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prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 11:54 AM
Original message
Poll question: Have you forgiven your parent(s) for your childhood?
Edited on Tue Oct-07-03 12:00 PM by prolesunited
I'm sure many of us grew up in less than ideal circumstances with a parent or parents who were less than fit to adequately care for and nurture us.

My childhood was a far cry from the Brady Bunch experience with an alcoholic (functioning, non-violent and not abusive) father and a clinically depressed mother who did not get treatment until much later in life. The situation was far from healthy problems always simmering, never dealt with and buried but I know many others who have dealt with much, much worse circumstances.

I was just wondering how others have dealt with their childhood scars and if they have been able to come to terms with a parent or parents who the felt has let them down.

On edit, added Choice #7

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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commander bunnypants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
1. Pretty sucky here too
But I decided to forget about it. No time to worry about it anymore. But she will do something everynow and then that brings it back

DDQM
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
2. My mother would have been locked up today for some of the things
that occurred in my childhood. My brother and sister are still resentful. I'm a bit different on the issue. I worked it out with her, don't allow her to manipulate now and frankly, feel she prepared me for how mean life can be. I'm not easily intimidated by others having grown up in my mother's presence.
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pink_poodle Donating Member (605 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #2
13. Ditto for me. I only thank her for making me tough as nails. -nm
:
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Booberdawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
30. Same here with my mother.
Some things too sickening to talk about.

As far as preparation for life, I was the oldest and the strongest and perhaps it did prepare me; I fought and overcame the odds and achieved a lot. My younger sister overcame it as well after a rocky start and is now quite happy and successful.

On the other hand not all of my siblings fared as well. My younger step brothers were treated even worse - one we haven't heard from for many years was homeless last we knew. Another struggled with depression and hanged himself 10 years ago at the age of 31.

With great reluctance I had to commit another brother a year ago for his own safety. Its not likely he will ever be able to care for himself or be discharged.

While I have worked through my own issues and made the best of my own life, I can't help but wish people took such issues more seriously back in those days and that if she were locked up like she should have been, my brothers would have fared a lot better in this life.

C'est la vie.
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
3. wasn't a great childhood, but it wasn't all parent fault
more peer related than parent. My parent were, for the most part, pretty good (although I didn't always think so at the time) ;-)

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ET Awful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
4. Won't fault my mom, she was and is great and I love her dearly. . .
My dad on the other hand is someone who I have no desire to have any contact with at all. I haven't seen him in about 10 years, and really don't feel the need.
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soleft Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
5. still in the process of healing, have accepted their limitations
The comedian Reno did a great line once, by the time you finally get to the point when you're ready to express your rage, your parents are too old and frail to let it loose on them.
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MnFats Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
6. they did the best they could with what they were handed...
...which was a little better than what their parents did.
...I still have to do a litle better for my kids.
...my parents did a lot of things right. but they were screwy about a lot of things too. I just wish my old man hadn't drank so much. it made him distant when i was an adolescent trying to figure things out.
....yeah, i forgive 'em. what else you gonna do? I wasn't the greatest kid, either.
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
7. I will never forgive
but then they (my family) are all dead. My brothers were both scared for life by them. Being the oldest I learned that no childhood does not mean you can't heal yourself and have a pleasant adulthood. In life I take no crap from anyone anymore but it took a long time to quit flinching. Lost one brother because he became an addict, the other never was able to get over it before he died. I guess I was the lucky one.
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goddess40 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
8. My mother was/is great my dad is dead and I don't care
My dad was an alcholic and was wonderful to outsiders. While we never went hungry he wasn't very nice to his immediate family, especially his wife, my mother.
After he remarried and had another child I tried for the sake of my 1/2 sibling to get along with my father. He died several years ago and left everything to his second family. At the funeral my sibilings and I were his 'other children'.
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Richardo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
9. Uh - how about just thanking them that you even EXIST...
...and leave the recriminations for you and your shrink.
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. So what about your childhood?
I don't mean to be contrary here but have you ever considered that some of us may actually think it might have been better to not be here than to suffer what we did? Seriously, being a helpless child and being abused is not something to easily thank someone for.
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Susang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #9
29. Why thank them?
I thank them for treating me well, teaching me to love other people honestly and all the other great things they're responsible for.

But to thank them for merely existing is silly since in my case they really didn't have a choice. You see, I was born before choice was truly an option.
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Richardo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. Point taken: change "thank" to acknowledge if appropriate
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Terwilliger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:12 PM
Response to Original message
11. forgive them? for what?
"Why mom and dad?!?! Why was I born??"

