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    INZILANE   7,924
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What exactly is forgiveable?


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.
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SHINING_ON 5/18/2013 8:37PM

    I come from a very unstable, abusive, and dysfunctional family situation, so I can relate on several levels. YES. You have EVERY right to be selfish, and I think it's an excellent idea to give yourself permission to put yourself first. It's a really difficult lesson to learn (one I'm admittedly still learning), but by giving yourself license to put yourself front-and-center in your life, you're giving yourself the POWER to take control of your life, too. And I think that's what your story, knowingly or not, is about. It's about who has the power and control in your life. At 13, you took control of your life and decided who would have direct influence over it by cutting your dad out. As an adult, you may decide you want to revert that decision, but whatever you decide NOW you have the power and control over your life. And you've given yourself the permission to keep that power and control. Good for you.

I was a very similar age when I decided to cut my mother out of my life. Unfortunately, I didn't do it for myself - I actually did it to save my younger brother and sister. I wanted them to have normal, safe, lovely, healthy lives, unlike what I had had. So, I took control of my family and I cut my mother out. I had been raising them effectively for many years by that time anyway, so it was an easy transition for them. For me, however, I carried a lot of guilt and shame for over a decade about my decision until I finally realized that if she had really wanted us as her children, she would have changed and fought for us. She was much too evil and self-absorbed to have ever done that, though. I no longer feel guilty for cutting her out of my life, and to this day I have no contact with her. I haven't seen or spoken to her in 12 years. My younger sister hasn't in over 8. Only my brother has occasional contact with her, but it's just because he's manipulatable. The poor guy gets his heart ripped out and stomped on every time.

I'm not implying your dad is evil incarnate as my mother was, but I agree that some parents just shouldn't be parents. Furthermore, I believe that children do have the right - and the consciousness - to make that decision for themselves, if needed. At 13, you made the best decision for you. I can imagine the difficulty of the decision you have to make now. But, whatever you decide, you are the one in control. And, yes, you deserve to be the master of your own destiny. No one should have the power to hurt you. No one.

Whenever the haunting memories of my early life and my mother's cruelty grab hold of me, I repeat a simple mantra to myself: You [meaning my mother] have no power over me. It doesn't cure my PTSD, but it helps me live with the nightmares to know that I'm the one in control.

My heart is with you during this decision.

Comment edited on: 5/18/2013 8:40:39 PM

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NEEDBU66 5/18/2013 8:55AM

    I resonnated with the idea that not all people are fit to be parents. You need to forgive your dad (which is absolutely positively not the same as condoning his behavior nor absolutely positely under any circumstances allowing any situation to be set up where he can hurt you again) but forgiving him so you can heal. As you noted, the only one who suffers for it is you. He probably loses no sleep what you do one way or the other.

People are bad, for whatever reason, but that doesn't mean we have to let them steal or destroy one second of the life we're building apart from them and despite of them. Its a choice to forgive and give yourself permission to move on. Thats just a nickles worth of free advice.

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