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#1 of 27 Old 04-07-2007, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd is 9. Technically I'm either a SM or a soon to be AM.

My husband's first wife came from an abusive and bizarre background. She spent most of her adult life making 'suicide attempts' that were half hearted and designed to induce guilt in others. When dd was 6, she accidentally succeeded due to an ER doc's misjudgement. DD happened to wake up in the middle of the night and find her, went to wake up DH and they called 911.

I am so angry at this woman I can't stand it. I spent hours last Christmas making a lightscribe DVD with video of her and a collage of pictures on the face of the disc. We gave these to both of her children and all the aunts and uncles. I also have made space in our wall of family photos for a family photo with her in it. I don't want to make her disappear, just don't want her to be the main focus of our family life. I don't really want our dd to have a low opinion of her either, I just don't like the romanticized version she's come up with.

Sometimes I think I would have liked her, but other times I am just furious that this woman put her children through this. I can't imagine putting my kids in this position.

Anyway, I try so hard to NOT make my real opinion of her known to our daughter, but it galls me to have her idolized and remembered as a much better mother than she was. The bigger person in me continues to do this, but the little hateful person in me hates the fact that she is remembered as a different person than she really was.

DH is so much better at this than I am, he never says anything bad about her to anyone but me. So, for those of you dealing with living exes, how do you get to where they don't affect you so much? I have never met anyone in my position so I don't know who to ask.

I feel like such a small person for feeling anything other than compassion, but the suicide/manipulation thing just chaps my a$$.

8(

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#2 of 27 Old 04-07-2007, 10:33 PM
 
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yeah, I totally understand how you feel, except the biomom in my situation is still alive. This despte many suicide attempts for pretty much the same reasons also. Throw in alcohal and drug addiction. Prostitution. 9 kids by 7 different daddy's , all of which the counties inlvolved have taken away or she willingly gave up for adoption.

She treated her daughters like crap from the get go. Comsumming alcohal and drugs while preggo (one sd has FAE). Physical and mental abuse. Neglect. Sexually abused by men she would bring home from the bar.they were In and out of foster homes before Dh got custody.

Yet they keep going back to her. Why is beyond me. She treats them like crap and they put her on a pedestal. I give them a roof over their head, food on the table, a shoulder to cry on, consistancy, etc, and I get treated like crap.

I wish I had advice for you, but even after 12+ years, I still don't get it.
The only thing I can figure out is that she is their biomom (i wouldn't say that she's ever been a "mother") and she buys them crap because she is trying to buy their love.
When they live with her, there are no rules to follow. They can do whatever they damn well please.

I guess I just flat out refuse to hear anything about their mother or talk about her myself. I'm not trying to ignore the fact that she is on this planet, because then who would I have to blame for how messed up her kids are.

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#3 of 27 Old 04-07-2007, 11:52 PM
 
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I have been so angry at our bm that it was controlling me so I had to figure out how to deal with it. Firstly I didn't want her to have that control. I know that in the end the kids will see the truth ( ours is alive) I meditate and do yoga. Some nights the anger resurfaces and that's ok too. Every now and then she po's me and I will mull it over for a while and then let it go. It is not going to cut into my great life and I will not be controlled by her!
I feel for ya mama!
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#4 of 27 Old 04-08-2007, 01:41 AM
 
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The biomom is alive and a mess and dss idolized her until recently. She finally crossed his line by cheating onthe boyfriend that he adores and calls his "stepdad." We realized that he would never belive anything we said or thought about her. He always made excuses for her. Now he is 11 and the time has come that he is starting to see her as she is. I feel so bad for him, but I know that he had to figure it out for himself. That is really hard when the mother is dead, but maybe when the child is a mother herself she will see her mother's behavior differently.
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#5 of 27 Old 04-08-2007, 02:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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yeah, I totally understand how you feel, except the biomom in my situation is still alive. This despte many suicide attempts for pretty much the same reasons also. Throw in alcohal and drug addiction. Prostitution. 9 kids by 7 different daddy's , all of which the counties inlvolved have taken away or she willingly gave up for adoption.

