Child Abuse, Depression, Emotions, Family

Family…

…and love.

The big question is “Do I love my family?”. Hell if I know. OK. Maybe I should rephrase that. “Do I love the family members that abused me?”

Would I be upset if something happened to one of them? Sure. I guess. I cried at my grandparents’ funerals. But somehow I think it was more of a reaction to seeing other people cry. I’ve always been super sensitive to other people’s feelings and maybe I was just experiencing their sadness.

It’s hard for me. Sometimes I feel guilty about my lack of feelings for those family members. A good daughter/granddaughter should love her family. She should care about them. She should be devoted to them.

But what to do when they hurt her? What to do when her life is shattered? What to do when rebuilding feels like a momentous task?

I wish I had some answers for these questions. But I don’t.

I constantly struggle with the thoughts that I’m a bad person. That somehow this is all my fault. That I should love them and that I’m a terrible person because I don’t know if I do love them.

Right now, I don’t know what to think. Sometimes it feels like I would be better off with no family and no friends. Only myself to rely on. Hell, it feels like I have relied on myself for so long now, I don’t see any other way to live.

Life can be so confusing. And I don’t always know the best way to deal with it. I’m trying as hard as I can to keep my head on straight. But so often I feel like I’m wandering in a dark alley with nothing to guide me.

::sigh::

Sometimes I wish there were easy answers to my questions. I know there aren’t any but I keep on wishing.

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7 thoughts on “Family…”

  1. I don’t think you have any obligation to love anyone. Not in the sense of emotional love, liking them and being glad they’re in your life.

    As for Jesus saying to love your enemies, I think that’s a different thing — that kind of love is a choice you make and a blessing you give out of a strong place, a place of security and safety in Christ, knowing him as your deliverer, protector, and avenger. That kind of love is wishing what is good for the other person — for them to understand the harm they have done, to regret and repent of it with all their being, and to be reconciled to God — it’s not wishing them mere success and happiness, and it’s not at all saying they deserve anything good at all, and it’s not emotional, no affection required.

    I’m curious to know who you are still in contact with among your family, and who of them, if any, knows what you went through and who did it to you. What is it like? Why do you stay in touch? I can’t imagine what it must take to actually stay involved in the abusive family…

  2. Dear Katm

    we have struggled with those same feelings all our lives. Not until recently did we realize that we are not obligated to love or respect, not when they disrespected us with abuse and covering up abuse.

    Blind love because it involves family is part of what abusers hide behind and that in itself removes any obligation on our part or yours, at least in our opinion.

    YOU did nothing wrong, of that we are sure.

    Peace and blessings and many sage hugs for all of you that wants them ((((katm))))

    keepers

  3. Marcy… I will try to write something about that. But it’s a struggle.

    Keepers… thank you for your kind words. There are times when it’s so hard to see that I didn’t do anything wrong.

  4. There’s that word, “should.” It’s a trap, you know. I learned a long time ago to just throw that word out. It’s a pointing a finger at you, curling up your lip, threatening word. You should! It sucks and it allows us to beat ourselves up. So just toss the thing out whenever you hear yourself saying it. Because that word gives those people a voice.

    As for loving people, you don’t HAVE to love anyone. Love isn’t a right to be demanded, it’s a gift. Why would you even want to give that gift to anyone who hurt you? You’re sure not obligated to. And they sure don’t deserve it. So don’t beat yourself up because you think you “should!”

  5. A good daughter/granddaughter should love her family.

    A good family should love their daughter/granddaughter.

    She should care about them.
    A good family should care about her and not hurt her.

    She should be devoted to them.
    A good family should be devoted to security, to safety, to helping each other grow. A good family doesn’t abuse.

    Austin

  6. It took so long for me to walk out and leave my family of origin because I worried by doing so I was going against the Bible. I worried that by leaving and not having any contact with them I was somehow being disrespectful to them thereby disrespectful to God. It would take what seemed like forever to get okay with the idea that I could give up on them. You know what it was that gave me permission to leave that war alone? This here:
    Ecclesiastes 3:5-9

    5 a time to throw stones away and a time to bring stones together; a time to embrace and a time to keep away from embracing; 6 a time to seek and a time to give up as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away; 7 a time to rip apart and a time to sew together; a time to keep quiet and a time to speak; 8 a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace. 9

    It still hurts to know I had to give them up as lost. It was my time for peace Katherine, simple as that but so hard to act on….still is. I think of her everyday and not always in a bad light.

    Austin

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