Child death, Culture, death, emotions, grief, parenting, Personal Growth, Relationships, Saudi Arabia, Women

The Club I Never Wanted to Join

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There are those clubs in life that we join with enthusiasm, that is within our control and decision, that we decide to engage because it coincides with our interests, our hobbies, passions, joys, and identity.  Although life’s path indoctrinates us into other clubs or groups that we never sought membership for, but we received a lifetime membership that usually involves emotional fees instead of monetary fees.  Almost one  year ago, I received one of those unsolicited lifetime memberships to the Mother of Dead Children when I delivered my full term 38 week old stillborn son, Mr. Baby (aka Mohammad Hatem Mominah).   A membership card I have tried to burn, to throw away, and return to sender, but the damn gold status membership card keeps finding its way back into my hand of cards.  This unsolicited club membership likes me to invest my emotions, my cognitive energy, my time, my sleep, my lack of sleep, and at times, my sanity.   While the members of this club experience some of the same initiations, each club member also gets specialized individualized treatment dependent on their own story, their personal characteristics of the card member, but most of us get to pay the yearly premium of guilt, blame, and sadness.

There are no rules and regulations of expected behavior of carrying this card from the membership itself, but people that have not gained membership to this club have developed stereotypes of how you should “be” and what is acceptable to say to you or not say to you.  I have perfected the art of listening, and composing a smile, or at least a blank expression, but I also have a ticker tape that silently runs through my mind, that if ever was exposed, could unleash a nasty sarcastic spew of my inner coping.  As a member of this club, I have gathered support and understanding from other gold card carrying members, but those outside that club, that have never experienced what it means to lose a child, will offer their own advice of how you can be a gold star performing card carrying member.  While every parent that has lost a child has a different way of coping, my own inner dialogue, which I long ago nicknamed as my “ticker tape” has at times ran rampant in my mind in response to messages  to what others have said to me in the past year.

  1. You should be grateful that you have other children.  Yes I am selfish and ungrateful…. (guilt) What is wrong with me?
  2. You need to get over it and move on.   I am weak and sorry I have those days that I secretly wish that I could have crawled into the grave with my child….(guilt) What is wrong with me?
  3. God never gives you more than you can handle.  Really?  Ummmm….because I am about one second away of letting you see on display what falling apart looks like.….(guilt)What  is wrong with me?
  4. Far worse things have happened to other people, you  should be grateful.  Yes far worse things have happened….I did not gain membership to compare my experience with tragedies of the rest of the world.  Yeah I get that far more horrible things have happened in the world, but thank you  for your insight and wisdom, but it still doesn’t change how I feel….(guilt) What is wrong with me?
  5. Say “Thanks God” or “Al Humdallah”. I have never been one to do or say things unless I really feel that way, and  maybe I am an ungrateful,  selfish person, because I am not grateful for carrying a child for 9.5 months to hand that child over to be buried in the desert’s sand.  I am not grateful to get this unsolicited membership card……Sorry if this upsets your world view, and doesn’t coincide with your perceptions….I will not say something that I do not mean, because I do not view this as a will of God…this was because of medical human error,  my own screwed up body, my own inability to deal with stress, and because I was too physically and mentally exhausted to stand up to the voices that said a C-section could wait for a couple more days,  even though I knew it couldn’t.   I am not in the mood to make you feel better…because I feel like shit.   If it makes you feel better, please say it, but do not say it to me, and do not expect me to say it.  Special note to medical professionals….please shut up and do not even have the audacity to mention this to me…. (guilt) What  is wrong with me?
  6. At least you are still alive and here.  Really?  That could be questionable on a moment by moment basis…..(guilt) What is wrong with me?
  7. Maybe it was for the best, maybe there was something wrong with him. A doctor examined him, there was nothing wrong with him visibly, although I would not allow the hospital to dissect his little body.  Even if there was something wrong with him.  I just wanted the chance to look into his eyes…even for just a little bit.  I wanted that baby,  even if there had been issues…. (guilt) What is wrong with me?
  8. You are not the only person to lose a child.  I know that, and do you think that I don’t’ realize already that I am not handling this with grace …Do you really think that if I could I wouldn’t stand up  and be this fortress of strength? (guilt)  What is wrong with me?
  9. At least you never had the chance to get emotionally attached…it is better that he died before you had the chance to know him. Please fuck off because I did know him.  I carried him for 38 weeks… you have no idea…… (guilt) What is wrong with me?
  10. You gave yourself black eyes/ bad luck because you were so happy to have the baby.  Your statements are more of a reflection of your black  heart and how you view others as well as how you view yourself… Please…could you just please shoot me and get your freaking torture over with.  I was happy to be expecting a child…and you stand before me and say that it is my fault that I made other’s jealous……really….this is just too much….while you may think it, and that is your right….really shut the fuck up.  Trust me….I have enough guilt for not standing up to doctors, changing physicians, or dealing with stress effectively…I don’t need your negative energy to add to my black world right now.  Bad things happen in life, and death is one of the inevitable truths of our existence.   (guilt) What is wrong with me?

