Sometimes Mother’s Day/Father’s Day is a sad reminder of a difficult childhood.

While other people are celebrating their mother or father, some people can only rememberhow difficult it was growing up in their household. Mothers who were jealous or mean, who put then down, gaslighted making you feel like you were crazy. Or perhaps she was so self involved to the point of being neglectful. Fathers who were physically or verbally abusive, controlling, or rageful. Perhaps your parents had parts of their personalities that were depressed, highly anxious or lived in fear. Growing up in less than nurturing environments surely creates wounds that are deep, often creating difficulty in the present.

To those who experienced any of these traumas, these celebratory holidays are a reminder of what they endured and the kind parenting they missed.

Don’t suffer alone. May is National Mental Health Month. Share with someone who will be compassionate to your experience. A therapist can help you figure a way to heal. Or perhaps speaking with someone from your religious community feels right for you. Take the first step. Don’t let shame keep your pain locked away. Be compassionate to what you’ve been through and look for a way to heal.