Should I/how do I forgive my family?
Growing up, I was put through a lot. My parents were never really there for me, and use to leave my sister "in charge" all the time. Problem was, she was a sadist. I was once locked in a wardrobe for 7 hours, which my sister still thinks is funny. Even when my parents found out, she was never punished. Moreso, she used to psychologically torment me, by giving my toys to the dogs out the back, and then showing me the broken toys and telling me she did it. Heck, one time she even pushed a trampoline down (it was on its side) onto my head, and put me in hospital, which she still laughs at about.
Worse, my mother used to stand back while my step-father beat me. In fact one time, he twisted my (already) broken arm when I was 7, so of course I started crying, so he followed me into my room and beat me, throwing me into the bedhead. Afterwards my mother came and had a talk with me about "how to be a better son".
But worse of all was that I was forgotten. I just existed there, and was never really interacted with. I was taught nothing. My parents never had the sex talk with me, never taught me to cook, or balance a budget, nothing. Even the quintessential fatherly things, like teaching your son to use the gym or to fight, never happened.
And I was never taught good moral lessons. My parents emptied my savings when I was young ($400 of pocket money), to pave the backyard, and never paid me back. When I asked about it a couple of years ago, they said "well, we've spent so much feeding you etc., so call it even". Meanwhile they did the same to my sister but paid her back.
Eventually, I ended up moving out quite young. 14 at the time, staying with friends. Never having developed any life skills, I was in no position to develop them, given my social circles.
Anyway, after a long time of abusing drugs and alcohol, I finally decided to start making my life better. I managed to quite all the drugs and alcohol, and got myself back into uni. Now, I am in a PhD program, and have finally joined a gym (only to discover how insanely easy it is to stay fit).
However, a couple of days ago, my sister came over and had a bit of a stab at me saying that "You're the sort of person who never lets things go". Normally, I am though, but I cannot bring myself to do that for my family. Eveeryone I know at uni, and my gf, commend me on how well I deal with people doing the wrong things, and how patient I can be. But my sister is right in one sense, I cannot forgive my family.
How can I forgive a woman who spent so many years abusing me so horribly, who never apologised for it, and who openly tells others about the things she did to me as if they were funny? She recollects the tears on my face coming out of the wardrobe with a fucking twinkle in her eye, and I just have to stay silent, holding back my thoughts, lest I end up breaking down and yelling at her/crying and making a fool of myself.
Sometimes the people we are with even have an openly shocked look on their face, and look at me as if to say "i'm sorry". And my sister wonders why she has no friends.
But I cannot help but feel guilty in some regards. Should I just forgive them somehow? Am I the bad person here for not moving past it so we can get along?
I just don't know anymore.
To further expand on this. Your bitch sister is a sociopath at minimum. Which means everything she says can and should be discarded.
And your family is full of cunts.
Objectively think about it and you should reach am answer. Maybe one you feel is 'wrong' but is most likely the most accurate one
Be thankful for where you are now.
Think of the past as the means that brought you here.
Sure your life could have been better, but give yourself some props for what you have accomplished and forget about your family.Forgive them if you wish.
I'm in a similar boat with my family. Abuse, neglect, ect.
They're just schizophrenic and narcissistic to the point where I don't want them to be a part of my life.
Which I don't let them be, thankfully. I have made a vow to never deal with them again, except when it comes to funerals. You were there when I was born, I'll be there when you die at least.
That's it, after taking my childhood, my money, and making me want to hurt myself, that is all they're entitled to.
If I were you I'd cut your family out of your life, especially your sister. I've never forgiven them, and I never will, sometimes I still think about it though. Forgiving them wouldn't take away my memories though, it would just mean that I'd have to pretend I didn't hate them for the rest of my life.
Go with your feelings, if you really feel like you can forgive them, do, but stick to it, otherwise you're not being honest with yourself and them.
I had the same treatment as you did.
Except I have accepted that it was my fault, that the influence they had on me could've been negated by the influence I could've had on myself if I tried more.
It's yourself that you have to blame and it's yourself you have to forgive. God knows I can't.
>Except I have accepted that it was my fault
I'm sorry, but I refuse to accept that being constantly hit by my step-father was MY fault.
How can you honestly believe that a 7 year old child is at fault for letting their parents abuse them? Fuck off.
Deal with it better?
I dealt with it fine, considering. I think your whole world view is out of whack if you think the blame lies on the abused in any way, shape or form.
I've spent the past few years being silent about everything, and even help take care of my nephew. The only thing I've done "wrong" is be a little more quiet at family get-togethers.
"it's your fault that you didn't deal with abuse"? Stay away from psychology, you would make an awful counselor.
>everyone who gets hit in their childhood is ruined beyond repair
>people that dealt with childhood violence better than you now lead happy successfull lives
Except I went through worse childhood abuse so it's not like I'm talking out of my ass.
Yeah dude, it's not you at all.
