- My inability to authentically love and be good and loyal to you was proof only of the work I needed to do on myself.
- YOU deserved love, nurturing, acceptance, protection and to have your needs met. Our neglect and alienation of you began not long after your arrival.
- Your sensitivity is not a defect or crime, or proof of badness / unworthiness.
- YOU deserved to be welcome and safe. But I needed for you to take up less space, and to like and want what I offered and only that. And you would not.
- YOU deserved kindness and connection, a safe place to be, feel, grow, and explore the wonders of life.
- I was responsible for my inability to understand and connect with you. The collective shunning was inappropriate, unkind, damaging to your spirit. I should have bridged you to my family, not erected a wall, allowing YOU be welcomed/tolerated only with condition.
- Our relationship was my responsibility. But it/you did not serve, entertain, or elevate me. So…
- The relationship between you and your sister, also was compromised by me.
- YOU did not cause me or others to be cruel, harsh, diminishing, or abusive.
- YOU deserved to learn and be taught self-love, self-care, self-respect, and dignity.
- YOU did not deserve to feel shame for who you were, how YOU felt, looked and what YOU needed-Of course you did not know how to effectively communicate the pain of that, to people who insured it and also were more burdened than interested.
- Children mostly do not instinctively know how to sustain a constant state of shame, guilt, fear, insecurity, overwhelm and over stimulation— with ease and grace.
- Using your ex-husband to circumvent our family dysfunction to gain access to your children was wrong, more unacceptable and inhumane than anything YOU have done. It was cowardly, selfish, dishonest, unfair, hateful, a betrayal of the highest order. The pain and fracture that you and your boys are left with is immeasurable. ilan Catherine Ghoneim Whitney
- I was fairly dedicated to proving to others how I was the victim of your existence, that you were wrong, bad, impossible, unlovable. Because I neeeeeded to feel non-wrong and non-defective, myself. I needed to be right. And I was failing as your mom. It felt better for you to be the fail-er than me.
- By having people agree that you were impossible and inexplicably angry, I felt alleviated of my responsibility to connect with and support you (outside of academics, housing, medical, and orthodontia). That is a form of gaslighting. Undermining someone in the eyes of others to make it easier to get away with doing non-great things to them, so then ideally, only their emotional reaction gets recognized as problematic while affirming the rightness of the doer of the harm. It is sick behavior. I wished we could have broken the cycle together. You begged and we were not receptive or ready for the call. Your commitment to doing better with your boys requires more strength, courage, humility than anything done FOR or TO you. I did not so much intend to harm you as much as it was just more natural and easier than trying to know and protect you.
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