going to fully take it all away. They will get better…they will heal enough to live their dreams and become the person they were meant to be, but they can’t do it without your ability to see it and find a place of understanding. Don’t feel bad for my experience…learn from it. Look at the child you care for and let them know their rejection and loss of a parent is not their fault. It should never have happened to them…let them know that ok? Then give them a hug…if they let you xx.