Parents Who Brag About Being Bad Parents

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hhaw

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Re: Parents Who Brag About Being Bad Parents
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2020, 05:01:47 PM »
Hepatica:

It feels like your first T had control of her ego.....
The other Ts, you didn't click with....
did not have egos in check, IME.

I experienced wrong fits in T, then found a good one last year.....such a relief!

If you understand what works for you, it's helpful to interview Ts till you achieve a similar fit, IME.  I didn't know what I was looking for, unfortunately.

skipping wrong Ts is skipping frustration for me AND Ts who can't help me bc they haven't been able to help themselves.

No animosity....just clear vision and acceptance of what's true for me.  That T might fit with others....doubtful, just not for me.


hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt

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Hepatica

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Re: Parents Who Brag About Being Bad Parents
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2020, 06:14:51 PM »
hhaw - I totally agree with you. Yes. That T's ego was completely set aside. Her focus was on me and she seemed to know I had not experienced enough compassion and empathy so she modelled that. I too have moved on from T's quickly when I felt they were working with their own ego guiding them. You can feel that. The last therapist I had was quite good. It was not a bad fit, but she seemed almost too passive. Goldilocks over here... I don't know that we have many more therapists where I am. haha!
“There is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there's
still a sureness in you, where there's a seamlessness in you, and where
there is a confidence and tranquility." John O'Donohue

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MamaDryad

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Re: Parents Who Brag About Being Bad Parents
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2020, 12:36:53 AM »
My therapist is pretty much the opposite of what I pictured when I imagined starting therapy: he's male and younger than I am. I was wary. But he seems to get me. He doesn't offer unsolicited advice at all, but when I ask him to weigh in, he always has something to offer. He does sometimes ask me how I would rephrase the thing I just said with less self-judgement, which I actually find really helpful.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 12:50:33 AM by MamaDryad »

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freedom77

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Re: Parents Who Brag About Being Bad Parents
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2020, 10:00:24 AM »
I can relate to your stories of early childhood/infancy trauma and neglect. They say we don't remember that far back, before age 4-5 years, but I disagree. I can remember stuff quite clearly from early ages. I too was told I was the "good baby", that I "never cried or needed much", that BPD/N mother could "take me anywhere and I was always good".

I don't know....FOO relatives have told me I cried plenty, and that mother would drop me off like an unwanted cat in a sack when she was having one of her "breakdowns". I've been told that my mother, who worked at a gas station evening shift during my 1st year, would leave me alone in my crib in a dark bedroom the entire time. Hungry, cold, and wet. My two siblings who were under 8 years old, in charge of me. They said they would turn the TV up loud to block out my cries, or go outside and ride bikes.

I haven't been formally diagnosed with any disorders. I really do need to get into therapy, and plan to at some point when other stuff calms down. I feel like I have the spectrum disorder, reactive attachment disorder, lower end of the spectrum. As a child, and even now, I find I am very passive and unattached. The only person I feel a tied connection to is my DD. I never married, have no best friend, and am rarely upset when people come and go as they often do. If we're friends now, great, if you leave tomorrow and we never speak again, that's okay too. Someone else will come along.

I find I'm a loner, and really require alone time, quiet time, or else I get exhausted and irritable. I do not trust easily, and always consider how to look out for myself, because I have zero expectations of anyone else doing it for me.


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Hepatica

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Re: Parents Who Brag About Being Bad Parents
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2020, 11:03:20 AM »
Freedom77, thank you for sharing that. I am sending you lots of love.

Even if we don't remember anything from the earliest years, our little forms are like sponges, incredibly intelligent and all of the wiring in our brains are forming - to be pruned later at around age 10. So when we hear loud noises, yelling, fighting, or are not responded to when we cry, we may be small but we adapt to that, for good or not so good. I am pretty certain that my little baby self heard all of the screaming fights in my family and that is linked to the massive startle reflex I have now and the ever running anxiety I feel - which is the CPTSD.

I can really relate to what you said about being passive and being ok with being alone. That is me exactly. The few friends I have say they worry about me bc I spend so much time alone. But when I was a baby and toddler I was left alone. I learned to live with it and didn't know anything different. And then, when the family did enter my realm they screamed and yelled so having them there probably didn't feel great and these were my first associations. I feel so bad for my baby self and I want to work on healing those early years if that is possible.

