From Kathy

Hi Betsy,

You are a beautiful woman all the way through. Tbh, I watched RHOBH tonight and googled why E.D. was a homewrecker. Got my answer and it clearly led me to you. I am sorry you had to endure any of that but with that said, it appears that you did not let that bump in the road define you. Instead, you've used real life experience to empower others. My question is regarding a very sad family issue I have. My mother cheated on my father when I was 12 and my brother was 13. We lived in a small town and the affair was the talk of the town. She divorced my father, married this new man and created a brand new family (2 more children) and made my dad out to be the bad guy. I am close to 50 years old now and can't tell you how hard it has been for me to accept this. We do not have a mother/daughter relationship and my older biological brother became a heroin addict. I want to know if there is ever any hope for is to begin again or establish a healthy relationship that can erase all the bad things I remember from my childhood. The divorce damaged my self esteem and I learned over the years that I had to seperate her from me in order to find happiness. There's so much more I can add to this but I've said enough already. What I want to know is: do you believe I can ever truly heal properly by avoiding her existence? Every time I try to reach out, she says hurtful things and I hang up in tears. My kids missed an entire decade of having a grandmother. She sends them a check in the mail for Christmas and birthdays. I try not to trash her but a 17 daughter and 14 year son have figured out that this is unhealthy and they think they have something to do with it. How do I begin to heal? Clearly, my issues are not resolved. You don't have to answer if this is too much. I just saw your story and it inspired me to ask.

Thank you


Hi Kathy,

Thanks for your letter. I acknowledge you for your bravery on broaching these delicate subjects. I’d like to give you some feedback not advice because ultimately I believe we each have all the answers inside of us. If anything I have to say resonates with you that’s great if not feel free to dis-regard it. From my belief system we pick all of our soul mates (family members, friends partners etc.) from heaven before we’re born for our learning and evolution in this life-time. Isn’t that beautiful? Everyone in our lives has a purpose, I love that! So these are a few questions you could ask yourself if you’re willing to play along.

  1. What positive lessons have I learned by picking my particular mother?

  2. How has my life been positive because of everything that has occurred that I “could” perceive as negative or “challenging” if I choose to.

  3. What is my learning opportunity in all of this?

I believe in taking personal responsibility for every one of my upsets. That means every time my peace is disturbed (I’m “upset because”) I see it as an opportunity to work on and heal the part inside that’s hurting and disturbed. I send love to that part inside and have processes that I do like free-form writing and forgiveness of the judgment that whatever happened “shouldn’t” have happened. From my perspective your mother, yourself and your kids are all on a separate journey that you all picked. If that resonates with you, how can you make the absolute best of your situation and live in gratitude for all of the wonderful things in your life? I fully believe that we all do the very best we can given our level of awareness. Can you judge your mother’s journey not having complete knowledge of everything she has been through in this life-time and beyond? I know I couldn’t and wouldn’t want to. Our thoughts create our reality. You have the choice to view this situation as a blessing, which was bestowed onto you for a reason and to rise to the occasion! You have a beautiful opportunity to set an example for your mother, your children and others of someone who is a strong loving woman capable of forgiving judgment against herself and others and living a happy and productive life!!! You don’t know that your brother wouldn’t have been a heroin addict even in the best of situations. You asked “can I ever truly heal properly by avoiding her existence?” I believe if you work on healing the judgment that she is wrong and bad then you will be able to have a loving relationship with yourself and ultimately with her. We have a saying at The University of Santa Monica (where I have been studying for years and learned all of this) how we relate to ourselves while we are going through the issue is the issue. I really applaud you for reaching out to me and I so hope you can be loving and nurturing with yourself as you wade through these waters.

Betsy RussellFamily