She treated her daughters like crap from the get go. Comsumming alcohal and drugs while preggo (one sd has FAE). Physical and mental abuse. Neglect. Sexually abused by men she would bring home from the bar.they were In and out of foster homes before Dh got custody.

I guess I just flat out refuse to hear anything about their mother or talk about her myself. I'm not trying to ignore the fact that she is on this planet, because then who would I have to blame for how messed up her kids are.
wow. that is horrible.

it seems like it's always that way, isn't it? DD makes up memories, too, that involve doing things with her mom that never happened. DH was the primary caregiver for her from day one, and her brother was the secondary caregiver.
I hope when she's older she'll figure it out, but I may be waiting till she's at least 30, huh?

8(

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#6 of 27 Old 04-08-2007, 02:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was about to say how nice it was that I wasn't the only one......except, it really isn't nice, it's terrible.

I used to work with kids with handicaps, and one who particularly affected me had FAS. I was a bartender when I got pregnant, and I immediately stopped smoking and drinking, so it is no small thing for me to say a woman ought to be able to behave herself for 9 stinkin' months! The things some kids endure because of selfish parents!

Before I got pregnant, I was a 3 pack a day smoker and probably drank and smoked a little pot a few times a week, so it's not like I'm lily white or anything. But I had no problem at all doing none of that while pregnant.
Granted, I had a heads up early, since I knew the instant it happened, but still.
Now all I do is drink a little wine once in a while. How boring.

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#7 of 27 Old 04-08-2007, 02:45 AM
 
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I hope when she's older she'll figure it out, but I may be waiting till she's at least 30, huh?

8(
I know it's a long time to wait . . . but waiting it out is probably going to work better than trying to fill it in for her.
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#8 of 27 Old 04-08-2007, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sure you're right. I can't begin to imagine how rejected a child would feel finding out their mom voluntarily checked out. I was worried for the longest time about my son feeling rejected by his bio dad, but with dh it hasn't been an issue at all.

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#9 of 27 Old 04-08-2007, 05:24 PM
 
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I was a bartender when I got pregnant, and I immediately stopped smoking and drinking, so it is no small thing for me to say a woman ought to be able to behave herself for 9 stinkin' months! The things some kids endure because of selfish parents!

Before I got pregnant, I was a 3 pack a day smoker and probably drank and smoked a little pot a few times a week, so it's not like I'm lily white or anything. But I had no problem at all doing none of that while pregnant.
8(
I was there too...1st dd I was 17, I didn't find out until I was 3 month pregnant and stopped all drinking, smoking and drugs IMMEDIATELY! With dd2 I was 19 bartending and doing it all when I didn't have my daughter with me, she spent nights with my mom and dad when I worked. I again stopped immediately! This time around I was smoking pot heavily due to an injury from a car accident (no pills were helpful only pot) and I withdrew from it within a few weeks having cut back almost 75% right away! I think it is selfish of BM's not to control their addictions and change their behavior while pregnant and afterwards also. I've been there single mom fighting addictions but always always my kids came first! Now I'd rather deal with pain than subject my unborn babe to the drugs! I haven't had a tylenol since I had a positive test.
Our bm is only addicted to drama and men! I can't imagine what you mamas are going through with the extereme selfishness of your bm's.
My oldest dd's father turned to crack shortly after we broke up and it took 11- 12 years to get his life on track. Now he sees her regularily and is a positive person in her life. I was completely honest with her about addiction and that it is a disease. He has even quit drinking so I know it can be done when you are serious about straightening you life out. I would never had let her continue to visit him if he was on crack!
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#10 of 27 Old 04-08-2007, 10:31 PM
 
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My oldest dd's father turned to crack shortly after we broke up and it took 11- 12 years to get his life on track. Now he sees her regularily and is a positive person in her life. !
I think this is important. Sometimes we want the bioparent to go away because they have so many problems, but that person can change and by then, it may be too late to establish a relationship, SO I think it is important to maintain some kind of relationship for the child's sake, however limited it may be. I used to say that dss's mom was such an addict but now she is in recovery and thank god we didn't cut off visitation completely, and blah, blah, blah, but if you've seen my other recent thread we now know that she was never in recovery and has been using drugs/alcohol all along. We go to the lawyer tomorrow.
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#11 of 27 Old 04-09-2007, 03:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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good luck to you. It's the worst when you don't have control over their environment.

