If self help programs failed you, it is not your fault

My birth parents met in a mental hospital

They were both patients. My mother had a difficult time managing an infant after a lifetime of institutionalization. She gave me to child protective services, thinking she could easily reclaim me. She was wrong. After losing me for good she would go on to have two more girls. She would lose them both eventually. But with my sister Staci Lynette, she kept the baby with her, on the street, in and out of shelters and halfway houses, etc. When the state got custody they wrote a report that explained the effect of all that instability in Staci. She was afraid of strangers, startled easily, in fact she was frightened all the time.

Some personal problems are imposed

I thought about how my sister would have this burden of fear upon her, never knowing the Origen. Would well meaning counselors instruct her to improve her attitude? Get herself together? When the problem was imposed upon her in a way she could never know or understand. I wonder how her life has been. Has she been able to overcome obstacles and if not would she be told she wasn’t working hard enough?

Congratulate yourself for dealing with the unknown

I am sure we all have issues like this. Maybe we don’t all have mothers with serious mental illness so some are luckier than others. But we have all been subjected to forces that acted upon our malleable psyches and we have no way of knowing.

If you’ve been hard on yourself for your perceived failings, remember what happened to baby Staci and know that you have your own version of her story. Don’t beat yourself up for having issues.

Caroleena, whose parents met while they were both patients in a mental hospital
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