I love some examples of the visualizations given above. I think our baby selves need a lot of tenderness.

Thank you for sharing. I wish you hadn't gone through that, and me as well, but at least there is hope in a better understanding. So many books out there now and therapist who do fantastic work. Good luck to you.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 11:10:26 AM by Hepatica »
“There is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there's
still a sureness in you, where there's a seamlessness in you, and where
there is a confidence and tranquility." John O'Donohue

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SparkStillLit

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Re: Parents Who Brag About Being Bad Parents
« Reply #25 on: September 16, 2020, 11:21:15 AM »
This is all so interesting. I wasn't left alone, I was constantly handled in whatever manner was wanted without any regard for my desires or wishes. Like I wasn't a person in my own right at all. I was also slapped and struck harder than that and with objects, for various transgressions.
I am touch-averse. Loathe it. Don't like people in my "space", which is huge. I love social distancing and think we should keep it forever. 6 feet is PERFECT.
Parenting was especially difficult because I'm easily "touched out" by a clingy child. Also DS used to run his hands back and forth lightly on my skin, over and over; it physically hurts me. I was finally able to get him to stop it entirely once I could communicate, and he could understand, that it hurt.
I maybe need work, too.

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Hepatica

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Re: Parents Who Brag About Being Bad Parents
« Reply #26 on: September 16, 2020, 11:41:29 AM »
SparkStillLit - totally makes sense. I was thinking about that sort of parenting style as well, the infant/baby/toddler that is constantly handled. Both types of parenting, the under and over style, fits the signs of disordered parent, in that they are not intuiting or caring for the needs of the baby at all, they are thinking only of themselves. Selfish parenting.

I too have difficulty with touch or having someone too close to me. I feel like a feral cat at times. I've gotten better though. But for me it was either being neglected or being slapped - which happened later, at least I hope I wasn't slapped when I was a baby. With my irritable father it wouldn't surprise me now, sadly.

I have difficulty with touch with my son too. I have to force myself to hug. I have to force myself to sit at a dinner table, bc most of the family violence in my childhood happened during dinner for some reason.

We all need work, but at least we care enough about ourselves to be reflective and move ourselves Out of the FOG to work toward healing. That's amazing I think, esp. a gift for our kids.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 11:44:13 AM by Hepatica »
“There is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there's
still a sureness in you, where there's a seamlessness in you, and where
there is a confidence and tranquility." John O'Donohue

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hhaw

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Re: Parents Who Brag About Being Bad Parents
« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2020, 02:38:04 PM »
Becoming aware is the first step to mindfully making the changes we desire for ourselves.

We can rewire our brains.  We can heal our nervous systems and restore homeostasis. Neuroplasticity means our brains can heal and change. This is science.  This is truth.

We were born perfect.  The tapes and voices installed in our brains by others can be identified  and removed.

We're all capable of remembering who we were before we were told stories about ourselves.  It's always us and with us...that truth.  We just have to remember, and goid Rd do that, IME.

We tease out the trauma and truth.  We shift our belief system and THAT becomes our new default setting, IME.

It's difficult to imagine the relief.....
but it started with feeling better for me, which was all I thought I wanted.  Just to feel some relief.

Layers of dread and anxiety dropping away permanently.  An amazing. thing I woke up feeling one morning.  It just happened when I was asleep....I guess.  Then unexpected joy, which can be cultivated,  showed up during a meditation practice in therapy.  I couldn't wipe the smile off my face, I was so surprised at that.

I'd like to add....choosing a T with Buddhist leanings was, for me, super helpful.  II think bc Ts on that path tend to be working on their own healing journey.....they.can remove their ego from the T/ patient equation.  They also drop expectation and get very curious WITH us.....and that's an amazing space to be held....and that's how secure attachment happened FOR me.

A well trained, super informed trauma T will have MANY avenues of showing us information without telling us what we must do, feel, say, etc.  IME, of course; )

 There will be some resistance.

There will be painful backsliding and doubt.

There will be guilt over failures and forgetting, but...
those moments are the field where we  harvest unexpected fruits and flowers...if we ficus, however imperfectly at first, and keep practicing as we can.  Our nervous systems calm down. 

