Forgiveness is a tricky subject – and one which comes up at almost every presentation I do. When I’m asked – “have you forgiven your mum”, I say yes, because I think I have, and then something, a memory perhaps, which maybe evokes a sense of shame, rears it’s ugly head, and I find myself questioning whether I really have.
Forgiveness of your abuser, particularly when they are one of your parents is a complex internal emotional process, which has no end.
During my life in the care system, the feelings of Shame, guilt, humiliation, anger and sadness gripped me – and just wouldn’t let go. I vowed never to forgive, believing that to forgive would allow the release of my anger and weaken me to the same outcomes of my parents lives.
Who does that harm? Not my parents. Not the receiver of my anger ( maybe temporarily, as it’s not nice to be on the receiving end).
It harms me. It harms my children. And it harms all of our futures.
So, this week, I have been busy writing “No Send” letters to my mum. I wrote 2 out of the advised maximum of 3, and I feel a sense of contentment with my life.
I feel gratitude for the special people who touched my life whilst I was in care.
And I feel deeply sad for the tragic life that my mum has had, starting with her own experiences of not feeling loved and nurtured.
The promise I can make to my children, through being able to forgive my mum, is to give them what their Grandmother never had the beauty of receiving – a future knowing that they are the centre of their mums world.
Jen Aka Hackney Child