The soul cannot forgive until it
is restored to wholeness and health.
In the absence of love - how can one forgive?

With an abundance of love, starting with one's self,
forgiveness becomes a viable opportunity.
-Nancy Richards

Friday, October 10, 2008

Reconciliation – Not Always an Option

During most of my fourteen year family estrangement, I considered reconciliation to be an impossible task. Given our family history of abuse, it didn't feel safe or healthy to try to reestablish contact with my family members. Nor did they try to contact me.

Certainly, in some situations, reconciliation isn’t possible. I know a woman who moved across the country, unlisted her phone number and started life anew only to have her violent family members track her down, stalk her, and interfere with her new job, friends and neighbors.

I have heard from other people who deeply desire a relationship with a parent or sibling, but they simply cannot put themselves in harms way for the sake of a connection. As painful as estrangement is, these individuals must somehow learn to live with a separation that feels like the “lesser of two evils.”

Many people do wish to reconcile with family members only to face repeated rejection.

It can be hard to accept that we only have control over our half of the relationship. At some point, the time comes to simply accept the cards we were dealt and move on to live the best life possible.

4 comments:

Tamara said...

Nancy,

I think you have heard me say this before but I will say it again. I would LOVE to have my parents back in my life. However, it has taken me 20 years to heal and that only occurred after we quit communicating with each other. They are still abusive and may always be. Their belief is that they are the parents and we (the kids) are supposed to respect them just because they are our parents. Yet, they feel they owe us NO respect because we are the children. They have done ZERO to earn our respect and have no intention of treating us with respect. 5 out of 5 kids are not speaking to them. I guess that just about says it all. Unfortunately, I was the only one who received physical and sexual abuse. The others did not and still refuse to speak to them. They were and are abusive to all of us verbally and psychologically.

I am holding out hope that some day... But, who knows?

healandforgive said...

My heart goes out to you Tamara,

I've been right where you are. It is so sad..... And so confounding - the desire to have a loving family when we don't.

My best,
Nancy

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your success. I have already, and continue to, do alot of work on my inner self. This is one of the blessings I have received, perhaps because of being abused as a child. I still feel so much physical fear and anxiety when I imagine being near my father. I try to replace the fear with compassion, but I don't feel "safe" enough to attempt reconciliation. I am very sad today as I fear my mother is dying. We have talked recently, and she would still prefer to pretend that nothing ever happened. I am so sad for her, and sad for the little girl inside of me, who still feels abandoned.

healandforgive said...

Dear Anonymous,

Yes, very sad….

I felt much the same way when my grandmother died. I loved her and I knew that she loved me; yet, family dysfunction got in the way of us having a relationship. It was hard to say good-bye. Her death brought an end to the last vestiges of hope that she would one day simply be my grandmother.

I also understand not feeling safe enough to have a relationship. Taking care of your own-well being is a must!

Many blessings,
Nancy