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#12 of 27 Old 04-09-2007, 11:36 PM
 
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Suicide is usually the result of depression or mental illness, which are both diseases. I know that people get angry at the person for leaving this world, but I feel so sad for someone who can't take it anymore and feels like they have no other option.

Your daughter will understand more when she is older and she will love you for who you are. Think of everything you will get to be part of and everything BM will miss. I would try looking at it from another perspective if you want to get rid of the anger. Try and have compassion for the place that BM was in.

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Sometimes I think I would have liked her, but other times I am just furious that this woman put her children through this. I can't imagine putting my kids in this position.
Trust me nobody wants this for their kids, but you can't think she was in a sane or rational place right?
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#13 of 27 Old 04-10-2007, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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but, she had a long history of getting mad and attempting suicide in manners that would allow her to be 'saved.' A year after this happened, we had a coworker who would always tell someone he was going to take a bunch of pills, and we'd talk him out of it.

The final time, when he was serious, he used a gun...and he didn't tell anyone what he was going to do.

There is a big difference between seriously wanting to die, and emotionally manipulating people because you don't think they pay you enough attention.

I think the reason I have a hard time sympathizing is that my family is emotionally manipulative, so that kind of thing annoys me to no end. And to cause your children to find you after an attempt is so incredibly awful, I can't imagine what she was thinking. Maybe since it was the middle of the night she thought dh would find her, but to do anything like that with children in the house is unforgiveable.

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#14 of 27 Old 04-10-2007, 03:55 PM
 
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but, she had a long history of getting mad and attempting suicide in manners that would allow her to be 'saved.'



There is a big difference between seriously wanting to die, and emotionally manipulating people because you don't think they pay you enough attention.



8(
yup, I gotta agree with these statements, especially the second one.

this describes SD's biomom to a "t". And the suicide attempts were just one of many ways she tried to control other people both physically, mentally and emotionally. She's just a very selfish human being, that's all. There are some people out there like that, as much as I'd like to think that everybody is a really good and decent person, reality is, some aren't.

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#15 of 27 Old 04-10-2007, 06:35 PM
 
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There is a big difference between seriously wanting to die, and emotionally manipulating people because you don't think they pay you enough attention.
Right, but she did end up killing herself didn't she? Am I reading your posts correctly? Maybe she was desperate for attention AND help. You can see it anyway you want, but if you want to get over the anger then a little compassion may help.

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think the reason I have a hard time sympathizing is that my family is emotionally manipulative, so that kind of thing annoys me to no end. And to cause your children to find you after an attempt is so incredibly awful, I can't imagine what she was thinking. Maybe since it was the middle of the night she thought dh would find her, but to do anything like that with children in the house is unforgiveable.
Don't get me wrong, I feel so sad for your daughter. Nobody, especially a child should have to find a love one like that.
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#16 of 27 Old 04-10-2007, 08:40 PM
 
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For of all, I admire your willingness to keep your daughter's mother in her life and in YOUR life! What an amazing example you are setting for your daughter.

I guess your anger will subside once you truly accept that this woman clearly didn't know any better or do any better for that matter. Unfortunately, she was the victim of abuse and of her own pain. The emotional availability you and your DH are providing your dd surrounding her mother's death will be part of the shift of changing this pattern.

As far as your dd idolizing her, you can accept that this is totally normal. It is a child's birthright that his/her mother provide love and connection. Your dd's mother severed that connection and the only way a child can deal with that immense immense pain is to remember (or even fantasy) only the good things. No child wants to accept that their mother took their own life and left them without that much needed connection.

I, again, commend you and your DH for all the hard work you are doing to support your dd. Not many people would do what you are doing!

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#17 of 27 Old 04-11-2007, 02:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Right, but she did end up killing herself didn't she? Am I reading your posts correctly? Maybe she was desperate for attention AND help. You can see it anyway you want, but if you want to get over the anger then a little compassion may help.



