“I was 20 years old, walking in the city and a man had a sign that said, ‘Tell your future for a gold coin.’
I laughed, told him my name and gave him the gold coin.
He stared at me for a while, told me I had mysterious eyes, then finally said, ‘I can’t tell you about your future because I need to tell your past.’
I expected him to tell me of a past life, but instead he said, ‘Look at a photo of you when you were a child and tell little Laura that it’s okay, she’s safe now. Even when you see little Laura in front of you. Know it’s going to be ok.’
He handed me the dollar back and hugged me. That was 13 years ago.
Today I saw little me.
My daughter Sofia wearing a jacket I had when I was little, feeding a kangaroo. I saw little Laura.
I worry so much about the way I parent. I worry that I’m going to screw it or them up. That my mental illness, my trauma, my everything, will impact them. I worry. Don’t we all?
If you were injured physically and permanently and then chose to run a marathon, people will call you brave. They’ll cheer you on. But when you parent from trauma, PTSD or mental illness, if you’re doing it well, nobody notices, nobody cheers. Emotional wounds aren’t applauded, because you can’t see them. Especially when you hide the tears.
One of the bravest things you can do as a parent is heal from your pain.
Parents with PTSD, trauma and mental illness who raise kids with compassion, kindness, with unconditional love; YOU ARE HEROES. You are doing one of the most difficult things in the world and yet your courage is making the world an amazing place for your children. Stay strong and even when you feel alone, know you’re not.
Sofia, you will never experience what little Laura did and as I teach you about the love you deserve. I remind Laura, little and big, about the love she deserves too.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Laura Mazza, where it originally appeared. Follow Laura on Instagram here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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