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As I review my life, it is evident that I suffered depression from a young age. After my third daughter was born, I could witness on my children’s faces what my anxiety and depression was doing to them. You don’t have to be abusive to make your children fear you. I look back at that time with my precious three little daughters and grieve about the moments of anxiety and depression that left me sad, angry, and exhausted. Mental health care was just starting to be accepted in the Baby Boomer populace when I was having children, but I sought help and found it. My fourth daughter received more of the mother I wanted to be.

Reading Emily’s story and other young mothers’ stories on the Emily Effect website has given me a new perspective. I was ill. I could not act and react the way I wanted all of the time. Guilt and remorse will not help move me forward. I need to forgive myself and recognize that my untreated mental illness was the source of the bad times. Thank you, Emily, for showing this grandmother how to let go of the days my mental illness affected my family.

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