Don't get me wrong, I feel so sad for your daughter. Nobody, especially a child should have to find a love one like that.

Yeah, I'm working on the compassion thing. But what she took was immodium, and if you google immodium or the generic and overdose, the protocol is to pump the stomach and keep under observation lest they stop breathing. She was rushed to an emergency room where they let her sign herself out once she woke up-against protocol. There was enough of the drug in her system to stop her breathing in the middle of the night. When my dh filed the lawsuit, he was told that the ER doc didn't really believe she'd taken as many as she had.

so, she being a nurse had probably researched all of this, but when groggy and in no condition to sign herself out-she was allowed to check out of the hospital. For all we know, she may have thought it was all pumped out, or she may not have even been aware of what she was doing when they let her leave. I've seen the papers, and the signature looked like that of an 80 year old drunk.

So, yeah, I am pretty convinced she intended to be saved, it just didn't work out that way.

I've met her family, and there is a long history of sexual abuse and mental illness, so I know on some level it wasn't entirely her fault, I just can't get over her doing that with the kids in the house.

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#18 of 27 Old 04-11-2007, 02:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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For of all, I admire your willingness to keep your daughter's mother in her life and in YOUR life! What an amazing example you are setting for your daughter.

I guess your anger will subside once you truly accept that this woman clearly didn't know any better or do any better for that matter. Unfortunately, she was the victim of abuse and of her own pain. The emotional availability you and your DH are providing your dd surrounding her mother's death will be part of the shift of changing this pattern.

As far as your dd idolizing her, you can accept that this is totally normal. It is a child's birthright that his/her mother provide love and connection. Your dd's mother severed that connection and the only way a child can deal with that immense immense pain is to remember (or even fantasy) only the good things. No child wants to accept that their mother took their own life and left them without that much needed connection.

I, again, commend you and your DH for all the hard work you are doing to support your dd. Not many people would do what you are doing!
I have to say I've done the best I can, but I really wish I were a bigger person and more able to stay compassionate more than judgemental, but it's gonna take some work.

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#19 of 27 Old 04-11-2007, 08:59 AM
 
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I also have to add that the child obviously needs to "idolize" her mother. You don't have to agree with what the child thinks or says but let the child believe her mother is worthy of her love. The child believes it.

It is very hard for me to bite my tongue with my nearly 18yr old dd about her father. She is coming for a long visit this summer and we're going to have a serious talk about the events that transpired leading to her father getting custody of her. But for years, I haven't said a thing except to defend myself a bit without calling him an outright liar and manipulative...well, you get the idea. LOL

But I realized my daughter had to believe in her father. It was crucial to her survival and her emotional state. No matter what I thought, she needed that. Who was I to take it away from her for the sake of my own ego and sense of fairness? (Not saying this about you...talking about myself here)
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#20 of 27 Old 04-11-2007, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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no, you're right, I'm sure ego plays a part in this. I'm sure most SP and AP have a little of that 'I'm doing the job you resigned' kind of thing going on. But the flip side of it is the nagging thought that we aren't up to the job.

I think the family photos and scrapbooks are important, but it is funny how it annoys me that she idolizes her. I have to remind myself that like you said, it's important that she does feel this way.

Like there's this tiny little voice in me that says 'remember her, but I'm the one who is doing her job?'

amazing the flaws we find in our own character when dealing with kids.

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#21 of 27 Old 04-11-2007, 03:05 PM
 
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I hear that tiny voice often myself. Your dd has been your dd for 3 years (at least from what I've read)......it took me 3 years to really adopt my dss in my heart....now I hardly hear that voice! I accept my role as his mother and recognize that I took the job, he didn't ask for me to be his mother. Give it some time and follow your heart.




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no, you're right, I'm sure ego plays a part in this. I'm sure most SP and AP have a little of that 'I'm doing the job you resigned' kind of thing going on. But the flip side of it is the nagging thought that we aren't up to the job.

I think the family photos and scrapbooks are important, but it is funny how it annoys me that she idolizes her. I have to remind myself that like you said, it's important that she does feel this way.

