Monday, January 19, 2015

Parents: Flawed Human or Villain? Acceptance & Healing

 this post contains language 


I was scrolling on Facebook and noticed a post by Humans of New York … otherwise known for short as HONY, maybe you're familiar with the page. There, posted on Sunday the 18th was a photograph of a young woman wearing a purple hooded jacket, black jeans and boots with curly hair… she was quoted saying:

"I realize now that my parents are just regular people with flaws,
 and my dad is not a villain. He's just an asshole."

I believe she was trying to explain that initially she viewed her father as being a villain, a calculated individual who knowingly, purposefully hurt others and as the years passed she has realized, learned the difference between someone being merely flawed, perhaps the occasional jerky behavior and then the one who is of a sociopathic nature. There is a difference and she has learned she merely has one from the lower level, a flawed father or occasional jerk if you will. No matter what she believes she has dealt with, no matter what she believes he is… she has endured some type of hurt, some type of infliction by him. We can't know exactly what she's experienced, as we have no information to go on in terms of details. I don't believe for a second she's a spoiled or entitled young adult who is haphazardly throwing verbal barbs. She's had a less than swell experience with him growing up and has put great thought into her changed perspective of him as it's grown and changed as she has. There were many supportive people on there who commented that they too had had less than wonderful fathers, some even more aptly referring to their fathers as downright abusive. People acknowledged her hurt, her wounds, they shared words of love and affirmation and even hope and healing. It was beautiful to see so many folks of all ages pouring out their hearts with compassion for her. As well there were commenters who bashed her. Some argued she was perhaps the "a**h***", that perhaps she shouldn't have used the word "a**h***" in describing her own father. Granted, God obviously doesn't want us using foul words that don't bring life and some commenters further stated that she shouldn't have used the word she used to describe her father on such a public platform. Could she have found a less potentially volatile adjective? Could she have chosen better wording in describing him? Yes. We've likely all used less than golden words to describe others, myself included. But no matter what they believed, at the end of the day the young woman needed compassion shown to her. 

And as they continued
 to ask him, he stood up 
and said to them, 
“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 
John 8:7 ESV

Maybe you can relate to her experience. 

Perhaps you can relate to her, and maybe you've tried to cope, to deal… maybe for a long, long time, maybe decades. More than likely you have tried above and beyond if you're the child of someone on the extreme who is abusive, man or woman. When we have a parent, whether father or mother who is toxic we go through our entire childhood wishing, hoping they will change. We seek affection, adoration and love from them. We silently shuffle and step around that stinking pile of poo that we know goes with them and hope by appeasing, by pleasing them they will love us unconditionally, they will take the time needed to listen, to connect and show affection, that they will show us love in a healthy, nurturing manner. Instead, we may face a wide spectrum of actions that range from in-your-face screaming, cursing and put downs, to neglect, to more insidious emotional abuse like triangulation amongst us, our siblings and our other parent, gas-lighting, projecting, etc. We may call them on their behavior and yet they may deflect. As children we may spend an entire childhood and even young adulthood hoping in a false hope that our parent will not hurt us again, that they will lay down their toxic behaviors once and for all. Unfortunately, that may not happen. It can take years for children, yes, even grown children to come to the stark realization that they are sending up prayers that may very well never come to fruition. It's an incredibly disappointing reality to come to terms with what we've endured. Because even once we admit to ourselves that a relationship with one of our parents isn't healthy for us, that it causes us great grief, despair, hurt, anxiety and personal violation in terms of boundaries… we still long for it not to. We long and yearn for it to not be that way. We may dabble in a "fake it till you make it" mentality… thinking if we just pretend like it's all rosy the relationship will grow and change from a decaying rotted one to vibrant, blooming and healthy.

People may say:

 "Well, so, they are flawed. They are human. You must accept them." 

Yes, we can accept they are flawed. Perhaps for some this takes longer than for others… perhaps we can remember that all humans are flawed and do UNintentionally hurt others at some point or another and YET there is a big difference between merely flawed and PURPOSEFULLY inflicting hurt that is swept away under the rug by the perpetrator, by the villain, minimized and even delusionally rejected as reality. Undoubtedly some parents are "flawed" in ways so bad, so extreme that it's detrimental for us to be exposed to them… yes, we accept it, we accept that fact and also perhaps that we don't have to accept it as a way to live

It's hard to heal from a relationship 

when you're still getting jabbed, isn't it?

When they continue to stick you

and then act like it's your fault it hurt. 

 Distance is sometimes the greatest salve to an open wound. 

As a daughter you may have never felt fulfilled by your relationship with your father. For girls and women, their relationship with their dad sets the tone for any future relationships with men. Becoming co-dependent and marrying narcissistic partners, avoiding commitment all-together or taking on the role as the "head of household"could all be ways to cope later in life. For boys and men… they may sadly never feel as though they match up in their father's eyes… they may always feel like they've let dad down and can't seem to please him no matter what they do. 

It's the great ability to accept the fact that you cannot make a person change, that you can accept they are who they are, whether flawed human or villain…. The ability to accept yourself is wonderful as well, to trust yourself again, to trust your instincts, to delight in the gifts you possess, to realize your beauty and strength, to learn that yes, you are worthy, you can choose distance, you deserve a life free of anxiety and tension, free of walking on eggshells, free of always second guessing yourself, that you are lovable and healing can be yours and that thank goodness without a doubt there is a love greater than anyone else's… Christ's.

Go to Him… he's there to heal you, he accepts you fully. 

14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, o“Let the children come to me; pdo not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 qTruly, I say to you, whoever does not rreceive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And she took them in his arms and blessed them, tlaying his hands on them. 
Mark 10:14-16

11 fI am the good shepherd. The good shepherd glays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is ha hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and ileaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and jscatters them. 13 He flees because khe is a hired hand and lcares nothing for the sheep. 14 mI am the good shepherd. nI know my own and omy own know me, 15 pjust as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and qI lay down my life for the sheep.
John 10:11-15

© ~ 2015 

To My Readers:

Thank you for reading & sharing!