Tending the Garden of Freedom and Wholeness


I thought it might be fun to publish some of my early writing once in a while here on Emerging from Broken. I found some things I had written in 2007 when I was still coming out of the fog on many things. In this post (written to myself) I was trying to convince myself that the process was worth it but I disguised that uncertainty with a lovely comparison to gardening.

I wrote this in September of 2007.

Overcoming depression takes work
Darlene ~ 2005

“Gardening isn’t just about planting and harvesting.  It is about peace, serenity and reality.  I can truly be in a deep state of relaxation and feel at one with myself and my surroundings when I am on my knees in the garden with my hands plunged deeply into the soft earth. 

Gardening is like life.  I had to get the soil all ready to plant tiny seeds of freedom and wholeness.  It is a lot of work to make ready fertile ground.  I can’t just throw the seeds in any old way on any old type of soil and expect to yield a bountiful result. 

I like to plant in nice neat rows, however they don’t always come up in nice straight paths but rather crooked lines sometimes there are even empty spaces as though there were a missed connection.  Should I fix it, or should I leave some blanks?

And there are weeds.  Oh man, don’t we hate the weeds? We certainly don’t plant them, so where do they come from? How do their seeds get in there?  Year after year the same weeds too.  Most of the work in my garden is really about tending to the weeds, picking them out so that all the nutrition in the soil and from the rain can be used for the healthy life sustaining food sources I am growing.

Growing and building, that is what this process is all about.

Weeding out the lies that are rooted so deeply that they sprout up all the time. I have to stay on top of them ~ I have to keep weeding and tending my garden.

If I let my garden get out of hand, then the weeds very quickly shoot up and choke out the good plants causing me to lose the balance I have worked so hard to achieve.  It can take mere weeks to find myself overwhelmed by the battle with weeds.

The weeds represent the false belief system that my life had been ruled by. I had to get those (weeds) lies out. Some of them were stubborn, like thistles with deep roots that we all connected to each other… all throughout the garden.

A little weeding each day is necessary in order to maintain the beauty and tranquility that I feel when I am in my garden.  This is after all “My Life”. 

I didn’t always realize how valuable my own life is. I especially didn’t realize how valuable I am.  I didn’t know how to weed my garden or how to nurture or maintain growth. I had never been taught. I didn’t have a teacher.  The harvest had not been very pretty. Not much nutrition or nurturing in my garden in the past. 

So I had to start over.  I had to take in the big machines, the real farm equipment and turn that soil upside down, tilling and churning over and over, working out the roots of the weeds (which were like lies) until I had beautiful dark soft earth, almost the way it was in the beginning before anything grew there.  Then I planted truth, and when those old lies pop up, I gently and tenderly separate them from the tiny new plants of truth, I pluck them out and throw them away. A little bit each day. A little bit of tending, maintaining and watering goes a long way towards a beautiful life.

There is freedom and wholeness in truth. And when the truth is tended and nurtured, the truth grows stronger and bigger eventually taking over the space that was previously occupied by the lies.  The truth will eventually grow strong enough that the lies will not come back to rob my life of the serenity, freedom and wholeness that I have cultivated and grown.

Freedom grows here.”                                                                            

Darlene Ouimet Sept.2007

Please share your thoughts.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Related Posts ~ Who am I ? Will I like me?  See also words in bold throuhout this post.

61 response to "Tending the Garden of Freedom and Wholeness"

  1. By: Lora Posted: 15th February

    Hey Darlene! what a beautiful article that was and so interesting because I find nature analogies so powerful for helping me grasp concepts.

    I actually made a story for myself that my parents were gardeners who didn’t know how to garden. I was a seed that was placed really deep into the soil and my struggle have been trying to push my way up and out of the soil so I can bloom and be the person I am truly meant to be. What’s really been helping me move forward is detaching myself from my past and reviewing my life like a witness. I can see more clearly now why I made the choices I have and all the lies I had to sort through before I could see the truth. My garden was overwhelmed with weeds and I can see now why giving up would seem like the only option.

