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Emotionally Healthy Parenting Info. For Highly Sensitive People–It’s Time To Stand Your Ground!

Hi everyone.  It is now August and I hope all of you have been enjoying the summer.  Yeah it’s too hot!–but I hope you are finding creative ways to beat the heat.  I am having the best summer ever!  I have found that my ability to slow down and enjoy the moment is really sticking this time.  The lessons I learned from my now healed injury are sticking with me–I appreciate the small things so much still… and when I get too busy I catch myself and pull back the reins and say “Whoa, slow down and listen to your body”.  Then I have more energy to do the things that are important to me… like writing to you all!  🙂

My creative way of beating the heat is to wait to ride my bike for exercise around my neighborhood until evening and sometimes even after dark. (Please only do this if it is a safe area and there is no traffic.)  There is something special about summer evenings when the temperature is perfect, the moonlight is just enough to see what you need to see, and it’s so quiet and peaceful out.  It is really recharging for highly sensitive people and it feels like such a treat for myself–I feel a spiritual connection to Mother Earth and the Universe and God.

I have a special event coming up.  I am turning 50 years old next month!   I really don’t feel 50 and people say I don’t look 50 so I am really going to celebrate big!  Yay!  I have a lot to celebrate!  I feel more like 32 and have more energy and better health than I have ever had in my life!  The second half of my life is going to be even better than the first half and the first half turned out to be really awesome!

I believe HSPs are very often late bloomers–we have hardships early in life that we struggle with but then we start coming out the other side.  We soon realize the journey we are on is exactly the one we needed to be on to find our voice and true purpose in life.  That is definitely what happened to me.  The first half of my life I acquired a college degree, married, and then chose, for my first career, being a  Mom raising two amazing children to feel good about themselves as my first priority.  I support and encourage them to express their unique creativity and they have nothing holding them back from pursuing their dreams.  I cheer them on and say “You can do it!

Both of my children are both highly sensitive and intuitive people with kind and compassionate spirits.   They call us often to share good news and also when they encounter negativity and negative people in their lives and we listen and empathize.  They feel better with support and continue to learn to build themselves up.  That is what a healthy family system is supposed to be like.  I am adding 2 new links here on my blog that I want to share with all of you and they are:  Attachment Parenting International Dot Org and The Attached Family Dot Com.

If you have childhood wounds, it is so supportive to go to these sites and see what a healthy nurturing family looks and feels like!  It helps you remember, if you are trying to recover from childhood wounds from parents who were malignant narcissists, it is their choice not to embrace their roles as parents with compassion and giving and to choose blaming, negativity, and guilt-inducing instead.  It may help to tell yourself, “it is not my responsibility to give up the essence of my self and my energy so that someone else will feel better and not even appreciate it or see how that harms me.”

It is my intention to never induce guilt in my children–to never make them feel guilty so they will visit me more often.  They visit us because they want to because they feel better being around us.  We build them up and give them encouragement.  We tell them, “We are sure you will figure it all out–you are doing a great job so far!”.  We help them to trust their inner guidance and to go towards positive people and positive feelings in their lives.  We teach them to have healthy boundaries. Healthy boundaries are when you are able to be separate and whole and feel good about your place on the planet–you can shine your light and help others without giving up your self.

As highly sensitive children, you as survivors may have taken care of your parent’s feelings because your compassion is innate in you.  But you have to learn to stop doing this at the expense of your true feelings now that you are adults.  When you give up your truth to get a parent’s approval to avoid conflict then you have gone too far and have lost your healthy sense of self and have given up your own energy and truth.

HSPs need support to know that it is important to protect your precious energy that is so easily drained away by people who tell us we OWE them.  You don’t owe narcissistic parents anything–parents who use fear to manipulate and control instead of giving any love and acceptance are deal breakers (not honorable).  You don’t have to “honor thy parent” if they induce fear in their children.  Fear is the opposite of love.

