Many people would never forgive their parents for abuse they went through. And I totally understand why.
I want to take a slightly different approach.
I have spent years and years being angry and hurting over abuse I suffered as a kid. In all ways. For so long I felt like I was stuck in the past. Like I’d never be able to move on.
I had every right to be angry.
I had every right to cut off those who abused me. Over and over again.
But in recent years as I have got older and have kids of my own I decided to look at things differently.
Not because they deserved it. But because I needed to heal. I needed to be able to move forward in my life.
I spent so long analysing their situation. What could perhaps have made them do what they did.
My parents are both BT and for many years had little or no contact with their own families. They married young. Too young. They had baby after baby. All in quick succession.
Finances were tight. My father worked hard all his life. Sometimes doing several jobs at once. But with so many mouths to feed and bills to pay it’s an uphill struggle with almost no end in sight.
I would never ever condone abuse. I have to make it clear. But I needed to understand them more.
I took time out to grieve for the little girl whose innocence was taken from her. For the young child who was perpetually in fear of those who should have been there to protect her. For the baby covered in bruises but who was too scared to cry….
And then I realised in order to get on with my life and be emotionally stable I had to put it all in the past. I had to close that chapter.
It wasn’t easy but I did it. I began to allow those people back into my life. Slowly. Limited.
And it’s fascinating how time changes people. I don’t see them in any way as threatening. I see two people getting older, and who have lost contact with almost all their children because of their actions.
I feel a little bit sorry for them. It’s strange. They have one child who has regular contact and they have ten children.
I have no idea whether or not they regret what they did, whether they feel guilty, whether they have “chosen to forget” what happened to me and my siblings.
But I need to find peace. For myself. For my future.
I need to move on with my life without harbouring intense pain and anger against people who I now feel have mental health issues.
So I have let go of the past.
I have forgiven – to some extent.
I will never forget. But I need to move on.
#childabuse #sexualabuse #domesticviolence #frum #chabad #mentalhealth