Maybe I’ll get a wide-screen view of my life when I die, and I’ll have the perspective of a stranger, seeing all I did and didn’t do, and perhaps it won’t be as terrible as I fear.
I know where I fucked-up, and I know where I tried to right things, and I know where I did well.
I parented a child mostly on my own, and I finally forgave myself for all that I wasn’t. I can catalog a list of what I didn’t do to him that was done to me, and I can catalog a list of what I did, and didn’t do that could have made his life better.
Sometimes I was a real shit. Sometimes my selfishness, and lack of perspective, or just self-righteous justifications, ruled the day. I wish I had done better.
I forgive me because I haven’t yet. My guilt and shame have made my life a tough place to be, and I yelled and lived so much in my anger when I was raising him, and I’m sure that caused lasting harm.
I think I made him afraid of emotions, afraid that they would always overwhelm him, so it’s better not to have them.
I forgive myself for causing his anxiety, or adding to his challenges in this unforgiving life. While I appreciate his forgiveness, it’s most important that I stop adding more shame. At my worst, I worry that I’m unable to change – that I wouldn’t be any better if I could do it over. I’m grateful we need not find out.
I forgive me for not caring enough about myself, for not having a fight reaction when my flight reaction was dissociation rather than getting myself out of the situation. I forgive myself for not being stronger, more willful.
I’ve learned how to fight – how to scratch, and kick, and tear skin – to make sure I have some DNA. I almost welcome anyone to try to mess with me now, now that my rage is outward, and I’m no longer cowed. I could have prevented so much harm, but I think it’s better to learn late than not at all.
© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current.