“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over.”

A lovely story of growing up with a lot of pain and learning from it as an adult. This is written by Saddhamala (Nancy Nicolazzo) and is from WildMind. I’ve excerpted the beginning so that you might go a read the rest.

“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over.”  — Thich Nhat Hanh

I grew up in a family dominated by alcoholism, narcissism, illness and dysfunction. There were four of us, my mother, my father, my older brother and myself.

From a young age, I had a lot of responsibility. I was a parentified child, caring for my older brother who was epileptic and also caring for my parents whose main focus of concentration was on themselves.

Growing up I was filled with confusion, dissatisfaction, and suppressed anger.

As a child, I did not know other children were busy playing and being cared for. For me it was all about caring for others. I was left alone while my father worked, my mother shopped, and my brother was taken where he needed to be.

As a result of these dynamics, I grew up trying to please my distracted parents. I wanted nothing more than to win their approval and affection. read the rest

The rest is about how Saddhamala learned how to work through the anger she acquired growing up like that. How she slowly learned to transform it to compassion and a bit about what that looks like in her life today.

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