I was reading a story of a women recently, and how she is dealing with the guilt of never telling her father she loved him before he passed away. The dynamics of her childhood were not of a kisses and loads of hugs atmosphere.
If I were guessing there was a true lack of that, and that to a child is a sense of comfort. We all know some people just aren't capable of it for some reason, but it sounds like this and other dynamics caused distance between her and father during her childhood.
It sounds in part like a familiar story of a young girl rebelling, and finding herself abused, abandoned, and pregnant.
She was struggling at this point, and trying to get her life back on track. The distanced relationship with her father changed one day with a phone call. He wanted to help, and first and foremost? He wanted to babysit that grandchild, and wanted HER to go out and do something for herself. She needed a break, and he clearly saw that. It was the start of their rebuilding, renewing, and improving on that relationship of the past.
Tragically, her father had a car accident and later died from his injuries.
I never told him I love him. I had thirty days of being with him in that hospital and could never bring myself to tell him those three simple little words. Its been 14 years now and I still cry over it. How can a child not tell their own father who was dying that they loved him. Regardless of if he knew it or not, I never said those words and i cannot forgive myself. I cannot move on. I cannot let go. I need to tell him. I go to his graveside and tell him, but it doesnt help. I ask Jesus to relay the message, but it doesnt help. How do I forgive myself and move on? I cannot handle this anymore. I have to tell him!!!!
The love between them was clearly demonstrated, and YES people did mention she needs to forgive herself most of all! Her father knew, and even if words were not spoken he knows! It sounded alot like a prodigal son type of story! The story had a twist in this case!
He wasn't one that told her he loved her either, and his behavior at times in childhood sounds like alot of anger.
You could see the tools he had that may not have been healthy, and passed those tools onto his child.
I don't think she saw it, but we could all see it in what she said.
He pushed her to hard, and expected more than what she was capable of - in turn as adult she was never satisfied with her achievements. It wasn't PERFECT!
She opened up all the cans of worms of her sins after he passed away, and then wondered if her father was alive if he would have saved her those sins by his strictness.
Later on realized it was her own immaturity. It was the cartwheels of life you see either with yourself or others as you travel along that road of life.
Her guilt she knew was hindering her relationship with God as well. She was also starting to realize that the tools of her past play a part in her decisions, feelings, and patterns in her life.
She wanted to know how to change those tools - how could she change?
WHERE does she begin!
She received the, "Jesus will heal you" type of responses.
I KNEW she had just stepped on a landmine, and I'm SURE her mind was swimming! She had a hint, but wasn't sure YET about the tools of change.
BEING myself I just couldn't hold back at that point! LOL!
You can learn those tools! I did! I was a very frighten, lonely, and was abused in alot of ways as a child. I didn't know this fully at the time, but I figured it out later in life.
My parents didn't have the tools to deal with certain things the way they needed to, and I did suffer for that.
REMEMBER!!! You do the best you can with the tools you have available at the time.
My folks didn't have tools, and I can't blame them for that. It is what it is!
I had a warped way of viewing the world and the people within it due to that.
I had a different way of dealing with my faith due to that.
I'm sure some of the items I will struggle with all my life.
I didn't realize I was any different than anyone else. I was told I was a strong person, and yet I knew that was a role I played because I felt I had to. It was a way to stay safe.
I honestly thought everyone knew that, and other 'strong' people did the same thing!
Those were my tools at the time. I played a good role for a long time! No one knew about the abuse in my home, because I tried to reach out a couple of times and was ignored. I tried to confront and was belittled and shamed. You see everyone liked the role my folks were playing, and didn't want to go there. Between those parties (including the church) and the rest of the family - I learned real quick you need to hush and stay that way.
I was a child, and those tools came with me into adulthood.
I knew I wasn't strong enough to take them all on - or at least I didn't feel that way - and I just worked on my armor instead.
It was the only protective shield I had. I remember these LONG conversations with God as a child about this. I didn't blame him for NOT changing things, because I figured there must be SOME reason for it!
God was my only comfort then, and in his arms I did feel loved, understood, and had someone on my side.
I grew up, and was college educated, community oriented, successful in business, and well liked and respected by others. I still had my role, and it seemed to be working.
My personal life? WELL I was pretty much groomed in a way that didn't show me GREAT tools in that area! I figured out the game on how to make things look great on the outside, but I had no tools for a good intimate relationships.
The clues and the red flags? They were what I grew up with, and didn't have a clue on how to deal with them. I had already learned from the poundings I got as a child, and I was very scared and shamed about asking to many questions or commenting.
I was used to people telling me - what did you DO?!?! NO matter what happened!
It would be my performance that would bring good things, and a shamed based learning came if I didn't follow the formula.
I found myself in trouble (my marriage), and for the first time in my life? I realized I was abused.