Like there's this tiny little voice in me that says 'remember her, but I'm the one who is doing her job?'

amazing the flaws we find in our own character when dealing with kids.

8)

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#22 of 27 Old 04-11-2007, 03:19 PM
 
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Like there's this tiny little voice in me that says 'remember her, but I'm the one who is doing her job?'

But she knows it. Maybe she's to young to verbalize it or completely understand it but she'll know that you are her real Mom. If she doesn't idolize her BM than she has to deal with who her BM really was and that is much harder. She doesn't have her BM so what she creates in her head is all she has. When she gets older she'll understand more.

I think the way you feel is understandable but is it helping anything? The anger is hurting you so YOU have to make the CHOICE to forgive her.

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So, yeah, I am pretty convinced she intended to be saved, it just didn't work out that way.

I've met her family, and there is a long history of sexual abuse and mental illness, so I know on some level it wasn't entirely her fault, I just can't get over her doing that with the kids in the house.
She wasn't in her right mind. That's why she attempted suicide whether she thought she would be saved or not.
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#23 of 27 Old 04-11-2007, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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kindermamma and rosedotcom, you are both right. I have to find a way to view her with compassion and let it all go. Which brings me back to the original topic, how do I get past this anger? It even translates to being annoyed with my dd's personality traits she inherited, and it can't be healthy for dd who is already fragile.

It doesn't help that dh is still angry, either.

8(

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#24 of 27 Old 04-30-2007, 11:55 PM
 
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It will help your dd if you can come to understand her bm's actions in terms of the mental illness that drove it.

My stbx is also mentally ill, also makes manipulative suicide gestures and attempts. But if you lived with him for six months you wouldn't be able to avoid seeing that he lives in a genuine, and apparently permanent, hell. I am well aware that he may successfully kill himself someday, and that if that happens all I'll be able to do is try to help dd live with that fact. Nausea and tragedy are part of that picture, sure. But blame and disgust, no. No one would choose the life, chemistry, call it what you will, that stbx has.

Maybe you're reacting to the unfairness of it. And of course it isn't fair. But no such thing was promised. If you're sane and together enough to be able to help a girl through the fallout of her mother's suicide, then you already got a big prize. that may not sound like much consolation, but next to the existence lived by people who're that sick, it's a tremendous gift. For all the grief and fear stbx causes me, I thank God every day that I don't live his life.

Your dd will probably grow up wondering if she'll do the same thing. Being able to see the differences -- the real differences -- between herself and her biomother will help reassure her while allowing her to know who her mother was.
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#25 of 27 Old 05-01-2007, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks. for now I'm going with the therapist's suggestions, and we'll see how it goes. He thinks she's too young to know the truth, too, so for now if suicide comes up in a conversation I tell her sometimes people feel bad and don't get help, and that suicide is not a solution. Note, we don't tell her mommy killed herself, but when she asks questions we answer her w/o the specific reference to her. It's odd to me that a 9 year old asks suicide questions anyway, but I'm sure she has overheard some conversations she shouldn't have (with the aunts.)

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#26 of 27 Old 05-02-2007, 02:03 PM
 
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I hope when she's older she'll figure it out, but I may be waiting till she's at least 30, huh?(
And on that day, you will probably wish to go back to the point where she idolized her mother.

It can be horribly, horribly painful to watch a child accept ugly hurtful truths about their parents ... dead or alive. It is horrible to watch a child figure out that their parent didn't love them enough not to do whatever (give up drugs, stay around, support them, come to see them, stay alive).

If you are lucky, the child eventually gets to a healthy place where she has dealt with the pain and can go on. But it's painful watching a child get there and there is always a chance that she will spend her entire life yearning for the love her parent couldn't give.

So, don't begrudge her a second of her time believing that her birth mother loved her enough not to do something so profoundly damaging. She'll have to face the truth soon enough and it will hurt to watch her encompass the truth.
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#27 of 27 Old 05-02-2007, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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offwing, I am sure there is a lot of truth in your words. It's horrible when you can't prevent them from experiencing the painful realities of life. I just hope I handle things well when the time comes.

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