Saturday, May 18, 2013
This week for BLC18, we're supposed to write a blog about forgiving ourselves for things we've done or haven't done. I'm not sure my thoughts have been exactly in the spirit of the challenge, but it's been a funky couple of weeks emotionally, so I don't care! I'ma do this my way!
A while back, I wrote about how things happened in life that put me in a pretty negative state of mind--lots of bad things in a row. I briefly mentioned that I didn't talk to my dad & my stepmother died on Christmas. I don't remember if I mentioned it then or not, but... my relationship with my parents has never been exactly HEALTHY. I have a lot of grudges still in place and a good bit of resentment.
The biggest of those grudges is that I made a choice when I was 13 that I just wasn't going to keep my dad in my life. I was tired of all of the nonsense and emotional/psychological (and very occasionally physical) abuse. What that means is that I haven't spoken to him in almost 15 years now. Over half of my life.
A couple weeks ago, I called my brother to wish him a happy birthday and he passed on a message. Apparently, my stepmother's "dying wish" was that my dad would take all of his kids to Mexico on vacation. (Well, remaining kids--my half-brother was killed a few years ago.) I was invited to go to Mexico next summer (2014) with my dad, half-sister & her family, and an aunt/uncle.
I was talking to my mom for Mother's Day and she brought it up because she discussed it with my brother. She proceeded to try to guilt trip me and say I should go, essentially to take advantage of a free trip--and that I should get my dad to pay for my bf to come as well.
From this story, it may be clear that things aren't exactly... functional. I got angry at my mom for trying to make me feel guilty and said some things in the moment that I've been thinking over for several days now.
On the one hand, the argument is always something along the lines of, "It's your dad, so you automatically love & care & want to talk to him." The problem with that is... I don't believe that all parents SHOULD be around their kids. Not everybody is cut out to be a parent. There are bad people out there who don't deserve children. It's not for me to judge other people, but in MY case, as the child in the situation, shouldn't I have a right to say, "I deserve to not be in that situation"???
On the other hand, it was a decision made out of anger years and years ago. Looking back, I'm not 100% sure how much of my anger/hurt/frustration was because of things my dad said and how much was because of manipulation from my mom. (I am coming to believe it's a combination of the two.) I still talk to my mom, even though she's done some horrible things to me. Does my dad deserve the same chance?
What this leaves me with is... feeling very guilty a lot of the time. Some of my deepest seeded issues with myself--self-doubt, confidence, self-worth, etc--come from years of being put down from my dad. He literally told me he was God one time, to give you an idea of his state of mind. But, I also feel like a terrible person every time the topic comes up for cutting him out of my life. I know it hurts him. I care that it hurts him. But... I don't think his feelings are worth more than my health/state-of-mind/happiness
The things I said to my mom were along these lines:
Between all of the nonsense of my parents, life issues like not having enough money, working toward my goals, having set-backs along the way... I don't have the emotional energy to DEAL with everything. When I try, I get stretched too thin & then I break. Literally. I remember one time in high school being so overwhelmed one week when my parents were going crazy that I was sobbing hysterically & hyperventilating in the hallway over a physics quiz that I got an A- on. Nobody should be pulled so tight that something that little can send them flying over the edge.
I told her that I DESERVE to be healthy and able to function. If that means that I have to be selfish & not speak to my dad and not let that pain back into my life, I think that's my right. It's my right to CHOOSE not to be put in a place that makes me doubt myself.
So, when thinking about this blog we're supposed to write. I decided on what I forgive myself for:
I forgive myself for being selfish.
Sometimes, it's okay for me to come first.
I'm still not sure what I'm going to do about this whole Mexico thing. I still feel torn, but at least now, I'm feeling less guilty.