Forgiving the unforgivable
At 4h48 my demons of unresolved business woke me from my slumber. Well mostly it was my bladder, but I was woken up by an uneasy feeling nonetheless. In typical “I-need-a-wee-but-I-really-don’t-want-to-get-up-just-yet” fashion, I laid in bed and my dreams I had before waking up flashed before my eyes. I had some unfinished business, And! a great need for the bathroom. So I dragged myself up, did my lady business then had some quiet time.
There is nothing better than waking up early, when my whole family is still sleeping, and reflecting. I wish I could say that this is a regular occurrence but it’s not something I usually do. I’m more of the get as many minutes of sleep in while you can. I’ve got three kids! I’m always in need of more minutes.
Somewhere between 4h48 and 05h02 I realised that I have some serious issues. A matter of misplaced annoyance with a side of paranoia. Something my sister pointed out a few days ago. The paranoia bit. Also something I wasn’t too impressed with because I still somewhat feel that it’s not misplaced but the mere fact that I am paranoid doesn’t sit well. Thank goodness for sisters who speak the truth and aren’t afraid to voice their opinions. Both my sisters always give me food for thought and I love that we respect each other enough to not take our relationships for granted. We aren’t sisters by choice but our friendship with one another is, and with every friendship comes a healthy dose of respect. They don’t tell me things because of “familial rights” and I don’t force feed my opinions on them in the name of sisterhood. It all boils down to respect and I’m glad for my mom always nagging at us when we were kids. “Friends will come and go but you guys will always have each other” she’d say. Obviously this annoyed me as a teen and I wondered why she would go on and on when she herself was an only child. Gosh that only child was and is still wise. She instilled our family values in us and I can proudly say that many of the things I teach my kids, I learnt from her. Some of the things fall in the what not to do category but hey, being a mom are me cut her a whole lot of slack for being my mom and for the choices she made when she was younger. Most of the times we wing it at motherhood. Live and learn.
Out of sight, out of mind
My mom is also part of the reason these flipping demons have been chasing me for a couple of months. For the most part I don’t think about it but every once in a while I come across someone or something that reminds me of it and it manifests in my dreams. Unforgiveness. That’s the name of my demon. A little fact I stumbled upon somewhere after 5am this morning. The truth stared me straight in the face and asked “So what are you going to do about it?” What an epiphany before my first cup of coffee.
A couple of months ago my mom had an almost argument with a family member. I say almost because she was attacked (via text on a WhatsApp message) and I strongly advised her not to entertain it. In fact, I advised her to block the whole family. Didn’t think she’d listen but she did. Anyway, this attack had me up in arms and I took it upon myself to be her defense, not knowing that my sisters would take the same stance. For thirteen minutes and nine seconds I argued with my aunt as I tried to point out how wrong she was. How she had no right to meddle in my parents lives and what the repercussions of it were. The argument didn’t end well but I felt satisfied at having my mom’s back and pointing out facts to an outsider who believed she had rights within someone else’s marriage.
I did it for my mom but I also did it for every married woman who has to endure insults from in laws or outsiders. As a married woman I don’t take kindly to people meddling in my business. Something my late mother in law knew and respected. Not that she ever meddled. We had an open relationship and from the get go I made it clear that I married her son and not the family. Sounds a tad harsh when I say it that way but it’s exactly how I said it. She took it for what it was and agreed with me knowing her family can be the meddling type even if she wasn’t. I remember her trying to school her expressions on a few occasions when it came to my household but never once did she say anything. She’s also the only person I’ve ever felt the need to explain things to so that she can get the full picture and relax knowing simple facts. Her son loves cooking so that’s why he does most of it and not because I’m a lazy wife. I teach my kids to openly express opinions and to never be afraid to differ but to also do so respectfully. There is a fine line between straight forward and being rude. Gosh I miss that woman!
While I haven’t seen this aunt in far longer than the day we argued, I didn’t realise until this morning that for all my talks (self talks) of being over it I haven’t completely forgiven her. Yikes! Me, who loves to stand in the sun and doesn’t necessarily enjoy conflict or being at odds with people. Sure I’ve walked away from toxic relationships and friendships before and not given a backward glance but I’ve always forgiven and moved on. Choosing to love some people from a distance is more my thing. It’s healthier that way.
