Wow, this thread got some new life! I agree with all the comments that you have made. CB, Ding, OM, MLE, BB, TS, and BP thank you so much for your comments!
Yes, this was a pivotal experience, and it did impact me...greatly. It continues to impact me, but the impact today is more positive than negative. As many of you know, I adopted my children from the foster care system. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of children who did not have a forever family. I don't think I could have or would have done that had I not been so utterly rejected and cast out on my own as a young person.
I have worked, as a faculty member, with a number of adults (18, 19 year olds) who aged out of foster care, and find that because they were never adopted, they do NOT have a forever family. They are alone in the world. They have no place to go for holidays, etc. No safety net. No back up. I've worked closely with several young people who are in this situation, mentoring them. What a privilege to make a difference in their lives!
Because of the things that have happened to me, I am able to do what I do now and I have the children that I have now. I wouldn't be able to do these things or have my wonderful children otherwise. We really can make lemonade out of lemons! I believe I have done this. However, I am a human being and have feelings. Things get stirred up sometimes, and emotions can come rushing back. Certain seasons bring things up. My thread was posted a couple of weeks or so after the last graduation season.
Because of where those painful experiences have led me, I wouldn't change a thing.