The only real benefit that I believe I have gained from my membership, is the right to say “Please consider what you say to someone that has lost their child”.  I know the intentions are there to try to comfort the person, but each person deals with loss and grief in their own way.  I apologize in advance to anyone that I have offended by my honesty and language, that is not my intention, but to provide an insight into the grief of one mother on a year long journey of coming to terms with the death of her child.   Entering the private thoughts of another is one way to understand a situation and have some empathy.  I am sure that in the past that I have unintentionally made statement in regards to someone’s life events that were not helpful.  This experience has taught me that sometimes words unspoken are best.  No one can tell a the person what they should feel, or how they should behave when faced with death.   Sometimes the well intentioned comments only add to feelings of guilt, sadness, selfishness, and unfairness experienced by those grieving.  What you can do…sit quietly, listen, and understand that person will never be the same in some ways.  Yes they will learn to smile again, they will learn how to live again, they will learn to breathe….but it is in their time, and in their way.  Grief is a path that each person travels differently and it is not a path that can be magically fixed.

Happy Birthday Mr. Baby.  You earned  your angel wings  before you ever had to  breathe  in the experiences of the harsh realities of life on earth. One of my favorite messages sent was “The angel opened the book of life, and  said “This one is too perfect for this world…and closed the book”.  For this, I can honestly  say “Alhumdallah” or “Thank God”.  Until we meet again my little baby.

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Aggression, Bias, death, Fear, Judgement, Palestine / Israeli Conflict, parenting, prejudice, Stereotypes

When the World is Vulgar……

Oh little child, with your eyes open wide to the world, what future do you see?

Toys and guns, cookies and blood, and a people searching for serenity?

Mama and Baba are close to protect you from harm, so close your eyes and dream my little habibi!

Play with your toys, run against the wind, and feel the sun against your face.

A two- year- old’s world, exciting and new, so much to learn about this place.

 

Oh little child, with your eyes open wide to the world, tell me what do you see?

“Mama! Mama! Shoof (look)! Look! A big steel bird is coming to see me!

How lucky am I, to see such a thing, something so different and rare! Do all good little boys get to see these?

“Ya habibi! Run with mama, somewhere to a different new place!”

Mama! Mama! Why? How come the smile is gone from your gentle face?

Oh little child, with your eyes open wide, why do you no longer see?

The world still has much to show you and how life should idealistically be!

The big shiny steel bird brought you a surprise and now you no longer see!

A two-year-old child, blankly stares out from a lifeless, charred, bloody face.

Habibi close your eyes and let your soul fly to a safer land far away from this hellish place.

 

I wrote this poem five years ago, after watching broadcast news, in which I viewed a small Palestinian boy who had been gravely wounded in an Israeli air assault being worked on by medical professionals in a hospital.  I caught myself glued to the television unable to look away from the fear and look of confusion I saw in the toddler’s face.  Even though his face was charred in places by burns, and reddened by his own blood, his beautiful cherub appearance was still visible, making the vision of his face a mixture of both heaven and hell.  As I continued to watch the live broadcast, right before my eyes, I saw the “light”, “soul”, or “life” disappear out of the little boy’s eyes.  The look of fear was replaced by a blank empty stare.  The medical professionals continued to work on the innocent child, but the moment his eyes changed, I knew he had passed on to another realm.  The efforts of the doctor were useless on the destruction that had been ravaged on this child’s small body by the air strikes.  The doctors eventually stopped administering medical treatment, and one of the men closed the child’s eyes.