Can you imagine? Figuring that out so late in the game? What did I do AFTER I got past the stage of trying to deny it? lol and believe me that was a battle in itself! HUGE BATTLE I mean WHO in their right mind would want to OWN that???
Next came that I shamed myself into thinking I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN! How could I be so STUPID! What in heaven's name was I thinking!
You know what didn't help? Statements like,
"If people go into relationships with red flags what do they expect would happen?"
"Why don't they just leave!"
"Maybe if you just got right with yourself, and showed them love and respect they wouldn't do that to you!"
Those were not only humiliating, made me feel more shame, but were down right confusing. It sent me SPINNING for years!
When you don't have the right tools? Its pretty easy to take those statements, and really bury yourself in a hole. You don't have a healthy sense of self worth as it is, and it made me feel like it was all my fault all over again. They can't help because its my fault.
My childhood nightmares coming true all over again! People expect you at times I think to have tools they take for granted, and I seem to think that is part of the blind spot.
I never cried.
It wasn't a part of the armor I was comfortable showing. It gave me a great sense of shame even doing it privately.
I learned the deal is you have to learn. Things implode on you worse if you can't find a way to get past that. I think a sense of true depression for me?
It was due to me NOT having the tools for outlet of feelings, and those energies within turned against me and worked their destruction.
I thought only certain feelings were allowed to be surfaced, and you will pay for the rest. HOW wrong was I!
My father's death taught me how to cry. It was weeks after his death, and I was in the shower. No one was home, and just WENT with the urge! I wailed in agony! I was so exhausted I dragged myself to my bed. I told God I felt alone, and Daddy left me and was everyone going leave me? I swear I felt him wrapping his arms around me, and saying, "I will never leave you!" It soothed me enough that I fell asleep.
I found after that experience its much easier for me cry, and I tried my darnest NOT to fight it. It makes me human. If people say it is weak? I learned that is their issue, because I want to be human! If that makes sense!
I got help for my issues in a safe environment that didn't push or place pressure on me. It took years to come out of the fog that was my life! I practiced and acquired new tools.
Tools that others take for granted, and I'm proud to own now.
I dealt with an anger stage as well, and you know what? I think I needed it!
I was like a pressure cooker that only allowed little spits of steam to surface all my life.
It was nice and cleansing to get that toxin out of my system! It wasn't pretty either!
Its released now, and I get to start fresh!
I think that part of the healing others don't understand. That's fine - in some ways I'm glad they don't! That means they don't have the pain I did! I don't think I can explain it any better than that!
You can learn to cry and you can learn new tools. Its an awesome journey, but it isn't instant for everyone! I hear stories about how they just laid it on out, and the next day the sun came and shined all over them! LOL That's great, but the journey worked for me!
I was right. God had me deal with things for a reason. HEY maybe I was a smart KID afterall!
When my father died I wanted to tell him things on his deathbed. Dad was one that had anxiety attacks, and he was terminal. It was just a matter of time that day. I was afraid that what I said would make him worry instead of letting go.
I asked God to pass along the message. I have no doubt he did! Don't beat yourself UP over this! Its not worth it!
You need to let go, and allow God to show you those new tools he wishes you to have. Those are MUCH better than the pain you are keeping...believe me!
I guess the word TOOL made her realize things. She is going to go and find those tools, and I pray that she does find them!
Abusive people and their victims lack the tools for life. People think they have tools that most people have, and don't stop to think maybe there is a link there! Why? Because we don't! It could be for ALL kinds of reasons!
Submitting more and trying to be a better wife? Finding ways to respect and love my husband?
I learned to submit due to fear from childhood. Telling me you don't do that didn't compute. I didn't have the tools to grasp the meaning of that.
My submitting made an angry man feel more entitled to take it a step further.
He didn't have the tools to realize that loving and sacrificing wasn't a sign of weakness. He needed the power over, and the AUTHORITY they teach? That was an awesome tool, but he couldn't grasp that wasn't what was being told to him.
The sugar sweet messages on HOW to approach husbands when you are unhappy? Those are a sign of weakness to an abuser, and he will take advantage of that. Why? That is what they do! Matter of fact they will rub your nose in the sugar sweet! They have NO GRASP on the tool of its intention!
Fixing one portion of the toolbox - the marriage - isn't going to bring restoration. Learning those tools is hard work, and it takes a commitment! I see so often these stories of seeing the sin, and the next thing you know this HUGE miracle happens...and they are transformed. I won't say that can't happen, but in most cases the journey for the tools is beneficial for the individuals. Could be why we don't see those instant transformations as often as people would like.
You can't do anything if you don't have the tools to make it happen. Don't shame yourself over the tools you didn't have in the past! That would be silly! Acknowledging tools that you need to acquire? Working for those? Those bring the change within you that God wants. TOOLS for change...Now who is ready?
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