Have you ever played snakes-and-ladders? If you have, you know all about long falls.

When I was young, I pushed my brother down the stairs. I didn’t want to kill him. I just wanted to hurt him a little. But the laws of this universe say that you don’t control falls – consequently, despite my intention, my brother fell all way down to the bottom of the stairs and lay crumpled on the floor. It was quite frightening.

I recently read an article about how people remain stuck in their subconscious at the age they experienced the least amount of love – namely at the proverbial bottom of the stairs.

“Have you ever met someone who seemed to act an age different than their own? For instance, someone who is 20 or 30, but acts 15, people like this could all have something very important in common.” The writer wrote.  Oh yes, I have met people who are even older than 20 or 30, but who are cruel, nervous and frightened little boys (and girls), stuck at the most painful stage of their childhood.

There has been much research in the recent decade about the impact of a painful childhood and teenage years on the rest of someone’s life.

Not being a psychologist, I can only share what my adopted mother did. She tried to raise the floor for me so that I have a shorter distance to fall. She built that platform with her unconditional love, kind words and a place that I can always call home, where it is OK to be not OK.

So has my mother succeeded?  Yes and No. By and large, I don’t fall far when life knocks me down, thanks to my mum.  All I need to do is come home for a few days, mooch around and everything will be fine again in my world.

But when I am pushed hard and viciously (fortunately only once, in living memory), I fall right through the platform that my mother had so painstakingly built. The one time it happened, it felt so painful, but understanding that depth and source of the pain made a huge difference to my recovery. It made it easy for me to forgive the act of cruelty and move on. After all, that’s what the childhood game of snakes and ladders teaches us: may the roll of a dice takes you to a better place ❤  Don’t be stuck, OK?


Main photo from Amazon.