Thursday, July 12, 2012

how My Dad Made a Difference - Part Two

When I made the decision to leave my mom to live with my father,
it was the first truly difficult thing I had ever done in my life.
 
At age twelve, my rebelliousness infuriated my mother so much
that she launched off to hit me across the face.
This time though, I deflected the hit by blocking it with my arm.
She would then scream at me, how I had beaten her.
Then launch into yet one more verbal tirade
of emotional abuse around my burning in hell for 10,000 years,
and the associated guilt for having disobeyed my mother.
 
It was too much for me; the guilt trips,
the verbal & emotional abuse,
the constant controlling of everything I did.

An example of her controlling nature:
my father came to pick me up for visitation every other weekend,
and on repeated occasions, my mother would instruct me to run away.

Her directions were to make a loud and visual disruption
so that anyone nearby would think my dad was abusing me,
then they would call the police, and end any legal rights my dad had.
This I did many times until about nine years of age.
Then I would hear how she waited by the phone all night,
anxiously anticipating a call from the police,
and reveling in the emotional turmoil it would cause my father.
then how I had let her down by not running away again.

To win legal custody however,
my father had to take my mother to court.
He could have done many things
to make my mom look or sound horrible.
But he said nothing hurtful of her. EVER.
Instead, he let me talk.
So at twelve, I told a judge and room full of people
how exactly my mother had treated me.
My mom tried to protest
that I had been manipulated and coached.
(Rather ironic since she had done that very thing to me all my life.)
And when the judge pronounced, we went home. Legally.

The point of sharing this story?
My dad could have chosen any time he wanted
to belittle my mom. To denounce her.
To call her names or insult her.
But he never did.
Instead, my father spoke words of kindness to me.
He said that he had always loved my mother.
That he never truly understood her,
but had always loved her.

The message I learned was this:
to love my mother for who she was,
the good and the bad.

Isnt that what we want from other people on our lives?
To love us just for who we are -
accepting us for both the good and the bad??

To this day, I cannot recall one negative thing he ever said about her.
I may be missing something from my memory,
but the meaning is still clear...
dont speak badly of the people in your life.
Love them for who they are, and let go of the rest.
Wouldnt it be great if we had more grace like this in our lives today?!?

Do you want to win your children back?
Dont speak bad of their mother or father.
Simply love them.
Admit to your share of the problems.
Then show them what you have always wanted love to look like.

 

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