I have resentment toward my father. Some of my beliefs are:
“If I am unhappy, he will feel guilty and he deserves that”
“He should be punished for what he did, and I hope he feels guilty for the rest of his life”
“If I am happy he won’t feel guilty and he will be off the hook”
So as a result of these beliefs, I am keeping myself miserable.
C: Father asks “where are you this weekend?” (implying I’m having fun traveling, which I actually am)
T: F*ck you and your fake positivity. I’m not happy and never will be and it’s your fault.
A: I’m distant from him, I have a fake relationship with him, I use up energy resisting him, I ruin the energy of my day, I have a negative energy conversation with him
R: I ruin the relationship with him and with myself
I can see that I am making myself miserable so that he will feel guilty. I really want him to recognize how much he hurt me and take responsibility for that, but he will not. I feel invalidated and unseen and it makes me hate him. I don’t want to carry this hate and resentment around anymore, it’s heavy.
I guess I want to forgive him for my own sake. But it’s like, I don’t want him to be happy. I don’t want to let him off the hook. So yeah, I can see that I have a manual for how my dad should behave. I can see that I have put my own happiness in his hands.
I can also see that if he came to me and was truly open and vulnerable with me and apologized, that I would feel “seen and validated”. I would be able to exhale. I would feel like I could trust him again, and let him into my life. But, he isn’t sorry and he doesn’t think he has done anything wrong. But I’d like to stop making myself miserable to punish him. I want to feel love toward him, and I want to feel free. And I know from this work that the feeling of love comes from thinking loving thoughts. Currently, all I’m thinking about his how he has done me wrong and hasn’t apologized.
T: He was so soft and gentle with me when I was a child. I remember when he used to really “see” and “love” me. And then he broke my heart.
A: I cry, I isolate, I try to feel the feelings, but I don’t think I have healed the heartbreak feeling.
R: I continue to break my own heart.
Okay well, that doesn’t create a feeling of love lol.
I have to forgive him. I *want* to forgive him for my own sake. If the mothers of children who are murdered can forgive their perpetrators, I’m sure I can forgive my dad. Yeah, I think this is my work here. I have to decide to stop breaking my own heart, and forgive him and stop trying to punish him by making myself unhappy.
I think I might actually want to forgive him. It’s like, I want to punish him AND I want to forgive him. Maybe that’s just the cognitive dissonance? Where do you suggest I go from here?
T I want to forgive him and I also want to punish him
A I start to get curious about how I can begin to forgive him
R I begin to learn how I can forgive him while also not invalidating my own experience. I can have compassion for the part of me that wants to punish him (child part) and can be open to the part that wants to forgive (adult part)
I think I can do a bridge from here:
– I can begin to forgive and also feel resentment at the same time.
– I can begin to see that my T’s about the C’s are creating my pain
– I can see that I believe his behaviours were and are wrong. But what if they are just neutral C’s?
I am open to any further ideas on how to explore this 🙂