“All children deserve parents. But not all parents deserve their children.”

Years ago, during my high school English teaching days, I used to post a daily quote, and have my students respond in writing. I loved how the words would encourage quiet self-reflection, and the kids’ differing opinions made for a lively discussion at the beginning of every class.

I left teaching three days before giving birth to my eldest child, and always missed these regular interactions… until recently, when I started posting to Instagram for Been There, Got Out. I quickly discovered that this could be another place, though virtual, to have ongoing discourse.

A few weeks ago, I posted the above quote, and shared that my ex-husband had completely missed my son’s high school graduation – he was actually the class’ commencement speaker. I expressed my feelings of deep disappointment for my children’s not having a father who cared about their achievements and milestones.

And then, something unexpected happened…

Recently, I read a post on Instagram from @been_there_got_out. It resonated with me because I had similar feelings after I left my narcissistic ex-husband. This was the first time I ever posted a comment outside of family and friends. I felt compelled to respond…to encourage.

It’s only been a l