Reflections on Life Thus Far

My life. My story: Exploring mental health, spirituality, meditation & random thoughts I have

Forgiveness and Gratitude

8 Comments

A few of my fellow bloggers have written about gratitude and forgiveness recently which got me to thinking

Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz

Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz (Photo credit: Nutmeg Designs)

about the two topics and how they relate to my life. I had been trying to think about how to write about my mother on here but couldn’t quite decide how to do it. Then I saw some of you talking about forgiving difficult people and I knew I wanted to discuss that more concerning how my mother hurt me. It’s difficult to really bring up the details but I’ll do my best to talk about things in a general way that doesn’t go deeply into the abuse itself-I don’t wish to blog about that…not now anyhow.

As I’ve mentioned before, in past posts, my mother and I had a poor relationship. It wasn’t a warm mother-daughter relationship in any way, shape, or form. Mom was abused in many awful ways as a child by her parents and never got help to deal with the aftermath of the trauma she had to deal with. A few of you who regularly read my posts know I have had problems pertaining to dissociation most of my life; well my mother hardly seemed to stay ‘present’ in her body for very long in the time I knew her. I’m certain as a baby I felt her dissociate but obviously can’t remember enough to verify it. All I know is she would switch from one state to another fairly often. By state I mean her mood would shift and she’d become different to me.

I was never able to have discussions with her because she never remembered doing or saying anything. The only stuff I could talk about with her was present issues but trying to bring up the past with her was like banging your head against a wall. She never admitted to anything. I felt constantly mind f*cked by her growing up. I am beginning to think she didn’t do it on purpose but really had no memory due to her excellent dissociative abilities. At times I honestly thought I was talking to different people though I knew she was the same person physically, apart from different style of dressing and mannerisms, speech, etc. DID sufferers will likely have figured out my mom had DID-she was never clinically diagnosed but it was too obvious for me to ignore.

Growing up with that level of daily chaos was very detrimental to my mental health. She did not merely neglect me benignly though. Mom abused me in lots of different ways I don’t wish to discuss here. I started dissociating around 5 or 6 years old, or maybe as young as three-I can’t be certain. At 5 I already felt trapped, like my life was closing in on me and things were futile. Depression set in and I didn’t know that I was dissociating to cope with my life but I was. My memory is not superb from childhood so I won’t, can’t, give you specific events and dates for when things happened. I’m lucky I am stable enough these days to not dissociate regularly anymore.

compassion hearts

compassion hearts (Photo credit: journeyscoffee)

What I wanted to mention here is that my mother has since died, four years ago this October 25, and in those four years following her death I have been able to find compassion for myself and for her too. I know mom never meant to abuse me but she did and I don’t excuse that; however, I do forgive her because I know she hurt more than I can even imagine. What she suffered at the hands of her mother and father was more than any child should ever have to know. It’s not a matter of me comparing my abuse to her’s though. All I’m pointing out is I have compassion for the suffering she endured and forgive her.

So gratitude. What am I grateful for? Well I am grateful for many things in my life but I think most of all I am grateful for compassion. I’m grateful to have been shown compassion(from therapists)and to have been able to be compassionate towards myself and others, especially my mom.

Post from my other blog concerning wellness: http://findinghealthafterillness.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/wellness-is-achieved-through-practice/

© Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Author: Natalya

Blogging my thoughts and feelings about mostly mental health, meditation and spirituality(non religious). Hoping to connect with other interesting people in the blogosphere. *The name is Russian and is my pseudonym.

8 thoughts on “Forgiveness and Gratitude

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I also used to dissociate starting as a child and now have great compassion for what transpired and have been able to forgive as I was healed, made whole and forgiven for all the mistakes I made as a result of having a closed, burdened, wounded heart. I received a heart transplant, a new mind, body, soul and spirit so I am about as new as new can get! I also know that I am not special in any way as it is a free gift for all to receive. May you be richly blessed.

  2. I have talked about forgiveness in posts but forgiveness when this depth of harm and damage has occurred must only be possible through the gift of God’s grace and it can be complex and have many different faces and layers. I think I have mentioned my friend who has a similar story to yours and has dissociated as a result of extreme abuse from mother and father. Her mother has just died and while she won’t go to her funeral, what she was able to do was quite amazing. She woke suddenly, in the early hours of the morning and felt the need to pray for her mother who, as it happened, was passing from this world….as it turned out she unknowingly was praying for her as she died. She could not visit her mother when she was ill because of the ill health this would cause her, not because of lack of forgiveness….so these situations are extremely complex and forgiveness may have different faces. So someone may forgive but not be able to visit that person because one’s mental and physical health could regress due to being triggered. Self care and love are equally important. I wish you all the best and can only admire you and your attempts to get free of all the damage done to you….I can never begin to imagine what you have endured and the level of courage you must have. God bless Leanne

    • Aw, thank you so much Leanne! That really touched me reading your response. Your friend sounds courageous too even if she didn’t attend the funeral. Actually it took courage to not go to the funeral b/c people can give you a really hard time for doing that. You get all sorts of ‘advice’ from people who know nothing about what you went through and only express their judgement.

      I went to my mother’s funeral because I felt it was what I needed to have a piece of closure. It began some of the long road of healing despite facing relatives who all spoke positively about her. I kept my negativity to myself and luckily my tears were acceptable in that context-though they were not for missing her!

      Thank you for your kind words once again 🙂

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