December 23, 2008
On guilt and forgiveness…
When I was little, I didn’t realize I had a good childhood because I had (and still have) so many issues with my parents. I still find it confusing whenever I think about it; no wonder I confuse myself all the time!
My father was hard on me; he was always too strict because he thought it would make me a better person. He had ethics and principles that he practiced most of the time, except when anger got the best of him. The man who taught me that words once said, cannot be taken back, was the very same person who'd shoot words at me and make me spend so many sleepless nights crying before we'd start giving each other the silent treatment!
It could have been about feeling guilty, or simply because we were not ready to communicate, but we could go on not speaking to one another for as long as it took! One look at his face could tell how much more angry words he would be holding back and one look at mine could say how I thought I'd never forgive him. Truth is, I guess it mostly hurt because I knew I couldn't love him any less.
My father taught me a lot without knowing. He taught me to hold back my anger when I know I can't handle the consequences of letting it out. He taught me that we can get badly hurt by those we love, but it hurts even more when we know we can't do but forgive them because we can't imagine our lives without them. But most importantly, he taught me that forgiveness does not come with begging for it; I never begged for his, and he never begged for mine, but somehow we seem to be doing just great!
My mother on the other hand never had my father's strong character or presence. She tried to use his authority for her benefit, but it never served her the way she hoped for; in fact, it made her look less powerful! My only way of getting over my mother's hurtful words is by talking back to her face and confronting her with whatever nonsense she spoke; my logic had always beaten hers. I have always tried to use silent treatment out of my guilt for talking back at her, but she just never let me; she always said I had a cruel heart because of that!
My mother taught me that sometimes fighting back, as frustrating as it can be, helps you get over such fights. Sometimes it just helps to know you gave as much as you took, or not; after all, my mom and I are never on good terms for a long time.
My x was a lot like my mother; he’d shoot heartless words like there was no tomorrow, while I was more like my father, I’d keep piling up and strictly watch out for whatever words coming out of my mouth. Moreover, I barely ever snapped like my father; not just because I didn’t want to return the hurt, but also because I never wanted to beg for his forgiveness like he begged for mine.
He always said I was too proud and unforgiving. He just never got it; he was the one person with whom I was not that proud and he never had to beg for my forgiveness! Ironically, he always begged for it and it made him feel less proud, so he thought I was too proud to forgive him!
I always thought I was unforgiving. It took me quite some time to realize that I actually have it in me to forgive. Sometimes all it took was knowing that no malice was intended, sometimes it was because I could return the harm and get even, and sometimes it just happened because I was given enough time and space.
I’m sorry, I don’t have it in me yet. I am not angry like I once was, and neither am I hurt; I just remember too many things that I know you’re not sorry for, or at least not the way you should be, and that means you’re still the kind of person I can’t forgive.
I have moved on, and even evolved a bit... I don’t hate you, and I obviously can stand you, but I lost that magic that made you seem flawless to me and I honestly do not want it back.
Why can’t we just write “The End” here?
Why do you keep pushing? You’re confusing me, you’re trying to make me feel guilty, but what you do not get is that all your tactics will never make me want back; being away from you is the one certainty on which I am rebuilding my life, and it’s not about forgiveness, so please stop begging for it.