Iv'e felt that way too, that my mum, in particular, would prefer if I forgot about the first 19 years if my life. She would cry and carry on and make it about herself if I brought it up. She's never EVER apologised for any of it yet she expected me to forgive her and claim that she doesn't answer to me, rather she answers to God. Many many many things. She somehow always put it back onto me...making out that I was a difficult child and she had depression etc etc
I spend my whole 20's doing this and getting angrier and angrier until one day I gave to myself what she couldnt' give. I wrote myself a letter from her saying all the things she did and how horrible it was and how I didn't deserve any of it and how she'd like to make up for it. Why? Because I rang lifeline out of desperation once and said to me that perhaps I'll never get what I want from her and that maybe it's time to come to terms with that and accept it. Accept that she will never see it, that she will never acknowledge it or validate it or any of that. I had to just accept that she is incapable or unwilling (or both) to give me what I need and that I needed to start giving me what I needed. Hence the letter.
So yeh, I accepted it (never forgotten) but now I look at her and I don't feel anger or hatred towards her at all. I think I've finally forgiven her but it wasn't about her...it was about me (as you said) and the focus wasn't really on 'forgiveness' per se but rather my focus was more on accepting that I wasn't going to get what I needed FROM HER! Simple as that. I can b!tch and moan about it. I can get angry and stomp my feet. I can cry and feel sorry for myself all I like....but she will never give me what I need so I just had to get up, dust myself off....and accept it!
We still talk, in fact I, out of all her children, am the only one who has been there and supported her through a very traumatic time. I seem to be the one who understands and doesn't judge her. That's not to say we are close....we're not....I see her as a friend or just someone who's having a hard time right now,,,,more than I see her as a mother. Sound's bad but I've accepted that that's how it is...and there's nothing I can do about it other than getting on with my life and not shedding one more tear over her, because she's not worth my tears.
Hope this helps
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07-03-2012 14:39 #11
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Izzys Dragon (08-03-2012)
07-03-2012 14:40 #12Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2009
- Central Coast, NSW
Hi there - couldn't read and not reply. I hope this comes across as intended which is supportive - not instructive. My sister and I have had a very strained relationship - there has never been in a time in my 35 years of living (she's three years older) that I have felt anything other than contempt, judgement or strain. My first memories of my sister included 'you got the doll I wanted for Christmas (coz i had control over 'santa'), "I don't want you at my birthday party - you are not my friend" or the blatant "You're the favourite - you the spoilt one". Our relationship actually turned physically violent on a number of occasions.
When we got older - I thought we were able to move past all that 'juvenile' behaviour and actually get along as adults - well - it would last for a little while - then something would be said (from our childhood) which would trigger it off again - the yelling, the abuse, the ignoring but the last straw was when I fell pregnant.
Something in my head kicked in about toxic relationships and she has been the longest running relationship and it just could not continue. She actually said 'urgh - really?' when I told her I was pregnant with our son. Whatever it was - I realised - it was HER issue but she was making it MY issue. Only I was able to responsible for how I responded to her comments. Looking back it was always me that made the effort for the relationship and when I stopped and stepped back - I never heard from her.
Ultimately - I took a stand - something had to be said and I sent it to her in a letter explaining that if we spoke face to face, nothing would be achieved and we'd go round the mulberry bush that we had been about for DECADES!
I told her I wished her well in her lifetime and it was a shame that we couldn't be friends in this lifetime and I don't wish to make anyone else suffer a toxic relationship that I feel I have had. I also told her that I accept my part in our relationship and that I just can't be that way (angry, annoyed, whatever) in my life anymore. The way she responded to ME is HER choice and the way that I choose to respond to her is MY choice.
I'm probably babbling on and I don't mean to make this about me - but I'm trying to get across that YOU have control over what relationships you want in your life and the ones your don't. Only your parents are responsible for the way they treated you - if you don't think they have apolgised enough - do you think talking to them again about it will give you more closure or do you think it will just enflame the situation and continue to consume you.
I have a friend also who had a horrible upbringing and was sexually abused when she approached her mother about it years later, the response was 'well I didn't know about it" .... no 'how are you? are you okay? i'm sorry you suffered that" - it was all drawn back to the mother. There are just some people that will not 'get it' no matter how hard you hammer it home - so you have to weigh up - do you continue with the relationship (and put an offer of the other party putting in their share of effort) or do you stop giving them free rent space in your head and go 'right - no more - it stops today - I have to do what makes me happy'.
Again - I'm sorry this has turned into an essay but I hope you get counselling for you and they give you some great suggestions.
07-03-2012 21:52 #13Senior Member
Toxic Parents by Susan Forward
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
"Forgiveness" in this type of situation is not really about of the other person.
Its to do with yourself. Its about letting go of the past. Its about forgiving the part of you that you don't like, that you project on others.
Holding on to past grudges causes tensions in the body, so please let go.
08-03-2012 00:17 #14Senior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
wow . being locked in your room for days? what #$%^*( psychopaths. what they did to you was just majorly abusive. no wonder you can't forgive them.
but you have to . not for them but for you. forgiveness is not a feeling, its a choice. i think you need to seek professional help . why should you have an emotionally painful life just because they were so awful?
i find prayer helps too.
08-03-2012 07:26 #15
Oh I'm so sorry that you had to go through that and I don't blame you for having issues with your parents that your struggling to deal with. I honestly think that in order for you to move forward you need to deal with your feelings of anger and hurt with a professional counselor otherwise you may continue to struggle moving on with or without your family around.
