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I grew up in a beautiful, outwardly happy and seemingly perfect family. After my parents died, I uncovered a family history that helped me to begin to understand the forces that had shaped my life.

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In my search for the truth of my childhood, I was fortunate to locate a woman who had taught in my grade school and was a good friend of my parents.

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I knew there was something terribly wrong with me, because no matter how many accomplishments I had, or how many people though I was amazing - I knew I was not lovable.

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When I read these words, that my birthright was Buddha nature, something shifted in me and I found the courage to stay and fight. Now I had to learn to meditate.

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Understanding who I really am was the first step to self-acceptance. This led to self-kindness and my work in self-compassion.

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After years of self-sabotage and being cruel to myself, I knew in my soul that my relentless pursuit of Self-Kindness was essential for my survival.

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Dedication

THIS STORY OF MY JOURNEY IS DEDICATED TO MY PARENTS
At last my inner werewolf has been put to rest. I no longer have those attacks of unworthiness and self-hatred.
I love looking at myself in the mirror. In fact, I think I like myself even more than my cat likes me.
~ Kat Tansey

My decision to tell secrets my parents held so close for their entire lives has not been an easy one. I loved and adored both my parents. They were intelligent, hardworking, beautiful and loving people. When they retired and moved back to Texas, their neighbors put together a huge scrapbook with pictures and stories about how much my parents meant to everyone in the neighborhood. Everyone loved them.

I wish I had known earlier what had happened to them. I think it might have changed things for me. But it was not the custom in those times to share shameful stories, and I understand this. Perhaps in some small way, my sharing now the stories of what happened in their lives shows us how amazing they really were. They were resilient, hardworking people who found each other and shared a life filled with love, humor, and adventure. They were two of the bravest, most wonderful people I have ever known, and I will love them forever.

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