Day 04 ï¿½ï¿½ Something you have to forgive someone for.
Monday, April 11, 2011
This isn't going to be the easiest one to write. I suspect that the person I most need to forgive is my mother. Every time I think I have, she does some little thing that reminds me that I haven't.
There are a number of things that help me to forgive another human being. One of the main ones is understanding where they are coming from. My step-dad was overly strict and very negative. Whatever we did, it wasn't good enough. We were called stupid and many other derogatory names. In time, I began to realize that he felt threatened by people who could do things better than he could. He was a very intelligent man, but was completely uneducated. The fact that we were studying things in school and knew things he did not, made him feel intimidated and he took out his feelings of inadequacy on us.
My mom on the other hand, I have never really understood. She always seemed cold and uncaring. My step-dad, Bruce, would yell at us and she would say nothing. We would cry and feel completely inadequate as a human being and she said nothing. We would do well in school and she said nothing. Once in my life, I remember her saying she was proud of me and I wondered if she had lost her mind. (when I made National Honors Society) Even now, she is cold on the phone. I will tell her my son was in a soccer game and she says nothing. My dad says did he score any goals? How did he do? Mom may say oh. Then she will tell my twin that I talk about my son too much. I will tell her about anything in my life and she expresses no interest. I have lived in this house for 13 years and she has never seen it. She came out to Wisconsin from Ohio when my son was born 13 1/2 years ago and that is the last and only time since I moved out here to join my husband 15 years ago. If we didn't go see her about once a year, we would never see her. But what does she do now? She expresses no interest in talking to me, never calls me, and never shows any interest in anything I share on the phone but then she insists on ending the phone call by saying I love you. Don't you express interest in the life of people you love? (And no, I can't bring myself to return the statement to her.)
Another thing that helps me to forgive another human being is for them to have appologized before. My step-dad sometimes felt sorry after he yelled at us. He never said, I am sorry. But he would kind of show it, but his wanting to hug you, or something. I don't remember how, but at least a few times we saw him feel bad about something he said or did to us.
I can not remember even once Mom feeling sorry about anything. When they first married, my mom and step-dad, I think she did defend us kids once or twice and I doubt that worked out well, but I don't really remember. She had a father who abused the children by spanking them until they bled, etc. So I do understand needing to be somewhat cold and detached to get by in life, but you can't be that way with your children. They can and do feel it. Then to marry my step-dad who also had quite a temper. She kept secrets from him, as she seemed afraid of how he might respond to something. So I wonder if sometimes she never said anything in front of him when he was being unreasonable with us, was fear. But why not say something when he was out of ear shot? Which he was often, which is how we preferred it. (The we is my twin sister and I.)
Why do I think I have not forgiven her completely? We have a woman at church who is very critical and rather crabby. At one time, she and I were not getting along very well, and in my opinion, it was because she was and is too much like my mother. But in time, she and I have worked that out. She has begun to respect me and when she is crabby with me or is critical, I know she is trying to express herself and often times is trying to help. Her heart is in the right place, but she can't seem to express herself without being critical and harsh.
My mom though doesn't seem to have a heart and I find that hard to understand. I so wish I knew more of her past and knew why she was the way she was. Then I think I could love her and deal with her better.