I’ve talked to my dad about some of the things, but others will never get broached. There’s only so far you can take it, only so much you can get out of it. Even if you feel like you might be healed by getting more, this is an illusion that in itself causes and keeps the scars alive.
At the age of 46, I’ve had to accept that I was never the son he wanted, that I can never make him really happy, and I’ll never have his approval. Still working out how to deal with that for my own self.
But the bottom line is that, if nothing else, he’s changed. He knows what he did was wrong, he’s sorry for it, he feels remorse. Even if he’s not capable of expressing it properly. I know it, I have that much.
When I tried to talk about things more than 20 years ago with my mother, she just made excuses and/or blamed everything on my dad. The only good that came of it is that I finally learned why I had such severe shoulder problems. It was because my shoulders had been repeatedly dislocated when I was a small child by my parents yanking me around. I have no memory of that.
But you know, although only my ex-wife has physically abused me in adult life, there are many people, mostly employers, who abused me in unacceptable, unethical and often illegal ways. For some reason I seem to end up with those kinds of people as my bosses. Probably because of where I started. But the message is the same: trying to hold them accountable for their actions is just as futile. People will always make excuses for their own wrongdoing, usually justifying their illegal or unethical deeds in terms of “I did what I had to do” or “it’s part of my job”, or the patented “you deserved it”.
I think the big reason why “forgiveness” is so important is that it allows us to release the pain of unfair events in life that we’re never going to get the satisfaction of redress or apology from. Because when we hold out for that impossible dream, when we continue to press our internal lawsuits against others, what we’re really doing is refusing to allow ourselves to heal until we get what we’re unfortunately never going to get.
And even knowing that, there’s a couple of people in my life that I’m still holding out against for either an admission of guilt or a very large truck load of Karma.