- Written by: Commander Scotty
- Category: Personal
As flawed humans in a world imbued with sin, forgiveness is not something that comes as part of our nature. Even more so when someone has wronged you, but never comes to ask you to forgive them. It is a trial of patience to wait for someone to seek forgiveness for a sin that have committed either against you or our heavenly Father. As Christmas closes in, I'm reminded of what God did for humanity: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16 NKJV)
God waits patiently for humanity to seek forgiveness. He waits our entire lives for us to come to Him. For we do not deserve forgiveness. In fact, we, as sinful creatures, deserve damnation to Hell for our sins. BUT, He willingly and gladly offers forgiveness. What a gracious Father we have in heaven above. That I am forgiven by simply coming before Him and confessing that I know I have sinned, I know what I did was wrong, and I ask that He would forgive my sins. But that forgiveness is only given to those that seek him out and ask for it in their heart. Simply saying "Lord forgive me." but not with you heart is an empty ask.
What does this have to do with being a divorced kid? It's an example that I need to strive to be more like God in my life. That I need to be willing to forgive those that have trespassed against me. But in this fallen world, it is hard. Knowing that someone has wronged me, it creates a burning desire for vengeance. How dare they do that to me? How dare they do this to me and get away with it? How dare you! Those are the words that scream through my mind as akin to a swarm of bees. The sound deafening to anything else that can be comprehended in that moment. Like a radio tuned to static and volume turned to maximum. It becomes the only sounds I can hear in my head until I can't take it anymore and scream out "LORD FORGIVE ME! SAVE ME FROM THIS MADNESS!"
And just like that, peace, calmness, warmth, silence...
Many times I've asked myself if I should forgive my Dad, knowing he may not have any intention to seek forgiveness from his children, or even feels like he did anything wrong. I look at him and what I see is a man that feels like he has done no wrong and is justified in the sin he committed. I don't know if that is true or not. I do not even know if I will see him in heaven when God calls me home. As a child of divorced parents, I can't help but sit here. Waiting. Waiting for something that may never come to pass. I want to forgive my Dad for walking out on our family, for telling me that he runs our relationship as a business, for using me as an asset to get back at Mom. For calling my Mom some of the most vile and degrading things a child could ever hear. For his endless rage against anyone that defies him. For giving me things, then suddenly taking them back saying "I let you have it." For the years of verbal and psychological abuse. For drinking himself into a inebriated state and praising me for a terrible SAT score, only to the next morning ground me for it. For knowing that I am a bother to him every time I try to reach out and spend time with him. For why he tells me that he wants to be more in my life, but then never once calls me to ask "How are things going?"
So much I want to forgive him for, but I can't. Because in my heart, I know he doesn't care. That he doesn't feel as though anything he did was wrong. That every choice he made was perfect in his mind, and justified in what he did. That he was right to do so, and that everyone else has wronged him. The years of him screaming profanities to everyone in the household because something wasn't working the way he wanted it to, or he wasn't getting his way in life.
The trauma that causes to a child's mind, seeing a man that he once revered as his own hero, turn into the villain in his life.
It's something I still deal with even today.
The flashbacks that happen, any time I have to face a choice in life that carries the smallest possibility of confrontation with someone.
Overwhelming anxiety over making a simple phone call.
Or the fact that I start shaking anytime someone raises their voice to me, or when I lose my temper.
It's the reason I once used the nickname Skarrd. It was who I was. I was scarred by the divorce, and abuse that I endured because I wanted to love my parents. Because I had a foolish dream that Dad would come back to my Mom, ask for the family to forgive him, and see my parents married again. It was a dark time I went through, being someone who was consumed by depression.
Dad, if you are reading this. I want to forgive you. I am willing to forgive you. But I need you to ask for it. I need you to seek me out, and confess that what you did was wrong, and that you know it in your heart that you have wronged your children, and your Lord.
