“Forgiveness is the best parting gift you can offer to those who hurt you, not revenge”
Growing up I saw my mother work every day to support her family. My father worked, but not consistently my mother was the provider. After working several jobs my father became injured and was unable to work. My father stayed home, but he wasn’t a stay at home dad. He believed that men should not wash dishes because that was a women’s job. My father also did not believe men should eat off of plastic plates. So he could make dishes but because he was a man he couldn’t wash them. I always felt like a man that doesn’t work shouldn’t eat. My father’s misogynistic ideology didn’t sit well with me because I felt like he was choosing the rules that benefited him. I didn’t understand how a man with such misogynistic ideas could allow his wife to go to work every day and support the family while he sat homemaking up ridiculous rules.
The way I was raised turned me into a hardcore feminist. I could not stomach the thought of a man telling me what to do. I could not sacrifice myself to please a man. I could not become my mother. Honestly, I looked at my mother as a weak woman and I resented her. I could not understand how my mother could work one job for 20 years and subject herself to a man who in my opinion barely kept a job for over 6 months to a year. In my opinion, my mother didn’t value herself.
“I would not be working every day to bring home the bacon only to cook the bacon and then she have to wash the pan,” I said to myself.
I can do bad all by myself is my motto.
Recently I sat with my mother and I explained to her how I felt.
“Why would you stay for so long,” I asked my mother.
“Are you asking me why I would stay with your father” my mother answered.
“Father or not why would you go to work every day and leave your husband at home? I would have left. A man that doesn’t work should eat. Jay Z said “a man that doesn’t take care of his family can’t be rich,” I said.
“That’s not true there are plenty of rich men who do not take care of their families,” she said.
Instantly I became annoyed. I felt like she was trying to avoid my question, and I felt like I needed to know the answer.
“Why did you stay,” I asked again determined not to let her avoid my question.
“So you think I am dumb because I stayed. I had three kids to take care of and I needed to work. I worked and left my children with their father. I did what I had to do to take care of my kids” she responded.
Initially, I judged my mother for her response. I felt like she was saying that she stayed married because she needed a babysitter. She was okay with my father not pulling his weight because he was a built-in babysitter. I couldn’t respect her or her reasoning. I almost thought it was a pathetic excuse if I’m being honest.
“I am not staying with any man just so he can babysit his own kids,” I thought to myself.
However recently I have had a second opinion. I realized that I was unfairly judging my mother for the sacrifices she made for her children. She worked every day to make sure my siblings and myself had a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs. We didn’t live a luxurious lifestyle, but we lived. I never went hungry, and I always had something to wear. My mother was so much stronger than I realized.
My mother could have left my father and tried to live her life as a single independent woman with three kids, and then she would have to pay for child care. If my mother had to pay sitters or daycares she would not have been able to feed her children. If my mother sent us to daycare or paid for sitters she ran the risk of her sitter calling out at the last minute. If the sitter called out at the last minute then my mother would have to miss work. If my mother missed work then her children would not have food or clothes to wear.
I judged my father as well if I am going, to be honest. In my opinion, my father had an issue with drinking. He drank until the point of intoxication often, and I hated seeing him sloppy drunk. Sober my father is likable, but after a few drinks, he’s in my opinion intolerable. Growing up I always thought to myself how could my father be home drinking while his wife was out working long days. I couldn’t phantom how he could drink up the little bit of money my mother was bringing home. I couldn’t understand how my father wanted to be the man of the house while bringing nothing to the house.
My father was raised by his grandparents. From what I have been told during his adolescent years my father thought his grandparents were his biological parents. During his childhood, his “father” (grandfather) died leaving his “mother” (grandmother) to raise him. My father then found out during his preteen years that the woman he looked at as an older sister was, in fact, his mother. His biological father from what I have been told was never in the picture and never tried to reach out. My father’s biological mother (my grandmother) was a teenage mother who gave her son to her parents to raise because she was unable to raise him. My grandmother stated that she let her parents raise my father because they were the best parents to raise him.
I can’t imagine the hurt my father faced growing up. He grew up and realized his life was one big lie. Although my grandmother felt as though she did the best thing for my father by letting her parents raise him I can understand how my father felt unworthy. If your mother doesn’t love you who will? I’m not saying that my grandmother did not love her son, but I can see how my father may have felt that way. I can see how he felt abandon or pawned off. That’s a pain that I can’t imagine.
I can see how my father felt abandoned by his biological father. How does a man just give up his son his own flesh and blood and never look back? It doesn’t seem fair and it doesn’t seem right.
I realized my father never learned how to love. He was raised around lies and deception. My father has been searching for his whole life to feel whole. I understood why he drank to escape the reality of life. My father is a complex man who has been through his fair share of struggles, and I understood that I could not judge him. He loved his family to the best of his abilities.
Generational cruses have plagued my family for generations. My parents, grandparents, and great grandparents never went to therapy. They just swept their issues under the rug and proceeded to move on with life never healing their mental battle wounds. In order to heal the first step is to admit there is an issue. The second step and the most important step is to seek help for the issue.
It took me becoming a parent to really forgive and understand my parents. I understood that they did the best they could, and I love and respect them for that. I realized that there is no such thing as a perfect parent.
I realize that the only way I can be a good parent to my son is to end the generational curses that plagued my family. I have to acknowledge the pain. I cannot pass the hurt and pain down to my son.
I am taking the necessary steps to end the generational curses that have plagued my family. I am taking the steps to heal from the hurt and move forward. I am going to therapy and healing myself mentally so that I don’t damage my child. It’s my responsibility to not pass down anger, hurt and sadness to my son. It’s is my responsibility to be the best version of myself possible so that my son can grow up happy and healthy. I am the first generation in my family to seek therapy. I am the first generation in my family to openly talk about the pain we all face. The generational curses will be broken through me! ￼
I would advise anyone reading this who is angry with their parents to forgive their parents. I understand that forgiving is easier said than done, but it is necessary. Sometimes we have to forgive people who don’t ask for our forgiveness in order to heal. Healing your mind and your soul is way better than holding onto anger and hatred. Holding onto anger doesn’t do anything but carry on generational curses.
Make therapy normal… Make healing normal!
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