It has been several weeks since I have written my last blog. The reason for this is that I have not been able to manage splitting my focus between finishing my PhD thesis and engaging in many other tasks at the same time. I did find a method that allowed me to write self forgiveness statements. It’s a pretty handy method for anyone working on the computer throughout the day. Basically I have a file open in a word processing software, and as soon as a point comes up I write it down, mostly in form of self-forgiveness statements. Now I have quite a few pages of self-forgiveness, which I will revisit once my thesis is submitted in just a few days. What is interesting is that during one day of sitting in front of my computer, so many thoughts come up, that having compiled a list of self-forgiveness statements resembles a map of the mind.
In this post I briefly wanted to talk about christmas and my parents. I have written out a page of self-forgiveness statements on christmas and my parents. This was very supportive, because mostly I have been able to stay clean of mind-journeys into my past of difficult childhood memories centering on christmas. Christmas used to be the bleakest time of the year for me.
Throughout my childhood I have experienced extensive psychological abuse. Both of my parents exhibit abusive behaviour. Based on a number of typical traits, I have identified my mother as borderline, and my father as narcissistic personality disorder. Needless to say this is actual irrelevant in the current situation where it is up to me to stand as equal to all living beings if I apply myself. It is only relevant in as far as the point I want to discuss: calling my parents on christmas.
Since I have moved out from my parent’s house at the age of 16, and then later left the country at the age of 22, I have on and off returned ‘home’ for christmas. I have participated in the usual migration of adult children ‘going home’ for christmas. Every time I did go home, I did it for my parents. Frankly, I did not care to see them and mostly dreaded ‘going home’ because it meant weeks of recovery after the visit, to shake off the abusive interactions with them. If I did not visit my parents, I would generally call them on christmas to wish them a merry christmas. For the past three years I have not gone ‘home’ for christmas, and I do not intend to ever embark on such a journey. However, calling my parents on christmas is another story.
There are several aspects to this point. I do not endorse christmas, not only because of my parents, but also because it is a mental and material trap. It is pretty obvious to me and has been so for many years. In previous years, I would still wish people merry christmas if they initiated sending me wishes for christmas. I realised this year that this is deceptive, because either I accept what I stand for on the inside as well as the outside, or I continue to ‘save face’, which is not an option. I no longer play the christmas game in any way. This is my first year where I am totally clean of christmas wishes or anything else christmas e.g christmas parties.
I forgive myself for allowing myself to have adapted myself during christmas time to fit in with others.
I forgive myself for allowing myself to have been afraid of other’s reaction when I did not reply with christmas wishes.
I forgive myself for allowing myself to have stood as inferior to others because of some traditional custom, such as christmas.
I stand as one an equal and will not ‘buy’ into the absurdity that is christmas.
This brings me to the next point. I only engaged with my parents on christmas because I felt obligated to do so. I know that I carry a lot of anger because of that, and my mind often loops on the injustice and abuse I have lived through as a child. Yesterday I had to deal with thoughts on the following: should I call my parents or not. My parents very rarely get in touch with me unless there is something urgent. (which is another point to be discussed, because urgency is has to do with some of my mail that is diverted and send to their house since I don’t have a ‘stable’ address). I usually call them because this is expected of me. This was pounded into me since childhood that I am expected to obey my parents no matter what. Yesterday my mind was telling me that I should ‘at least’ call my parents because of the monetary christmas gift that I have received. I need to say thank-you. I realised that monetary gifts are aspects of the abusive cycle – it’s called hoovering – which means that through being ‘nice’ the victim is lured back for more abuse. This is usually the case, if I were to call and give my thanks for the money, I know I would be faced with some verbal abuse if I do not respond as expected. It has never been any different.
Already, the fact that I can freely state I have lived through much abuse is an incredible step for me. I see the value of self-forgiveness statements in that. For the longest time, I tried to conceal it, also because it was pounded into me, not to carry anything that goes on inside the family into the outside world. Only recently I fully admitted to myself the extend of abuse I have lived through without looking for excuses.
Calling my parents is the last vestige of obligation. It provokes fears of no longer having anyone to support me in moments of need. Of course, this kind of thinking implies that in return I have to be willing to be a victim in abusive interactions. But this is the point, this fear and obligation has been the reason why I re-entered the abusive cycle over and over again. The fear is/was extensive. The fact is that I have no contact to any relatives because it is part of an abusive scheme to alienate the victim from others. In my case it was literally all extended family. Also, since I left the country at a young age, I therefore have been only rarely in contact with anyone of my extended family. Most of the relatives I was in contact with as a young child are dead now. The last time I saw my cousins was at a funeral six years ago. But I have no ‘wire’ to them that I could resurrect. However, it does not matter, it only matters if I see it from the point of fear that this becomes an issue: ‘I don’t have anyone who supports me’. If I see it from the equality equation, as standing as one and equal, it is an advantage because I have to deal with being family ‘disconnected’, and overcome any and all fears of ‘being alone’ in the world.
I forgive myself for allowing myself to be afraid of calling my parents.
I forgive myself for allowing myself to be afraid of not calling my parents.
I forgive myself for allowing myself to feel obligated to respond to my parents because of the monetary gift I received.
I forgive myself for allowing myself to feel guilty if I don’t call my parents because I have not shown my appreciation for the gift.