To Three Kids

I am writing to you with hopes that this will follow you throughout your life. I hope this helps and if it does, I want you to take this thought with you no matter where you go.
I am also writing this with hopes that this follows you beyond all the apologies and all the attention to the moment at hand.
Also, I am writing this to you as a Dad and as a friend, as a person that looks around and wonders why life happens the way it does, and as someone that understands how the things we see will follow us around for the rest of our life

I cannot say why we do what we do. The truth is adults do crazy things. And we do bad things too. We might not mean to. And we might not always want to do bad things or say mean things —but sometimes, things happen. Sometimes, anger gets in the way.
Sometimes, the things that happened in our life and the things we saw left a scar on our heart and on our brain.
And these scars are the worst because no one can see them. No one can tell the scars are even there —but they are, and they hurt, and they run very deep.

There are two parts of our thinking—one side thinks on the side of emotion and the other side thinks on the side of plans and ideas. The feelings side has fear. The planning side has no emotion at all. The only problem is emotions get in the way of our better judgement.

Sometimes we forget to listen to the smarter side of our minds. And sometimes, even though we understand what we’re doing is wrong and we know this hurts us; we know this hurts the people we love, sometimes we do the wrong things. And sometimes we do terrible things.
We do crazy things.
We can’t really say why or explain it. We just know we can’t think straight. We just know we have this thing in our brains that make us so angry —it’s like coughing when you’re sick, —you know you don;t want to do this but you can’t stop it either.

This is what happens when people think a certain way. This is what happens when we get a thinking injury.
And I want you to know this because as kids, we often wonder if we have anything to do with the way the adults act or behave.
We worry of we did something wrong —but you’ve done nothing wrong. Sometimes, people get sick — and it’s just like catching a cold. This doesn’t make us bad or mean or terrible —it just means we have something in our minds that will not go away. This is why we act out or do something so terrible or mean.

When you get older, you will hear people talk about the words mental illness. I don’t know if I like those words.
I think I like the way I explain it better —it’s like our thinking catches the flu; it’s like our mind catches a virus and we can’t think passed the pain. And pain is a funny thing.
Pain makes us act out in ways that other people cannot understand. Pain makes us do things even we can’t understand —let alone someone else.
And there are doctors for this.
They do have medicine too but sometimes the medicine doesn’t work because the virus is really bad.
Understand?
Just remember, this kind of pain and sickness is nobody’s fault. It’s a sickness that gets really bad and it makes us do terrible things.  

I want to send this to you because, yes, you are young and yes, you are going through different things, which no one else can understand.
On top of that, you’ve seen things that no one else is supposed to see.

I can’t say why we do what we do sometimes. All I can tell you is adults are just really big babies. Sometimes we think life is playing unfairly and we just want to take our toys and go home.
The truth is adults cry too. They have tantrums just like little kids. And no matter how old we are, there is still a baby in each and every one of us. Sometimes adults need “Time-outs” and sometimes we do things wrong and we have to face the punishment. And sometimes, we even punish ourselves and the people we love the most, like Mommies.

And do you know what’s funny?
Do you know what most kids say when they do something wrong and they’re caught —they’re Mom asks them “Why did you do that?”
And what do they say?
They say, “I don’t know,” right?
Adults aren’t much different.
If you were to ask the question, “Why,” the answer would probably be the same.

The truth is we do know. Deep down, we know why we do things but the reason never really makes sense.
The truth is we know that we are hurt sometimes —and when you’re hurting so badly, it’s like, No matter how hard we try to fix something or make sense of it, nothing works out, which is frustrating.

Frustration leads to a lot of ideas and feelings. Sometimes when we can’t find things like a friendship or love, we try harder but we still can’t fix it. And sometimes we try even harder but our frustration makes us sad. And the scars in our mind mislead us to see something else.
And then we get scared. Then we feel hurt. Then we feel like the entire world is against us, like we are going to lose absolutely everything, and everyone will look at us and thing we are bad people; no one cares, and then we feel rejected.
To be honest a lot of people think and feel this way. This is not the bad part. But when you have an injury in your mind, these ideas just hurt us a lot more.

I am telling you this because nothing will ever make sense when it comes to the question “Why?”
Nothing will ever solve the riddle or answer the questions you’d like to have answered —especially when the people you want to ask are not around anymore.

There is whole big thing ahead of you now. It’s called life. And by now, you already know life is not going to be fair all the time.  
Just stick together. Stay close. Love each other.

Right now, Kay, you are about to be 11. Cam, you’re 8.  Jas, you just turned 5. And Jas, I know your birthday wasn’t what it was supposed to be. But don’t worry. Good times will come your way.
I promise.

You will learn more as you grow older but still, no matter what you learn, nothing makes sense of things like this. And I can’t make sense of this either.
All I can do is say, “I’m here.”

And kids, just let me know if you ever need someone to read you a bedtime story.
I like reading bedtime stories.
I like to laugh and play and run around and jump around.

Just call me Uncle Benny—

It’s okay if you need to cry.
I cry too.
Adults cry all the time.
And that’s a good thing because feeling your feelings and thinking your thoughts and letting them show instead of letting them hurt you is the best way to keep your mind healthy.

Just know that wherever you go, I’ll be around of you need me.
I’m always as close as a phone call

Always

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