Kick It With Donna episode 69
Do you ever have a hard time releasing resentment and anger? My issues with abandonment from my mother go back a long way, but I had an issue with my dad too. I’ll share how I overcame and found peace.
Show notes: My mother and father were raised Catholic. Neither one of them were church goers. I was baptized in the Catholic church. My brother was born eighteen months later and was not. During the time of my mother’s pregnancy, her sister came home with Born Again Christianity. My mother dove deep into this. This did not fly well in the family. It wrecked havoc on the marriage. My mother told my father that if he didn’t accept Jesus as his personal savior, he could no longer sleep in the same bed with her. I’m assuming their sex life went into the trash.
My brother and I lived in a religious cage. Our lives consisted of church, Sunday school, Youth Group, Vacation Bible School and memorizing the books of the Bible. As hard as I tried, I could never get her admiration and acceptance for who I was. The only way to please her was to beg, plead and cajole. At the age of eighteen, I hightailed it out of her house. To this day, we have no relationship. After becoming a mother myself, it made me angry and resentful that I didn’t have a mother to commiserate with, nor would my children have a grandmother. I carried this resentment around my whole life. It was bigger than me. I needed help releasing the resentment and finding peace. How do you forgive someone who will never say “I’m sorry?”
I went to see a Ministry counselor for several months. Being able to talk about my past really helped me open the wounds and address them. I came to understand that she is who she is and I am not responsible for her actions. She also gave me a different perspective. See your mother’s parenting as a gift. If she had been the mother you wanted her to be, you would be different too. You are who you are because of her. Those months of counseling helped me find that inner peace. I can now talk about my mother without the angst I used to feel. What a sense of freedom!
When my parents divorced, it was not fun times in my house. My mother and I were like two bulls always butting heads. I wanted to live with my dad. He was recently married and I don’t think the wife was too excited about my arrival. I loved my dad. We just got each other. No stress. No game playing. Living with him meant changing schools, making new friends and meeting the new wife’s family. I would have stayed with him. Unfortunately, after nine months of living there, my dad sat me down and told me it would be better if I went back to my mother. I was rejected by my dad for his wife.
At the age of twenty, my dad called me and said he was divorcing his wife. He then said, “I heard you have a big house.” This comment did not bode well with me. My dad and I didn’t speak for twenty seven years. This was back in the day of no cell phones. Through my brother’s daughter, I reconnected with my dad. We picked up where we left off as if all those lost years didn’t matter. His brother passed away and I flew to New York to be there for him at the wake. Of course, I forgot to pack something and went to the local mall to buy it. I called my dad and mentioned to him that I was sorry we lost so many years. He said to me “I never reached out either.” Boom. For me, that was an apology. That made the hurt of so many years ago seem irrelevant.
My dad died three years ago. I got to spend eighteen wonderful months with him. His legacy lives on through me, and I’m proud to carry his name.