My friends from fdmt told me « Marie we dont’t have a specific theme. You can write about ADD/ADHD, oppositional disorder, school achievement or anything else. »

That is when I remembered a French quote from Marc Lévy that I read a couple of months ago. This is it, freely translated.

“We can blame our childhood, blame indefinitely our parents for all the bad in our life, make them feel guilty for life’s hardship, for our weaknesses and cowardly actions, but in the end we are responsible for our own existence. We create our own life.” – Marc Lévy

Now this is what I feel like sharing following this reading.

While reading this message I could «tag» many people. I could hold a grudge against my mothers and fathers. (Oh I forgot to tell you that I was adopted and that I was lucky enough to find both my biological parents) If I am going to lay blame, why not on everyone else in the whole world. Fortunately, I grew up with imperfect parents who themselves were raised by imperfect parents. I rode my bicycle without a helmet, I watched movies not for my age, I ate tons of sugar, and they forced me to play outside even when it was cold. They let me quarrel with my brother. My father made clear the obligation to be respectful towards Pierrette (adoptive mother). They taught me the meaning of real words such as love, self-giving, resilience, generosity which was showed by my mother Françoise (biological mother) when I was born, putting her child up for adoption. I grew up with human values as large as the world. And yes I grew up experiencing hardship, unfortunate events, I questioned decisions I took impulsively. I even had to kneel to learn to ask for help. Not easy for a «superwoman» like me.

What my parents mostly did… was to let me learn all these life lessons.

I have 4 beautiful children who grew up with an imperfect mother (me).

I often told them : «You can blame me for the rest of your life. You can tell yourself that I am not a good mother or a good grandmother. (Oh I did not tell you that I am a grandmother of 6 grandchildren.) That I did not give you this or that. That I did not provide the desired stability. That I was unfair and made you feel injustices between you. That I worked too much to offer you the best, and yes, to answer all your different requests.

I wish I could have done otherwise, but I did not know how. When you were born, there was no «how to use» guide hanging from your nose.

I had to learn how to grow, become a woman, a spouse, a mother, a grandmother, a girl and a friend.

Once again, there was no user guide on how to become the perfect person.

Thinking about it now, I would not want to be this perfect person, because if I were I would not have a right to error, or a right to be me, the woman I am today.

I had to sit with myself and forgive myself for all the I should have, all the Why did I do that and all the Why did I say that.

And one morning, while getting up, I decided it was enough, I decided to love myself and stop blaming OTHERS, to get a hold of myself and be proud of where I am at.

At that moment I decided to be the imperfect Marie… to enjoy life and stop feeling guilty of what I should have done or said, to learn to forgive my imperfections and love life as it is. Wow! I decided that it was time to stop blaming everyone, and while thinking about it, more so since no one had forced me to do anything. Therefore I am the only person responsible for my own happiness.

When I close my eyes and listen to my heart beating, I wonder what I should wish for my children…

«I wish you the best. I wish that life will be good and gentle for you. I wish you to be able to recognize your wrong doings and to be accountable for your decisions. I wish you to be less imperfect than me. But more than anything I wish you to learn how to forgive yourself and forgive me.

Just a small warning, do not forget that one day or another my grandchildren, therefore your children, will blame you for not having been perfect and not having done enough for them.

Well… you will be able to tell them that you were raised by an imperfect mother who was herself raised by imperfect parents and who did all she could do to make you happy and imperfect.»


Marie-Michèle Lemaire

Éducatrice spécialisée – La Clinique Multidisciplinaire TDAH