It is always best to try to talk to parents in a civil way to point out these things.  I’m sure you have tried saying things like, “I care about you and I also disagree and I am going to do it this way instead”.  If with your best efforts at fairness you are still constantly punished for your disobedient ways,  (even if it is passive–aggressive silent treatments), even though you are an adult, these are toxic situations for HSPs.  If you have tried it all and you are miserable and fed up, don’t feel guilty!  Or if “no contact” is working for you now or helping you heal so you can get stronger, don’t feel guilty!  You are not responsible for anyone else’s happiness,  just yours.

What would they say if you confronted them with the pain they caused you.  They would deny and blame, right?  You would never do that to them, you would say…I’m sorry”… maybe even if it wasn’t your fault.  Your compassionate soul is rare and has a special purpose on this planet.  Your specialness is important to the planet.  Focus on giving your gifts to those who really will appreciate it as a mission and even possibly a career for yourself.  The planet needs more HSPs!  Be glad you are one.

I heard the song, I Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty on the radio the other day. It filled me with a sense of fun and positive energy and helped me feel even stronger.  Since then I have been singing it a lot in my head and I love how it gives me strength when I say those words. “I am gonna stand my ground”.  Listen to it when you get a chance.  Here are some of the lyrics:

No I’ll stand my ground, won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin me down
gonna stand my ground
… and I won’t back down

Chorus:
(I won’t back down…)
Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(and I won’t back down…)
hey I will stand my ground
and I won’t back down

Well I know what’s right, I got just one life
in a world that keeps on pushin me around
but I’ll stand my ground
…and I won’t back down

The point is that feeling “grounded” is so important to an HSPs health in all ways:   Body, Mind, and Spirit.  Standing your ground can symbolize feeling rooted in the earth.  You are here on the planet for a reason.  Your “space” here on the planet is your own and you deserve to feel confident and strong and separate and whole… standing tall and deserving of your spot on the planet.  We get positive strength and energy from Mother Earth and she recharges us again when we get depleted.  Mother Earth loves us–imagine being rooted in love!  Walking on the warm grass in bare feet (on warm summer August evenings 🙂 ) is especially recharging–imagine the positive energy of the planet beneath you recharging you up your legs and into your heart and head. Relax your tense muscles throughout your body while you do this.  These kinds of visualizations really work to help me feel strong and inner peace about my independence and freedom and standing “my ground”.  I hope they are helpful to you too!

My birthday is on September 9!  I hope you will stop by my site on that day and say hello and help me Celebrate!  My husband, children and I will be partying all day and evening!  I will have a  message for all of you in my Update Corner on that day. 🙂

I will be on vacation August 22-28–So, except for that week, I am here and always available to you, my readers, commenters, and clients.  My next post won’t be until later in September.  Have a wonderful August and rest of the summer, HSPs!  And remember to Stand Your Ground!

With Love,

Roxanne

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18 responses

  1. Love this post. I’m feeling your positive energy radiating through my computer screen. This is just the pep talk I needed to start another great week. I love the image of standing ones ground as being rooted to the earth.

    I am encouraged when you say HSPs are late bloomers I don’t have the foggiest clue what I want to be when I finally grow up.

    Happy early birthday!!!

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    1. Hi OAD, Thank you for your comment and your kind words about my post. Yay! So glad you could feel it as the pep talk it was meant to be :). I understand about the late bloomer thing…Remember, being a loving MOM is the most important job in the world! Enjoy it! It goes so fast!

      Thank you for the early birthday wishes. I am enjoying my last month of being 49! Wonderful to hear from you. Warmest wishes to you, OAD 🙂

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  2. Roxanne,

    I have been having the biggest guilt attack this week about being no contact with most of the people in my life. I feel like am I wrong, am I being a bad person, and etc. Thanks for the encouragement. Have fun on your vacay!

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    1. Hi Aja, Thank you for your comment. If you are like me, feeling a lot of guilt and shame is a sign that I did something really good for myself the day before. It is part of the healing process soothing yourself when those childhood wounds come up to be healed. Glad that my post was encouraging. Yay! Thanks for the vacation well wishes. I will!! Warmest wishes to you!!