    I’m starting to enjoy the fruits of my labor now because I am more gentle with myself. I’ve removed false beliefs that somehow it was all my fault that my seed was placed so deeply into the ground. I feel a humble pride for myself that I fought so hard to push through the soil and allow myself to feel the sweet, peaceful feeling of freedom. There are so many layers to push through before I could see the light and those can be the darkest times. This is where I am so grateful that you have created this web site and created so much hope for us all.

    I’ve been reading through the comments and I see how easily we can get triggered by what others say. Part of my learning has been to take accountability for what feelings come up and to not react but pause and ask myself why I feel what I do. For me it’s just another weed that needs to be removed and once I do I can see the gift behind the trigger. I see how easily our own triggers can be like bullets that fly through the air and they can cause others to react in kind.

    These forums are powerful tools for learning and I also respect that if I’m going to put my comments out there then I also need to understand I may be called out on an old pattern or behaviour. I’ll admit it’s uncomfortable when it happens but I also recognize I am still learning and I need examples of what the new looks like. So thank you Darlene for the way you intervene and create clarity and keep this forum safe for everyone.

    I know for me feeling safe is crucial to being able to be vulnerable with wounds that are still raw and in need of being healed. Thank you all for sharing your stories, it reminds me that I am not alone and how brave we all are for being on this path. Namaste!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 15th February

      Hi Lora!
      Awesome post! Thank you for writing.
      hugs, Darlene

  2. By: Peggy Posted: 16th April

    Hi everyone:

    I just took some time off from myself lately. Thank you for the ‘huge’. I will not be hearing from my biological parents any apology anytime soon. I am looking forward to taking the time to travel around and see places I haven’t been. I feel I need to get some fresh air. I will also be doing some gardening this years. I thought it would be the right thing to do for my mother before I leave the area. I told her that I would keep in touch–a post card is sufficient. I feel emotionally bruised and just want to be at peace with all things now. I will find a way to put it all behind me. New scenery I am looking forward to. What I find unusual is that I don’t have loving feeling for my parents like I thought I would. I don’t really have any feelings at all. To me they are just people and are the way they are. This is hard to explain, I fuss with this often. I just hope that the past allows me the strength to make better decision for my tomorrows.
    I want to thank all of you for being here and sharing with me and allowing me the time to share also.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 16th April

      Hi Peggy
      This sounds wonderful! Some time and breathing space for you. Healing time. That is awwesome. Thank you for sharing,
      Hugs, Darlene

  3. By: Mimi Posted: 16th April

    I garden too,
    I wanted to thank you for your comment. I loved the analogy with your gardening and how you tend to your plants and are gentle with them. It sounds so peaceful. Maybe I should try it!! I am growing cilantro right now, but, I’m very much a novice. Thanks for sharing.
    In hope,

  4. By: I garden too Posted: 15th April

    Just want to say that I discovered your blog today. This post encourages me, coming as it did fairly early on in your journey. I began such a journey myself as a 50-something woman with lots of life to process. Gardening is a new activity for me and has been a soothing refuge. Sometimes I don’t think at all when I’m out there. Other times as I tend my plants I come to understand something else that is involved with tending and nurturing and growth and beauty and health. The biggest take-away for me has been in how gentle I am with my plants – how I do what is needed for them to grow. I have only just begun to even think about what that means for me. How is it so obvious to me that my plants need this kind of care to thrive but I didn’t think I really needed it or was worth it myself??

    Your blog really gives me a lot of hope that this work I’m doing in therapy is worth it. That there is something much better eventually.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 15th April

      Hi “I garden too”
      Welcome to EFB !
      Your comments are wonderful! I love the analogy and it is so very true! I had to learn to nurture myself; be gentle with myself and tend to my needs in a gentle way after years of reprimanding myself.
      I am so glad that you are here
      Hugs, Darlene

  5. By: Peggy Posted: 2nd March

    Hi everyone,

    I have been reading your thoughts and comments. I am new at speaking. I am an adult that still faces the memories of child abuse. I want to tell someone that it still hurts! I don’t think that this adult should have confronted my biological parent, ever. I think back to the day that I told on my parents and from that day forward, all of my years, my family has never so much as said they were sorry. Even though, I think the word sorry is meaningless for me, they would get something from it. Some children of child abuse should never be reunited with their biological parents no matter how old the child gets. I will be taking so many memories and truths to my grave, figuratively speaking. My broken bones have healed, yet the need to hear them say they were wrong will never happen for me. I think that I must move on and forget about them as biological family and just know that they are human beings that needs to be respected and not sought after for answers to all of the ‘Why’. I have the option to have better reasons for my actions than the hurtful past or present day hurts. I know I am a better person than many in my biological family and they will always just be biological to me. I refuse to live a lie.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 2nd March

      Hi Peggy
      I refuse to live a lie too. We all need to be heard, I totally hear you! It is so painful and we were so discounted.