Yo that's a shity life man.
So you want to be of a golden heart and forgive them?
First, you must accept what they've done to you.
This is the hardest part, accepting their faults and actions. Accepting that this was the life you were given, and accept that you are now responsible for now and forever. Because now you are no longer that 7 year old boy. You've changed, and will continue to change.
So acceptance is key to moving on from the past. If you can forgive them in your heart and accept them for being such people then you can forgive them in both mind and body.
I hope you can understand that. I know it's hard to accept such injustice, but it is unfortunately the truth of our world. Some people are broken and want happiness, but don't know how to claim it and it frustrates them. Sometimes seeing someone in a more fortunate position infuriates them.
Accept, forgive. And move on towards the moment, and the future.
>Also if you're an adult and still believe in the concept of "deserving", you should kill yourself.
Now we see who's nerve has been touched.
You are clearly projecting your own failures onto me.
My life has been turned around very successfully. Obviously yours has not. You came into this thread blaming me for "not dealing with abuse", when I very clearly have dealt with it well. The question was more whether I should gloss over the past and forget everything so I can make their lives better, not mine.
You, on the other hand, think that I somehow think my life is fucked. It's not, I've done very well for myself. You, in your own mind, know your life is fucked and secretly blame everyone else. I recognise my hardships, but worked to overcome them.
I suggest you do the same. Either that, or take your own advice and kill yourself. The world would be better off.
Thanks for taking the time.
I just find it so hard to accept the past and move on when my own sister still brings it up and laughs about it occasionally.
I guess scars remain somewhat fresh when they are constantly reopened. It makes it hard to forgive her when she just keeps bringing it up and refusing to apologise. She legitimately sees no wrong in the things she did.
Half of the reason I help take care of my nephew is because I know that without me, he would suffer similar circumstances.
She already neglects the kid. She never helps with his schooling, and he is being held back now because he has fallen so far behind.
But I can't bring myself to be in her life so much that I become the kid's role model. I guess some of my guilt is because I feel like I shouldn't even be helping at all, because it is her kid.
Well usually when someone attempts to reopen an old wound I just laugh, because I know it can't really hurt me anymore. Any pain I feel is ultimately a product of a time long past, and somewhere along the lines you realize that anchoring yourself to those moments limits your own sense of fulfilment in your life.
Wanna culture shock someone into a state of awe? Act differently. When I first saw my father after a couple of years of no talk at a family event, I went up to him and said "Father!" and hugged him. He didn't say a single word, and everyone knew he was shocked, because they all knew what went down between me and him in the past. Seeing myself accept that in such a bold manner gave me strength, and people know now that I'm a stronger person than he'll ever be.
Besides, you have a nephew to take care of. Lead by example.
My advice is when she brings up a joke laugh at it with her. Tame her by stealing the words from your mouth.
Additionally, think about those moments deeply in some pseudo-meditation. Learn to loosen those negative attachments and learn to let them go. Not in the sense of forgetting them, but in the sense of accepting that this was your past and it will remain just that. The past. Gone from the now. Unable to return.
It takes time, but you can do it. Do it for not only yourself, but for others too.
What would you gain from forgiveness? Why would you voluntarily let toxic people in to your life. I have cut family members from my life for a lot less that you have been through, and I do not regret it at all.
If you're worried about your nephew report your sister to the child services. If she's the sadist you describe her as, that would go well for her.
I usually would say "yeah, let things go"
but fuck them.
They probably are seeing that you are successful person and want something.
But ok, let's sa you should forgive them
This doesn't mean you're friends though.
"No hard feelings, but I don't want your company". Something like that
Not really dude. The only scenario where you are open to being reabused is when you allow it to linger within yourself. Accepting isn't about being ok with being abused, it's about being okay with the circumstances of your past and not allowing those feelings to hinder your sense of self and any future relationships you have.
But I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinions on the matter. No one is an authority figure when it comes to sensitive things like this.
If you want to run away from your problems that's fine, I'll face them and deal with them in a sensible manner.
There is one very strong reason to forgive - or if you can't do that, to try to make it stop bothering you - and that is your own mental and emotional health.
They are never going to change and they are never going to apologize. That's a simple fact and there is nothing you can do about that.
But you can change, as your own remarkable story proves. With the same determination that made you a strong adult, decide not to let the past bother you so much.
Let's say, for example, that when you were a kid a hurricane or tornado destroyed the family home and broke the family finances so that you were deprived of things for years after, but as an adult you were able to get back on your feet and create a prosperous life for yourself.
You could remember all that, and regret all that had gone wrong, but see it all from the perspective of all that has gone right since then, and reduce any bitterness against the hurricane.
Your family's mental/moral handicaps are facts of nature, that crippled your normal development, but you re-created yourself as a successful adult.
Look back at your childhood as something to be regretted, but not as something to be bitter about.
Because it is over, and you're the one who won.