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  3. Dear Roxanne,

    I always receive your messages at the exact moment I need it the most. What a wonderful reminder to enjoy these hot summer days. You are a reminder to me that yes I am a hsp who is still recovering from an abusive past. It is a good reminder for me because it teaches me to take care of myself. You are a gentle reminder to me that it is ok to celebrate me and it is ok to take care of me and most of all I should not feel guilty about it. I am in the process of building that family unit that cares for me so until then I have been relying on you to be that support. You have earned that trust through your kinds words and unconditional love and support from the start.

    From the last time we spoke, I had a lot to tell you and again today is the same. I want everyone to know what is going on for many reasons. I want to help someone else as much as you Roxanne have helped me and continue to help me. I want to speak up about the abuse I received as a child and I continue to receive as an adult. Most of all I am realizing that every time I write my story it’s as if what happened gets left here and I can move past it better. As soon as I write down my pain, the pain is diminished. So here it is…After the last fiasco, I had forced myself to enjoy the summer with my family, go to the pool with friends and my husbands family and try to enjoy. Through my socializing I came across a job that became available. I interviewed for it and just recently was offered the position. I am so excited about this new opportunity because it is allowing me and my family the chance to move. I have wanted to do this depserately to try and lose complete contact from parents but felt like it was impossible, but God put me in the right place at the right time. So the family will be moving soon and I am so happy for us right now. It could not have come at a better time because last week I received a letter in the mail from our county courthouse. My dad is suing my husband and me over some money we borrowed several months ago before I went nc. I knew he was going to try and sue us but I expected him to try the defamation of character lawsuit he had threatened to me in the past but I suppose he realized he had nothing on me. I’ll be honest the money is owed to him and believe me I want to get him paid quickly. I suppose from my standpoint I feel like he is just relentless in his pursuit. When will he just leave me alone and let me be. To me this is a pattern of his attempt to over power and intimidate. to my husband (who happens to be a father to a 24 year old daughter and 4 year old daughter) he sees it as just pushing a daughter further away. My husband personally would never think of doing such a thing to his own childred, but once again my parents have managed to show their true selves through this. In the past, I would have had a total meltdown and panic attack, but now I lose little sleep over their temper tantrums. The money will be there but for fun we will not send it until the last minute. Of course, It will be sent through an attorney letting them know that after this payment there will be not reason for further attempt for communication. Am I scared, yes but scared less. most important, I refuse to give them an opportunity to see me in court. Just what they want a dramatic ending to their sad story. I am sure they are hoping to add more lies to their adoring fans ( the family). The idea that they are getting sympathy from everyone when they know what they had been doing to me only intensfies my frustration. To them impression trumps truth, so I am not only no contact with them I have remained no contact from everyone. What do I call this… casualties of war. Due to the nature of our family structure it has always been if you are not for us you are against us and that means all of us. well goodbye all of you and your toxic lives… It’s time for me to stand my ground and…I won’t back down. hehe!!

    I loved your statement about us being late bloomers, it is absolutely true as a matter of fact I am still blooming. I am finding that being a late bloomer has it’s advantages when raising a toddler. I am enjoying her more now than ever!! Roxanne, thank you again for giving me a voice and enjoy blowing out all those candles. I will be smiling for you on September 9th and wishing you a wonderful and blessed birthday.

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    1. Hi Belinda. Thank you so much for your comment. I am so happy for you and how well you are doing. You are moving on and finding your voice and finding the joy in life! Yes it is okay to celebrate–you have learned to overcome the guilt that creeps in by knowing that you need to be kind to yourself as you always deserved kindness and love but never received it. I love how you say “as soon as I write down my pain, my pain is diminished”. Yes! Once you can do this, you can heal from any pain that comes up in the healing process of recovery. (Some people require a witness to this process of self-expression to aid in their recovery ).

      What a blessing that you got a new job and are now able to move. That is the law of attraction working before our eyes. You believed that you deserved a better life and so it happened for you. Yay! I like how you talked about the toxic lives of your family structure and how you are enduring the “casualties of war”. I relate to all you are saying. Your comment will help many hsps out there who are struggling. You are a good writer with an uplifting, inspiring style! 🙂 I hope you will please keep us posted with your wonderful comments.

