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‘Don’t worry about the Joneses. They might happily trade in that 6-bedroom home for exactly what you have.’: Mom reminds us to be grateful for what we have, ‘if your little place is filled with love and warmth, you’re already rich’

“Years ago, I was married to a different man who cared more about material possessions than his family. We had a big house with an incredible view, nice vehicles, a boat in the driveway. We were, in fact, the Joneses. But inside the front door, life was filled with drug abuse, infidelity, and violence. Two children who never saw their father, or only saw him screaming at their mother. From the outside, we were the envy of neighbors and friends. Inside, it was a nightmare.”

‘Your son cut class today.’ I got the phone call no parent expects. ‘Excuse me?!?!’ I was LIVID.’: Mom comforts teen son battling depression, ‘we should treat mental illness the same as physical ailments’

“My first thought was, ‘They have the wrong boy.’ My son loves school! Frustrated, I yelled, grounded him. Then, the next morning, I heard it. Sobs coming from the shower. ‘Mom, I’m not feeling okay.’ He told me he felt extremely depressed. That it was so bad he contemplated killing himself and had skipped class to find a quiet space to cry alone and breathe. Instantly, I felt a pang in my heart.”

‘When they flinch from the stapler dropping, it’s because they weren’t sure if you’re throwing it at them.’: Foster mom pens powerful note to teacher warning of her children’s trauma

“They come from a really, really hard place. The kind of abuse you think can’t be real. They duck for cover. You’ve heard of fight or flight? There is also freeze. One of my kids responds with ‘freeze.’ Her eyes grow wide and her voice silences. It’s how she’s trained herself to survive. My kids need to know you are safe.”

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