Judging them means you should look to yourself first.
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prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. I want to understand your point
Could you elaborate?

I'm not saying that as an adult, we should cast the finger of blame on our parents. We have to take responsibility for ourselves and who we chose to become and the decisions we make. Ultimately, we are the masters of our own destinies.

However, we did not grow up in isolation. What happened in our childhoods has a tremendous impact on who we are. Have we no right to examine the role they played?
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Terwilliger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. examining the role they played is different from deciding on absolution
Your parents (my parents, everybody's parents) made hard choices like everyone else did. Later on, you can say "Dad! How could you possibly think that was going to make any money?? Mom! Why did you give me so much candy??" That sort of thing? I think it's a wasted exercise to dwell on it. Look at yourself and what you believe, and treat your children appropriately.
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soleft Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. what about in the case of extreme abuse or abandonment?
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Terwilliger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #18
44. what do you want?
in that case, it's obvious that the parents should never have had children...I don't see why that should be a reason to dwell on it now.
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Heddi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. I think you're confusing "normal" childhood with
Abusive childhoods.

If our parents were abusive, should we, as adults, have no feelings about that now? Should we just overlook any input our parents had into manifesting anxieties, stresses, "phobias", hangups that we now have in adulthood that are DIRECTLY RELATED to what happened (at the hands of our parents) in childhood?

When I was young, my mother had a live-in boyfriend. He molested me. I told her, and she allowed him to stay in the house with us, knowing that he molested me REPEATEDLY over the course of several years.

Now, I love my mother, and we have a great relationship, but I cannot forgive her for choosing a good lay over the welfare of her child.

Because of my molestation before I told her, and because of the subsiquent abuses that happened afterwards, now, as an adult, I have several hangups---all directly related to the fact that a very sacred bond of trust was abused.

The saddest part is that my mother never doubted that he molested me. She just couldn't live without him and his magic cock.

He was finally removed from our house when he was arrested for molesting a mentally retarded boy in our house--now THAT was a big deal to her....MY being molested in the house was no big shakes at all :eyes:

Of course, a few years after he was released for molesting the boy, she allowed him to move back in with us---at this time, we were living in a 1br apartment, very close quarters.

Two days after he moved in, I moved out. He eventually screwed her over in some way that I have no idea about, but again, THAT was a big deal. My issue wasn't.

So yes, I feel that as an adult, I have the right to criticize actions and decisions my mother made supposedly on my behalf when I was a child and she was supposed to be looking out for MY Best interest, MY welfare, MY wellbeing.

I've gone to therapy. Therapy does nothing to remove the dreams I have at night where HE is coming after me. Where HE always has the upper hand. Where HE repeatedly pins me down, as he did when I was 11 and 12 years old.

Therapy can do NOTHING to remove the fears I have about being home alone. Being home at night.

Therapy told me it wasn't my fault---I knew that from the get-go. Therapy told me I did the right thing by telling my mother---I knew that as well. But therapy isn't an end-all be-all solution.

And yes, as an adult, I have the right to say "mother, your decisions fucked me up in many ways" Psychologically, physically......

Again---I'm an adult now, and I have a great relationship with my mother. I love her dearly, and I can appreciate the sacrifices she DID make for me. We grew up very poor, and she always managed to pull through. But I still have a right to be angry at the bad decisions she made that affected my life---not just my childhood---but my life, in a negative way.
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Terwilliger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #20
45. the right to be angry? what do you want to do?
hit her? beat her? torture her?
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prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #15
24. Look at Heddi's statement
And tell me how belittling your statement makes some of the things people here have experienced in their childhoods sound. We're not talking about trivial matters, like giving someone too much candy or having enough money to satisfy our every whim.

And, no, I don't think it's a wasted exercise to examine it no, not dwell on it to the point that it cripples your own life or becomes an excuse for you not taking control over your own life. However, I think if you want to truly understand YOURSELF and be able to connect with others, including your children, I think you need to examine the influences that have shaped who you are and that includes the role your parents played in your upbringing.

Maybe I didn't phrase the initial question properly. Of course, parents don't require our "absolution" as we don't sit in judgment of them. To me forgiveness connotes acceptance and realization that we are all human and did the what we were capable of under the circumstances.

Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves, not the other person. My parents didn't require my forgiveness. It was something I had to do for myself in order to move on and grow.