      One of the things that really helped me was understanding that there was no solution in hearing them apologize. That is not what set me free. (not that it happened anyway) but it was validing myself where they had invalidated me, and learning to fill the need in myself, the longing for love and acceptance had to come from me. That is where the real freedom is.
      Glad you are here,
      Hugs, Darlene

  6. By: Dave Posted: 24th February

    Darlene – I was merely trying to suggest that she has options. In my own life i never knew i had options. It took a long time for me to come to realize that i had options in regards to my parents. It never dawned on me that i didnt have to have a relationship with them and that i could live my life without them.

    I was not trying to give directives or tell here what to do. You misinterpreted my post. Your response really hurt my feelings and I felt ashamed and hurt like i had done something terribly wrong. So i wrote back to clarify it and then you had to nail me again with another post telling me again what i did wrong and how i broke the rule of the blog again. Believe me when i do something wrong it comes through loud and clear. It always did – every time i did something wrong it was magnified like i had committed the worst sin on earth. I have lived in shame and fear of doing the wrong thing my whole life.

    some grace would be very much appreciated. Again – i am very sorry that i worded it the wrong way. I would take it back in a second if i could. I would never do anything to harm or disrespect someone on here. I just made a mistake. Please forgive me and let it go. Thanks.


    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th February

      You have made it clear what you were trying to do Dave. That is not the point. I am trying to prevent it from happening again. In my second post I was trying to explain what you seemed to misunderstand about my first post. It seemed to me that you didn’t understand. You are hurt because what I did reminded you of the abuse you suffered in your past; that was not my intention. It was not my intention to shame you or hurt you in any way. My intention is to keep this place safe for everyone. I am simply asking you to refrain from posting in that way again whether or not your intention was misunderstood or not.
      I am not sure why you bring “grace” into this.. I feel as though you are trying to shame me back now.
      I have not made a judgement on you Dave, I am not condemning you, I am simply telling you what makes people feel unsafe here. (if someone wrote to you in that way, I would ask them not to as well) and I’m asking you to be aware of it in the future. I am sorry that you feel so hurt by my comments; my intention was never to hurt you but to keep this place safe.
      Hugs, Darlene

      • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th February

        P.S. Dave,
        I DO accept your apology. Perhaps I should have added that already!
        Hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Mimi Posted: 22nd February

    Thanks again. I hope you know how much I appreciate you and EFB.

  8. By: Mimi Posted: 21st February

    Thank you for taking the time and thought to clarify. Perhaps I did give the impression that I wasn’t aware of the choices I have re: walking away.

    For me, the steps to freedom aren’t quite as straight forward as simply turning my back on my mother. I strive to have peace about every step I take, and I especially don’t want to act from an emotional state. I appreciate that it’s different for everyone, and perhaps it was what you had to do.

    I feel sad for you that the manipulation went so deep, that you were stifled for a long time. I remember reading some of your other posts that talked about crying every day. I hope you continue to come here and talk things out, and that brighter days are in the very near future.

    Thank you for expressing your caring nature. I do appreciate it. EFB has come to mean so much to me. I honestly believe coming here saved me. I have literally spilled my guts on these pages. I know lots of other people have as well, and it takes courage for people to bare their souls. For me, it was fairly easy (and still is). I was desperate when I discovered EFB. I feel free to be myself here, and I treasure that freedom, the people I’ve connected with, and Darlene for making it all possible.

    Finally, Dave, thanks for showing humility. It takes immeasurable courage to be humble. I appreciate that quality in people I meet.


