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Elderly parents

How do I forgive my parents for my childhood?

68 replies

mammatilly · 08/03/2023 19:57

My father was violent, very violent
He had no patience,, even small misbehavours his father was violent to him so it was following that pattern
My mither stood by and watched
I became angry and rebellious
I self harmed - cutting, overdose, even broke my own wrist
I screwed up all my gcses and left school at 16
They let me go out with a 22 year old when I was 15
They gave up on me

Luckily I made it through
But i had several violent relationships until I found meditation, therapy, and then university as mature student etc

What a miracle

Now I parent my children properly

How do I forgive them? It gets harder as my kids get older and I see the heartbreak of childhood.

I can't ask people in realife. I'm ashamed of my childhood and my parents.

OP posts:

Chevyimpala67 · 08/03/2023 20:00

You don't have to forgive them
You can live your life, love your kids and stop the rot


gamerchick · 08/03/2023 20:00

You don't have to forgive them. Parents reap what they sow when they get to the point of needing care in their elderly years.


Igenix4 · 08/03/2023 20:00

You don't.
I had a similar childhood, you don't forgive them, you grow, heal and give your children the love, care and support you never had.


PeekAtYou · 08/03/2023 20:03

Why do you think that you have to forgive them ?

I am NC with my mother. I don't forgive her but I accept what happened to me. It was not my fault and there was nothing I could have done to stop it.

My satisfaction is in my kids not having a clue what it's like to grow up in an abusive household. I stopped the cycle of abuse with me. I am damaged but my kids aren't and that is probably my greatest achievement.


lovedive · 08/03/2023 20:03

I grew up in horrific neglect and suffered every kind of abuse. My parents were addicts.

I don't forgive them. And I don't have to. I've broken the cycle and raised a family surrounded with love and stability.

You do not have to forgive x


mammatilly · 08/03/2023 20:08

Thank you for your support.

Yes its been so important to break the cycle and ensure that line of violence stopped with my father.

I havent gone NC because I thought I had forgiven them. The clear seeing arose once I became a parent and saw how horrific it all was and it is getting so much harder as my kids get older.

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Ladybug14 · 08/03/2023 20:28

If you want to forgive them and you can't, then you need more help to get to that place

You don't have to forgive them

They did what they thought was right by following the patterning of their upbringing

Imo they were wrong to do this

But so many people DO bring up their children as they were brought up

In breaking the patterning with your children, you are doing something very beautiful and positive ❤️


semideponent · 08/03/2023 20:34

Chevyimpala67 · 08/03/2023 20:00

You don't have to forgive them
You can live your life, love your kids and stop the rot

To me this is what forgiveness means - living life, being aware of my own history and feelings, and being able to recognise and give something different. It absolutely doesn't mean "forgive and forget". Forgiving is working at this awareness.


Sensibletrousers · 08/03/2023 20:35

As everyone else has, and will, tell you - you don’t need to forgive them. You owe them nothing.

What you do need to reach is acceptance. They did what they did, it was horrific, it was their fault, and nothing can change that. They did the best they could with the skills they had (and it was shit). You need to get to the point where you can just say “OK, it happened, it hurt, it can’t be undone”.

Being the person who breaks generational curses takes HUGE guts and grit - you are amazing, please don’t ever forget that. It’s so difficult because it’s multi generational- it’s in the genes, and here you are smashing it apart and saying NO MORE, this ends with me.

When you find yourself reeling, remember to accept that it happened, and then close your eyes and imagine the future you are creating for your children - beautiful. Look forward now.

All power to you.


Drinkinggreentea · 08/03/2023 20:35

You don't have to forgive them. If they're toxic to you and bring you no joy you're allowed to cut them out of your life, move on and heal.


Xrays · 08/03/2023 20:48

You really don’t have to forgive. It’s okay to still be angry.

My mum died in 2019 and she was absolutely vile to me and I only felt a sense of relief when she died. I was sad for the parent she never was but I never forgave her. I wish I had gone no contact with her earlier.


mammatilly · 08/03/2023 20:52

I am crying reading these messages.

I do feel I have gone on a HUGE journey so that my kids don't face these things - of course they'll have other stuff to work thry but no physical violence, no abandonment of our parental responsibility - but I clearly haven't found acceptance and I feel sick about what they did

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Igenix4 · 08/03/2023 20:58

I'd recommend speaking to a professional about your childhood trauma if you haven't already, it really can help.
I blamed myself for years, I thought I deserved the neglect and abuse and worried I'd be an awful mum because it was just "in my genes"
You are nothing like your parents, remember that.


Noicant · 08/03/2023 21:00

I always think the focus on forgiveness puts the onus on the abused to again take responsibility for the abusers actions again. You don’t have to forgive to move on.


neitherofthem · 08/03/2023 21:01

You were (and still are) their victim. You were an innocent child, and they abused you. There is no reason at all for you to feel any shame about that, and you don't have to forgive them for what they did to you.

Acceptance of what happened and putting it behind you might be easier, but I suspect that you will probably have to severely reduce contact with them, or even cut ties entirely for that to happen.


mammatilly · 08/03/2023 21:05

Yes I think I always felt I should forgive them and that it's my fault I can't But why should I?? The more I journey as parent the more I see how disgusting and abusive they really were.

I never wanted to go NC. I thought I had a big enough heart to accept that they are products of their upbringing.

But maybe NC is something I will do.

Thank you so much for ypur insights it is a huge process. A lifetimes work.

OP posts:

Atethehalloweenchocs · 08/03/2023 21:06

Please talk about this with a professional who can help you with this - your local IAPT or your GP should help connect you with a counsellor.


mammatilly · 08/03/2023 21:07

Yes I think I will revisit counselling as it is all so present and strong in me at the moment. I am so angry with them and heartbroken for the life I didn't have.

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Ladybug14 · 08/03/2023 21:10

@mammatilly - it can take decades to find peace after suffering childhood abuse. Sometimes it's not possible to reach that plave of acceptance, forgiveness and peace

None of this turmoil is your fault

But if you want to understand it more and try to find peace with it, try some therapy. Maybe talking therapy?


allthegearandnoideaatall · 08/03/2023 21:13

Sending solidarity and love 💛


fdgdfgdfgdfg · 08/03/2023 21:19

I'm another one to ask why you need to forgive them?

Well done for breaking the cycle. You've shown that it can be done, so why didn't they do it?

You owe your parents nothing, have the relationship with them that benefits you, even if that relationship is no relationship.


mammatilly · 08/03/2023 21:23

Yes exactly I have done it - why didn't they??? That's what makes me angry and sad - they ate educated intelligent people and yet simply didn't do the work.

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NeverDropYourMooncup · 08/03/2023 21:25

You don't have to forgive them.

Icy cold contempt or sheer indifference to any unpleasantness in their situation is perfectly acceptable in the circumstances.


Matlab · 08/03/2023 21:27

Did your dad actually abuse you, or was it a case of you harbouring resentment as to the person you parents made you into, and the path they sent you down?


mammatilly · 08/03/2023 21:30

He assaulted me violently numerous times from young age - hit my arm with huge stick, banged head against wall, hit me with all his might..... many times ..... chased me screaming anger as I ran in terror

OP posts:
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