We learn and begin internalizing practices, like breathing, being super kind to ourselves, dropping judgment, ACCEPTANCE, shifting into Observer mode and learning how to mindfully engage our parasympathetic nervous system ( PNS).... responsible for shutting off our fight or flight response.

Which makes it possible to BE present in the moment....so we don't feel chased and bedeviled any more. 

Feeling safe wires into our brains and we learn how to consistently forgive ourselves for performing these practices imperfectly.....then return to the practice.  Over and over, getting better at forgiving ourselves and being kind, IME.

The first time I really failed to focus and get something I felt was a gain in T......( really I was stuck in fight or flight)
I left that appointment mumbling to myself.  Upset at my MIL....specifically....
unable to get out of my typical reactivity and anger towards her for harming my children....
I
Just
Could
Not
SEE anything else.....I felt I'd wasted an hour trying to forgive her...,wasted that precious T hour and could not GET to forgiveness.  I was kicking rocks and eating bologna samuches,,I was.

After driving angry for 20 minutes I came to a stop sign at a busy road.....looking left, right, left, right and all the sudden my lungs felt like they were fluttering upward....like blinds in the breeze.....and I got very still, bc...WTH just happened, and.....

I noticed....
All the emotional charge around my MI was gone.
Poor.  Just....
not there anymore.   

I'd worked to achieve this result around other traumas in T sessions, and it was a process.  THIS was new and kind if shocking.

The reactivity had passed....my brain apparently managed to bring more frontal cortex centers online through the eye movement left right left.  That small thing created the chance for processing that trauma and all the really harmful emotions looping it, as default.

I realized, or could finally SEE the lesson my T tried to share in her office....that I could
not
SEE, bc I couldn't calm myself down, which happened in T sometimes.

T wasn't asking me to forgive or forget what mil did to my children
 and me
and also to her own  son, my ASPD N late husband.

T was trying to help me get out of the hell that was old trauma overwhelming my brain, hijacking my biochemistry and robbing me if choice, the ability to respond and be responsive to loved ones and the world.

T invited me to release myself from eternal angry emotional looping s to restore choice and options.

T explained this isn't difficult.  It's easy.  It happens in a millisecond if we just give our brains
the
chance.

Our brains process information efficiently every second of the day, but for the difficult emotions attached to trauma.  Sometimes my T asked me to push on doirframes with all my might when I couldn't shift into breathing calmly, bc I was back IN the trauma, emotionally....sge said it felt akin to feeling  chased by a tiger.  The body believed it was in danger and released all the chemicals to survive that threat.  Our amygdala shuts down communication to our frontal cortex....think in terms of maybe perceiving tiger stripes in the dark jungle.  Survival brain ACTS...moves us away reflexively.  Frontal cortex /logical brain wants to look more closely and see the stripes, which isn't helpful if there's a real tiger, kwim?

Calming the brain down, integrating the whole brain and all its liguc/ reason/ creative problem solving AND revisiting the trauma while feeling safe IS, for me, the recipe for processing old trauma and filing it where it should be....in historic files.  Out if my body, where it kept popping up, asking for attention, over and over, till I figured out how to find someone to teach me how.

And dropping judgment and expectation was necessary.

Treating myself as I would a wounded child....perceicving the difficult, angry, broken hearted emotions AS my younger self....
helped.

And, as always, sitting at that stop sign wondering what just happened with all the fluttering.... Iwondered if that reactivity around my MIL was gone for good.

I have to say....every big leap of healing has been permanent.  My brain goes to creative wise places I forgot existed, bc my brain was still face to face with old trauma, doing battle, hyper vigilent....honestly I reflexively put my fists up when going up stairs or turning corners.  When I opened the front door I expected to see burning cars, zombies and chaos
Every
Time.

That was my brain licked in fight or flight....it believed I was still face to face with all the trauma Id ever faced...,and my biology had been hijacked.....my defaults were reset.....my brain was too stressed to feel safe and move the trauma into my brain's processing center and do what it does best...
process.

Once we help our brains calm down....feel safe....find the places in our bodies where the stress and trauma live....tend to it like we're tending to a child....with kindness, curiosity and zero expectation....we enable the brain to escape the alarms and perceived crisis....and it processes that trauma.

Some people don't need or want  to understand why or how this works.

 I did.
My T explains everything on different levels so lessons build on each other. 
Mind.
Body.
Spirit.

