Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dealing with Estrangement

I consistently receive questions from readers asking when will they be free of the confusion, anger, sadness, control, and all of those other negative feelings surrounding the abusive parent. No easy answer is available for that question.

You may have wanted to have that loving relationship with your parent your whole life. You may have been seeking that acceptance your whole life. You may have been trying to achieve closeness with that parent, and now, through introspection, research, or some other method, you realize that your parent is unable to give you what you have been seeking. That's a tough pill to swallow.

Another tough pill to swallow is that you really want to be surrounded by loving parents, and the disappointment and emptiness that surrounds you when you either get treated poorly by them or are estranged from them only compounds as time goes on. Our parents were our role models as kids. Our mother is supposed to be our first 'true love'. Our parents are deemed almost perfect in our innocent child eyes. So when we finally come to terms with the fact that our parents are not who we thought they are or that we can't take the treatment anymore and estrange ourselves from them, a hole is left that they used to fill. That hole is very noticeable during holidays, our birthdays, and times when having that family relationship is very welcoming.

As time goes on, the pain eases but I don't think one ever 'gets over' not having a parent in their life who is walking around on this Earth. Let's face it-- those who have loving relationships with their parents don't simply forget their parent when their parent dies. So why would we, who are estranged from our parent, simply forget? We won't-- and we will have to struggle with those times where the wish... the memory ... the what ifs pop into our heads. And at that time, we have to love ourselves enough to know that we have done what is right for ourselves and our loved ones and have faith that we are leading a happier, more peaceful, and more fulfilled life due to our choice.

Having a solid and loving support group around you is so vitally important. During the times of questioning, having these folks around helps to keep your feet on the ground, thoughts in the correct direction, and emotions in check. These folks have your best interest in mind-- unlike the one who from which you are estranged and the estranged's cronies.

So, my answer to those who are just venturing into estrangement or who have been grappling with the pain of estrangement and ask me when will I get over this-- when will I forget -- when will this be easier... I will answer that time eases all wounds, but you will never forget. You will understand and accept-- but you won't forget. This person is one of your parents. You will have to deal with these thoughts, emotions, and circumstances throughout your life, whether the parent is here on Earth or passed on. Seek acceptance-- and keep love in your heart for those who support and honor you.