This year I returned to Canada. I had been going back once, twice a year, for awhile but once my mother in law became ill, and our daughter here was having problems, we found ourselves landlocked for almost 3 years.
Moving to a new country set off an emotional conflict within. Where is home? I am living here in Australia but am not connected to it or people in the way I was once connected to Canada. Yet, I am no longer in Canada and people move on without me and I have been making my own journey that has led me far from what was once so familiar.
I felt guilt that returning to Canada leaves me with more and more apprehension while returning to Australia feels more and more like a home coming. I felt that on the very first journey here. It was like my soul had come home to a place where it belonged. I had never truly felt “at home” anywhere, but one visit to Australia changed that. It was the feeling, a generalized, non specific feeling not attached to anything, or even logic. It just occupied my heart and nurtured it in a way I had never known before. I felt my soul letting out a long and deep sigh. I settled in, and I never wanted to leave. Continue reading →
“One thing I have learned with certainty is not to stand in connection with those who diminish me. This is particularly difficult when family is involved, because we have a vested interest in perpetuating the family system for all kinds of different reasons. I don’t believe one should endure abuse no matter how attached they are to an idea of family. There are many families (read: soulpod) waiting for us just outside our habitual awareness. We are not responsible for those who diminish us. We really have to get that. We can be compassionate and we can certainly understand where their abusiveness comes from, but understanding the origins does not mean we have to endure it. It’s not our cross to bear.”Jeff Brown
We live our lives and reach out to those around us that we feel a connection with. Sometimes that connection comes from a sense of duty, sometimes it is from a shared activity, sometimes we are moved by compassion. There are times when we share interests with people or just connect on a number of levels and enjoy their company. In addition to all of those, we often make extended efforts with members of our own family because the loss of family can seem so alien to everything we know and have been taught. Families are supposed to be forever. They are the ones that are always supposed to have your backs. Continue reading →
It is interesting watching your children grow as adults. I am amazed how little the details matter – like what kind of car they drive, what their partner looks like, or what they do for a living. The things that give me the most pride is when i see them making choices that show they know how to love and to forgive. When they are mistreated and they do not retaliate with cruelty, when they pu aside their needs and wants for the greater good of their own children . . . even if no-one else will ever know the sacrifice they made,…
Sadly, too often, children become weapons for one parent to use against the other. The need to be right, to get revenge, to hurt someone like you feel you have been hurt, takes over and we can waste a life time teaching our children to hate and carry out our endless acts of revenge against their other parent. Think about that. Think about the legacy that leaves for the world and what kind of people those children are going to be. Would you want your child to end up with one of them as a partner?
Please pay attention to the children who are being raised in broken homes and advocate for them. Tell your child it is not acceptable for them to trash your grandchild’s parent in front of the child. Tell them that a child needs to know they are loved by both parents. Help your child, your friend, to grow up and do the right thing. It strengthens and heals the children, allowing them a chance at being decent people with happy lives, and it can do the same for your child. As wounded as they might be, hanging on to hate, and spending a lifetime championing that emotion, only cancers us all.
Recently, as I sat waiting for my husband, I overheard a conversation between two ladies. They were discussing their “handicapped” child who was now an adult. Woven into the conversation was all the pain of raising a child in a world that does not understand or make a lot of space for children with special needs. The mother talked about how difficult her life had been, trying to keep the balance between preparing her child and protecting him from the world. She talked about how she had to keep him from taking on activities he was sure to fail in. As the conversation progressed a few things became obvious. Continue reading →
Enough is enough. We have to pull together to insist that our family courts recognize the abuse of the system by parents who are not acting in the best interest of their children. We have to SEE how these parents are impacting their children. Continue reading →
Powerful checklists for us all to consider. All of us can take more responsibility and be aware of anything we do that contributes to this problem.
This is not just about those people who are involved in custody battles, it is also about the support groups for those people. This includes family and friends who, perhaps unwittingly, are giving their approval and support to the actions of a parent who is actually ABUSING their child. Saying nothing is not an option. Encouraging them to keep children from their other parent is not healthy. Facilitating that is to participate in the abuse. Educate yourself. Support the well being of children. They are more important than hate.
Read the rest of the article here: http://www.hostile-aggressive-parenting.com/symptoms_of_HAP.asp
Aha moments can really hit you. They tend to be a lot more like OMMMMPH moments (imagine getting hit in the gut by someone swinging a bulldozer). I just had one of those moments, complete with alarm bells but just short of some type of holy manifestation where the angels appear and tell me that THIS is incredibly important.
I sat up straighter in my chair and tried to pay attention through eyes filled with tears, some in anger (at myself) and some self pity. I was impressed I could see at all.
A mother’s tears should be enough to heal the world of all its ills. I don’t remember the last time I cried for myself but I have certainly spent a lifetime of crying over, and for, and with, my children.
I think it is so hard to take the memories of those little babies, so reliant on us for everything, so innocent and sweet, and remove them from the large, imperfect adult standing in front of us. We know our children’s nature, even when we might not know all the details of their lives since they left home. We know their hearts. We know their shortcomings, their struggles … we know the building blocks that shaped their lives and will impact them always. Continue reading →
We brought up our kids to understand that things were more important. We told them we did not have time for them because we were working hard to provide them a nice home and nice things. Then we produced evidence of our hard work by giving them lots of toys and things to occupy their time with while we were away. Continue reading →