Unless your parent abused you sexually, you may be able to work through your problems and rebuild the parent/child relationship. If sexual abuse is the issue, hopefully you have sought counseling to help deal with the feelings that go along with being abused. Forgiveness, without having a relationship with the offending parent can be possible, and can help in moving forward from living with abuse.
As children, we grow up almost idolizing our parents, believing that they can do no wrong. As we get older, we start to see glimpses of our parents’ faults and we realize that they aren’t the superheroes we thought that they were. Many times we have put our parents on a pedestal and accepting that they are human and make mistakes and errors in judgment are too much for us to live with.
Why does it seem like we expect so much from our parents sometimes? It is only when we become parents that we begin to understand how hard it is to be an example to our children and start to appreciate the good that our own parents did do.
The way it works, anyone can become a parent. Sometimes the fact that a person has given birth or fathered a child does not always make them worthy of the job. Most people do what they can to be a good parent but babies do not come with instructions and often parents raise their children the way they were raised.
Of course, there are exceptions to that theory. Many times we want a better childhood for our children then we had. A parent with good intentions may still make mistakes. The point to remember is that no one is perfect and sometimes our parent or parents may turn out to be someone we do not really like. Once the innocence of childhood is gone and we grow up to see what kind of person they are, our disappointment might cause us to back off from having contact with them.
Life is short and people die tragically sometimes without us having the benefit of being able to reconcile our feelings with them. The anger or hurt that we may feel towards a parent disappointing us in some way can burn a hole inside of us and keep us from having successful relationships.
When a parent dies, sometimes we regret things that we never had the chance to say to them. Before this happens, think about what it is that you would like to say to them. Clearing the air can give you a second chance for a closeness that you never thought possible. It could also go the other way but if you can learn to accept your parent, forgive them and still have a relationship based on the fact that they are your parent, it can change your life for the better.
So many people miss out on happiness because of their own stubbornness. They live their lives feeling regret over not speaking their mind and hold onto misplaced anger. Forgiving someone can free you to move forward with your life. You do not need to open the door to be hurt again but maintaining a cordial yet guarded relationship is better than ignoring the parent’s existence.
If you have already missed the opportunity to have that conversation with your parent, you still need to work through it. Writing them a letter saying how you feel can be very therapeutic. If your problems go deeper, go see a counselor to talk it through. Work through the pain and then let it go. Letting go can free you to feel better about yourself and live a better life.