I sat on the couch, holding my youngest daughter, who herself was only an infant, with tears streaming down my face, unable to talk, or articulate the feelings I had about what I had witnessed through modern technology.  My husband looked at me with confusion and said “If you don’t stop crying, I swear I am going to take all of the televisions out of the house”.  My husband has always been irritated by my emotional sensitivity and reactivity to the world around me.  As I sat and tried to compose myself, I finally stood up and walked off muttering “At least that little baby doesn’t have to exist in this fucked up world anymore”.  I walked into my home office and promptly wrote the above poem, trying to use a more productive form of expression to deal with my emotions.  Yes, I do tend to use profanity when I am distressed.  My apologies to those who I might offend, but sometimes with all the insanity and vulgarity of our world, my only release is with a response that has an equal level of vulgarity to combat my disbelief in how cold, cruel, and inhumane humans can be.  Perhaps we need to replace the word “humanity” with a more suitable term, taking the attribute of the human species out of the whole concept.

Over a year later, while visiting my sister in California, I was one of the first people on the scene of an accident in which a small child, of Hispanic ethnicity, had fallen from three stories.  As I knelt by the child and grasped his small hand, I saw that same look of confusion and fear that I saw in the Palestinian boy’s eyes.  I watched helplessly as I witnessed the “life”, “light”, “soul”, or “spirit” leave the little boy’s eyes.  Not only did I watch it, I physically felt the departure of his essence leaving his body.  The little boy was still breathing when the ambulance arrived, but  from what I understand was later taken off life support because of the absence of  brainwave activity.  I knew the little boy was gone before I received this update; I not only saw, but also felt his soul leaving his broken body on the pavement below the apartment window from which he fell.  I felt a connection with this child, even though our brief encounter and introduction to each other lasted only a few moments.  I struggled mentally and emotionally for a time after this tragic accident, coming to terms with this child’s death that occurred physically right before my own eyes.

The next day after the accident, I sat on my sister’s balcony with my mother in the upscale apartment complex at which the accident had happened.  The people living above my sister were also out on their balcony as well, who happened to be a nurse and doctor, and who had witnessed the accident the previous day.  As I sat and half-heartedly listened to the conversation between my mother and the neighbors, I concurrently was lost in my own internal world (and yes I have a tendency to do this), but a comment from the neighbors above caught my attention.  I remember the women saying “Well we didn’t go down because the family was clearly Hispanic and I am sure the accident somehow had drugs involved”.  Again, my emotional sensitivity, as well as my own personal Achilles heel of emotional reactivity took over my faculties and judgment.  I stood up and walked back into my sister’s house, but not before muttering “Racist fucking bitch”.  Again, I uttered a spontaneous emotional vulgar insult and response to a situation and worldview of another human that I saw as completely vulgar.  The realization that two trained medical professionals had forsaken offering their medical expertise and services to a child based upon their own jaded stereotype of “Hispanics” was more than I could tolerate.

It is only upon later reflection, that I can make the differences and connections between these two events and the emotional responses that the events elicited within me.  The differences between these two events are as follows:

  1. One was an accident, the other was an aggressive act by other humans.
  2. One child was Palestinian of Arab descent, the other child was American of Hispanic descent.
  3.  One event spurred suggestions of how to prevent the future loss of life, one event spurred escalating hostility.
  4. One event I could personally come to terms with because it was an accident, one event I still struggle with because it was caused by human’s evilness.

The similarities between these two events:

  1.  A child died.
  2. The child was from a marginalized group, in which some sectors of society refuse to lend help based on this.

Annually when the summer heat enters my life, my mind often drifts to the summer that I held a child’s hand as he passed over to a safer place.  This summer is no different in that I still think about his family and wonder how they have dealt with this death.  This summer is no different in that conflict and war across our world continues to take the lives of the innocent, and often this involves innocent civilians; especially children who are trying to exist and live in a world where the powerful and greedy do not recognize their rights to live in safety and security.  This summer is no different in that much of the world that is not directly affected by this conflict turn their backs on the suffering of others.  This summer is no different in that people in general fail to lend a hand, or give support to those that they view different from themselves.

My question is:  How many summers have to pass before humans quit basing their judgments and actions on who deserves help on stereotypes of the “other”?  How many summers have to pass with the continued death of children in Palestine and elsewhere in the world caused by humans’ darker side and lack of empathetic concern and action?  I wrote the poem at the beginning of this piece nearly five years ago, even more shocking, the war and conflict has raged for more than 80 years;  how much more time has to pass before no more children are casualties of this conflict?

When humans quit being vulgar in their actions, perhaps I will learn to be less vulgar in my words as well.

