My head has been all over the place recently as have my emotions. Part of the reason why is because I am once again thinking of my childhood. I thought I had reached a good point of moving past my younger years only to realize that I am far from it.
I have been thinking about my father lately. I am in denial, in a way. I tell myself it does not matter that he gives no effort to reconcile or be in my life but the truth is it does matter because it still hurts.
It hurts deeply to know that I have been struggling with my past, particularly my past with my parents, since February this year and the only response I received from him after he gained knowledge of my inquiries was to cuss me out and tell me to pretend I did not have a father.
Is that his guilt? Is that his shame? Is that his denial? Is that his defense?
He never asked me any questions. He never even tried to find out what I had to say about any of it. He heard about my inquiries from a third party who also had not had a full discussion with me.
It hurts to know he has made such a harsh judgment call without even knowing everything. I do not even know what he thinks he knows. It is a mess.
It hurts even more to think about my childhood and everything that happened, to feel all those harbored emotions and to couple that with the treatment I receive from him now.
How do I accept all of this? How do I forgive him? I have pretty much decided my life, and my children’s lives, are better without him in it so it is hard to figure out what I even want from him and why I seem to be so stuck on these issues.
I only know that I do not want to repeat the behavior patterns I experienced as a child, for my children. How, though, do I conquer these particular demons? It seems as if I have been in battle for quite some time and I am growing weary.
It is not wrong for a child to want support from their parents. Nor is it wrong for a child to want to feel loved and accepted by their parents, no matter what age. The negativity that has surrounded me my entire life constantly tries to tell me that I am not good enough for my parent’s love, support, and acceptance.
Thankfully, I have come far enough on my own to realize that I am good enough and it is truly not my loss. Unfortunately, it still hurts.
“As I grew into adult-hood, I blamed a lot of my life on my dad. I also held back a lot of who I am because of him. Books I read, and people I spoke to said it was natural for me to feel the way I did. It was as if society itself approved—gave me a “way out” so to speak.
Blaming my dad was “just an excuse” for me not to take responsibility for my own life. Before I could grow into the person I desired to be, I had to forgive my father. I had to TOTALLY let go of the anger and the hatred I felt for him. I would constantly repeat the following quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
By harboring the negative feelings, I was allowing my dad to make me feel inferior. What’s sort of ironic is the fact that these things happened years before. My dad probably never gave them a second thought. My feelings were hurting me—not him. FORGIVING my dad gave me control over my emotions and over my life. There were no excuses. I could no longer blame my actions or my emotions on the abuse I experienced as a child. By freeing myself of these negative emotions, it allowed me to live the life I choose to live. This is truly the basis for forgiveness. Harboring ill thoughts only destroys you, not the person you are angry with. Holding onto anger and hurtful feelings gives you an excuse by blaming others for the way you think, act and feel. This can be dangerous. After all, you are the only person that has 100% invested in you. So it’s time to take charge and take control of your feelings. The first step is to forgive those that have hurt you.” Excerpt from: https://www.virtuesforlife.com/forgiving-my-father/
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Picture From: http://www.melissadewittphotography.com/blog/2014/2/6/child-abuse-is-real-columbia-city-in-childrens-photographer