When resentments interfere with our ability to care

I hadn’t seen or spoken to dad three years before he came back into my life. At the time, I couldn’t work how I was unable to turn my back on him and walk away.  It felt like there was a constant battle between my heart and mind, and I could not find a truce. The worst part was I could never work out why.

 

But then, when it came to dad, I’d always been that way.

 

As a kid, dad was like my drug. He was my kryptonite, my Achilles heel. I’d always craved his attention. I can still vividly remember the sensation or the high I would feel after receiving recognition or praise from him. If he said ‘Jump,’ I would have said ‘How high’ I literally would have done anything for him, and over the years, I had. This addiction with dad, or what I know now to be called co-dependency, continued into my adult life.

 

It wasn’t until I started my recovery after hitting my rock bottom with drugs in my twenties that my cravings for dad had started to diminish. One of the earliest lessons I learned was that I was on my own. And by that, I don’t mean literally on my own or that nobody cared, but when it came to me and my recovery, I had to start taking some responsibility for myself.

 

I stopped seeking dad’s approval because I was working on seeking approval of myself and in his absence, I had done A LOT of growing up. I’d worked hard to get where I was without any support and guidance from him. Also, during this time and unbeknown to dad, I worked hard on trying to forgive him. I started to understand that he, too, was a product of his own upbringing, and I’d finally started to come to terms with accepting who he was. 

 

I knew deep down that he loved me despite his fucked-up way of showing it, but I also knew that his ego would always come first.

 

When dad came back into my life, I had changed, I wasn’t the same person.  After years of training and volunteering, I now had my dream job, my vocation. I was in a healthy, loving relationship, and my kids were thriving. I thought I had dealt with the past and my and my fractured relationship, but it soon became apparent I clearly hadn’t.

 

Often, blinded in my pursuit and mission to get him clean and sober, I would get exhausted and angry and struggled to let go of the negative feelings I carried around with me. Normally an optimists and positive person, the weight of negativity was dragging me down.  It was only during one of my frequent offloading sessions, I had my own epiphany and started to see a pattern emerging. 

 

I was more than happy and could cope being there for dad when he was stable and sober. But whenever he went back on his word or started wallowing in self-pity it wasn’t just feelings of frustration that would emerge, my old past resentments would resurface too,  making it more difficult for me to express love or to feel any compassion towards dad. 

 

The critical lesson I learned from this was to try and separate the two emotions and remind myself that dad wasn’t fully to blame for how I was feeling and reacting. 

YES, you read that right!

They were my feelings and responsibility, I found that when started to harbour or entertain any resentments from the past,  that the only person who suffered was me. It was like I was emotionally bashing myself twice. I found that once I understood this I could take a step back and see the situation in a new light, a new perspective. 

 

Marianne Williamson once said, ‘Unforgiveness is like drinking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die.’ And she’s right. 

 

As you can tell from my sharing this blog, I had to figure it out for myself. I’m not in a position to tell anyone how to manage their own resentments. But what I can do is share a couple of articles that I think might help. 

 

Letting go of parental anger – Click here 

This is a GREAT one for relationships it’s called Resentment in relationships is normal and here’s how to avoid it – Click here  

 

Thank you for taking the time to read.

 

Remember, I don’t write for financial reward or gain. I just want to help share my lived experience with others hoping that it helps. And I just love to write, so if ya fancy getting the occasional email (NO SPAM, I PROMISE) with the most up to date blogs from yours truly, please feel free to subscribe at the bottom of the main page.

 

Love Fordy xxx

4 thoughts on “When resentments interfere with our ability to care

  1. I love reading your work its inspiring and so raw with emotion, heart warming and relatable in so many ways, and the best for me is experiencing and managing my life, my way and realising that I can talk about my experience without shame .

  2. Very moving and heartfelt piece of writing. Well written and clear, paints a good picture in quite a short piece. 😊👏

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