 

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Emotional abuse, Humanistic Psychology, parenting, Personal Growth, Psychology, Relationships

Love: The Difference Between Unconditional Love versus Conditioned Love

Mom and me
I have heard and even used myself the expression “love can heal the world”. Lately I have been questioning the concept of love; we throw the word love around, which in reality has different meanings for different people, as well as the context of how we use the word. For example, I might say, “I love your dress”, “I love you”, “I love my children”, “I loved that movie”, “I love my spouse”, or “I love my parents”. In the context of this article, I am speaking about the love we have for other living and breathing creatures, and more specifically human beings. Even narrowing down the term love and using it in context about people, the way we use the word “love “ and what it means is ambiguous. Love can be defined as an action, expression, or emotion. Love can be expressed as a thing by using it as a noun, or an action by using it as a verb.

Although we may have different ways to use the word love, there are types of “love” that we need to question as to whether or not they actually meet the criteria of love: Unconditional love vs. conditional love. Unconditional love involves both a genuine care and concern about an individual, which involves both recognizing that individual as a unique individual with both strengths and weaknesses. We express our affection for that individual, which does not necessarily mean that we condone or support their negative behavior, but we still have positive regard for them as a person and human being. We set limits of what is acceptable behavior in the relationship that is healthy for both individuals, balanced with respect for both individuals. This type of love is mature, respectful, and may transition through time according to the developmental stages of each person in the relationship, and what constitutes appropriate roles for these individuals. For example, I think of unconditional love I have towards my children. My oldest daughter is almost 23 years old and I have experienced as a mother our relationship from her being an infant to entering the world as a young adult. As an infant, all of her needs were met through me and she needed different levels of guidance through each stages. Through each stage of her development, her independence grew, as she became a unique individual. Both of us through these different stages made mistakes, but my love for her and I believe her love for me is not conditional. I recognize she has both strength and weaknesses, as I am sure she realizes I too as a person have strength and weaknesses. I will love and respect her as a person, regardless of the mistakes she makes, or if she has different ideas and values than my own because she is my child that came from my womb. Although I may not support her behavior through either financial means, as well as I may voice my concerns, at the end of the day, I still love her. I experienced this same type of unconditional love from my parents, who often disagreed with my life choices, but have provided emotional support (and yes even financial support) through different periods in my life. My family of origin is not perfect, and yes, we have dysfunction that flows through our relationships, but conditional love was never a part of those relationships.

Conditional love involves only showing affection for an individual when they behave or act in accordance with one’s wishes, commands, wants, or desires. Conditional love damages an individual in that they only believe that through their appearances, achievements, materialistic offers, and yes even handing over their own control will win them the love of another person. Conditional love is often used as a form of emotional abuse in which one individual places conditions of giving their affection to another person; it is a form of being selfish, narcissistic, shallow, manipulating, and controlling another person. We have all seen this type of love, from the parent that expects their child to follow all of their commands and the parent showing love is conditional upon the child meeting those demands. We have seen this through spouses that expect their mate unquestioningly to obey their authority, and meet all of their needs. We have seen this through friends who stand with us through our bright times, but mysteriously disappear during our down periods in life. Conditional love places restrictions on individuals, and never allows them to develop to their full potential. This is not “love”, and when we come to fully recognize this as a species, we may realize that “unconditional love can heal the world”.

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parenting, Personal Growth, Psychology, Relationships, Saudi Arabia

Perspective: The Gift vs. the Sacrifice of Children

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We have all been in situations in which we talk about the “sacrifices” we make in life.  We often hear parents speak of the sacrifices they make for the sake of their children.  Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary (2014) defines sacrifice as “the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone”.  Whenever we speak of sacrifices made for someone, especially our children, we are inducting that child into a world of feeling guilty for their own existence (Ausubel, 1955).  When I hear parents say “Look at the sacrifices I made for you” to their children, I always cringe at the  feelings of shame and guilt the child is having imposed on them for the event of being born, which was an action brought about by the parents, and not the innocent child.   

