About the Author

Karin Booker Dancy is a 50-something writer who enjoys penning essays on family, parenthood, and matters of the heart. Her blog explores how Life stretches us from the inside, out. A Southerner who loves sweet tea, Karin lives in North Carolina with her husband and children.

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Reader Interactions


  1. This was important. Outstanding. Compelling, and brave. That part about shrinking yourself so as not to be a burden!!! I’m just thankful that you and your mom got to experience the clarity and the OTHER, freer side, of the story! Cheers…

  2. Thank you for addressing this hard subject. My mom was diagnosed with bipolar type 1 when I was 12 years old. By that time she’d had 10 children with multiple fathers and never married. I found out later that this process was a part of her mental illness from my own psychiatrist. She was also an alcoholic. She didn’t understand that she self medicated her condition to quiet the demons in her mind. Drinking also made her more sociable. I wasn’t aware of dual diagnoses or connection between mental illness and substance abuse, until I watched Dr. Phil McGraw talk about it on his talk show. My mom passed away 20 years ago and I still mourn her death in odd ways, but I have learned to celebrate her life! I don’t dwell on what wasn’t or wasn’t to be. I love her unconditionally with all my heart. I understand that my mom’s trauma was passed down to me. I live my life with truth and meaning. I’m here to raise and develop the next generation. My life hasn’t been about me for a long time. Thank you!

    • Cynthia, God bless you – for all you experienced and for the liberation and joy you clearly have found for YOU! I so appreciate your story, too. Grateful hugs to you for reading and sharing!

  3. Thank you for your story. It really made me think about somethings in my childhood. Thank you for being able to heal inside and out.

  4. WOW. Wonderful message and insight to share particularly during this time of year . Loved the article . Thank you Karin for such healing words .

    • So very poignant in many ways, Karin. Thank you for sharing your testimony, because that’s what it truly is. God’s grace gets us through, and now you are continuing your parents’ “earth angel” work. We are the better for it. May you continue being brave and fully heal.

    • “A.M.!” 🙂 As one of the bravest, authentic women in my life – your message means the world to me. Thank you for reading, praying for me, and always rooting me on my journey. I love you.

  5. Thank you for sharing this beautiful testimony of love, empathy and healing. It is wonderful reminder that healing is available if we are courageous, show each other grace,
    and love each other through the journey. This piece gives so much hope and for that I am grateful to the author. Blessings…

  6. Thank you for sharing. You are such a beautiful soul. Your words are gentle and encouraging, always. This piece helps me reflect on my own childhood, as well as pushes me to be mindful on how my hurts show up in my parenting. Thank God for grace and healing 🙏🏽 🙌🏾

  7. Thank you for willingness to share your story. You put to words the feelings and impact family stories have on our development.

  8. You truly are one of the sweetest, kindest, persons thar I know. THIS was everything. Here’s to healing. May we seek it, embrace it and forever be on the road of keeping it. You are truly a gifted writer my dear Hampton friend 💙🤍⚓️

    • Karin,
      When you can give your own personal testimonials, you have no idea much courage you’ve passed on to the next person. I truly believe our childhood wounds are inextricably linked to our mothers/fathers but, it’s the courage to HEAL for me! Thank you for allowing yourself to be vulnerable so other’s can join in human healing. I’m in the constant process of healing through my own. It does take time and it helps when you have the unconditional support. Hugs ❤️…

      • Ruth, how am I just seeing that my reply to you waaaaaay back in December (which feels like 20 years ago) never posted? #InsertFacePalmHere 🙂 Thank YOU for reading and sharing, my friend. I know you have your own, beautiful testimonies of healing, inside-out. Hugging you as we both keep putting one foot in front of the other on our healing journeys!

  9. OMG, there is so much power and liberation in this writing! The healing message is well-received! Thank you for the willingness to so eloquently share and the gentle reminder that “Healing us Everything”.

  10. Karin, this was so vulnerable and beautiful. There is space in my head that says having to care for a 4th child 10 years later is why my bio dad took his life. It unknowable and not my fault, but it still lives in my head. Naming our hurts is on the path to healing. Thank you.

