Somehow over the last 24 hours it has just clicked in me: I understand how to forgive.
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve stopped feeling bitter about my childhood, and I’ve traced it back to the night I realised that my father most likely also had bpd. For the first time, I was able to imagine how it must have felt for him to come home and find his family gone. I understood things from his perspective, and I cried. And I know I have forgiven him.
I’ve considered contacting him to let him know this, but I’m still scared of him. And I’m worried that maybe he’s moved on and it would just stir up more pain for him. So for the moment, I will let sleeping dogs lie. But I hope he’s out there, working on his stuff too.
So, the key to forgiving is empathy. I’m sure you can read this in a million other places, and I probably have. But it was still necessary for me to come to this realisation by myself. Apparently there is a Chinese proverb which says;
Tell me, I’ll forget
Show me, I’ll remember
Involve me, I’ll understand.
I’ve been working on applying this new understanding to the other him.
And I think it’s working.
I understand why he did what he did. In all honesty, the way things were, I could have ended up dead. And he may have also feared for his life too. I was scary. Just like my father. I’ve been told this twice now; by my mother, and by another close friend, a big guy, over a foot taller than me. And he was scared of me.
It would have been hard to love me the way things were. He told me if he stayed he would end up hating me. He was scared to come home, because he never knew who he was coming home to. Dealing with me was beyond his capabilities, and it was taking a toll on both of us.
My only regret that remains is that he left just as I felt I’d begun to make progress. But there would have been a good chance that progress would have stalled had he stayed. At any rate, I know I wouldn’t have made such rapid progress with him here.
I think I forgive him.
I only hope he is working on his stuff too. I can’t make him, it has to be something he realises he needs by himself. He doesn’t live on my farm.