I received this response from my article:
Child Abuse – Is Forgiveness a Necessity?
I wanted to share it with you because it represents a different view point of dealing with child abuse ….
I was sharing this story over the weekend, and then I saw your post on child abuse, so I thought I’d share.
My mother made me a dress for the senior prom in h.s. I hadn’t been dating anybody, but she was mentally ill. (In this days, you only went to the prom with a date; never alone.) Anyway, no guys asked me to the prom, and to me it was unthinkable to tell her I wasn’t going to the prom, because she’d be furious that she had made that dress. So I asked a guy to go with me, and he said he already had a date. Then I asked another guy, and he was waiting for another girl to say “yes”, but she declined, so he agreed to go with me. Since I did the asking, I had to pay for the tickets. I’ve always been exceedingly careful with money, so it killed me to spend about $100. for the tickets.
The entire event was unpleasant, and I just gritted my teeth and did it so that I would not have to deal with Mom’s wrath. (In addition to “never hearing the end of it” over her slaving over the dress, she would typically call everyone she knew and recount the story and emphasize what a disappointment/loser I was, and how my sister achieved so much in comparison to me.)
I’ve never dwelled on the topic of “forgiveness”. For me, it was easier to analyze her psychiatric history, to understand what made her the freak show that she became. And the answers were all there. So for me, it’s enough to understand that her parents did this to her.
When she died, nobody cried, and we didn’t bother with a funeral, because her kids didn’t like her, and there weren’t any “friends” who would have attended. Life is so much easier now that she’s gone.
Thanks for sharing your story. I’ve found that understanding why someone hurts you and forgiving them are two different things. If you have any negative beliefs about yourself due to things your mother did, then forgiving her is the first step to healing yourself and being all that God intends you to be.
If you just accept that it was, then it sounds like you have forgiven her for the hurtful things.
Many people such as myself had (or may currently have) this love / hate relationship with a parent that abused them. This causes them to have negative issues about themselves – thinking they are unlovable. This is where forgiveness is needed.
If you don’t mind, I’d love to share your story …
Cindy — Yes, you may share the story.
Unlike many people with an abusive parent, my mother didn’t have a “good side” which we could fondly reminisce over. Her spaghetti sauce was good. There isn’t much else I can cite.
A big turning point for my brother (God bless the boys of such parents!) was reading the book “Understanding the Borderline Mother”. My mother was the witch/waif personality type of borderline personality disorder. She married an autistic man who could earn a paycheck, so that she’d be taken care of financially, but also so that she could be in charge. (In those days, women desperately focused on finding a husband at an early age.) Someday someone will write a book about my family and sell many copies.
The BIG lesson here is that when you forgive someone, it’s for you – not for the other person. When you forgive your parents or others that may have abused you when you are a child – You are letting go of the pain, the guilt, the shame and all the other negative emotions that you have been holding onto throughout your life.
If your not battling demons of the past, you’ve already let go, and forgiveness isn’t necessary for you to heal.
Many of us have overcame obstacles that would be best sellers and great movies … Why? Because people love hearing about how others overcame situations similar to the ones they are facing or have faced. Don’t be afraid to share your story – You never know who may benefit from it.