bunt sign
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If you make the decision to withhold your children from the extended family that loves them, you need to know at least two things. First, that you can give them a better life than they would have had surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. And second, that you have a reason you can justify to yourself.

It helps if you have the kind of mind that builds up minor slights and turns them into major grudges. You might need the kind of imagination that lets you see danger where there is only miscommunication. You should be both paranoid and hostile to any course of action or belief system that doesn't precisely match your own. You don't have to be a sociopath, but I'm sure it probably helps.

Unfortunately, no one believes you are protecting your children. You might be able to convince yourself, but it doesn't fly with people who think normally. We know what you're up to. You need to be the star of your own life story, and if anyone gets in the way of that, you find it easy to come up with reasons to diminish them and promote yourself. As I said, it doesn't really wash with the world at large, but once you've shut the real world out, your little internal drama can feed on itself and stay alive.

If you had led a spotless life yourself, you might be in a better position to rain down judgment on the rest of us. We are not perfect. We've made mistakes. We've taken shortcuts. We've lost our way from time to time. But we are not evil, and we're not out to get you, and we don't want to take anything from you. We want to give you something that you need, and you have slammed the door in our faces.

Here's a third thing that must be true: You can't care about anyone's feelings but your own. Not the family, not the kids. You matter first, most and always, and everyone else is dust in the wind. If you can't take that in, you can't be that kind of person, who would deny children the right to be loved by anyone else.

We don't care how you got that way. Something hardened your heart and froze your soul. Maybe you even realize this and can't help acting the way you do. I don't care. We don't care. We've tried, for years, to care, but you won't let us.


Some day, probably not as far in the future as you would like to believe, your children will know what you've done. You can tell them all about who's to blame for the situation, but they're too smart, too wise to your ways, to accept that your way is the only way. They're already old enough to know that they have a family that loves them. I refuse to believe that you can make them think otherwise.

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