Some quotes I found enlightening:

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.
Paul Boese

Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.
Hannah Arendt

You are never so strong as when you forgive.
Kimberly Converse

Forgiveness is a rebirth of hope, a reorganization of thought, and a reconstruction of dreams. Once forgiving begins, dreams can be rebuilt. When forgiving is complete, meaning has been extracted from the worst of experiences and used to create a new set of moral rules and a new interpretation of life's events.
Beverly Flanigan

Forgiveness means letting go of the past.
Gerald Jampolsky

When you forgive, you in no way change the past - but you sure do change the future.
Bernard Meltzer





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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #24
37. I think forgiving our parents is one of the most important things...
Edited on Tue Oct-07-03 03:17 PM by bloom
a person can do. I grew up with someone who did not forgive his mother and that, in itself, was difficult as it affected all aspects of his life (and I believe, the lives of his children).


P.S. I think there are some things that are probably unforgivable and so I don't "hold my dad responsible" for not forgiving.
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Terwilliger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #24
46. I meant to belittle no one
I should just keep it all to myself, I guess
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prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #46
48. Not what I meant either
You are among my list of favorite posters, just seeing things differently today I guess. I tried to explain myself better by what I meant with the term "forgive." And as you can see by the responses here, there is a lot of pain buried in many people's childhoods.

If you didn't experience that pain, that's great. If you did and put it all behind you, even better. Obviously, there are quite a few still working through these issues.

Peace :hippie:
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Terwilliger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #48
53. Your original question was really straightforward
I thought I'd answered it in a straightforward manner. My mom was an alcoholic, and our family had/has it's share of dysfunction. My point was that it's within yourself to exercise the demons of the past.
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prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #53
54. Well, then we agree!
I just happen to think forgiveness, acceptance, making peace with your childhood/parents is part of exorcising the demons of the past. :D

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Richardo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. well stated, proles...
My opinion is that while the nurture side of our upbringing is significant, it is ultimately what we decide to make of ourselves as sentient human beings that is the most important.

I guess looking at your parents' role might be instructive, and might guide YOUR parenting skills (if needed).

But I don't see any point in somehow taking anybody to task for what happened years ago, and presuming to "forgive" them. That's for you, not them.
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #17
34. And if there was
no nurturing side? Abandonment issues? Hell yes it helped my parenting skills. I wanted to be anybody but them to my children and now I have two wonderful grown up young men who love me and grew up in love. Yes, it shaped me alright. It is easy not to take someone to task who did not beat the living hell out of you daily for the hell of it or molest you because you were "just" a girl and that is what you are here for. Sorry, forgiveness is sometimes out of reach. Maybe the next life.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #11
21. OMG
SHUT UP! YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!
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Terwilliger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #21
47. YES SIR! SIEG HEIL!
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indigo32 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:16 PM
Response to Original message
12. Nothing to forgive really
my parents are human, and pretty good ones at that. I learned alot from them. Perfect... no...but who is?
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MissMillie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
16. I was born into a highly functional family
We are all still very close and very loving and very supportive of each other.

My folks were married 53 years ago at 16 (mom) and 19 (dad) and mom was 5 months prenant. I'm sure few would have expected it to last as long as it has, but that's not the amazing thing. What's amazing is that they are still deeply in love w/ each other.

And to be so good at parenting at such young ages..... amazing.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
19. I hold no animosity
but damn, I'll never get over the way I grew up. The stress was overwhelming. I remember thinking, the one think I wanted when I was older was to be LEFT ALONE. I still feel that way.
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thom1102 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
22. My rents weren't perfect
They made lots of mistakes, but they were young parents and they did the best that they could. Mom and I have a great relationship, though I wish she would call me every once in a while, rather than me always having to call to see how she is doing, so it makes it a lot easier to deal with her than if she were meddling. Dad is dead, and I feel bad, because he and I were just beginning to understand each other.

It would be hypocritical of me to hold a grudge against them for their mistakes, when they've forgiven me for so much in my youth.
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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
23. Both parents now dead, still have issues to deal with

But I'd rather not go into detail, having already transformed my first 27 years of life into four separate manuscripts (each between 300 and 400 pages) during the 1990s.

It's nothing I intend to ever try to get published; I just wrote to get some angst out of my system.
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hippiechick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #23
40. Same here .....
Had issues w/ dad while he was alive ... worked them out after he died. He wasn't perfect but did what he could with the life-skills he had. Coulda been better, coulda been worse.

