Should You Forgive Your Parents for Being Imperfect?
No parent child relationship is perfect, and it’d be unrealistic to expect it to be. We have models for our relationships and assign positive or negative values to them, yes, but they’re entirely theoretical.
Sometimes, coming to terms with an unhappy childhood involves accepting that our parents were doing the most they could with whatever resources they had.
However, it’s valid to feel that this doesn’t absolve them of their responsibility, and it definitely doesn’t take your hurt or pain away. Forgiving an abusive parent can be difficult, and no one can ask you to do that because you don’t owe your forgiveness to anyone, especially when you’re not ready to give it.
What does forgiveness look like to you?
Forgiveness means different things to all of us. It could mean a conversation with your parents about the injustices you faced. For this, you need to establish healthy boundaries and try to avoid playing the blame game. If you feel like you have the emotional strength for it, and that it will heal you, go for it.
For others, forgiveness could be a hug or a non-verbal gesture after which you never look back and cut off all ties, communication and give up further expectations of them. Are you ready to accept being estranged from your parents? Does this decision impact anyone else in your life? Will your children have to grow up without their grandparents and will this impact their identity and understanding of themselves? These are all vital considerations.
Life is a learning process and your growth is not linear
For some, forgiveness may be cleansing, but that doesn’t mean you won’t still be hurting. Yet, it can help you close a chapter in your life, so you can begin a new one.
You don’t have to pick up where you left off. You now have an opportunity to change your viewpoint and expectations. It might even be the push you need to work on building meaningful relationships with the people you love and the ones who support you.
Navigating relationships with parents can be tough as a child, but if you find it even more difficult as an adult, perhaps reading the memoir Mirror Mirror: A Collection of Memoirs and Stories by Stephanie Hart will offer some guidance. Grab your copy from Barnes & Noble or from Amazon today!