I Need to Forgive My Mother So I Can Be Free
I just watched "Woman Thou Art loosed" on Showtime and it was a reminder of somethign I've known for a long time. I need to forigve my mother so I can be free and move on and really start living my life.
My father molested me from 12-14. She knows this. He admitted to it. We went to family therapy for 3 weeks with a priest. That ended with our last session when the priest said I had no business sleeping in the same bed with my father at 14 years old. "He was so used to waking up with my mother that he thought it was her next to him. You have no right to go around the rest of your life saying your father molested you because that's not what happened."
She knows. She asked him to apologize to me as an adult. He got on the phone and I asked why. He kept saying I dont know. I pushed and pushed and finally he said "I guess I was sick. To wich I replied, and you're not anymore and I dont have to worry about my sisters?
She once said "that still bothers you. Maybe you should see someone about it." During an argument about why she should leave him (he was having one of his many affairs at the time, I brought this up. She didnt leave him when I needed her to. "I didnt know all those things happened. I thought it was just that one time. I'm not the pillar of strength you are."
I dont know but suspect he did it to my sisters too. Once has been hospitalized several times for depression.
She asked me (in front of him) if I wanted him to leave or not. It was my decision. I said I didnt want my sisters to grow up without a father because of me but if he ever touched them I would kill him with my own hands. I meant it at the time.
This all happened in September 85. My sister was born October 86. You do the math.
I'm 36 now and a lots transpired. They even got divorced for a while a few years ago, but remarried.
It's been a very strange dynamic. We pretend nothing happened but I cannot. My sisters know and 2 are just like my mother-"it never happened"
At times I've hung out with him, became very close to him, confided in him, and loved him. I've even forgiven him at times. When I was 29 and leaving on a business trip he apologized again. He cried. It was right after they remarried and he was going through his "new age" period. (lots of Deepak and Syliva Brown Books). I didnt want to talk about it at that moment and told him "its ok its in the past let forget it."
And at times I've hated him. But not as much as my mother. For some reason I feel betrayed by her even more. I am more angry with her. I have never stopped carrying that around. I've had a "decent" relationship with her, but she knows I dont really want to be around her anymore. I tried so hard as a teenager, and in my twenties to get close to her but I guess she couldnt handle it. Once she said" As bad as you feel, imagine how he feels. He has to live with that the rest of his life." They have both counseled me that I need to forget about the past and move on or I will never be happy.
I was very angry in my 20s and self destructive into my 30s. I've gotten much better and am a new person since I found the right therapist and medication finally. I had hit rock bottom after a breakup and this lead me to make permanent changes in my life. I've struggled with depression, eating disorders, alcohol issues, self mutilation, sexually risky behaviors, abusive relationships, and other self destructiveness since I was 12 years old. Thank God I am ok today. I have my moments and issues like everyone but I now have a handle on things.
Professionally I’ve had increadible success, partially due to being a perfectionist, overachiever and my need to be recognized/needed. (client services) On the outside I look great. I am healthy, attractive, intelligent, and successful. On the inside I’ve always hurt. I don’t carry it with me every day anymore but I still carry it. I am 36 and single and just last year decided to let myself want to have children. I always felt I didn’t deserve them. What if I molested them? What if I screwed up their lives ? What if they got “my bad genes?” I don’t feel that way anymore. I’d be an excellent mother and wife and I’ve decided recently to try to leave this in God’s hands. If it’s supposed to happen it will.
What is left in my hands is to free myself from my anger. I’ve known since last year (I finally became fully conscious of it since then) that I need to forgive my mother or I will continue to have the issues, fears, problems in relationships and inside me overall. I don’t want to forgive her, that’s the problem.
She had a hard life too. She was gang raped at 16 by guys from the neighborhood that she knew. Her mother didn’t support her. They didn’t move. Her boyfriend left her when it happened and her mother and the police said “She wasn’t a virgin.” She had to take care of her parents, including her alcoholic father. My grandmother was wonderful to me but not to my mother. She loved her but she didn’t treat her well. I guess she did the best she could given her own past with an alcoholic abusive father. Why can I think that about my grandmother but not about my own mother?
She doesn’t love herself, as much as she pretends to. I am proud of her-extremely. She got her bachelors at 55 and is working on her masters on full scholarship as part of a teaching fellowship. I just wish she could’ve loved me a little more.
But regardless I need to forgive her to liberate myself. At times I want to cut all ties with my parents. I always used my younger sisters as the excuse of why after I moved out I needed to go back to that house and interact with my family. When they youngest moved out 2 years ago, my excuse was gone. I only stay there on holidays now, and only so I can sleep over with my sisters. Any other time I go there I sleep at my sister’s who lives nearby in her own house.
If I cut all ties it will hurt her immensely. I would be doing it to teach her a lesson and pay for hurting me. But sometimes I think it would make me feel better. Other times I think it would cause such an upraod within the family, and disturb everyone’s holidays. I know I would loose 2 of my 3 sisters and my nephews. It’s sad and it’s wrong of them but I couldn’t stand it. The youngest and I got in a big fight once when I said “your father’s a pedafile.” She said I know it happened and I don’t care. It didn’t happen to me. I’ve had a good life. I’m sorry it happened to you but it’s not my problem and I should have to hear about it.” Another told me he loved them too much to do that to them, and didnt know why he did it to me. I hated her for saying that, but not surprised. She was always his favorite and for a moment I wondered why? Had she given him what I hadnt? (sex)
My closest sister (the one who’s been hospitalized) said she wonders if something happened to her and she’s blocked it out because she knows she has all the signs and several psychologists have told her the same. (incidentally, she studied psychology and social work).
So here I am. I just saw this movie and the victim’s mother didn’t believe her and stayed with the man. Shehad been raped by her father so when it happened to her daughter she couldn’t handle it. She called her a liar. At least my mother believed me. The girl grew up to be a criminal, drug addict, prostitute, and killed her step father. While on death row a priest helped her forgive her mother. She was free.
It’s no coincidence I saw this movie. I’ve been thinking about this and about going to church. Then I found this website where people tell their stories. So this is mine. I want to forgive my mother but for selfish reasons. Is that bad? I deserve to be happy and free. I don’t think I can achieve that unless I let go of the anger. I think the only way to do that is to forgive her. But if I do that I may never want to see her again. I think deep down I want that-to divorce her. But will that set me free? I have little contact with her now but it doesn’t make me feel better. If anything it’s worse because I feel the guilt of hurting her.
Twice she tried to come visit me and I have made it obvious I didn’t want it. She tells my sister she’s lost me and I don’t want to be around her. My family is big on ignoring the giant purple dinosaur in the living room, except for me and they hate that.
I’m afraid if I ‘m alone with her I’ll ask her why she chose him over me. Why she didn’t protect me? Btu I know she doesn’t have a good answer and no answer will be good enough. I’m old enough to know not everything question has an answer. What will make me feel better? I really don’t know, but everything indicates that forgiving her will.I don’t know what’s next. When I started writing this I was clear and now I’m not. I want to know why and how to forgive my mother so I can be free.