  9. By: Dave Posted: 21st February


    I was not trying to give advice. sorry that it came across that way. Now i feel ashamed like i did something terrible because i feel like i have been reprimanded in a public forum in front of everyone. I would never be demeaning or destructive to anyone. that is not me and not how i treat people. even though i am broken i treat people with respect. I was just trying to ask a question and help her to see that she has choices. You are right – i dont know Mimi but because she posts on here and i read some of her posts i care about her and what she is going through. I care enough to read and to try and understand what she is going through.

    for a long time i didnt know i had a choice. I thought i had to have a relationship with my parents. to my knowledge, no one ever said ‘you dont have to keep your parents in your life’ or anything to that extent. It never dawned on me that i had a choice. I was too blinded to see beyond their control and manipulation. I was too tangled up in all their lies and abuse.

    I was simply trying to share something that i wish someone had shared with me a long time ago. I am sorry for breaking the rule of the blog again. please forgive me !


    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 22nd February

      You may have been “trying to ask a question” but the way you did it was not at all helpful or supportive. Mimi has shared volumes through out this blog and you wrote to her as if you know where she is at ~ but you don’t. And you wrote as if you have the answer for her. It is not up to you to make people see anything. To write in caps and yell at someone that they have a choice is demeaning. That is the old system that we came from NOT the new system we are tying to work towards. I went through this process in my own time. NOT according to anyone else’s schedule. I did not chose to walk away from my mother long after I saw the truth about what a bully she was. In the past If I did stuff according to what someone else thought I should do, then I questioned my decision. Today, when I do things because I totally understand through the truth of the situation, then I know I made MY decision and I don’t tend to look back.
      It is far more helpful to write in the first person the way you wrote here: ” for a long time i didn’t know i had a choice. I thought i had to have a relationship with my parents. to my knowledge, no one ever said ‘you don’t have to keep your parents in your life’ or anything to that extent. It never dawned on me that i had a choice. I was too blinded to see beyond their control and manipulation. I was too tangled up in all their lies and abuse.” ~ Then it is about you and not aimed at someone else. That is far more helpful because people can relate to you instead of feeling like YOU know what is best for them.
      Does that make sense??
      Hugs, Darlene

  10. By: emma Posted: 21st February

    hi darlene,

    thank u for your comment. Bless. xx

  11. By: Mimi Posted: 20th February

    Hi everyone!!

    Thank you for guarding this place, specifically guarding me just now. I appreciate you always, and all the work you do. Without EFB, I don’t know where I would be.

    I know I’m not obligated to answer your questions, but I will. Yes, of course I know I have a choice. Even though we each share a common pain, I believe everyone’s situation is specific to them. I don’t think I’ve acted hastily in communicating (or not) with my mother. I try to think things out pretty well, and let a few days pass before I act. That said, I think with my specific situation, my choices have been okay so far. They are pretty okay in my heart anyway. I have been as brazen and up front with her as I feel comfortable being right now. It’s just where I am in the process I suppose.

    Yes, I have considered breaking it off entirely, I try to keep my expectations in check, and I have been blessed with some free time to process. If I waste a little time on something I shouldn’t, I try not to regret it because I don’t want to miss anything (emotion or experience, etc) …. certainly I don’t want to have to do this again.

    xoxoxo to everyone,

  12. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 20th February

    Hi Emma
    No worries, I have no issue with your comment. I am sorry if my comment to Dave scared you. That was not my intention! I encourage everyone to share their stories and what worked for them, but Dave was “reprimanding” Mimi, even “yelling at her” and that causes already vulnerable people to withdraw and feel unsafe here. If people feel unsafe here, it defeats my purpose.
    Thanks for your note Emma. I hope that this clarifies what I was trying to communicate to Dave.
    Hugs, Darlene

  13. By: emma Posted: 20th February

    hi darlene,

    just seen your comment to dave, i dont want to cause any offence so will clarify when i wrote i related to what dave said about his own experiences of suffering as a child. I was responding to daves comment to me. I dont want to put my foot in it. Totally respect the work u do darlene.

    Hi mimi, love your comments written to various people, totally respect your way of dealing with your mum.

    Dave, again, i admire your strength in surviving a hideous childhood and really wish everyone the best.

