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My Dad was a mix of two different types of people. He was a naturalist and environmentalist, but also a boxer who learned how to fight as a means to defend himself against confrontation. He came from an abusive home.

I learned early on that rage is a common outcome of abuse/neglect/trauma (ANT) heaped on by a parent to their child. Just visualize a shovel with garbage dumped on a young person by a mother or father, and then picture the child. No matter how smart, good-natured or happy that child is, their personality, potential, and abilities are naturally compromised. As a result-they can hold guilt, shame, anger, and more. This is a sad commentary on those parents, and an unfortunate reality for the child.

I adopted my daughter when she was 9-years old. In that time she had experienced an extreme amount of ANT and was living in her 11th foster home. From day one, I realized that we had to unwind before moving forward. In other words, I never imposed the "forget the past" rule but rather have been present as she learned to understand what took place, so that she could accept her personal history and allow it to be a part of the person she is.

Three questions that we often ask ourselves throughout life: Where are we, Where do we want to be, and How do we get there? It is my belief that if we miss the boat on the first question; are not truly on board with what we have gone through; or realize our accomplishments no matter how small, we learned from a mistake even if the accomplishment is that, it is hard to build upon the next two questions.

My father who has passed, and my daughter, probably shared the same types of nightmares, awake and asleep. Although nightmares are not what we want, they are oftentimes part of the unwinding process.

Awareness about children's rights runs through my blood, and I am honored to be a part of the Families and Communities United (FCU) Committee.

Margie Chachkin

Past Articles
A Family's Journey: Advocating for Siblings
A Family's Journey: Christa's Story