      Thank you for your wonderful feedback about my post. So glad you identified with my “stand your ground” message and about being a late bloomer. Yay! This is my hope–to help hsps to overcome their internalized negative messages and feelings from childhood and see the truth of their rare and special giftedness. You get it! Thank you for the birthday wishes, I appreciate it so much! Blessings to you, Roxanne

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  4. Hi Roxanne, I find your posts so very encouraging. I too have had 43 years of being used and being made felt guilty. As a child I was made to cook and clean quite a bit and when I was 14 my mom started having more children. The household responsibilities of laundry, cooking, floor washing and diaper changing fell on me. Although, I love my younger siblings I cannot help but resent my mother for forcing me to be her live-in nanny and housekeeper. The day came when I was married, bought my own house and soon had my own children. I always thought my mom & dad would be around to help me raise my kids and be a doting grandparents but because my sibling were still young pre-teens my parents were too tired and had no energy to spend time with me or my children. Many weekends I would pick-up my younger siblings and have them spend the weekend at my place with me and my children and husband so that we could enjoy time together. My children went to daycare and “other” babysitters while I worked. I always wished my parents would have played a bigger role in the lives of my children as they grew. Now that my younger siblings are starting to have their own children I am seeing my parents play larger roles in the upbringing of their children and although that is a great thing, I can’t help but feel that I was used, abused and tossed aside. I remember as a child my mother being very short with me and having no patience. I remember her trying to do laundry and I would get in her way so she tied my to the furnace until her laundry was done. I grew up knowing that I had to be very good because if I wasn’t there would be punishments. I was her housekeeper and her nanny and she didn’t have time nor energy to help me when I became a mother. Now, that her children are all grown, she has energy for my sibling’s children. I feel used and I don’t forgive her for that. Although I have not practices “no contact” I am practicing “very little contact”. It does wonders for my self esteem to limit my time with my mother and in turn use that time to be with my children. one time during a family dinner my brothers were discussing how much fun it was to so swimming at the community centre pool when they were young. I mention that I had never been and I also never learned to swim because mom would say that “good” girls don’t go swimming. My mother’s reply to that was “too bad, you should have fought me harder and I would have let you go”. She took no responsibility. So Roxanne what do you think about that?

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    1. anis, Thank you for your comment. It is healthy and good that you now see you were used. You have a right to be angry about being abused, manipulated, and controlled–she took advantage of your highly sensitive soul and your trusting nature–she knew you wouldn’t retaliate. I am so sorry that you were treated so horribly. Being tied to the furnace is so abusive! If authorities heard of this you would have been removed from the home!

      Good for you to separate and be low contact with a mom that has such low regard for your feelings. I know the frustration you must feel for not being seen for the hard-working, self-sacrificing, capable, loving, bright, insightful, gifted soul that you are. I like how you say you “limit my time with my mother and in turn use that time to be with my children”. You are changing the cycle of abuse for them by being the loving mother that you never had. A wonderful accomplishment!!

      You sound very strong and I can feel the compassion in your heart which is a rare and wonderful quality to have–you are a special person. For your mother to blame you when you said she wouldn’t let you swim, she sounds narcissistic because she seems to show no remorse. I understand your pain. Sending you warm wishes for continued strength as you continue to heal, Roxanne

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  5. Hi Roxanne, it has been two months that I have not talked to my parents and one months not being in contact with my only sister. my hurt is tearing apart and feel really really hurt. it is so painful to pass day after day not talking to them. in the other hand, i cannot go back. i was rejected and abandoned. i called many times and my mum did not answer the phone. I called my dad and he said your mum does not want to talk to you. She said “i wish i never had kids” and that was it. something inside me collapsed forever. after a week my sister called and she said our parents are worried why are not you talking to them. When i told her the story she said you have to accept it they are our parent. you cannot stop talking to them. after another week she said you are hurting them and if something happens to them it will be your fault. Then everything stopped for me. life has stopped for me for two months. what is the point of life when someone is not even loved by her family? i am miles away from home and telephone was the only way I could communicate. how could they reject and abandon their own child and then say that by not talking to us you are killing us? i feel really helpless.

