I hung up the phone and felt relieved. I didn’t realize it at first, but as I kept driving I noticed my shoulders were looser. I felt good. At peace. And I knew I did the right thing. I asked God to take over the situation, I had done what I could, it was His turn now. I followed that with, “Show me where you want me to go and I will go.”
This was the second and final call that I had with my parents (technically my Father). I won’t go into details, but Christmas, specifically, the day after Christmas put David and I in a very…difficult situation. And we were faced with the very difficult decision of continuing a relationship with my parents.
I have had a very, ah, strained relationship with my parents, for quite a long time. And I can’t be held accountable for every problem in this relationship. I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect, but I can’t fix a one sided relationship. It became clear that we needed to discuss our future children’s physical and emotional safety, and having my parents around, violated my family’s well being.
We called my parents and I spent an hour trying to make amends, only asking for an apology. They refused. Denying any and all wrong doing, for my entire life. Which is, kind of, absurd. In case you all were wondering, nobody is perfect. And I have never expected my parents to be perfect. We are all flawed, and I understand my parent’s flaws, probably, better than anyone else. And all I asked for was an apology. Specifically, an apology and family therapy.
David and I felt that was a reasonable request. I had already apologized, I felt it would be correct to return the favor. And, clearly, there are issues, we need a mediator. They refused. And I went six months without hearing a word. Oh, I heard they were saying things about me that are untrue, but I hadn’t heard from them directly.
And then he called. I knew why he was calling, so I answered. I also thought I’d give him another chance to fix the relationship. I thought that was fair and that they deserved that. And so, I reinstated my offer, an apology and family therapy. It didn’t go well. But I stood firm, and told my Father that if they wanted to have a relationship with me they could, but only under those terms. Once again, he declined. I told him that the door was always open, but that I would no longer be answering his calls. We hung up. And I was at peace.
For the past six months I’ve been hard on myself, questioning my decision. Did I do it right? Was it fair? Did they really understand my offer of reconciliation? I felt guilty. Ashamed. Abandoned. Rejected. Alone. I want a relationship with my parents. But I deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. My husband deserves to be treated with kindness and respect. And while that may happen in front of friends and family, behind closed doors is a very, very different world. I deserve to be loved and this response is not loving.
I gave them another chance. I made my offer painfully clear. I stood up for myself. And they chose to walk. And so I am at peace. What I asked for is fair. It’s reasonable. And I’m not asking anything from them, that I have not already done, or offered to do.
And so I’m moving on with my life. For those that have been lied to, I’m setting the record straight. I’m not going to bad mouth my parents, but I’m also going to be honest about my decision. I am, and have gone, no contact with my parents. This was a very hard and a very painful decision for me. I would ask that my decision be respected and understood as final. However, my offer will always stand. They will always have a door back into my life, they just have to take it.