An individual recently commented to me on their perceptions of the many “sacrifices” I had made to stay with my children.  I sat and thought about their comments for a moment, and as I thought about it, I realized I had not made personal sacrifices for my children.  I am not going to lie and admit that there have not been times when I have had the thoughts that I sacrificed my life goals for my children.  I put off pursuing a PhD for 10 years because of the age of my children.  I have moved away from my family and friends of my childhood to be with my children and husband in Saudi Arabia.  One could see these as sacrifices, but in fact, not choosing to stay with my children would be a personal sacrifice for me.  Children are gifts, although I will be the first to admit that during the toddler temper tantrums, the mood swings of pre-adolescence, and the rebelliousness of the teenage years, it is hard sometimes to keep this point of view in perspective. 

Children come into the world by the choices their parents make.  If a parent believes that they have made “sacrifices” to have children, perhaps they should reconsider the purpose of having children.  The concept of “responsibility” becomes a crucial component of this concept of “sacrifices” and “guilt” versus our “values” and “responsibilities”.  If an individual sees the sacrifice of raising children with emotional support, love, caring, and teaching them responsibility as a sacrifice, perhaps their values as well as concept of parenting needs to be re-evaluated.   

As I sat and carefully pondered this person’s perception of my sacrifice, it came to me I had made no personal sacrifices, except for the time I sent my 15 year old daughter back to the United States from Saudi Arabia to finish her education.  That was a sacrifice, because I had to let someone l loved dearly leave me, versus keeping her in a country that was not her own.  I choose to stay with my three younger children, and have her go back to the United States:  This was a personal sacrifice; I had to give up someone that I wanted with me on a daily basis, and chose my three younger children in Saudi Arabia.  Who has really sacrificed are my children because of the past choices I have made.  I looked at the person who said this comment to me and told them “Staying with my children is not a sacrifice, because my children are my gifts”.    

 

References

Ausubel, D. P. (1955). Relationships between shame and guilt in the socializing process. Psychological review, 62(5), 378.

Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary.  (2014).  Sacrifice.  Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sacrifice

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education, Emotional abuse, parenting, Personal Growth, Psychology, Relationships

Silencing the Generations of Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse:  The abuse that leaves internal bruises to the human psyche, that the outside world does not see.  It is a generational cycle that flows that family histories bringing pain and turmoil to those experiencing and to those who vicariously live it through the pain of seeing their loved one’s suffer.

Silencing the Generations of Emotional Abuse.

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Aggression, education, Emotional abuse, parenting, Psychology, Relationships

Silencing the Generations of Emotional Abuse

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You are stupid!  Your are ugly!  You are fat!  You are nothing without me!  You can’t do anything right!  You are worthless!  You should have never been born!  I hate you!  My life would be so much better off without you!  Why don’t you just go kill yourself! 

If you have had someone tell you these words, you are most likely in an abusive relationship.  People often believe that an abusive relationship occurs when some type of physical abuse is occurring, but emotional and mental abuse is a form of abuse that occurs in relationships as wells.  The effects are just as devastating, in which the bruises, cuts, and scars occur on the internal psyche of the person.  Research has shown that the negative effects of individuals being in an emotionally abusive relationship can be more detrimental in terms of stress and emotional damage than an episode of being in a physically abusive relationship (Theran, Sullivan, Bogat, & Steward, 2006; & Wicks-Nelson & Israel, 2009).   Although these wounds may not be visible for others to see, they are inside the person festering, often never being exposed to the air to have a chance to heal.  As the painful messages continue to be hurled at the person, the individual internalizes these words as part of their self-image.

Emotional abuse in a relationship may not only take the form of verbal insults, but also through controlling the other person’s movement, isolating them from family and friends, withholding of affection, constant criticism,  marital infidelity, withholding of attention,  guilt, and externalizing blame of their problems to the other person.  Emotional abuse is built into the acts of physical and sexual abuse, although physical and sexual abuse may not be present when emotional abuse occurs.  Cultural variation of emotional abuse may occur in which  the abuser also extends the rights of the  emotional abuse to occur by family members (Yoshihama & Sorenson, 1994).

Abuse tends to occur in cycles, as well as there tends to be a family history of abuse that occurs.  Often when we look at the individual that is perpetrating the abuse, they themselves came from a family where they either experienced some type of abuse, or watched abuse occur on family members.  This aspect has special relevance to parents who may be in an emotionally abusive relationship.  Not only do our children learn what acceptable behavior is in a relationship, but they also learn to model our behavior of being a victim, or an abuser.  Even though a child may not directly experience the abuse, the vicarious experience of watching a loved one’s pain sends messages to the child of not only their own worth, but also a distorted image of what authentic loving relationships entail.  The children fail to learn to establish appropriate boundaries of protecting themselves emotionally from others.  I learned as a therapist that doing a family genogram, which involves engaging  with the client of constructing a family tree of sorts, to examine relationships of patterns  of abuse, mental health issues, and drug addiction that often these cycle tended to repeat themselves through generations of a family.  This historical representation often helped a client not only understand their family history, but also question their mental framework of what constituted authentic healthy relationships that had been established through their lifetime in taking in their social world around them.

