I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have a picture in my mind of sitting on my Mom’s knee with my sister beside me bring up the thought, ” My Mom is nice, I feel safe with her as she was quite consistent in her behavior toward me and my siblings, she was a kind parent.”

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have a picture in my mind of sitting beside my Mom, on a christmas eve, reading ‘the night before christmas’ as we did each year bringing up the thought, ‘I felt safe and warm and comforted by this ritual with my Mom, she made christmas ‘special’ and fun, I felt/feel loved by her.’

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have a picture in my mind of my Mom in a classroom full of young girls where she was the teacher of an after school class, bringing up the thought, ‘All the girl, and my friends, like my Mom and think I am ‘lucky’ to have such a nice Mom. I am proud of her as she is the teacher of a ‘fun’ class, not ‘real’ school. They are right, she is a ‘good’ parent. I feel ‘happy’ and secure with her.’

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have a picture in my mind of my parents before one of their parties, my Mom putting on make-up as I watched in the bathroom bringing up the thought, ‘She looks so pretty in her beautiful, sparkly dress that she made, I will put on make-up when I am older and look pretty too.’ and ‘I am happy that my Dad is happy and silly dancing around before his friends get here. He is always in a good mood before a party. I feel happy because I am safe with him now, he is not mean and drunk and picking on me or my bothers and sister.’

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have a picture in my mind of being at the cottage in the winter, my Dad unpacking the car after shoveling his way into the cottage and my Mom unpacking boxes in that are on the kitchen table, the sound of my Dad pouring  the coal into the little stove as it slowly heats up the little charming cottage on a freezing cold Ontario winter night bringing up the thought, ‘It’s fun at the cottage. I feel safe with my Dad as he is not drunk and in a ‘good’ mood because it is christmas holidays. He loves the cottage and is happy when we come here. I love playing with my dog and cat and cousins at the cottage. We play ‘spoons’ and laugh alot as the adult play bridge in the other cottage. We go skiing and tobogganing and ski-doing,  make snow forts, eat icicles, have snowball fights and it is so fun. I am safe/safer here at the cottage than at home.’

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have a picture in my mind of lying in bed at the cottage being cold, in the middle of the night and  hearing that familiar sound of my Dad pouring in the coal into the stove and then jumping into bed with my parents, in between them and being warm and cozy bringing up the thought, ‘My Mom and Dad keep me warm, I feel safe my Mom is here, I can sleep now.’

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have a picture in my mind of my parents good friends at the cottage, drinking and laughing and having a good time with each other and all the kids, playing games, roasting a pig, singing at the bonfire, drinking, being down at the dock in their bathing suits, swimming, going for a boat ride, sailing, bbq-ing, helping my Dad, bringing up the thought, ‘I like my parents friends, they have fun, they like to drink, they have fun when they drink, it is a part of the day and makes it more fun, they are nice to me and silly and laugh alot, I like to play with their children, it is good and safe here at the cottage, my parents a re happy when they are with their friends, this is what adults do and it is good, my Dad is happy and nice when his friends are here, I feel more safe when his friends are here.’

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have a picture in my mind of being at L and P’s cottage with the kids at their beach and we are swimming and sea-doing and decided to be innocent like the kids and be nudists for the week, bringing up the thought, ‘I was so ‘happy’ at their cottage, so free and felt so safe, they ‘think’ the same way I do and we explored so many topics of how to be effective parents and human beings and laughed and read and relaxed and ate well and exercised. I wish I could live like that always. They were good friends. They are wealthy and that is what wealth in this world offers, the time and ability to express oneself in self honesty. I wish I could do that everyday and everyone could. It is sad I no longer see them.’

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have a picture in my mind of being at the ‘chalet’, when I was married to my children’s father, with his family bring up the thought, ‘It was so relaxing and I felt so safe being with C’s family. They have a lot of money and I felt safe knowing I would ‘inherit’ this money and this lifestyle. I miss the community of this family unit and the fun playing games, skiing, drinking, laughing, eating expensive food, being in opulent surroundings.’

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have a picture in my mind of my Mom ‘tucking’ me in each night when I was a young girl saying, ‘Night, night, don’t let the bed bugs bite’, bringing up the thought, ‘I love/respect my Mom. I always felt ‘loved’ and cared for and safe each night she tucked me in with these words and a kiss. I am glad I repeated this ‘tradition (not the phrase) and spent time at my children’s bedtime to read them a story,  talk to them, cuddle and tuck them in, even if I was drinking.’

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have a picture in my mind of myself as a little girl saying my nightly prayers in my little bed in my little room feeling safe and cozy and thanking ‘god’ that everyone was safe and everything was ‘ok’, bring up the thought, ‘I wish life was that simple and innocent now.’

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have a picture in my mind of being in the car with my parents and siblings driving in a neighborhood that had smaller houses (probably in the city, I grew up in the suburbs) and thinking, ‘I don’t like these little, old houses, they are ugly. I am lucky and safe my family has money and it is good because we have a big, pretty house and no problems, money is good and important. I don’t like apartments. I feel sorry for families who have no money and have to live in an ugly apartment. My dad is a doctor (chiropractor) and it is good because he makes a lot of money and we don’t have to live like that.’ Note: very naive ‘thoughts’, I understand that now.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have a picture in my mind of my father in his office (I worked there a few summers/holidays) and thinking, “My dad is a good chiropractor, he is kind and generous to people who can’t afford his service. His patients love him, I love him for that.  He is ‘happy/content’ in his work place, it is important to like your job like he does. I like being here, it is productive and a warm atmosphere. He makes a lot of money quite easily, that is a very good thing for our family. I am glad he gives to charity so it is ok our family has everything and more.’ Note: total self interest.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have a picture in my mind of our family driving/walking to church Sunday mornings, hearing my Dad sing the hymns, he often exaggerated his voice to be ‘funny’, and thinking, ‘Church is boring but my Dad is ‘happy’ here so I’ll be quiet and not complain like my brothers and sister. He is fun and light hearted here and comforted because my grandpa was a minister and it brings back memories of his childhood seeing/hearing his Dad at the front of the church. I like my grandparents. I don’t get church, oh well.’

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have a picture in my mind of christmases up north with my grandparents and cousins in my grandparents tiny home or at the Inn we would gather for a dinner and thinking, ‘That was so much fun seeing everyone and receiving gifts, sleeping over at my cousins and having home made egg nog sunday morning before going to church where my grandfather would often be the minister. I like all these people and feel safe with them. The adults don’t drink in front of my grandparents because my grandmother thinks alcohol is of the devil, that is so funny and all the kids laugh about it and we laugh at all her ‘old fashion’ ideas and it is snowy and there are pretty christmas lights everywhere and school is out soon for two weeks. I like my life. I like it that my dad does not drink here. He is nice when he doesn’t drink. I feel safe when he doesn’t drink. Everyone likes him when he doesn’t drink. I wish he would never drink.’

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