What my quiet time revealed this morning is that I am well and truly over our argument. I’ve gotten over that bit and forgiven her for her folly. What I struggle to deal with is that she went and villianized me to everyone who was stupid enough (sorry not sorry) to believe her. She cried wolf and I’m it.
The lies could have been dismissed easily because she’d spun my dad and my sisters in it too, and they know me well enough to know what I would and wouldn’t say. I didn’t have to justify myself to them. In fact knowing that it could’ve been worse from my side seemed to end any doubts. What I couldn’t get over is that she single handedly turned me into a villain to everyone else. Now don’t get me wrong… I don’t particularly care about people’s opinions of me. That’s if it’s true to them. What I do care about is when people spread lies about me and it affects other relationships that I deemed important. It doesn’t anger me as much as it hurts.
Anger is hurt wrapped up in layers
The root of my unforgiveness is hurt. I still can’t believe that someone I’ve loved all my life would turn out to be such a meanie. All the love has evaporated and in its place is the loss of respect. Respect and trust that will probably never be recovered. And I’m not ok with it. Not ok with the fact that my extended family all think I’m a witch. In a way I have made peace with it because I am of opinion that the only opinions that matters are those of my nearest and dearest. The other part of me hates that I have lost my seat at the family table and that I will now be raising my kids without the full experience of a large family. I suppose it’s not so much “lost” and more that I gave it up. But I gave it up for a damn good reason. I gave it up for my mom, and as long as she is seated at the table I know that all will be well.
The hurt will pass in time and I will always have fond memories of my relatives. Knowing where I stand with people is far better than going through motions in the name of blood ties. If I’m quite honest, I haven’t been an active family member in years so I’m not exactly missing out. Except for weddings, funerals and the odd get togethers, most extended families don’t see each other all that often as adults. So I’ll live and my kids will too.
Before darkness turned to light this morning, I chose forgiveness. I chose to let go of this demon that woke me up this morning. I didn’t do it for my aunt. I did it in spite of her. Because being bitter is not how I envision my life. People will always talk and if I’m not bothered by people in general, how can I hold it against a relative. I still think it was a shitty thing of her to do, but knowing the truth always prevails makes forgiveness so much easier. There will always be her truth, my truth and the whole truth. I have a feeling that the whole truth will someday come out but even if it doesn’t, I know without a doubt that we all have to account for our actions one day. I don’t have to account for hers and I shouldn’t allow it to hold me captive. I had to do this for me. I had to set myself free. This morning I forgave her.
Forgiving is not always easy. My whole life I’ve been faced with difficult people and circumstances. Walking away from it all is not always the easy way out. You have to unfortunately deal with your feelings before you can truly move on. Sometimes it was easy and other times I would rather cling to my pride and felt that I needed an apology first. We don’t however have control over others feelings and actions but we can’t allow them to determine ours. Learning to forgive someone and accepting the apology you never got is tough. But trust me, it is worth it. There is nothing wrong with moving on without it. That’s often how we move on from toxic relationships. Sometimes it’s better that you do. In fact it’s recommended.
Walking away doesn’t mean you won’t ever have to look at the person again. A simple greeting when you next meet is enough. Treasure the good times you shared and look at your differences as a stepping stone towards the person you are meant to be. The life you are intended to lead.
Gosh I love mornings! I love that everyday is a new beginning. I am grateful for the opportunity to rise and shine. Not particularly in that order. Maybe rise caffeinate, flick my switch, caffeinate some more and then shine. You catch my drift?😉
Contrary to what my sister said, I still don’t think I was being paranoid the other day. I’m am empath and I feel things all the time. I also know when people disapprove of me and I felt it. So much that it bothered me on a subconscious level. Glad it did though. Wouldn’t want my feelings to fester and make a grinch out of me.
Disclaimer: I write to express my feelings and to overcome some negative ones. My posts are generally intended to encourage others by sharing MY experiences and not intended to cast stones. Don’t be hating or judging anyone on my behalf. My aunt is not a villain. I’m sure there’s enough goodness in her reserved for her loved ones.