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I'm a tattooed, blue-haired mom dealing with mental health stigma: do I need to tone down my look?

I'm a tattooed mom with blue hair who loves her family and teenage kids and live in a home full of love. Recently we've been working through challenges relating to mental illness — minor but requiring therapy and medication. I've lost some friends over it, people who could overlook the superficial style stuff, until it seemed less superficial.

My wardrobe has toned down a LOT in the six years we've lived here — but should I go back to being a brunette who tends to stick with long sleeves in the summer for the sake of my teen daughters?

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My mother abandoned me and my life was forever changed

I was just a regular teenage girl one moment and then a wreck the next. All I had to worry about in life was what outfit I would have to wear to school the next day and what grades I got in my classes. But that all changed in just one day.

My mom had been going through a rough patch and her depression had gotten the worst of her. One day she just vanished into thin air…

Being broken doesn't mean you're not strong (and capable of being loved)

To love someone who has been broken is a brave thing to do. We have lived a life most know nothing about. To the broken, love is a scary and volatile concept. Love isn't sunshine and roses but thorns and monsoons. To the broken, yelling and raised voices are a part of a typical conversation and something to which we are accustomed. But being broken can be beautiful and strong… and you're capable of being loved.

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Microaffections as revolution: one response to mass shootings and lock-down drills

Then my daughter tells me that tomorrow in school, there will be a lockdown drill and asks me if the alarm will be loud. I freeze.

We need softness in the face of terror, we need kindness in response to hate, and we need love as revolution. We need these tiny drop of some magic healing warmth. We need the opposite of the microaggressions that so many of us deal with daily… and I realize that what we need are microaffections.