I can worry worry worry as my primary coping strategy OR...
I can do everything I can, put the story on the shelf and go back to what's in front of me....which turned out to be joy.  Hard to believe, but there I was...
experiencing it.  And very shocked about it too.

When T explained my nose was stuck on a Pebble....explained I could invite spaciousness and see the entire field...,so THE Pebble became just another Pebble in the field...,I understood.

Finally.

I was changing my perspective, adding spaciousness around the pain in my body..... to my entire being....I was expanding my window if resilience....making moments  before reacting possible so I had choice and freedom to respond....again.

Buddhism isn't woo woo, IME.  I learned a bit in martial arts so the concepts gratefully flowed.

  It's.growth and ability and access to emotional freedom, IME.  Not that I became aBuddhist.  It's more of a resource..  More part of a lesson plan that includes many different lessons and strategies and truths about how our brains and bodies work.  How both require tending, and may be sustained through practices that happen to be Buddhist practices among others.....tied into neuroscience.....one may choose how to  maintain oneself.

I couldn't see that and certainly couldn't feel that truth a year ago.

I smile at it now.

I tapped this out on my phone, one fingered, bc sharing my lessons helps me learn.

Because I so anyone, who might benefit, has the option to consider it without the resentment I felt about meditation when I tried 11 years ago, but couldn't for many reasons I understand now.

It's said, when the student is ready, the teacher appears.  I think that's how it was for me: )








hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt

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Boat Babe

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Re: Parents Who Brag About Being Bad Parents
« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2020, 08:03:41 PM »
Hhaw, my learning over the past two years, necessitated by yet another relationship with a disordered person, has led me to the same conclusion. 

Some of my teachers have been Gabor Mate, Kristin Neff, Pema Chodren and Alice Miller, among others.

Thanks to everyone for their contributions here.
It gets better. It has to.

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Hepatica

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Re: Parents Who Brag About Being Bad Parents
« Reply #29 on: September 16, 2020, 08:34:29 PM »
I've also found help in Kristen Neff and Pema Chodrin. I have done 2 six week meditation retreats here in self-compassion. This has really transformed my thinking and I am much more kind to myself than I was before.
“There is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there's
still a sureness in you, where there's a seamlessness in you, and where
there is a confidence and tranquility." John O'Donohue

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Seven

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Re: Parents Who Brag About Being Bad Parents
« Reply #30 on: September 17, 2020, 10:17:10 AM »
This hit home too.  I remember clear as crystal back when I was 3 or 4 (back in the mid-1970s) I was taking swim lessons at the YMCA because uNPDm was afraid of water and she swore her kids would never be.  I even remember my swim instructors name.  I could tell you where she lived. Anyway, during one of these lessons uNPDm had to leave. I don’t Know what for.  She told me “I’ll be back for you”.  So when the lesson was over I recall sitting on a bench by myself and a lady (not my instructor) came up to me and said “are you by yourself?” And I could tell she was a little freaked out. I said proudly and without hesitation “don’t worry, my mom will be back for me”.  I mean, I was swimming, kickboards and styrofoam floaties  attached to my back. I was in heaven. By the time I was 5 I got my ankle band at our local swim club so I could go off the diving boards and swim in the Olympic pool without an adult.

And years later my mom would brag about it. “I left Seven alone at the Y and she was still there when I got back”. I guess she thought it was great because I wasn’t crying for her.  That she could just leave me and I’d be fine by myself.

I use to chalk it up to “the times” when you could let your kid go off by themselves and not worry about them being kidnapped.  But looking back, it’s not okay that she left me.

Man, now this just woke up another memory for me.  I use to say all the time when I was a single-digit kid that I would “play with myself”. Of course this got corrected to “playing by myself”, but it just goes to show that even with a large family I was alone a lot. Brothers and sisters off at school, Dad at work, and mom running a household of 9 people. I was by myself a lot. I guess that’s why when family gets together, I go (see my elderly parents post). 

The most recent brag is that when she found out she was pregnant with me she “cried and cried because she thought she was going to finally have a life after Bro6.”  Everyone is in school (or in college) and she could finally get on with her life, whatever that consisted of.  And that my grandmother (who died when I was 4) replied “how do you think I felt with you?” (UNPDm was also #7). Well, evidently mom didn’t like that comment from her mother very much, so I guess she had to pass it down to me. She didn’t just say this to me once.  The first time I could maybe find the humor in it.  But after the third time in a span of three months, her resentment finally shown through. Like it was a brag she didn’t choose to abort me and she sacrificed “her life” to have me.