At different times in our life, we may find ourselves in relationships, or loved ones that have become involved in emotionally abusive relationships.  The most helpless feeling is watching a friend, family member, or ourselves succumbing to physical or emotional abuse of others.  Social support for an individual that has been trapped in an emotionally abusive relationship is one of the key elements of that individual reaching out to empower themselves to get help out of the cycle of abuse.  The person may teeter for years on the verge of getting out of the relationship, while then returning into the cycle of abuse.  When abuse in a relationship occurs, it does not necessarily mean that the relationship needs to end, but education as well as psychological services is often needed for all parties involved to begin a process of recognizing the abuse, admitting the abuse, and coming to terms with the future implications of allowing the cycle to continue.  Failure to recognize the issue in terms of the family unit, often relates to parents developing mental health disorders, drug abuse issues, escalating forms of abuse, and children who experience academic and relationship problems, and in the future engaging in the same sort of relationships they witnessed in their family of origin.  Abuse occurs in all societies, and across the different economic social stratifications, and educational levels.

The victim and the abuser often stay in a cycle of denial of the abuse as a way to denying their own shortcomings, avoiding the hard process of change, all the while feeding another generation of pain to come to their children.  Breaking out of this cycle involves the adults in these relationships recognizing that there is an issue, which not only negatively affects them, but also younger members of the family.  If it all possible, keeping the family unit intact is the ideal outcome, while working on reconstructing healthy interaction patterns that establish individual respect, autonomy, and dignity.  In many of these situations, the abuser may not recognize the issue because of the power and control they have gained through the cycle of abuse.  Encourage and support those in abusive relationships to take back their own self-control and dignity to free them from the tyranny of emotional abuse, as well as to develop a “new family legacy” of establishing authentic, healthy, and loving relationships.  It is important for all of us to remember that while physical wounds may heal, the journey of healing the unseen internal wounds on being in an emotionally abusive relationship takes just as much courage and support.

References

Theran, S. A., Sullivan, C. M., Bogat, G. A., & Stewart, C. S. (2006). Abusive partners and ex-partners understanding the effects of relationship to the abuser on women’s well-being. Violence Against Women, 12(10), 950-969.

Wicks-Nelson, T. & Israel, A.  (2009).  Abnormal child and adolescent psychology (7th ed.).  London, England:  Pearson Corporation.

Yoshihama, M., & Sorenson, S. B. (1994). Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse by male intimates: experiences of women in Japan. Violence and Victims, 9(1), 63-77.

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Feminism, Humanistic Psychology, parenting, Personal Growth, Psychology, Relationships, Women

Knowledge of a Mother to her Daughter…..

mother daughter

I do not know everything, but I know that you are part of me and I am part of you by the blood that flows through our veins, and by virtue of being females.

I do not know everything, but I know that I will bestow in you the belief in yourself that you are worth respect and dignity.

I do not know everything, but I know that if you have a dream, do not let others try to dampen your inspiration, those inspirations can only become a reality by your own perspiration.

I do not know everything, but I know that you will walk through life with both sorrow and joy, embrace both emotions, because you cannot know one without the other.

I do not know everything, but I know that you are more than the face that your Creator has given you, you are more than your possessions, you are a soul filled with passions, fears, and needs that you can only fill within yourself.

I do not know everything, but I know we are more than just the titles we carry, the duties we perform, and the roles we play, we are a creation of God that gave us the ability to think, love, and live for a limited time.

I do not know everything, but I know that some other souls in the world are filled with hate, jealousy, and greed.  Do not go to their level, and learn to rise above the maleficence to find kindness, caring, compassion, and respect to other living souls.

I do not know everything, but I know that we will both make mistakes, but learning from those mistakes and taking a lesson in how to go forward is the only path to finding meaning.

I do not know everything, but I know I have been blessed by the life that I carried within me, and with the blessing of watching you grow and finding yourself becoming a woman, with your contributions that you will pass on to the next soul of what is it to be a female.

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