After pounding on the door for a minute I heard her coming, with the dog frantically yapping at her heels. She fumbled with the lock for another minute before my father found his way to the door and between the two of them they finally got the door unlocked. Not having seen them for many months I was struck by how old and frail they looked. A look of recognition came to my father’s face right away when he saw me. My mother looked at me and smiled with inquisitive eyes so I wasn’t sure if she knew who I was. It had been many months since I had visited. For days they kept coming to mind so I figured it was the Lord telling me I should once again put all my dread aside and go see them. Each time I figure it may be the last. And I am not sure how I feel about that. Relieved? Confused? Nothing?
Being a victim of childhood incest by my father, and because of my silence in being a victim, he molested my little girl as well, I had detached from him and forgiven him long ago. The results of the confrontation and exposure of the secret assured me it would not happen again. However, I feel no ties to him today; Only a distant memory of a little girl who idolized her daddy. He has never asked for forgiveness or even admitted to blowing my life to pieces, twice, all those years ago. If you have read my testimony you know the story. (See post, “The Day My Life Changed Forever”.)
My mother, after her initial shock when I finally revealed the family “secret”, chose to support my father all the years after it was all out in the open. She did not support me and never really said she was sorry for not protecting me or my daughter. She, instead, pretty much went into denial and slowly let go of me as her child. She was not invited to family gatherings with her grand children and then great grandchildren because she refused to come without my father. She began to forget my birthdays and forgot my children’s names. She talked to my sister daily and clearly favored her. She bought my sister and her family Christmas presents but told us when we would take them presents that they were not doing presents that year; year after year.
Now, they are very old and because of their loveless lives, are living out the fruit of their choices. Mom now has dementia. So, when she saw me she knew I was someone she used to know but she had to ask my father who I was after talking to me for 30 minutes. The sad part to me is that it is easier for me to talk to her now, even though she repeats herself over and over and is not sure who I am, than when she was somewhat normal in the past. She used to be so vengeful and full of gossip and negativity and very self absorbed. She would never ask me how I was or even what I did. She always thought I looked fat, which seriously affected my self esteem for years. I used to go see her, hoping that I would find a Mom who really cared about me finally, but always left feeling empty and lonely…until God filled that place in me and showed me how to let her go to be who she is and not expect anything more.
But now as I “visited” she asked me every other sentence what I was doing now and seemed interested in me. Then a few moments later would ask the same thing again. Inside I knew it was because she didn’t know me. But for a moment I allowed myself to pretend she really cared and that she recognized me as her baby girl, her first born. She has a frailty now I have never seen in her. She is at the end of her days and I feel nothing but sadness for her and, truthfully, me and what we both have missed in life because of her choices, fears and insecurities. Long ago Jesus had me write a letter to her that I never sent. It was releasing her to be who she is and to not have to be the Mom I knew she would never be. I would love her by loving Him with all my heart. I have been asked by many how I honor my parents as the Lord tells us to do in the scriptures. I believe that honoring parents, who refuse to be honored, is all about honoring the Lord and loving Him with all our hearts and souls. He promises to be a father and mother to the abandoned. Even in my healing I find myself sometimes still grieving the loss of parents I always longed for but never had. I bring hope to those of you who find yourself at this place. I have begun a whole new generation with my kids and grandkids of breaking generational patterns and finding wholeness in our Lord. When my parents finally pass on my only prayer at this stage is that they will somehow find Jesus before they go and experience for the first time the freedom that He was always offering them from their pain. But as for me, I am His precious daughter and He continues to fill my every need with Himself which is more than enough.
My book, “Climbing Out of the Box” from religion to relationship… will be out in the coming months. The whole story is told of how I came out of both sexual abuse and spiritual abuse to where I am today.