  14. By: emma Posted: 20th February

    hi dave,

    i totally relate to what u say. My mother was a tyrant and when i was about 5 years old i used to go and play with the kids in my street, i knew i had to stay away from home. I have a healthy anger that drives me on to heal the wrongs done to me and a deep need to live a happy normal life. I put up with rubbish for many years. Im not hard on myself though as i was so brainwashed, its a miracle i finally woke up and started to unravel the lies put into my head.

    I think its a big part of healing to finally stand up to your abuser. Im so sorry that you suffered the way you have. I believe you have a great inner strength to have survived your childhood and its great that u are here.
    Your life experiences and everybodys comments inspire me to create a wonderful life to live and i truly send best wishes and peace to all.


  15. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 20th February

    Hey DAVE
    The one thing that I ask here is that people don’t give advice on my blog. You don’t know a thing about Mimi. Keep your “directives” to yourself. Just for the record, Mimi is well into the process of healing and she is doing just fine ~ please understand that the type of email you just wrote is demeaning and destructive; not helpful or supportive.
    I thank you in advance for not writing a comment like this one again.

  16. By: Dave Posted: 20th February

    Mimi – you do know that you have a choice whether to have a relationship or not don’t you ? Its totally your choice whether you continue to respond to her. Its totally within your power and control to either continue to try and help her figure out where she went wrong or to just say the hell with it and move on. Its your choice Mimi. YOU DONT HAVE TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR MOTHER. Sorry for yelling but perhaps you have not considered breaking it off and moving on like Darlene did and like i have done ? Just wondering. Hate to see you waste time and energy on a relationship that may not produce any fruit in your life at all.



  17. By: Dave Posted: 20th February

    Emma – i was in my early 40’s when i finally stood up to my mother and had the courage to tell her the truth and that i was not going to put up with her lying, manipulating, contolling ways and that it was gonna stop right then and there. Other than a few letters which i have never read, i have not heard anything from my mother since then. That was about 7 years ago. You know what – the only thing i regret is that i didnt do it about 20 years earlier. I didnt have the courage at that time. I grew up deathly afraid of both my parents. My mother threatened to kill me when i was 10 and she almost beat my sister to death with a butcher knife when i was about 8 so i knew she was serious plus she basically yelled “if you end up like your sister i’ll bloody kill you.” I can still hear that voice in my head now 40 years later. She was not a mother. She gave birth to me and fed me and bathed me and that was about it. The rest was all destructive and damaging. I never had a mother. She was a sick psycho who controlled and manipulated everyone she could to get what she wanted. Real mothers dont treat their children that way. We didnt have mothers. We had women who carried us in their womb and brought us into the world and then used us like old newspaper to meet their needs and help them feel good about themselves. I just wanted to share that its not just women who get the courage to stand up to their parents in their 40’s. I did it too. Best thing i ever did my whole life. Hard part is forgiving myself for not doing it sooner !

  18. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 20th February

    Emma, Mimi, and SMD

    Thanks for your comments about this other post!
    ~Emma, yes I agree and I like the way you put it when you wrote;
    “I’m not blaming my family, I’m just not allowing them to bully, abuse, humiliate or scare me anymore.” That is the truth right there!

    I heard that stuff too and something I learned so deeply is that my mothers opinion or reaction to what I am doing or how I am living now, (standing up to her) is not part of my solution; convincing her is something that was part of the whole problem.

    Hugs, Darlene

    (Mimi ~ I will answer your comment on the other post)

  19. By: SMD Posted: 19th February


    I read the comments from the mother too & it sounded like MY mom. She won’t look at the damage she did and she plays the victim by saying, “I get blamed for everything”. There is no acknowledgement of mistreatment let alone accountability!….I’ve stopped trying to convince my mom how I feel and what was done to me. She does not want to believe it!…acknowledging she did wrong would burst her bubble that she was a good mother.

    I do see the good times & she was a good caregiver, by providing basic needs- food, shelter, and money, but when it came to taking care of my emotional needs, she failed!….I was left to figure out how to deal with my feelings after trauma. She can take over a situation & twist it around in her favor, despite the truth. She has my brother & sister appeasing her and they are like a pack of hyenas lately, that I’m scared to be around them. I usually visit my parents weekly, but not this past week. There have been too many toxic situations involving my brother, sister & parents since Christmas. I’m so sick of my family poisoning me!