Had no issues w/ mom while she was alive, but retrospect and maturity have raised some issues with her passive agression and 'blame your father' personality. Married dad on the rebound and spent 40 years trying to get us to hate him for her rotten life choices.

My, but aren't we a farked up mess of a family ???


:hippie:
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JohnKleeb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
25. Will get back to you in a few years lol
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
26. Haven't healed -- have forgiven -- relationship still lame
I had a lot of problems as a kid -- basically your standard geek problems of being smart and socially inept -- which weren't my parents' fault, but which they did manage to make worse.

My mother was aware of my problems and tried constantly to help, but in ways that were extremely counter-productive. Her standard line was that I was a white monkey who was naturally resented and persecuted by all the brown monkeys, and that I would only be safe with her protecting me unless I learned to pretend to be a brown monkey. Since I never did learn, I grew up feeling that everyone hated me, that there was nothing I could ever do about it, and that the world was an alien and hostile place.

My father was basically a lot more clueless and is still trying to convince me that I was a happy child.

Raising my own kids has shown me how hard it is to produce well-balanced, self-confident young humans, especially when you're still struggling with your own hang-ups. So on that level, I've been able to forgive my parents for their mistakes. But because they were never able to recognize or acknowledge the nature of those mistakes, the relationship between us never got straightened out, and that is painful to me.

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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
27. I respect them but....
I respect their strict adherence to conservatism and the pure dumb luck that life's never really bitten them in the ass.

It's absolutely hopeless to forgive them because they literally don't have a clue what's really going on. It'd be a complete waste of time to even try to explain it so I'm willing to let them just muddle on.
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Susang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
28. Haven't forgotten the traumas of my childhood
I don't blame my parents, they did the very best they could and still continue to do so.
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Leftist78 Donating Member (609 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
31. Mom was great
Dad was an abusive prick. Glad she got out of it when I was 5. After that he was an ass whenever I saw him. Needless to say, I don't have a lot to do with him now.
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Wickerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
33. I have forgiven
I think, then my dad does something newly outrageous. So, I gotta forgive again. Forget? I am a master at forgetting. I doubt I have truly forgiven.
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LosinIt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
35. Parents were awesome, now my Grandmother on the other hand
had some major issues. She used to threaten to turn all of the mirrors to the wall if she ever caught me looking in them. Favored my brother like there was no tomorrow. Lived into her 90s because she was too mean to die. But the rest of the town thought she was this sweet little old lady who baked cookies (her oatmeal ones were damn good, I must say).
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CBHagman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
36. Thanks for all the perspectives on this thread, and here's a thought.
Edited on Tue Oct-07-03 03:10 PM by CBHagman
Someone wrote in a recent article about holding grudges that the act of forgiving is NOT a "not guilty" verdict for the offender. It helped me to read that, because I often mistook acting as though nothing wrong had happened for forgiveness. It's important to somehow work through the anger, sorrow and betrayal and reach the point of forgiveness. With the most extreme kinds of abuse, this can take years, not moments.
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 03:43 PM
Response to Original message
38. I'm working on it
I still haven't talked to my mother in a year though. My husband says that if my parents really were the way that they were and continue to be verbally abusive to me, then I shouldn't feel bad about not wanting to talk to them. It hurts not to have parents that are supportive in one's life like some of my friends do. I tried to call my mother on mother's day but she had my step father talk to me instead. My sister says that she is so upset that I don't want to have a relationship with her. She won't call me though. Why do I have to be the one who is suppose to be more mature than her? Why was I suppose to be more mature than her as a young child? Why do I have to make the sacrafices now as I did then? It is hard being told that you ruined your parents' life by being born and that you have to work hard to make up for it. I am trying to heal myself now. Maybe then I'll be the more mature one.
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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
39. Other
My relationship with my father is fairly easy, now that he's sober and lives in Florida.

My mother is a mess. I love her, she's a good person, but she is a classic enabler without an addict to enable. I can't discuss my childhood with her-any honest look makes her cry. Even though I think she was a pretty good mom, because I don't think she's perfect, she thinks I must hate her.

My sister has some serious health problems that recently necessitated her going to the er. She has little kids, so she asked my mom to watch them and her best friend to go with her to the hospital. Mom decided that this was some type of personal snub, instead of faith in her ability to care for the kids. She said to my seriously ill sister "I don't know why you and your sister (me) don't want me around when you have to go to the hospital". Once, over ten years ago, I had gall bladder surgery. I was in the hospital one night and missed a couple of weeks at work. I asked my sister to come stay with me and I didn't have a lot of room at the time, as I had taken in my cousin, who's dad kicked her out when she turned 18. My mom brings this up all the time, as an example of how much I've hurt her. Everything is about her, which is exactly why I didn't want her there.

