Identify something negative you believe about yourself because of a past mistake for which you’ve struggled to forgive yourself (for example, “I’m a bad person”) – something that is not a fact, even if it may feel like one. Look for one piece of proof to support the opposite belief today. (For example, helping your sister could be proof that you are, in fact, a good person.)
My belief: I’m a bad daughter for not having a relationship with my mother.
Believe it or not, that’s still a belief I struggle with.
I know I’m doing the right thing for me, but damn. Society always thinks differently, and that peer pressure is hard.
One nice thing, though, is that I know I’m not alone
We’re warned that “divorcing their parents will comeback to haunt
” us, that we’ll rue the day we ignored Biblical and societal standards of honoring our parents.
The thing is, those parents have to honor us back at some point too.
“I feel angry that I never had a proper mother. I feel angry that I don’t know what it feels like to be nurtured or taken care of.” – Adult daughter who has not spoken to her mother for seven years
Adult children do not divorce their parents lightly. “The feelings of love and loyalty are so strong,” says a daughter no longer in contact with her parents. “It took me many years to stop feeling ashamed of the hurt I had caused them, but my desire to protect my new family was stronger.”
Forgiveness doesn’t mean sacrificing myself to please someone or an entire culture of someones.
Others note the freedom that comes with the change:
Overall I am a happier person since I have disowned them. I feel relief mostly, like I’ve gotten out of jail for a crime I didn’t commit.
Regardless of everything else, I know that I’m doing what’s right for me
. I refuse to be abused
anymore. I don’t expect everyone to understand, but I do expect that people respect my decision.
It’s not one that anyone in my position makes lightly.
Without my mother, I am whole. I can have a real relationship with my sister, something ironically my mother predicted would happen when we were younger – we were told she didn’t care if we liked her or even loved her but we better love each other, damnit, because we’re all we have. Apparently it’s easier to talk that than live it.
My health – mental, physical, and emotional – is better than it has ever been.
My relationship with myself and with others is better.
I’m far less angry or frazzled all the time.
If my mother truly cared about me, she would support me in this even though it hurts her since it benefits me so much. I guess I know now that she doesn’t really, does she?