Recovering from abandonment it not an easy process. Coping and moving on has been very important in my recovery process. I decided to stop letting my hurt and pain control my life and emotions, and I mindfully work on my healing. In my last blog shared I shared my story, today I will share four things I had to accept to begin my healing process.
1. My mother story doesn’t MATTER
For years I have wanted to know why my mother left. Then after reconnecting with her, I realized is that her story of why she left is not going to help me move on. Knowing the truth may cause more pain in the long run. I ask myself, what if I listen to her story and be like wow you are full of it. That is not a valid reason to leave your child and never visit. Now I have just pulled the scab off of a healing womb to know the “WHY.” I’m not going down that route and neither should you.
We all hear that being a parent is like having a second full-time job. And I don’t know about your job, but mines does not look at the WHY when it comes to being late or not showing up without a phone call. They just look at the fact that I didn’t show up. POINT BLANK PERIOD. This is how I look at this situation now and how I begin my healing process. WHY no longer matters because that doesn’t change the results or make the hurt go away.
We have to stop questioning and making up scenarios in our head to justify why that parent or person left in the first place. In my case, there was a plan of action for her to be in my life and for me to have a stable home. So her story outside of that is just her story and healing without that story is what’s most important.
Apologizing is for their healing journey. Forgiveness without an apology is for ours.
2. Apologies may NEVER come
When I meet my mom, I expected for her to at least apologize to me at the very very least. Well, I don’t believe I even got that. Then one day I realized that if she felt justified in her leaving that she may never apologize. I honestly think that my mother feels she did what is best for me in her situation and I have learned to accept that. Plus I wouldn’t want an apology if she didn’t sincerely have an understanding of how her actions affected me. You shouldn’t want and half-ass apology either. Abandonment and being raised without one of your parents is not a hurt that should not have to be explained.
On the other hand, there are situations where people don’t get to meet the absentee parent, and you can’t get an apology from somebody you’ve never meet. That’s why moving on, and forgiveness needs to be an inside job. It has to happen without the apology. Your sheer feeling of wanting to work past pain is all it takes. Apologizing is for their healing journey. Forgiveness without an apology is for ours.
3. Don’t be afraid to TALK or JOURNAL
For years I would keep my emotions in and not talk to my family about how I was feeling. I now notice that a lot of my childhood aggression and behavior was due to that pinned up anger. You may not want to talk to a family member or friend, but find somebody to talk with. Or you can journal. Getting the words from outside of your head and heart into another open place helps a lot. I sometimes read my old journal entries like WOW I was hurt. Now sometimes I talk to my father. He knows that I just need a sounding board to get my feeling out. Find somebody you can say Hey I’m not looking for advice, I need to work on my feelings out loud to feel better.
Think about writing a letter to your parent and explain how you feel. I have written my mother plenty of notes during high points of my life when I felt like she should have been there, expressing my hurt. I would write a letter, cry and burn it. I believe that expression is better than holding things ion the inside if it’s not hurting anybody. Keeping in your hurt could spread to other things in life. Don’t let this issue hold you back any further.
4. LIfe could have been worse
I don’t know everyone’s story or how your experience was, but for me, I know that growing up things were pretty ok. I have gone through rough patches here and there but what I don’t know is how things could have been if my mother was in my life. They could have been worse, with custody battles, moving from place to place and a plethora of other things. So when looking at the situation think, could life have been worse?
What I do know without experiencing abandonment I would not have been able to help others or start this blog. I may have a different view of the world and not have some of my experiences. Because I do know all these things, I just became grateful for what I have and not for what could have been. Remember to be thankful for who stuck around and took care of responsibilities. Now that I am older I know that my 17yr old father did what he thought was right as a grown adult when it came to raising me. I am grateful that he took responsibility for his own and didn’t drop the ball too.
This is not an overnight process; it will take time to heal and become strong. I am still struggling with things from time to time. What I do know is that there is a happy place. A place where you can feel free from this pain. As life changes so will your feelings. Be strong and hold on. Never give up and keep working at it.