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My inheritance

When I struggle with less than generous thoughts about others, I often wonder where these thoughts come from. That is not like me, I say to myself. I am kind, thoughtful, reasonable. I am not selfish, cruel or miserly. That sounds like my stepmother, my unconscious mind tells me. I gasp, no!

How can that be? I pride myself on being the opposite of her! I have broken the chain. She is dead! I have bested her. She has no power over me, I tell myself. I am a good, thoughtful, kind mother and person. I am caring, warm and loving.

Ahhh, but her inheritance remains. Sometimes, when triggered with situations that feel like a challenge, or threaten my protective wall, it's not me that responds. It is her voice introjected- the bad mother - the bad person, to where the good person was. Out of the deep, deep shadows, from a place I rarely go and never by choice, a voice flashes by that is not mine. It is cold, and mean, and selfish, needlessly so. I image a threat where there is none. I see enemies that do not exist. I become like her, when I never want to be, all in my mind. You wouldn't know or see it. I rarely let it out.

Such is the abuse survivor's inheritance. We got what we did not want, and do not deserve, and yet, it is we who must work to repair the damage. And if one lives through trauma, there is always damage. Some of it seen, some unseen, but always challenging to recognize and change. I get angry that I even have to do this work while others seem to have it so easy.

But I want to be happy, and healthy- not weighed down by her voice-the bad mother - the bad side of my inheritance of trauma. I work at it, slowly, painfully, I trudge through it, because I want to be whole, and I want to be happy. I hope to inspire you to do the same.

My story will be published by She Writes Press in June 2024. Please follow me at

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