You sound like a thoughtful, caring person and although you went through some horrible experiences that no child should have to go through I'm sure it's made you a stronger person Today
08-03-2012 07:27 #16
Its hard hating people, especially family. Have you spoken to a councilor? It sounds like it is just playing on your mind over & over and you need to get it all out. Even if you just write it all down in a letter or journal.
Similar stuff happened in our family...Dad's parents hated him, even when he was a child & it never changed. Things got so bad (police got involved a few times) we cut them & most of his family (who all supported his parents) off when I was about 6-7. I haven't spoken to them for almost 2 decades now & they will never meet my DD as I no longer see them as family.
It was pretty rough for a while mentally, especially after mums parents passed on. But after some counseling & much thought I have accepted they are just extremely toxic people who I don't need in my life. I can't forgive them; but I have let go of my expectations for them & moved on.
Like what Deserama & Deville said, you may never get what you need from her. Which sucks because she should be so very sorry for all she put you through, but for your own peace of mind it may be easier to come to terms with that & let go. Do whatever makes you happy & nevermind the naysayers.
Best wishes & I hope you can get peace & happiness with whatever you want to do!
08-03-2012 07:51 #17
Forgiveness...oh where to start!
I feel the same way towards my father. And some towards my mother for not leaving him when I was young for what he use to do.
I had 3 older sisters but they all moved out when they were About 14-16.
My mum was abused by my dad, and dad use to abuse me (and my sisters when they lived with us) it was pretty violent, I always grew up thinking it was normal an never thought much of it, it would scare me to death when he got angry and mum and I spent many nights down the road in the car crying.
I got a dog one year for Christmas and dad hated it, he use to say he was going to shoot it, one day the puppy was gone and my mum and dad never told me what happened to it.. But mum was crying, that really hit me harder more than what the abuse did.
My mum and dad were together for 24 years and just after my 18th birthday dad left mum for a lady in Russia that was 20 years old, to be honest I was glad to see him gone as I still lived at home, he admitted to mum to having up to 30 affairs and just left to live in Russia.
One day mum told me she needed to tell me something and she told me that when I was younger up until I was about 6 dad use to sexually abuse me, and according to mum he did it from the moment I was born, I always knew dad was "sexual" with me from when I was about 6 but I never knew it started from when I was born! And I just fell sick and sorry for him. And anger towards mum for not leaving when that was happening! And the feeling is even worse now that I have my own daughter never would I allow something like that to happen to her, especially of I knew and didn't do anything about it.
I can forgive my mum, because I know she was most likely scared ect but there are days where I just don't want to look at her.
As or my dad! Nope I don't think I can ever forgive him.. He use to emotionally abuse me to and I'm so angry that that could have caused some of the depression I have now.
And what makes me more angry is since meaning this 20yo girl he has spent all his money on her and they go all around the world (my dad is well off, he has a very very good job and always has his pay packet has never been below $150,000 a year and now it's well above that, he never ever spent it on mum and I, when I was younger mum became a cleaner just so she could pay rent, support me, whilst dad just kept all his money)
Well now he has the 20yo girlfriend they had had 2 kids and she is pregnant again (my dad is now in his 60's) and I feel sorry for the kids because I have no idea what goes on behind closed doors.. But they live on the other side of the world and I have never met them.
I have seen dad a few times since he left mum but he was always just been All about showing off his new girlfriend who might I add is only 2 years older than me.
It took me a lot to try and forgive mum (we went to counciling together ) but dad I don't think I will ever forgive. And to be honest I don't think I want to.
But counciling really did help for mum and I an our relationship has been a lot better than what it ever was.
08-03-2012 11:26 #18Bubhub Ambassador - tongue in cheek
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
Thank you soo much everyone that has shared their stories, experiences and things that have helped you along the way.
I love the letter and have started writing it in mind. I can't bring myself to put it on paper yet. I don't know why. I think I'm scared of what it might do to me. I know that sounds strange but I've been living with these feelings all my life. I feel like it needs to be at a 'safe' time. So if I break down and cry I have the time and space to do so.
I'm currently searching for the toxic parents book online thank you for suggesting it.
08-03-2012 11:33 #19Bubhub Ambassador - tongue in cheek
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
I understand what you are getting at. I have done many courses on how to live, love and let go.
I have written many 'i don't like how you' letters to people, crossed out the you and replaced it with 'i' and have seen how I treat/respond to people.. And fixed it.
I have done much searching inside myself to dissolve the things I wish to and improve myself as I please.
None of these things have worked when I have tried them with my family.
I read & read the 'I don't like how you' letters and they don't apply. I don't/havnt done any of those things to them.
I'd like you to tell me exactly what corresponding similarities you see between my behavior and my parents
08-03-2012 14:01 #20Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2006
This is my understanding of forgiveness from the book. I do not have to forgive the parent that left such a horrible legacy in my life. Why? Because if l try to forgive, and feel that no matter how hard l try, if l cannot forgive, then l must be bad and an unworthy person. Only good people can forgive, NOT TRUE! I am a good person but cannot forgive what happened to me. I feel that l should not have too. She was an adult, l was a child. She was responsible for her behaviour towards me, not the other way round. I was an innocent child and not at fault.
The book goes into more detail about this. As l said, this is the way l understood it, and it has helped me. (With the help of my psychologist)
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