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    1. parrobo, I am sorry for the delay in this response. Thank you for your comment. Many people feel as you do, your comment will help others who read this blog for support. You are a kind and special soul and deserved so much more from a family. You are right to expect more–the fault is not with you. You haven’t been getting what you needed from them for a long time–since childhood I am sure. You are strong enough to face the truth now–that they are presently not capable of the healthy support you need and deserve. You are free to move towards a healthier life for yourself now. The pain you feel can be healthy grieving for a family you so wanted but really was never there for you. It is hard but you are going to be okay if you comfort yourself through this hard time and KNOW it is not you at fault in any way. There is often no way to win with Narcissistic people. But you can win by building a new life that is healthy for you. You have all of our support–welcome to our community! Warmest wishes for a new beginning and support on your healing journey, Roxanne

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  6. Hope you had a wonderful birthday Roxanne!

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    1. Zoe, Thank you so much for your well wishes–it was a wonderful birthday celebration with my husband and two grown children :).

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  7. Dear Roxanne,

    It’s been several weeks and I’ve had a yearning to communicate with you but I am having a hard time trying to determine or explain how I am feeling these days. In walking away from my family, I have made every change possible within my control..emailing no contact, moving away, changing jobs, changing numbers, etc. I have also been making it a priority to exercise, I keep thinking that if I take better care of myself I will feel better. After all this, all I know is that I ache. It is a feeling that is not going away. I know that I am much better off now that my family is gone. The panic and anxiety and pressure to please is gone but it seems to have been replaced with an ache that I can’t seem to describe. Like I am at the verge of crying but it won’t come out. I don’t know what to do with this feeling and I am at a loss of how to fix it.

    My hometown is in Georgia. I am compelled to tell you this because here in Georgia nothing is more important than family. Everyone I know has and loves their family. Every country song sings about family and friends. My parents moved from New York and eventually made their way to Georgia when I was a baby. So along with their narcissism also came a sense of being a foreigner. They are Puerto Rican and all my life they never really embraced Georgia and the southern culture. Growing up, I learned to love country music. I love the way southerners are, they know no strangers, but I felt my mom frowned heavily upon it So while growing up I always thought they kept people out because our cultures were so different but actually they kept out everyone that would see how they really are. I never belonged, never felt able to belong and now that I am away from them I feel more alone then ever. I really have no idea who I am, who I want to be and more importantly how to live in a town that would never understand walking away from family. It’s like an ugly secret that I can never really feel comfortable revealing. This is but a small aspect of what’s bothering me about my life.

    How do I fix this or do I just live with this feeling? I am just so sad.

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    1. Hi Belinda, I understand this ache that you feel, it may be many feelings rolled into one. Your job is to figure out exactly what you are feeling during those times and you can do this by writing out exactly how you are feeling (even that you are confused about your feelings) in a journal–keep writing until you feel better-you will be amazed at the truths that come out of you–you may realize that you are being too hard on yourself and that you deserve compassion. Writing connects us to the right side of our brains which is more creative and in touch with our hearts whereas just thinking things through can often keep us feeling confused. You are such an eloquent and creative writer, Belinda, I feel you would be very good at this journaling process. Please read my posts from Jan. 21, 2010, and March 7, 2010–I think they will be helpful to you. This ache and sadness you describe is grief–it is important that you let out the grief of the loss of an emotionally healthy childhood and upbringing. Grief is a healthy positive emotion and it requires you to feel all of your sadness and let it out. Difficult as it may seem, it is a very important part of the healing process. You are healing. Sending you comforting wishes as you continue to heal, Roxanne