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Hepatica

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Re: Parents Who Brag About Being Bad Parents
« Reply #31 on: September 17, 2020, 11:03:05 AM »
Seven, I was a child in the 1970's, and I don't know if it was geographically where I was from, or a sign of those times, but many of the parents in the neighbourhood I grew up in were exactly like the title of my post "Parents Who Brag About Being Bad Parents." Neglectful parenting seemed to be something to be proud of. We had one Mom on our street who was a healthy parent, who loved and cared about her kids and was protective of them, and she was made fun of by the clique of moms my mother befriended.

In other ways, it was an ideal childhood, compared to now, bc all of us kids ran around outside and played hide and go seek till dark in the summers. Lots of outdoor play. Fathers drove slowly on the street, and didn't yell if a hockey net was set out there. So we had what I've heard termed an "inside out childhood" meaning the good things happened outside because inside, behind closed doors, most of the parents were rageaholics (my mother) or alcoholics, so it was quite sad for he kids. The joy we felt outside was our freedom.

I feel for you about your Mother's comment about crying when she found out she was pregnant with you. How would a little kid be expected to take that? It's terrible to say something like that. The parents then seemed especially bad about imagining that their children even had feelings. And there we were taking everything they said in like sponges. I am not sure where the self-centred parenting style came from but I am relieved that it is shifting and people are beginning to learn and believe that little ones not only have deep feelings that last, they are affected for sometimes a lifetime by off hand comments people say about them.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 11:09:15 AM by Hepatica »
“There is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there's
still a sureness in you, where there's a seamlessness in you, and where
there is a confidence and tranquility." John O'Donohue

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hhaw

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Re: Parents Who Brag About Being Bad Parents
« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2020, 12:29:53 AM »
Hepatica:

How were the retreats for you?  Did you love them?  Struggle?  Flourish?  We're they silent?
hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt

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Hepatica

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Re: Parents Who Brag About Being Bad Parents
« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2020, 10:44:14 AM »
Hi hhaw,

I did get a lot out of them but in a very quiet way if you know what I mean. I had a couple moments during them that were revelationary (made that up) but it was more later on, as I resumed regular life that I began to notice a shift in how I spoke to myself in my own head. Definitely kinder and slower, like I had learned to sit back and reflect rather than react, which was my former default mode. I like that all thoughts are allowed and not to be judged. That really helped me because I think before I had attacked myself for negative thoughts, kind of the way a parent might do when their child has a tantrum - very reactive and punishing, rather than reflective and calming. There's been lots of change there for sure. But it was like planting a seed that has grown over time. It didn't happen like an evangelical prayer meeting, or an aha moment that changed me immediately. It has been more gentle.

When Covid passes on I hope to continue doing more retreats like this. I also want to do some EMDR work.
“There is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there's
still a sureness in you, where there's a seamlessness in you, and where
there is a confidence and tranquility." John O'Donohue

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Fortuna

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Re: Parents Who Brag About Being Bad Parents
« Reply #34 on: October 02, 2020, 04:51:12 PM »
I understand this. While I remember almost nothing from early childhood, my parents used to tell the story of how I would put myself to bed under my crib. They thought it was a cute story, other parents laughed. They also made remarks like I practically raised myself, which alone speaks volumes in that they never never bothered seeing to my needs to the point I didn't even bother them with it and just did the darn thing myself. As an adult with children I have to wonder exactly how negligent they were to not notice their ONLY child had basic needs. Anyway, I've found these resources helpful:

Kris Godinez has some good videos in inner child work.
The Inner Child Workbook by Cathryn L. Taylor has several guided meditations and exercises to help go back to heal the infant self. (Working my way through it now)

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Jolie40

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Re: Parents Who Brag About Being Bad Parents
« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2020, 07:37:47 AM »
hepatica

yes, you could find a therapist to help you deal with this

research has shown that trauma/neglect can affect babies & surprisingly even before they are born

 
be good to yourself

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hhaw

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Re: Parents Who Brag About Being Bad Parents
« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2020, 11:23:57 AM »
Hepatica:

That kind voice, in our head, is so important, IME.

hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt