life seen thru the eyes of a neurotic 20 something gal in search of something, nothing, and everything....but not all at once...I think.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The truth about forgiveness

As a young kid, I had a pretty jacked up relationship with my mom. She left us when were pretty young and my dad raised us. It was rough as a teenager and our volatile relationship eventually ended with me not talking to her for more than 6 years. My dad always used to tell me growing up to not be angry with my mom. She loved me deep down he'd say. She was just really... messed up. "Forgive her," he'd urge. "Not because she needs it....because you do." It would make me so damn angry every time he would say that. How dare he suggest forgiveness. If his mother treated him like she treated me, my dad would surely understand how I felt I reasoned. Yet he said it every time she did yet another thing to hurt me. I couldn't understand his reasoning or her behavior and felt lost for a very, very long time.

The funny thing is, dear old dad was right all along. Recently, my mother has been up to her old antics creating family drama and cutting into old wounds. While I'd like to say I didn't expect this behavior from her, I can't say that truthfully. People don't change much and my gut told me it would eventually resurface. The fact of the matter is, given her erratic behaviors, I feel sorry for her. My mother has done and said some awful things. Short of ripping my beating heart out of my chest, I am certain no other pain inflicted in my lifetime has ever made me feel quite the way she has. I realize someone with her disturbing childhood and difficult transition into adulthood is emotionally incapable of functioning in a loving relationship with another human....NOW. As a kid, I just thought she did it on purpose.

It's hard to explain how I've learned to forgive her. I can talk about my experiences without feeling my heart in my throat or my eyes welling up with hot salty tears. I remember the incidents but the details are fuzzy, not painstakingly clear like they once were. These days, I've found acceptance and even peace. If someone told me 15 years ago I would ever say that, I would have died of laughter and said "like hell." Man have I come full circle or what.

I still love her. She is the only mother I will ever get: good, bad, indifferent. And it still hurts when people talk about her and say she's crazy. Maybe she is, but she's what the good Lord above sent me. If I can find a place in my heart to forgive her for all the shit she's done to me, then I expect for others to find compassion, if only because you care about me. I only hope someday she can accept herself and learn that yes, even I, have found a place in my heart to forget the traumas of the past.


Blogger Kas said...

I wish.... I'm not quite there with my mom yet, but I wish I wish I was. I understand and I wish.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i quite literally stumbled across your blog...don't know how...but upon reading this i have to say i admire your spirit and strength to be able to forgive when it is something i'm struggling to do but each time i try, i'm fuelled with reminders of the past and the hurt of it all just turns into more and more hate, which i was hoping would fade with time...but becomes more intense than before. My story however is that of the 'jilted girl' still trying to get over a guy who misled her for a year ... (long story ...and not interesting)....but nevertheless I'm glad you've made your peace with it to some extent....i just pray i find the same peace a year on from all the hurt i can't seem to get over...

4:52 PM  
Blogger Bien said...


12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too stumbled in..and read your note about foregiveness...hard to do. My mom is 98 still able to make me "bleed" even in her dementia.. I have come to the conclusion she can't love me like my brothers. Mom has never liked women.

I have come to terms with it..and face her death with mixed emotions. I am a "good" daughter and dutifully call her but it is hard to find Mother's Day cards to send..

As a result, I think I am a terrific Mother. Sometimes things are given to us for a reason.

Just think of all the mistakes you know NOT to make.

10:12 PM  

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