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  8. Hi Roxanne, This month is the anniversary of my no-contact with my parents and sister. It still hurts. My heart is still wounded and I feel depleted and exhausted. I am also a HSP. My mum had an unhappy childhood and I think she never felt love. Therefore, she never had love for me or my sister or even my dad. As far as I remember I had days and days silent treatment, I was controlled, guild induced … to be around her, look after her (she has arthritis) . I was a good girl (golden child) and she always compared my sis with me which infuriated my sis. My sis and I never had a good relationship. When I left the home to go to the uni, my sis gradually became the golden child but I was still getting silent treatments every now and then. I never figured out what I did wrong and I always pushed to go and apologise (my dad). She told me few times that she wished she never had married or had children. This really broke my heart but never said anything. Last summer after a long trip back to my own home I called her. There was no answer. Many times I called and no answer. I called my dad as I was getting very worried on his mobile. He said your mum is angry with and does not want to speak. That was it. I hung up and never ever spoke with her or any member of my family. I was ill for many weeks. I was drained and exhausted. I had cyclic fever and aches. They called me, left messages, cursed me, induced guilt … my sister emailed me many times telling me how dare I am angry with my parents. How dare I can turn my back. How dare I leave the family in pain and agony etc… Something that really broke me and contributed to my illness was a letter from my mum. She had written that few years ago while I was still in the college, my dad had stroke. If I do not go back to the family and something happens to my dad it will be my fault and nobody will forgive. I could not believe my eyes. could not believe a word of that letter. Thank god I got help and I slowly recovered from guilt and as a result I am slowly recovering from exhaustion. I found your blog about HSP and N people. It is all true. It is the story of my life. Every moment of my life has been illustrated in your poems and articles. I had an email from my sister (I dared to look at it and I wish I had not) few days ago. She said she is begging to speak with me. She said her world has turned upside down. My heart sank. Every word felt like taking a year to read. It sucked my energy. I thought for three days and I decided to reply. I told her I hope God helps her as he has helped me to recover and heal. I told her that I will pray for her and said goodbye. Although it was a big step for me to surrender and detach from them, I cannot believe that I am turning my back and not helping her. I feel guilty for not helping her. How can I live the rest of my life? I deserve better. I deserve love and I know that I cannot get it from my mum, dad and sis. I also know that they are human too and they need love.

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    1. Persila,

      Thank you for your truthful and wonderful comment. You did the right thing. Where is your sister’s compassion for your feelings when she guilt-induced you and blamed you–where is her apology? She wants your help now but there is no remorse in her own actions–this is not a healthy relationship for you to be around while you are still healing. You are right to put your own healing first–you are not turning your back on her in a bad way but a good way. You are moving away from a toxic relationship that only uses you when she wants something from you–you are right to protect yourself from having the life sucked out of you!! It was very kind and compassionate of you to send your prayers and say goodbye. When we do great things for ourselves often this is when shame comes up to pull us back down because that pattern from childhood is so ingrained in us. Do not listen to this shame–it is your inner critic and it is lies. You have nothing to be ashamed of–it is good to love and nurture your self–God wants us to love and nurture ourselves and to walk away from those who use fear to control us. Fear is the opposite of love and God is love. It is so good that you are opening up to receive this love and protecting yourself from those who can’t love you as you heal!! Stay strong. Calm your fears and know you are loved and you do not owe them anything. Wishing you inner peace and comfort as you continue to heal, Roxanne

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  9. Hi, Roxanne. I really connected with the “Honor your father and mother” post because for 40 plus years that is the EXACT phrase my Mom has used on me whenever I did something like, say, actually try to assert myself (of all the horrible things!) I also love that you have a link to the St. Luke ministries which I find so wonderfully helpful since I’m a Bible believing Christian and need scriptural support for what I’ve felt all my life…the need to be loved and nurtured unconditionally. I have found God as my Father to be the One who is always there for me. However, it’s still hard letting go of letting go …of my Mom. I know you understand:)
    Blessings on you and many thanks for your courageous voice which is so healing for far too many of us.
    Elaine

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    1. Hi Elaine, Thank you so much for your comment and for letting me know what was helpful to you. Welcome to our community! Blessings to you as well, Roxanne! 😀 (Elaine means shining light!)

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