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For years I believed that my mom and stepdad were keeping me away from my biological dad and his side of the family. I felt that if he knew where I was he would come and rescue me from the abuse I was experiencing. But since he didn't know where I was he couldn't get to me. I held out hope that someday he would find me and save me.

I'm embarrassed to say that not until I was thinking about writing this article did this memory come to mind which sent a shudder through my whole body as I connected with this revelation. My mother was pregnant with her sixth child. One day I heard her on the phone and of course like a nosey teenager grew my ears wide to listen in. "No she can't come. I need her here to help me with the kids." Then she hung up. I don't remember her letting me talk to him. But when she put down the phone I asked her who it was.

"It was your dad. He hurt his back and he wants you to come and take care of him. But I told him I needed you here to help me especially with your brother coming soon."

I knew not to show any emotions. Inside I was raging. How dare she not let me go to my daddy! I wanted to go but I couldn't. I'm sure my attitude changed after that but I knew I had to reel it in or face the wrath of my stepdad.

But in that reminiscing moment I realized that no one had kept us apart but him. And he, like my mother, only cared about how I would take care of them and help them. There was nothing remotely about my needs or wants. No acknowledgement. How invalidating. Then it dawned on me that all those years I cried for him, wondered about him, wanted to run away from the abuse to find comfort with him, longed for the safety of his arms and kind words-he knew where I was and never contacted me!

Invisible learnings began to reveal themselves to me. My template for what to expect from men was rooted in my relationship with him and with my stepdad. What messages did my vulnerable innocent heart receive from these men? What did they teach me about myself, women, relationships and my value?

Past my hurt, past my pain, past my tears, as my eyes clear I see-I see the intergenerational need for unconditional love to be passed on to our children. To do this we need to heal our adult wounds. It is time to pause. It is time to grow ourselves up. It is time to make love a verb.

Deborah Chelette-Wilson is a relationship coach, authoress and speaker whose powerful message is "Harness the Power of Human(e) Relationships." Her inspiring message helps women harness their personal power, find peace within and become part of the shift in creating healthier and more loving relationships, beginning with the one with their self. In order to honor someone else's heart you must first honor your own. To learn more go to http://www.deborahchelette-wilson.com.

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