But I love her and forgive her, I just can only take so much of her martyr act.
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geniph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
41. I neither forgive nor condemn
Both my parents are still living, which I find ironic, as most of the people my age who had real parents have now lost them. I have bio-parents only. They were not parents in any sense of the word. It was always made crystal clear to me that they both would have been much happier had I never been born (in those days, Catholics had babies whether they wanted them or not). I'm the youngest of 13. I was emotionally neglected, physically and sexually and verbally abused, reared with alcoholism and drug abuse, etc., ad nauseum.

I actually don't condemn them. I wouldn't wish THEIR lives on anyone. I think their own lives were punishment enough. I just don't care much about either of them one way or the other. And I'm okay with that.
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YellowRubberDuckie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 04:20 PM
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42. Forgave my dad...Mom's still a heinous bitch.
My dad died 7 years ago, and I forgave him. Mom still treats me like crap...so I haven't really forgiven her.
Duckie
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VOX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 04:40 PM
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43. Both parents are gone now, but I've made peace with all ghosts...
My dad was a strong drinker and had serious anger issues -- he walked out after several years and it was for the better. My mom was bitter and frustrated all her life (*her* mother was a piece of work -- an utter control freak). She played my brother against me, was way too overinvolved in our lives, it was suffocating. I fought back, hard, always the rebel, always perceived as "defective." But I saved my own life, got the hell out and made something of it.

My mom had a stroke nine years before she died; she recovered well from it, but it left her changed in a remarkable way -- she was profoundly contrite for her overinvolvement and other transgressions. I was able to be with her and help her take leave of this world as she was dying, and I'm grateful for that time. She was a complicated, elegant, infuriating woman, but she had a grand sense of humor and play.

I'm not bitter about my parents; quite the contrary. For all their faults, they had many fine qualities that I love and respect. They were essentially good people at heart, playing the hand that was dealt them, as best they knew how. They both lost their opposite-gender parents at a very early age. They had their demons, too, and overall, I'd say they did pretty well.
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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 05:32 PM
Response to Original message
49. I think with some parents it is perfectly valid
not to try to have a relationship with.

Terribly abusive people, for instance.

My father moved across the country to get away from his mother. One year we were going to visit her and then we didn't. And then she killed herself.

Guilt.
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populistmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 05:57 PM
Response to Original message
50. My parents were just very self involved
Mainly regarding their own relationship. They were married and divorced (to each other) twice before I was 19 and in between always on and off in their relationship, moving me around too much, etc.
I had to go to the other extreme trying to be SuperMom (the all knowing, all seeing force with no life of her own). I'm currently in recovery from that. Once I left my 20's, all the resentments I had seemed less important. It would be nice that in the here and now, I could count on them a little more, but I've excepted the reality of who they are.

Sarah
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Piperay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 06:13 PM
Response to Original message
51. I had kind loving parents...
they made some mistakes but did the best they could. My mother (who is dead now) had an abusive mother and a father who never "saw", inspite of all that my mother was never anything but loving toward my brother and myself. It pains me to think of what my mother endured and how hard she struggled in overcoming the cycle of abuse. My father was from a strange family, not abusive but not very functional but he overcame that in the way he treated his own family. Yeah, both of my parents made minor mistakes but they more than made up for it.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:16 PM
Response to Original message
52. Nee-noo-nee-noo....
I am so grateful to Prolesunited and to all of you who have shared your experiences on this thread. Reading it has been very life-affirming as the feeling of isolation is the WORST. Currently my mom (82), with whom I've had an exceedingly difficult relationship, is in the hospital. My dad committed suicide when I was 9 and his family has NEVER forgiven her. I have worked to forgive them both. Had a recent dust-up with mom which really blew me out as in the past 2 years I thought we'd gotten the worst behind us. She's now facing a potentially life-threatening procedure. I called to check on her and let her know of my concern and she abused me again. In my heart I understand, respect and love her and at the same time I simply wish she would leave us peacefully and in peace... Should I feel guilty for the thought, "Mom, I love you. You're sucking the life out of everyone in your orbit. PLEASE, GO IN PEACE."?
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Mass_Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
55. I just want to say
I'm sorry for anyone that had serious trauma in their childhoods. All of your stories made me immensely greatful for what I now think of as an idyllic childhood. Thank you all. Peace!
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