Saturday, March 22, 2008

Precusor to my future posts

This blog was made with the intention of revealing some things about myself, that not many people know. It's not something I go around on every street corner and shout out loud. It is at times, shameful. I don't believe I feel that way because I somehow think some of these things were my fault - after all, I was just a child - but because to tell people family secrets is a huge no-no.

Like many, my childhood wasn't all peaches and cream. The stories that I will tell you however, I have told to a couple of important people in my life and they looked at me with bewilderment. I honestly thought some of the things myself and my siblings went through as kids... other people did too. To me, it was all 'normal' and the way it was supposed to be.

I just want to say that I'm not recording my thoughts and memories about my childhood because I think my parents are horrible people. They are not. Do I think they made mistakes in our upbringing - especially my father? Yes, I do. I know deep down that they did what they thought was right AND that that was the way they thought it was supposed to be.

That last part is important - the way they thought it was *supposed* to be.

I know several people have heard about 'breaking the cycle' and 'breaking the circle of violence'. This is *key*! If people don't recognize that there is an ongoing circle of violence, they will continue to perpetuate that same violence and generation after generation will think this is a normal way of living.

I love my parents. They had provided for myself and my siblings... but I do wish that when I confronted my mom years ago (going on probably 20 years ago now) about some of the things that had happened she would have just said something like, "I know.. and I'm really sorry. We were only doing what we thought was best." or even something like, "Yes... but we were young and had no patience..." Something other than the sarcastic 'answer' I was given.

It was denial and anger. Again. She didn't deny the couple of instances that I brought up, but she denied that any abuse ever occured. This was like a hard, stinging slap to the face. All I wanted... all I needed, was a, "I'm so sorry..." and I didn't even want/need an explanation!

Regardless, I am the person I am today because of the things in my life that have shaped me. In some ways, I'm a stronger person for what I've been through. In yet others, I'm insecure about almost everything I do.

Laying blame doesn't do any good... and that's not what I'm here for. I am trying to make sense of it all. I'm trying to heal myself on some level. A level of forgiveness. With a milestone quickly approaching, I feel the need to forgive (really forgive) is a must.....


Anonymous said...

your not alone..there are things I still carry from my childhood that to this day have never been reckoned with..for me it's late my father has I never did confront them properly

Robin Lee Sardini said...

My parents are no longer the people I knew when I was growing up. They have changed a little in some ways and a lot in others. I have changed a lot.
I find myself very detached from them now. Still caring if something comes up, but not making their problems my responsibility anymore.
It's not my fault.
If they haven't learned anything from dealing with and living in a dysfunctional household then I can't help them. I am not their therapist or their parent.
Just yesterday I was thinking how I would feel if they passed there something I need to do now?
Is there unfinished business? Perhaps, but the things that I thought were unfinished business a couple years ago just don't seem that important to me anymore. Since they are not the same people, including their reasoning capacity, it would be pointless to raise the issues one more time. It didn't accomplish much before except to reopen a partially healed wound, mainly because of my expectations that somehow, something would be different. Nothing really changed. Except me. I got on with my life. I acknowledged the loss...the loss of the parents they were and the loss of the parents I wanted them to be.
I grieved. I moved on.
I am still kind and as supportive as possible if they need to talk (mostly my mother needs to talk), but I can't fix the unfixable. It is what it is.
I do miss family get-togethers at times when others are celebrating(like my in-laws), but I know that soon it will be my turn to have everyone at our house and I have already done that a few times.
Forgiveness is something you do in time and in stages and it just doesn't happen suddenly. There is such a thing as partial forgiveness. There are some acts that are unforgettable, and perhaps God is the only one capable of the kind of forgiveness those acts warrant.
Partial forgiveness often involves restoring some civility to the interaction and releasing the need for revenge (if it ever was present). By some acts, the "relationship" is irretrievably broken, though, and cannot be fully restored. Nor should it be.
In fact it would be like "throwing pearls before swine" to place trust in someone who, for instance, repeatedly molested a child. It would be inconceivable to blindly trust that person again because we believe or are told to believe that we must be the forgivers.
Forgiveness is different for each individual. And it really isn't one size fits all. It's as complicated as the relationships we are engaged in.
I hope this didn't come off sounding fatalistic. It really has been quite freeing for me...
They say forgiveness is for the person doing the is supposed to release us from the resentments and bitterness that can come as a result of carrying grudges or vendettas.
I do agree that when I became less focused on what bothered me in someone else and more focused on allowing myself to heal, I was also empowered. I was no longer seething with anger or being eaten alive by disappointment. I was then able to move into feeling and being healthier, more alive inside.
It also helped me to see the rest of my life more clearly. I was no longer ensnared and enmeshed in destructive reenactments in my head.

Franx said...

Don't blame other and be happy because today is Happy Easter

timethief said...

I think I know where you are coming from and I value the viewpoint you have expressed in your blog post.

My childhood was not a "peaches and cream" one either. I was raised in what felt like a battlefield. My dad quietly drank while my mother actively abused us. He withdrew as far as he could from my mother and us kids as he could and still be called a "family".

However, he did go dry and he spent years making amends wherever he could before he passed on. I was able to forgive him and to love him and we had many happy times together. On the other hand, my mother remained in a state of denial until she became demented.

All of my siblings, except for one, and I have forged new and healthy relationships with each other. That could not have happened if we had not been able to speak our truth to each other and heal together.

Speak your truth.

Jillian said...

I just want to say I read the other posts and the comments and wow... you are definitely on to something here.

I have a lot of anger towards my father. Frankly, he's one of the most useless men I have ever met. I don't think I will ever forgive him for depriving me of having two parents. I haven't spoken to him in 2 years AND he wasn't invited to my wedding. I often think about how I would feel if I found out he passed and to be honest, I think I would be indifferent.

In his case, he didn't do the best he could... he just did what was easy.

I know I sound super bitter and a part of me is, but until I read your post he hadn't crossed my mind since I last talked to him.

Anywho, Hooray! for your honestly, I look forward to reading more. :-)

And sorry it took me so long to get here!

Virtually Sweet said...

I am impressed w/ your strength in searching for peace in your own way, since you obviously can not get what you need from others. So many fail to realize that a simple, "I'm so sorry" can be very powerful. Why is that too much to give? I guess because it admits fault, which they've denied even from themselves for far too long.

I don't agree completely that parents always do things the way they think it's supposed to be. I think often times they know it's wrong, but are unable to overcome the cycle you mentioned. It's very difficult to change habits, especially when one is stressed and pressured. But it is ALWAYS the parents' responsibility to do what they can to change...children are helpless & as we all know, the way we treat our children will indisputably impact the rest of their lives.

Karen ^..^ said...

What was it your mother said? The sarcastic thing?