19 thoughts on “Just Can’t Do It

      • Absolutely. I meant to not let guilt in because you didn’t want to do what would have made him happy. Make yourself happy. Be at peace with yourself.

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          • You truly are amazing! I don’t have quite the experiences you had with my father as you have had with yours, but I still harbour tons of anger. I simply cannot bring myself to say “I love you” to him. Very good friends of mine validate my feelings and tell me that just because they’re my parents doesn’t mean I’m obligated to have a close connection (if it doesn’t exist).

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          • It’s good to have friends to validate your feelings. In my case, only one friend knows about what happened. It’s not something I’ve found easy to share with people (even my therapist–I didn’t tell her for several years). One thing I love about the blogging is my ability to put the truth out there and get validating responses. I think it will help me get to a place (eventually) when I can tell others as well.

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          • Absolutely! I wish I had discovered blogging years ago. It’s helped me tremendously: sharing information, learning from others’ lived experiences, and having a place to truly be myself and share and actually have supportive feedback as opposed to silence.

            Btw please let me know if I can get in touch with your connection.
            Abrazos

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          • I talked to her about it today, and she took a look at your blog. I think she wants to read more and think about it. She may also want to talk to her brother first. But she’s definitely considering it.

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    • Guilt can be a very painful feeling, I know… but over time, I think I have come to realize (most of the time) that I don’t need to fulfill some kind of a “good daughter” fantasy for parents who weren’t good parents to me. It’s not a clear good parent/bad parent distinction. My dad did some kind things for me as well, but he never acted like a caring, responsible adult who put his kids first. And of course he violate a crucial boundary in a way that really damaged me. My mom played a teacher-like role in my life: lots of exposure to museums, art, literature, piano lessons. That was a real gift. But a gigantic emotional hole and a deliberate blindness to what was happening to me also caused harm. They were far from perfect. I don’t need to be a perfect daughter either. I try to be kind, when I can do it without harming myself.

      Anyway, long winded answer. I hope that over time your feelings of guilt diminish. No matter what your mother says to you or to others, hang on to your own truth.

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      • It’s all so confusing. My mom and I were so enmeshed for so many years and it was just the two of us. And she gave me everything and loved her life through me yet there was also this very dysfunctional aspect. And the two just don’t match. And now my oldest son is just all into wanting me to see her and saying how sad she must be and how happy she will be if I visit. He wants her to live with us and said he liked having her there and going shopping. And he is my 15 year old who she gave the car to and it’s all so confusing.

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  1. And it’s okay that you can’t. Children do not owe anything to a parent innately. Parents, like all other people in our lives must EARN our love, loyalty and respect. I also did not wish my father a ‘Happy Father’s Day’ because he never earned that from me.

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    • You know, I hadn’t really thought that through, but I do feel that I inherently owe my children love and care and protection, but any respect they give me (or I give my parents) needs to be earned. It is not a parallel relationship.

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