I’ve been going through a tough spot lately and have been seeing a therapist for the last few months. He’s asked several times if I’ve ever experienced trauma or abuse from my parents, as he feels the root of my depression and anxiety issues seems to always circle around them. I finally shared some things that my parents had did (mainly my mom) when I was a teenager. I never thought of these situations as abusive per se back then, but he feels she certainly crossed the line (and in retrospect, if I had done those things to my teenage kids, I certainly recognize them as being abusive behavior).
At any rate, things came to a head recently. I recently lost my job, and my brother, who has never been financially independent and has received ongoing financial support from my parents since leaving the house 20 years ago, quit his. My parents continue to support him, even though he continues to take trips Vegas and buy expensive cars, the third of which my parents just paid off when he could not make the payments. I was pretty livid when I heard he quit his job, and their reaction was “well, you can’t tell him anything”. Aside from the abuse and emotional neglect, its been a double standard all my life in terms of how they’ve treated him vs. me in terms of expectations, support and (now) personal demands of our time to visit them and help them around the house). Any, I digress….
After a particularly rough talk therapy session, I had a few drinks, then called my parents and unloaded on them. Not a particularly good thing to do when not sober, but I’m glad I did it. However, it’s driven a bit of a wedge between us. They still want to remain close and my Dad (particularly) has remained supportive. My Mom is acting hurt that I spoke of things she claims to no longer remember and does not believe ever happened. I honestly don’t know how some of these situations could have imprinted on me so significantly yet she has no recollection, even though I once left the house (only for a day, but I missed my Grandfather’s (her Dad’s) last birthday party before he died because I could not be around my mother any longer because of something she did, and had once physically restrained her from beating my younger brother with the buckle end of a belt, which she was swinging wildly at him, including at his face.
I can’t tell you what is right for you, but I felt I had to confront them in order to even begin thinking about forgiveness. I was hoping my mother would at least acknowledge some of this, but she has not and won’t. My therapist has suggested I still need to move forward and let go of the anger as it’s only hurting me, but it’s hard because this is not all left in the past (at least from my perspective, in how they have always and continue to treat myself and brother is disparate ways).