Sunday, April 21, 2013

Day 18: For Me, It's Either Forgive Or Forget

I was up this morning around 8:30 after collapsing in to bed last night around 9 PM after my EXTREMELY long day out with my kids.  I accompanied the 6th grade and Jr. High band to Pittsburgh State University for a music festival in which all of the students performed solos, ensembles, and band performances.  We had to leave at 6 AM and it was go, go, go until 4 PM when we loaded the buses to head back home.  I have to say, I had so much fun.  It was a great opportunity to step out of my teacher role and in to the role of a parent spending time with her kids and their friends.  I laughed.  I teared up.  I clapped.  And I watched as my kids ran around on the grass playing football, climbing trees, and just have a good time.  I don't get to do that near as often as I'd like.

Today, my blog topic is a tough one... a deep one... and I almost considered skipping it and finding something else to discuss - maybe a minute by minute replay of my day yesterday.  But, I managed to break down my day in a paragraph - so I figure I'm going to move forward with the intended topic.

What has been the most difficult thing you've had to forgive?

What an extremely tough question to answer.  In all honesty, I'm a person that doesn't really hold grudges.  There have been many times in my life where I've been hurt or mistreated or double crossed, and I've eventually just moved on and forgotten about it.  The people that I consider to be harmful to my being are let go and I find comfort in those that mean a lot to me.

I have to say the most hard forms of forgiveness comes from those that I love the most.  You can't just move on and leave stuff behind when you see them often.  You are constantly reminded of the hurt or betrayal each time you look at them... and to overcome that kind of forgiveness is an extremely hard feat.. but not impossible.

When I really sit and think about it, I have to say that the most difficult thing I've had to forgive is hearing my own son tell me how much he hates me and how he wants nothing more than to be taken out of my home and to find some other family to live with.

Hurt with a side of ouch with a side of knife to the heart.

It was back when we were dealing with Butter at his worst.  At the time, I didn't know it really wasn't his fault to say those things... I just knew that my son enjoyed hurting me and wanted nothing more than for me to feel pain.

I was justifying my behavior as for his own good:  Don't do your chores, lose a privilege.  Misbehave in school, grounded.  Deliberately destroy property, loss of property.  And on and on... until eventually, my son had no belongings in his room except for his bed and his clothes.  And he spent a lot of time in his room because I sent him there after he would verbally attack myself or one of his siblings or Hubby.  Trying to sit down and talk to him was like sitting down on a bed of needles.  I knew that no matter how soft and caring I tried to sound, he would bite back venomously calling me nasty names and attacking my parenting skills.

I would cry for hours when he would get so mad that he would run out of the house, and I had to call a police officer to come and calm the situation down just to get him to come back in the house without fear of him hurting one of us or destroying the house in the process.

Throughout the two years of severe hardships Butter went through, there are more times I felt pain and hurt than I care to admit.  Forgetting all of those horrible memories is hard.  Probably impossible.  They will always linger in my mind... but he is my son.  I made a promise to him through the pain and the agony and even the breaking point where I had to admit defeat and have him placed in a hospital to seek more professional help:  I will always love him and stand by him and find a way to make him feel better.

And that's what I did.  I never gave up hope that something would work and he would be restored to the caring, loving, sweet boy he once was.  If my pain was the price to pay - I'd pay it a thousand times over.

The hospital and after care was the answer to all of my prayers.  Even though there are still a few rocky spells here and there, I got the help I also needed in order to forgive and forget the things he says to me and know that it's not really him at the control panel.  He has a disorder, and has overcome the most harshest of obstacles to battle that disorder and bring himself full circle.  He no longer needs medication, and has learned coping mechanisms to deal with his anger and impulses.

So, the hardest thing I've had to forgive is my own son tearing me down piece by piece... but at the end of the day, it wasn't his fault and I know that.  I am his mother and I love him dearly.  I will always stand by him and help any way I can.  I know that there are going to be times where he loses control and spouts off nasty stuff at me, but I've learned my own coping mechanisms.  I have never and will never hold a grudge for the tough times.  I've learned from them, and so has he.

One day, I know that he and I will both look back at those rough times and he will understand how hard it was for both of us - and the reasons I did what I did.

But, just like all of the bad times I've endured in my life - those times made me a better person, a better mother.  I could have given up.  I could have just thrown my hands up in the air and said to heck with him.  I could have just let him continue destroying our house, his relationships, and everything around him.  But I didn't.  I knew it wasn't my son really doing those things, I knew that something was going on under the surface... something making those things happen.  And I'm so glad I continued to push until I found out.

And now, we both can move on as mother and son and learn from our pasts in order to brighten our future.  Forgiveness is a tool provided to make us stronger.  Dwelling on sadness or frustration only eats away at you until there's nothing left.  It all has to be let go... in order to make room for the good and love and happiness that is all around.



  1. This had to be hard to write. You're such a strong person. Your strength is that you got the help when you did -- no looking back!

    1. Thanks, Cathy. I know my strength comes from the battles I've fought. I know that Butter's strength comes from the battles he's fought. We have both come out the other side stronger, better. We never gave up, and that's the important part. :)


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