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Open letter to Devil Pup-1

(background) About a year ago, I wrote about our oldest daughter's continuing issues a year after my husband's year-long deployment on my own blog:

"We watched [Taking Chance] with[Devil Pup-1], who is 8-1/2 years old. That might seem a bit young to watch this film but we wanted her to see the impact of one Marine's death, even on people who didn't know him. She has struggled with Stretch's career lately. The year-long deployment (Feb. 2007 --2008) and the move to yet another home and school really caught up to us this past year. In the midst of tantrums, she has said things like she wished Stretch had died in a battle. (Which is pretty darn specific, if you ask me!) While we had tried to paint a picture for her of what her life might be like now if that had happened, we could never really be sure if we were getting through to her. And before any comments suggest it, she is seeing a counselor. Much like her parents, (okay, her mom) DP-1 didn't say much after the movie was over and tried to act like she wasn't affected. But she wanted to see a lot of the special features on the DVD. And a day later, she and her sister were playing and the name Chance seemed to figure in the game. I'm hoping that something got through to her."

Dear Devil Pup-1,

Remember when we talked about anger and how to express it? It's okay to be angry. Everyone gets angry sometimes. You can express your anger and frustration in many ways. You can write about what you're feeling. You can punch your pillow. You can always talk to us, preferably after you calm down. You can talk to school counselors or we can make appointments with other counselors.

There arealso unacceptable ways to express your feelings. It is NOT okay to tell your dad that you wish he were dead. It is also NOT okay to tell people that he gave you that huge bruise on your arm (you know, the hickey you gave yourself by sucking on your upper arm).

Not acceptable.

That is all.

Love and kisses,

Mom

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