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Old 01-15-2019, 06:30 PM
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Location: Tennessee
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Default Re: Neglect ...

My dad neglected me only after Mom's death. The neglect caused him not to see the pain I was in over her death, the fact I blamed myself for it - and later to not see the emotional abuse dealt to me by my step family and him along with other things I went through. For a very long time I blamed myself. Then I went through years of hating Him and my step family. Then - I came to a point of understanding.

No, neither abuse nor neglect are right. They both do permanent damage and cause huge changes in the victim. But - so does death and other life sufferings. My dad had lost the love of his life. Their marriage was like a fairy tale. They loved each other that much. They argued, yes. Dad was in the Navy so was gone a lot - but the love, was stronger than any I have ever witnessed. He was crushed when she died. His only means of survival was to close himself off to ever feeling that kind of pain again. That meant - pushing my sister and I away from his heart. Caring for us on the outside level, but not the inside. His military training allowed him to do that and he fell back on it - has ever since.

My stepmom and stepsisters had just lost their husband and father to divorce because he wanted to be with another woman. He also regularly cancelled visitation with my stepsisters because he wanted to spend time with her. So .. They all felt a deep rejection and loss. On top of that - we were moving into the house they had lived in with him. So the memories were still fresh. It was the pain of what was with him there, the pain of what is now with him gone, and the reality now there are other people trampling and replacingthose memories (seemingly). Anger, resentment, rejection, loss, pain .. those emotions when put together come out in awful ways, especially if you are young and can't understand where those emotions are coming from or why or even what they are. And as a parent - trying to deal with 2 children of your own hurt in this manner, 2 others trying to deal with the death of their mother, and trying to find a way to give time to allow the love for your new husband to build up instead of deteriorate yet also deal with the pain both of you still carry from your losses can be daunting .. and yes, the natural response is to be protective of your children rather than the ones newly acquired.

So no, there is no excuse - but when understanding can be made .. forgiveness can happen, even if it's only one-sided which is the case for me. But it doesn't matter because forgiveness is for me, not them. It doesn't change how they feel about themselves, what happened, or me. If they don't recognize it happened they will never feel guilt anyway. If they do recognize it happened but do not forgive themselves no matter how much I forgivd them, they still will feel guilt. If they recognize it happened but forgivd themselves, if I hold them guilty, they go on with life not caring while I go on with life in misery. Conversely - if I choose to forgivd them, no matter what they believe did or did not happen and no matter if they forgive themselves (or me) or not - I go on with life not caring. I'd rather forgive. ❤

I hope all of you can find a way to understand so forgiveness can happen for you too. ❤
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