I have worked or lived in trauma for more than half a century, both as a survivor of trauma and as a trauma therapist. I am the daughter of a Métis aboriginal father, who survived the generational impacts of genocidal colonization and residential school fallout; and the daughter of a very tiny Russian Mennonite refuge mother, who was ‘abandoned’ by her people, for marrying outside of their cultural and religious beliefs. Our many homes were filled with reenactments of aboriginal residential school child rapes, child torture, starvation, family violence and gross parental neglect. Our childhoods were in constant life and death danger and not all of us were able to survive the trauma. Before I even began school, our mother was gone, and I became the family matriarch, raising my siblings between rapes and blows and between clashing cultures and ever changing rural and urban settings. There was little time to think about feelings of self-esteem, grieving, or wondering if I was lovable or loved. Attachments were definitely not to adults, but rather to the sacred heaven and earth and to sacred dependent siblings. It was a time of great necessary competence, and courage, and extension of one’s self. Being in the position of caregiver and provider so young, allowed me to keep a piece of my self out of the trauma, so that I might perform, to carry the family forward. Those in the family who did not have huge responsibilities responsibilities that are greater than the trauma itself) did not fare so well. The trauma swallowed them whole and they were not as able to see the light of day or crawl themselves entirely home from the dark. It is an enormous life sorrow and a great sense of sweet failure and loss, for those of us who have crossed the river, to not be able to save our important others completely.