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My so-called family

Posted by Trotter on January 20, 2009, at 2:03:01

My mother doesn't know how to love and all three children did not receive the nurturing they needed as infants, or at any stage of childhood for that matter. My father was too busy with work and took no real interest in the kids.

As a result of this, two of us, including myself, have suffered from a lifetime of unsuccessful relationships and depression. The other brother was 'adopted' by his wife (he was 20, she 40) and she gave him the unconditional love he never got from his mother. I think he got a foster mother and wife for the price of one. As a consequence his life is not such a train wreck. Funny. At the time I tried to talk him out of it, but it's turned out well for him.

I have a huge amount of anger towards my parents. I had it out with them at Xmas, and accused them of not knowing what love is. Although they did not know what I was talking about, it ended well and they promised to work on building a better relationship. I sent them the book "A General Theory of Love" so they could understand the consequences of a mother not bonding with her children.

Got a letter back from them basically saying how good parents they were and that my depression was caused more by bad genes and bad relationships. That is nonsense of course. My parents, and their extended families did not suffer from depression, so where did the depression genes come from? And I was depressed before my marriage went bad. What a copout. I really hate them now.

I see only two options. I can walk away from them or try to convince them that they are responsible to no small extent for my/our problems. You see I cannot have a meaningful relationship with them while I hate them so much. And I cannot forgive them until they show some genuine remorse. I refuse to have a nice, polite, superficial so-called relationship with them any more. It has gone beyond that. They either take responsibility and show they really care or I walk away from them for good.

My therapist sees the value in trying to work through this with my parents. I see the value too, if I could make a breakthrough. I know I cannot make them love me, because they really don't know how to love, especially my mother, but if they could only show genuine remorse, I could then forgive them.

They are so in denial. They think my other brothers are okay. They are so out of touch they don't know my elder brother is lucky to be alive, having on two occasions put a gun to his head but failed to find the courage to pull the trigger.

I am meeting my parents next week. I am tempted to tell them about my brother's suicide attempts, to dispel their defence that it is just me that is dysfunctional. But this was told to me in confidence by my brother, so I don't think I can.

I think I have to try to make my parents accountable, feel guilt and remorse, otherwise I cannot forgive them. Only if they show themselves to be human can I begin to love them. While they deny I cannot get past this anger.

I really don't think I am going to have any success with this. They are so set in their ways. They are in their 80s, although totally mentally capable. They are probably too old to handle this sort of thing, but I can't wait until they get senile or die. It is now or never.

My therapist says I am very courageous to try this. Brave or stupid, I honestly don't know. What I do know is I cannot have a relationship with them while I despise them so. I know they tried to be good parents, in a dutiful sort of way, but they neglected the most important ingredient - love.

Anyone been through something like this?





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