    • Andrea, I cannot fully express how meaningful your sharing is to me. God bless you for doing so. I pray that we both continue to heal and be abundantly gentle with ourselves in the process. Healing quiets (and, ultimely, destroys) those tapes in our heads. Keep going, sis. I’m cheering you on every step of the way.

  11. Karin, I see you and I see me! Healing starts with self-awareness and understanding our past is the start of our healing journey which is a part of life’s journey! We all need healing! Thank you so much for sharing just a piece of your powerful story and letting everyone know that it’s ok to be vulnerable and be intentional about our healing! The story God is writing for you is meant to be a beacon of light for others! So keep living, keep writing, keep sharing and keep encouraging my sweet Hampton sister! 🥰 I’m healing too! Freeing myself to heal is liberating! 🙌🏽

    • Monica, your message means the world to me, truly! I couldn’t agree with you more that we all need healing. #GroupHugOnTHAT 🙂 Know that I’m praying for you and rooting you on as you continue your own healing journey. Hampton-sis hugs to you!

    • Mrs. Anderson! As someone who knew me before I knew myself (smiles), you will forever hold a special place in my heart and in the heart of our family. Thank you so very much for taking the time to read and comment. I love you.

  12. Karin,
    As gentle as your words are this message is positively intense! As one who is healing from the inside out currently with recommend help (wink, wink….thank you) life is still “life-ing”. Thank you for your voice, realistic imagery and you kindness. I will say it here and everywhere else…..this world NEEDS to hear what you have to say. Keep spreading your love and light. Hallmark Mahogany….you truly have a gem!!!!!

    • My cheerleader, fun partner since waaaaay back in the day, and forever my sweet sis-cousin … thank YOU, Erika! You pushed [dare I say, threatened?!? :)] me to submit my writing for the Mahogany team’s consideration. And, I’m so glad you did. I’ve always appreciated your faith in me and in my writing, and now I can add my appreciation for your encouragement to aim higher. Thank you always, Erika. I love you much!
      Rinnie (to you!) 🙂

  13. Karin,
    Thank you. As gentle as your words are this message is positively intense! As one who is healing from the inside out currently, with recommended help (wink, wink….thank you) life is still “life-ing”. Thank you for your voice, realistic imagery and your kindness. I will say it here and everywhere else…..this world NEEDS to hear what you have to say!!! Keep spreading your love and light. Hallmark Mahogany….you truly have a gem!!!!!

  14. This is so tender, haunting, and freeing all at the same time. And you gift us with the reminder of the power of healing, and to continue to heal … fully. No matter what. Thank you for this necessary sisterhood and sharing your story. I wanted more and hope this is an excerpt of a much needed book. Bless your heart and soul, Karin Dancy. Such a beautiful expression to honor yourself and your mother.

    • The third Musketeer in our sis-cousin team …. my sweet, remarkable Tori! Thank you a million times over for always, always believing in me. We both know a lot about healing from the inside out, and about reframing the narratives and tossing those tapes running in our heads. I’m so grateful to have you in my corner, and I cannot wait for the world to read your story, too. I love you always.
      K-Lite (to you!) 🙂

  15. Karin,
    Thank you for your very open, honest, and love-filled “testimony”. It was so well presented, that I “felt” you. I know you to be kind, caring, and supportive of your family and friends, and now I see how brave you are. Your good parents passed “good’ on to you. You are helping others.
    Love you, my friend.

    • Earth Angel Brenda :), your note makes my heart sing. My sincere prayer is exactly what you shared – that this writing helps others. I will forever be grateful that God gave me my parents. Their lives, individually and together, are true examples of triumph and victory. They continue to inspire me each day. Thank you again – and Hampton hugs always!

  16. Wow, how profound. Both the sharing of your Mother’s wounds, and the journey of yours from the ‘tape’ you heard a young girl. I’m happy that you saw the ability to heal so that, inextricably, your inner core is built with a story that knows a joyful turn. So eloquently written. Thank you for sharing.

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