    I’m terrified to be like my mom & I am actually the opposite of my mom. I’m loving & find it hard to set limits & boundaries, because I care so much for my childrens’ feelings & well being!…I get confused about discipline & abuse and the definition of love, due to my parents legacy of abuse! I question my beliefs when I see other controlling parents- shaming their kids, yelling a lot,and training their kids to be obediant & loyal at a young age.

    I had a neighbor like this a couple years ago. Her dtr was 2 yrs old & mine was 3. They really liked playing together, but this young mom would hover over her dtr and watch every move this little girl made. She set lots of limits…I thought, well she is being a good mom by keeping her kid safe, but at the same time she had her under her thumb and would say, “if you don’t control them now, you won’t when they are teenagers”. She referred to herself as the “disiplinarian”. Her dtr will be too scared to rebel. Well, I can see now, why I had issues and felt so much anxiety around her, but I continued to go towards her, because my dtr really liked her daughter.

    She did move away and I severed ties- I realized I did not like her Controlling/Hovering Parenting and we had nothing in common, but having our dtrs close in age. This was not good enough, since I can pick & choose my friends. My family is toxic enough, I don’t need anymore poison in my life! Hope I didn’t get to off track with this post…I just start typing & my thoughts race….I do agree with what Darlene & Mimi both said about looking at the TRUTH! & placing blame where it needs to be on the ABUSER.

  20. By: Mimi Posted: 19th February

    I read it too, but of course I typed a response.

    I think there are people out there that just decide, this is the way it is and there’s nothing I can do about it. So, they settle. I’m really sick of settling though and it started to become a matter of life and death; the pit of despair was incredibly deep. I had no choice but to do something different… at least that was/is my perspective. I guess maybe it’s possible for some people to live happily in ignorant bliss. I’m just not one of them.


  21. By: emma Posted: 19th February

    hi darlene

    i read the comments from the mother u mentioned and for anyone to say stop blaming your parents is dismissive and completely minimises everybodys pain. Its in the same tone as get over it.

    Recently a few people have questioned my decision to have no contact due to family conflicts. Im not blaming my family, im just not allowing them to bully, abuse, humiliate or scare me anymore.

    If the defensive mother wishes to label that decision as blame then she just doesnt get it, which is a real shame.

  22. By: Mimi Posted: 19th February

    Thank you!! Thank you for everything you do and your endless support and effort. It has really meant so much to me!! And, thanks to everyone who comments and shares. I would like to move in with EFB!! 🙂 Just live here… safe and comfy!!

    Love to all,

  23. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 19th February

    I think your response to your mother is excellent! Good for you! You stuck to the point and didn’t go down any rabbit trails or follow the ones that she set out for you. YAY. Your mom has a choice just like my mom did. She can choose to HEAR you or she can choose to keep blaming you while proclaiming her innocence by ignoring the facts that you are giving her the opportunity to address. This is what I am talking about when I say that I gave my mother the opportunity to have a REAL relationship with me.
    Hugs, Darlene

    Love your comments too. I agree, relationship takes TWO and it requires that both parties have equal value and respect.
    Hugs, Darlene

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 19th February

      I am in a “conversation” on an older post with a very defensive mother today.
      It started first thing this morning (with her comment # 35) and I think it is a good example of how many parents don’t actually HEAR what their kids are saying, but fixate on one point that is harder to argue. This kind of thing makes me so grateful that I came out of the fog. My biggest issue is that she is TELLING my readers and myself to “stop blameing your mothers” ~ that is not her take on what I am saying though..
      You can read the conversation here if you like ; “foundation of a Dysfunctional Mother Daughter relationship
      Hugs, Darlene

  24. By: Mimi Posted: 19th February

    Thank you. I appreciate it. Sometimes, I think it’s possible to be so close to a situation, you can’t really see clearly. Sounds crazy, but seems like my sense of judgment is lost…. I can’t really tell if it’s mean or loving, etc. So, thank you for your comment.

  25. By: emma Posted: 19th February

    hi mimi,

    i think your e mail was honest, and you were being very fair by explaining some of the issues between you both are. I dont think it was too strong, i thought it was really brave of you to send it and stand up for yourself.

    I dont think it was wrong or cruel or nasty. It was clear, fair, honest and loving.


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