Getting Real about What We Can and Can Not Give Our Children

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A Prayer for Every Child

My child-
If I could give you my love to use in this world-I would, I would

My child-
If I could give you my compassion to use in this world-I would, I would

My child-
If I could give you my peace to use in this world-I would, I would

My child-
If I could give you my grace to use in this world-I would, I would

My child-
If I could give you my mercy to use in this world-I would, I would

My child-
I would give you all of these and more to use in the world-If I could, if I could

But life requires more of us, my sweet child, than the use of the gifts of another.

Do not fret, my child, for this is my prayer-

I pray with deepest hearts that you may be so touched and overfilled by my love, compassion, peace, grace and mercy

That you, my beautiful child, will have more than enough to give.

The beauty of our growth, my dear child, is that you will get to choose what is done with these gifts.

Choose well, my child, choose well.

I do not have my own children, but I help raise my stepchildren. This is my prayer for them. I try to lead by example and give them all of my greatest gifts, but ultimately, as with all things in life, the child will decide what he or she will become. My only prayer is I do the best I can to help them use the gifts they have been given.

Another way to look at this prayer- if you believe in God- is to imagine God thinking about each of us in this way. God has given each of us- love, peace, grace, compassion, and mercy. God can not control the use of these gifts- that is the choice for each of us.

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When You are all that Someone has in the Moment of Pain….

Come in, Come in

Come in, Come in

How many of us have sat with someone in pain, and prayed to take on their pain for them? The following was written after an afternoon discussion with my stepdaughter. She was in pain, again, partly due to life (child whose parents are divorced, being a pre-teen etc.) and partly due to her living with a narcissistic mother. I hate to always seem as if I am pointing the finger at this woman, mother of the child, but every child needs a champion, someone who understands the world they live in. And I see, and I witness, what is done to her, and you better believe I pray and tempt the fates, if only her pain could be mine.

“Fate”

In our afternoon-
separated by a half a room-
We are roped into a
slice of eternity.

In my imaginings,
I sense the wrappings
and coils of infinity.
The sensation- more binding
than reassuring.

And I do not know anything…
And my thoughts fail me…
And I wonder one too many ideas…

Do you need me to reach?
Or will movement induce
ripples for which you are ill-prepared?

Your pain weighs and grounds
us and I fear, oh, I fear,
that I may send it all toppling
down onto us.

I freeze- Medusa, in reverse-
my features set in stone-
in a pose I imagine to be
warm and welcoming.

We do not move closer,
we do not move further,
but the weaving begins.

Your pain, my solace; my former
pain, lending you a point of
understanding.

I want to help but instead I pray-
reverently-although I know it is wrong
and Fate will refuse to bend and bow
to my sacrificial will.

I want to take on your pain- you
are so young, my sweet, little one-
much that you do not know –
here, I sit, mirroring you, so you
understand that you are seen and you are heard.

Even when you feel no one else notices.
For today, even having one, will be enough.
I hope to God it is enough.

Part of the poem certainly deals with being a stepparent to a child in pain due to a biological parent. How much do you help? What lines are there for you to cross or not cross? On days like this, I hope my being witness and support is enough for her or for anyone in pain, for that matter.

Pain of a Child

Woman and Child

Woman and Child


As many of your readers have pointed out when I write about my stepchildren and their narcissistic mother, how difficult this must all be in relation to my concern for my stepchildren’s well-being. Bless you for being aware to state such things. The effect narcissism has on us as adults is somewhat limited to what a child experiences when interacting with someone of this nature- especially, when the narcissist is the “Mother figure” (I write “Mother figure” as narcissists are not truly capable of fulfilling the role of “Mother”).

Below is a poem I wrote about my stepdaughter who is struggling with her sense of self, as her Mother has never been able to mirror her in an effective way. Children need us to mirror them. From the young games of peek-a-boo to meeting the development level of the child at every stage, when that mirror is not present, a child struggles to create a sense of self.

Add to this, the dynamic of stepmom and you see my stepdaughter’s and my pain. I can help her to a point, but the point ends when my stepdaughter feels to bond with me as “mother”, means disloyalty to her actual Mom. So, here we are- she struggling to find a mirror; me, doing the best I can, whispering “Please open your eyes and see how strong you are…”, all the while trying not to take any power from “Mommy”.

Daughter of the Narcissist

Without a mirror, you take.

With no reflecting surface,
You must build from nothing.

You use materials of imagination gathered from others.

You want me to see you,
You beg me to see.

I whisper, “Open your eyes…please, open
Your eyes”

But, you can not.

From your birth in time, you tried
And were told there was nothing to see.

And, now you are blind by choice,
Grasping hands upon my arm,
“Take me with you”.

I turn to walk away, distance is the friend.

I can no longer and I never could
Give you what you seek.

Every spirit, every soul must find the path of awakening.

A child, too young to be an adult, yes, you are.

Sorry my little one that the path you claim is not yours, truly is.

I will hold your hand and hope, I will, I will.

But to carry you now, my sweet younger one,
I can not; having never carried you in my womb.
My heart can not take you in the fantasy that persists.

The feet you plant on the ground are yours.
The mind that drives the movement is yours.
The voice that sings in each shower is yours.
The hands that craft your world are yours.

Now use them.

Please find that home within
Without the need for mirrors
Your value is within yourself. Amen.

Unleashing the Frozen Spirit

Healing Dream Images

Healing Dream Images

Frozen Tundra of My Soul
I came upon
The staircase
To heaven

A-lined
With the skull-ful
Remains of the
Dying

I took the old, creaky way
To the circular ascent

Arriving at the precipice
Worn weary and uncertain of my claim

I touched the glass pane
Holding the image
Frozen since childhood
Eyes locked open within

I begged and pleaded to no avail
Until a Woolly Mammoth
Heard my appeal

“Dig you idiot. The food you seek is underneath.”

I stooped down and upon
the surface knelt

Bread from Heaven
Manna for the soul
And I had tread upon thee

Only to be rescued by that which is extinct.

Staring at our old reflections. Eyes locked wide open, we do not even see where we stand any more. We are adults, powerful creators, not the little children of long ago.
In the poem, I am staring at a pane containing a child, frozen.
The woolly mammoth in this poem, had to point out the way to me. Our soul, in my mind, is eternal. I needed to dig past my current projections, to realize I was no longer locked inside myself. I could express and live. I was not on the path of the dying, in fact I was standing on a path of manna, bread from heaven, food for my soul.