Friday, May 17, 2013

Dear Wounded Child

I want to address every child that has ever been wounded, disappointed or let down by a parent. I want to stand in for your parent that has disappointed you. We are adults, and you were right to expect us to behave like ones. I want to say I am sorry.

I am sorry that we did not protect you. I am sorry for being selfish and putting my own wants and desires first. I am sorry for letting you down. I'm sorry that we did not behave as adults. I'm sorry that we put you in a position of having to grow up too fast, for having to take care of yourself when we should have been the ones to take care of you. I'm sorry for acting immaturely and more like a kid than an adult.

I'm sorry we didn't keep it together for you. I'm sorry that we didn't respect your other parent enough to maintain an intact family for you to grow up in. I'm sorry for the ways and times I didn't listen to you when you had something on your heart to tell me. I'm sorry I didn't show up when I said I would. I'm sorry I forgot you at school. I'm sorry I left you unsupervised and allowed you to face temptations you weren't ready to handle yet. I'm sorry I didn't always follow the standards I told you to follow. I'm sorry we demanded respect while we acted disrespectfully. I'm sorry we separated from your other parent. I'm sorry we divorced and you had to go between two houses and then got mad when you forgot stuff. I'm sorry we never married and I introduced you to a new parent and that caused you to feel confused.

I'm sorry I lied to you about where you came from. I'm sorry I didn't protect you and allowed you to be introduced to topics too young. I'm sorry I yelled when you spilled your drink. I know it was an accident. I'm sorry I was too busy to just give you a hug or tousle your hair. I'm sorry I didn't even notice when you needed a hug or that time you were crying alone in your room. I'm sorry we didn't maintain our authority and position as your parents and let you make decisions you weren't able to take on yet.

I'm sorry for losing my temper, for calling you names. I'm sorry you were left alone. I'm sorry I scared you.  I'm sorry I wasn't there when you needed me the most. I am sorry that we failed you. Big time. There is no excuse. I want you to know though, that it wasn't your fault. It was mine. It was ours. We failed you. We were supposed to protect you and provide for you and we didn't.

It wasn't your fault. Do you hear me? It wasn't. You were a kid. You were meant to behave like a kid and we were supposed to be an example of responsible adult behavior. I want you to know that you don't need to carry around that guilt any more. It wasn't your fault we never married your other parent, or separated or even divorced from them. None of that was ever really about you. It was about us. It was our own selfishness. We are sorry for bringing you into our problems. We should have exhibited more self control. We should have shown more love. We should have taught you how to work out problems instead of running away from them.  You deserved more respect from us. You deserved to be loved and accepted. We are sorry you felt rejected. You deserve to be taken care of as a child. We should have pursued more of a relationship with you. It was selfish of us to expect you to chase after us. It was selfish of us to blame your other parent.

You are worthy to be loved. You need to know that. You are not destined to fail or to repeat our failures. You have your own path to walk. You need to know that God has a greater path ahead for you. A path that is not bound to our mistakes. You can release the anger toward us. We deserve it. We want you to know, though, that it was not meant to be your burden to carry. We are sorry for putting our own burdens on you to carry.

You are destined for greatness, not mediocrity. You are meant to soar and succeed. Your dreams are not stupid. They are amazing. You are amazing. You were not a mistake or an accident. You were meant to be born. There is a great plan and destiny for your life. I want you to be free to follow it, to live it. You are smart. You have talents and gifts that are uniquely yours. Don't be afraid to use them. Don't be afraid to let your light shine. You can go to school and do well. You can get good grades. You can paint or sing or dance or act. You can do research and find answers. You can read great books. You can learn new things. You can get a great job and excel at it. You can enjoy it. You are responsible and you can make good choices.

You will get a second chance. If we ruined your childhood--we want you to know you have a second chance. When you have your own kids. You are free to have fun, to laugh, to play ball, to roll around in the grass with them. You are free to enjoy their childhood and have fun all over again.

You do not need to behave like us. You do not have to be neglectful or selfish. You are free to love your own children. You are free to let them love you. You are free to cuddle and snuggle with them. You are free to tickle them, hug and kiss them. You are free to have family dinners around the table. You are free to listen to them. You are free to laugh at their silly jokes. You can smile when they spill their drink accidentally. You don't have to yell.

You are free to love, honor and respect your spouse too, their parent. You don't have to repeat our bad behaviors. You are free to be faithful and loving. You are free to love. You will be a great parent and a great spouse. You will honor others. You will treat others respectfully. You will keep your word, your commitments, your vows. You will be trustworthy.

We want you to know that you really were a great kid. We hope you will forgive us and choose to be free. We want you to be everything you were destined to be. We want to see you succeed in spite of us. You were born to succeed. Don't give up. Please forgive us and be free.

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