Self-Psychotherapy…

Self-Psychotherapy…

My parents passed away years ago, my father 41 years and my mother 22 years; I want to say that I forgive my parents treatment from my birth through adulthood, I say that but I am not sure I have or can. I see my father in my sons and my mother in my daughter. I have felt rejected by both parents and have remain in that state of mind since I can remember, say 3 years old, to today.

I have read almost everything on the subject, I have forgiven both of them, I cannot forget. I do not believe this is immature; it is like a cancer that continues to grow. I have been told that I cannot find happiness until I do both, forgive and forget. I tried; I do understand the concept of forever the child, the victim, left out in the area of love.

Strange as it may seem, a grudge is a kind of clinging, a way of not separating, and when we hold a grudge against a parent, we are clinging not just to the parent, but also more specifically to the bad part of the parent. It is as if we do not want to live our lives until we have this resolved and feel the security of their unconditional love. We do so for good reasons psychologically. Nevertheless, the result is just the opposite: We stay locked into the badness and we do not grow up. The treatment from a parent is the most difficult to forgive. I held out hope until both passed away, the way I was treated, the need for validation. I wanted to be held in their arms, to be told that they loved me, to treat me as they did my sister.

I know that no one is perfect, that I need to move past childhood wounds, I do not know if they loved me. I know that I should forgive but not disregard their actions. I had no emotional security, my mother was a selfish individual who rejected me many times, her meanness, and I wanted most of all to stop being a victim. I understand the hard journey both had in life, their own dreams crushed, the circumstances of their lives and the drawbacks they had to face.

However, to get to a forgiving place is long complicated journey for me as well. I have held anger inside and I do at times wonder if their actions are worthy my forgiveness. I saw in my parents anger and sadness, they spoke few words to each other, I felt like I was in a vacuum never seen. My sister left home at 14 years of age, married to an older man, one of my mother’s choosing. I tried to run away once, at 14 years of age. I was a child, I returned home before the sun set. My life took a downhill spiral after that time, I should have kept walking.

I would be fifty-three years old before I stopped blaming my parents for my life. Three years before then, after my father died in 1977, my mother finally got the courage to tell me to never come back, I did not. I guess she wanted a few years without me or my sister in her life. I knew it was time to let both of them go, I am still trying today. I know that no one is perfect. My mother’s last act of cruelty was to not allow me to see her before she died. She had me ban from the hospital. How can one forgive? I had thought I might ask the question why do you hate me so much, that would never happen.

I stood next to a mound of red dirt to say my good-byes after her death. I had always tried to have a relationship with my parents, neither would ever change. My father did what my mother told him to do, and she thought that she was always right. The time was gone to build trust, to build love and I would always ask why; why could they not care for and love me. I still do not forget what they were, if they had the capacity to love two children why not love all three. It hurts and I have to stop judging, but when? I have to forgive them for all that they did and accept them for who they were!

My older sister is like a reptile called the Black Racer, they run when you run, stop when you stop. She walked the fence line, agreeing and disagreeing when it served her. She was only a small part of my upbringing, by the time, I was old enough to see her as a sibling, and she was gone. The root ball of my family tree has many branches, some younger branches give with the wind, and our mother would never bend. My sister knew that she was the first and held some power, and then she too was thrown to the wolves by our mother on many occasions. Of course, in many ways she was just like our mother, thus the reason she did not get along with her. I always felt apart and different, my life developed differently too. For some reason, I didn’t get that trait, the power. I always felt that my life evolved quite differently, too. While it was upsetting for years, I have come to observe the purpose this situation serves in my life. I am not perfect but I believe myself to be more openhearted. Forgiveness, I loved my sister, as I loved my parents.

I work every day to feel compassion for them and I work hard at trying to forget…I do forgive my parents and my sister, again my problem is the “forgetting”. I have written many books of poetry, each filled with the conflict that I have face throughout the years; it is a form of therapy for me. It was hard work because it was work on myself, which is always harder than wishing and hoping others will change. Reflection and self-examination has been a constant part of my life, from childhood to adulthood, with no clear end to it all. My view is very different now, after decades of reflection and willingness to work on myself.

I divorced my husband after 36 years of marriage; forgiveness means you release your spouse from his abusive treatment of you. Forgiveness is not dependent on how you feel about your spouse. It is a choice to forgive your spouse for an offense. Bitterness and unforgiveness ran deep for years. The stalking, the mental abuse after the divorce has been forgiven. He took his own life three years afterwards; why, because I had made a life for myself and he wanted his whipping post back!

This posting is also a tool of healing, my parents, my sister, my husband, all gone, the pain both mental and physical are no longer here in reality. They remain close in my mind, they keep me from forgetting. I make a new agreement with myself every day, to put aside the past, but it keeps embedding itself deep within my senses. I turn my pain over to God, but I take them back with me after each prayer. If I forget, I will not be able to justify allowing myself to be mistreated for so many years, to exist in fear.
I want to end the power that controls me from the grave.

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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