- Hits: 228
- Written by: Commander Scotty
- Category: Personal
Christmas time... It's a time for families to gather around, wrap presents, have dinners, sing songs, and be joyous. Unless... you are a child of divorced, joint custody, parents. If that's the case, it means figuring out which parent you're spending Christmas day with and which is getting you after the fact. It means hearing off hand comments made by either parent about how much they hate the other, or how the other is just trying to hurt them. Parents bickering and picking fights any time they need to have some shred of a civilized conversation about where to meet to dump the kid.
Even, 20 years later... it still is a hole in my hear that will never be closed up. Its a time that I will have days of normality, just wake up, kiss my wife, clock in for work, clock out of work, eat dinner, watch a movie, and go to bed (maybe some Christmas shopping as well). But then there will be days of emotion. Waking up in tears, bouts of irrational rage, paralyzing depression, all with the same question screaming in my head: "Why?"
Why did it happen? Why couldn't they have tried to fix it? Why do I still question if I did something? Why won't my Father tell me the real reason for the divorce? Why can't I just let it go? Why do I feel like an asset and not a loved child? Why does my Father keep saying he wants to be in my life, but never does anything?
Why does it hurt so much?
Why does it still hurt?
Why should I go on living?...
Why, a question that never gets answered. It never got answered when it happened, never got answered when I became an adult, never got answered when I got married, and still has never been answered: Why?
Well, actually, that's not entirely true. One question did get answered: Why should I go on living?
Each day, when I wake up in the morning, I look over at my wife, and I'm reminded of why I should go on living. We've been married eight years now. We've been through some massive strife that would destroy most couples in a heart beat: Medical trauma. Right off the bat, before we got married, I had to help her with her health and frequent hospital visits. Visits where we would be sitting in the lobby for hours, her crying out in agonizing pain because the staff put her as low priority. Her family welcomed me in with open arms and warm love. They made me part of the family, and I don't even see them as my In-Laws but as my Mother, Father, and Brothers. They remind me of what it's like to be loved in a married family.
Being a child of a divorced family did have an effect on me. I saw this woman I would marry in her beauty and grace for who she was (and still is) and how she needed me to care for her, to love her, and hold her close to me, and that I needed that as well. I didn't go into marriage with the idea that I could just call it off at any point, simply cause I didn't like it anymore. We both discussed what marriage meant, and that marriage was permanent, that we would respect the vows that we would recite at our wedding ...Through sickness, and in health. Through richness and poverty, only until death do we part... And we made it a core of our Marriage, in addition to our faith in God the core of our marriage as well. When we fight, we make amends, pray, and ask forgiveness. We put things back together and move on with our marriage. We don't brood, and don't try to get back at each other to feel good about what we did.
I do not know if my Father will see this, or if he will even read this far.
Dad, I only exist because you and Mom chose to have me as your child. But that does not make me an asset to you, and gave you no right to use me as a tool for bargaining against Mom all those years. It's been 20 years since you walked out on us, and I still have questions. Questions I know you will not answer, or give me the response you always have "You wouldn't understand." "It's not your place to know." "You're too young to understand."
"Because I said so."
You are re-married now, but even before that, you didn't understand the pain I went through when I would see you dating, being in love one moment, and the next screaming at your interest because of some petty thing she did or questioned you about. The many times I would just start packing my stuff, prepared to load what I could into the car and move at a drop of a hat because I did not know what tomorrow was going to bring for where you would take me.
Looking back on it, I realize now you just wanted me as an asset to try and bargain your way out of child support. The many times you would tell me how I wasn't measuring up to what you wanted me to be. Rather than try and understand what I was going through and have a mature conversation with me about why you did it.
If you had just told me the real reason why, I would understand.
Because of you, I still never feel comfortable at family gatherings, even with my in-laws. Because I'm reminded of what you tore away from me, out of selfish desire to be a bachelor yet again because you were bored with family life and being tied down to the home you created.
Because you couldn't say "I'm sorry"
I vowed to my wife I would be better than you, I would say "I'm sorry" I would forgive, and ask forgiveness, I would not let anything be the reason for a divorce in our relationship. In fact, we both agreed, that divorce wouldn't even be something we'd joke about. It doesn't exist in our conversations and humor.
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