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Communicating With Father…

August 1, 2011

Well…the last time I had written my father, I forwarded it as a document to my hubby. He sent it on to my father…with a message of his own. Here it is:
(My father),

As far as I am concerned, (me) does not need to communicate with you. You have done nothing a loving father would do and have shown over the years you really do not care for her by your attitude toward her. A normal father would be concerned with what she remembered but would realize whether it happened from your point of view or not, it is still real to her. They would be willing to work through things, instead of attacking like you have done. You have always reacted as someone who knows they are guilty would react. You are more interested in protecting yourself rather than actually trying to get to the bottom of things.

Having said that, I am not the one who will stand in the way of a daughter who has shown the desire to break through and love you  both any way. I am not the one who has to put up with the garbage that you spout. She will.

Attached is a letter she wrote to you answering your comments. I would not have bothered. Even though she knows how I feel she still wants to try. (THAT SHOULD TELL YOU SOMETHING.)
As far as I am concerned, if you don’t want to try to seriously break down the barriers from your end, then don’t bother even responding to her letter.

Go, hubby!

At the time, I had a little bit of reluctance to have him send that. However, nothing was getting through…nothing was changing. I figured he might as well tell it like it is.

My father actually wrote back…almost TWO WHOLE MONTHS LATER!! This is one reason nothing much happens between them and I. It takes months…literally…between emails.

This is what he wrote:

Subject: prayer

I have prayed about this; and prayed some more.

The end result of all my prayer is one word; “listen”.

Okay, I am listening.

Dad

I thought about it, but waited to respond. I had just listened to a teaching that hubby thought I would like, but it turned out to be the wrong one. This one was on honoring your parents…which is fine. However, the guy (according to my hubby) does not seem to recognize the inside damage done when there is sexual abuse. Kudos to hubby again!

I finally wrote back to my father. Hubby had suggest simply writing: “I love you and mom. Can we start from there?” Well…I did not write exactly that. I needed some time to think about it. This is what I wrote:

Dad,

If you are really listening, then listen to this:

I
choose
to
love
you
and
Mom.

I don’t have to. I choose to…in spite of everything.

Is that not a place from which we can start to build SOMEthing? Can we not talk about some of the positive/neutral things that happened in our family…try to find some common ground upon which to relate to one another?

This is not easy for me. In fact, it is downright hard. Yet, I am willing to try.

I cannot help what I remember. In spite of those memories, I am willing to at least try to connect with you both.

Do I expect anything from it? Not really. The last time he said he was listening, he gave me a list of things HE wanted to hear…mostly details about what he “supposedly” had done…places, actions, when, where. I cannot and will not do that. The cost is too high in this situation. I am taking care of myself and I just do not trust him.

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8 comments

  1. I am impressed that you continue to reach out to your parents. A long time ago when I told my mom and sister that dad had abused me they went to my therapist to tell her it had not. My nieces were very young at the time, they are now young adults. I have not tried to say anything since then. For a while afterward my sister would ask me if I still believed that about my dad…I would be evasive, non-committal in my answer. I was not strong enough nor in a position to stand up for it. No one asks anymore. I never, ever brought up the SRA or abuse by others and I never will with my family.


    • Hi, Sojourner, I have never brought up the SRA to my parents. I did not have a chance to with my sister. I have mentioned it somewhat to my children, hoping to keep my grandchildren safe. It is hard not to be believed. I feel for you.

      I totally relate to not having the strength to deal with stand up to the battles of belief in others.


  2. Brave, beautiful and powerful


    • Thank you, L. I have no idea what, if anything, will result. There could be complete silence or I could get an response. The response could be more game playing…or it could be real. Any way you look at it…it will be work.


  3. […] post by onesurvivor This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← OK, I’ve Been […]


  4. I am amazed…truly amazed. The strength you exhibit absolutely touches my heart. You found me this morning, and I appreciate you sharing my message on healing past hurts. But, as I’ve read some on your blog today, I have been profoundly touched by you, and the courage you model to others that need to find healing themselves. I imagine that I would not be nearly as strong, nor would I likely have the desire to try to work on a relationship with my parents if I’d been through all you have. I applaud you, yes…but most of all the God you have held on to, for the work He’s doing in your life.

    As I was reading this, it seems very obvious to me that you have some Hebrew background…probably more than I. I am learning and have just about enough knowledge right now to make me dangerous. LOL But, I wanted to leave you a short thought on honoring your parents. We have a Hebrew scholar that comes to our home for Bible studies twice a month. I was asking him about this very thing, because we have many boundary issues in our home. We take care of my mother-in-law, who constantly goes through phases of belittling us and our children. I was asking our mentor/teacher about what ‘honoring your parents’ really means, especially in a situation such as this. He tells me it literally means you pay your parents respect based on the weighty responsibility they have to care for you. In other words, we would pay more respect to the president of the US than we would a state governor, who would receive more respect than a city mayor. He made the case that from a Hebraic perspective, we of course should not mistreat her, but she no longer has any responsibility for us, so that takes the burden off of us to think we have to cave in to her every whim. Because she is ill and we are her primary caregivers, we are required to take care of her needs. But, we are not required to be doormats and feel guilty for everything she wants.

    I know our situations are not the same, but I thought maybe you could take something from this that will help you too. You certainly seem to be doing a great job handling your parents. 🙂

    God bless you!


    • Thank you for your comment, Heather! It is always a blessing to read/heat that something I wrote or said touched someone in a good way. 🙂

      I, too, probably only really know enough to be dangerous. I wish I could actually study the language…with a teacher. What a blessing you have for this person to come to your home twice a month!

      I have looked at what honoring one’s parents means and read from several resources…mostly Jewish because I figure they have a better idea of what G-d meant than most “Christian” teachers. It seems that the main thing is to consult them and give weight to what they tell us. It means treating them with respect.

      I do my best to treat my parents with respect…even if it means not communicating with them at all. (After all, if they think I lie about everything, then it might be more respectful to just not say anything at all!) I agree that no one should be a doormat! That is not healthy for either person.


      • We are very fortunate. The teacher that comes to our home lives an hour and a half away, but still comes. He just began teaching us Hebrew last week. I hope to progress much more quickly now.

        I agree that looking for the Hebraic perspective on things is usually best to find out biblical answers. It just makes sense.



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