Will you forgive me? Can I forgive you? Well of course it is possible. With much ado. The “ado” part is necessary to find resolution. So okay. Get that part. Talking things out. Hashing it out. Crying. Laughing. Hugging.
Or simply saying goodbye and agreeing to disagree…sometimes forever.
I have had to do this part. It wasn’t easy. But it was necessary. Sometimes, as a therapist told me long ago, that the red flags in your life are meant as warnings…to remove them if they cause a relationship to suffer continuously. There were times when I raised the red flag, and then lowered it again…in hopes that the bad stuff would just go away or fade with time and age and maturity. Most of those red flags were when I was younger and a new mother and wife. Hormones were raging, as were differences of opinion on childrearing and life in general.
As I have gotten a little bit older, I have realized that these red flag moments in my life were defining me and making me stronger once I started evaluating why these things were always happening to me or my family or those around me…I started to wake up. I began to realize how different we all were. Sisters, cousins, friends, parents…I learned from their mistakes, and maybe they learned from mine. The hardest ones to learn from were from parents…in a weird and sometimes almost self-destructive way, I adored them…because I wanted them to adore me. They were young and obviously oblivious to the harm they were causing us all. Still are to this day. But the damage is done…and I still adore them. I still talk to one of my parents, but sadly the red flag went up for the other. Over petty ridiculous things…yet I now look back at the void of my other parent in my life and realize that the red flag had been up for a while and that the void was inevitable…sad but true.
If you are from a divorced family, then you know…the questions over and over in your head. What did I do wrong? Why don’t they want to be together? Why do they fight so much? Why do they put us in the middle? It is all we know. “We” meaning me and my sisters…we have all battled our demons differently through our unsettled childhood, teen years and now adulthood. Some of us choose to act as if it never happened, and some of us (me) like to dissect it over and over and try to figure where it could have possibly been fixed, and some of us have just accepted it…it is what it is.
I hate it. All of it.
The constant pain and worry in the back of my head of whether I am doing the right thing as a mother/wife/daughter, or talking to the right people or moving on from those who walked away…again. As my littles one might say ” it is so icky”…
Icky is on point. Sticky and unnatural to put children in this alter world of doubt, fear, neglect, and sadness- instead of innocent worryies about play dates, snack time, cuddling and bedtime stories.
I miss my parents…the snapshot in my mind of maybe three times of smiles and hugs and laughter that we shared together WAY back when…and then darkness. In the darkness, I bonded so tightly with my sisters…with a mother that was numb and a father that was gone. We played, and fought, and played some more to forget why we were always alone.
As adults, we needed these figures we called parents, for weddings and baptisms and birthdays and grandchildren…but they STILL didn’t need
Not sure if my parents understand unconditional love…I will no longer be angry or hateful towards them for this…this is their problem that they can choose to fix or ignore. Walking away from me and my family forever…well, that just ain’t cool…so for that I bid farewell to you…no more hurting me or my kids that way. I have a small hole in my heart for you that aches to be loved by you, but I will never let it be filled again, for the trust is broken forever.
I discovered the beauty of in-laws ( in my case, but not always so for others!) and friends. New family and a new life. My husband’s family…they didn’t care that we started out the wrong way, or that I came from a damaged home. They loved me because I loved their son. They grew to love me as I slowly allowed them to get to know me…which wasn’t easy. Because I am tough. I keep everyone at an arm’s length. Safer that way…
They have loved me unconditionally for eighteen years, through good days and bad. Through fights with my sisters and family, and making up…they never judged. They never got in the middle…until recently.
For this, I need forgiveness.
I wrote my last blog about several things, but one of them being about my mother-in-law. She is the most loving amazing mother, friend, wife…she has devoted her life for whatever reason, to just loving…everyone. Including our children. She may interfere a bit too much sometimes, or buy them too much, or cook too much for them…but it is and has ALWAYS been out of love…
Forgiveness…I ask her for this. For putting it out in the universe that I wasn’t happy with you…this may be true, but you are someone that I need in my life because I know you truly love me and my family unconditionally…always and forever. And so we will be stronger from this challenge we face as a family…because I know that you do adore me.