Forgiveness is Freedom

Yesterday I worked at my nieces kennel. They booked me three dogs to groom and one of those was a nice, yet typically freaky, German Shepherd. And one was a disaster Poodle. Matted from one end to the other, almost solid strips. Her name was Missy and she was very good. Sometimes they're not and you have to "wrestle" with them to get them shaved and bathed etc. She wasn't sitting perfectly but she wasn't naughty either. I am pretty sure it felt good to her to have that mess off of her body. No muzzle for nails either, which was promising. The third little guy named Sam, was really cute and very good. He was a 7f all, groomed on a regular basis. So, other than my helping out one other groomer with one of her dogs, I managed to get my own Honey in the tub and trim her nails and still got done by 1pm. Good day, I sort of wished I could have done more because I could use the extra cash and I felt pretty good considering the beating I got all week at work. But I had to sort of try to finish by 1 and get home.

I had a date – kinda. See, my mothers husband invited me to go to the Galleria Mall in Buffalo and have lunch at either the Cheesecake Factory or Bravia, an Italian place across the hall. He does this once in a while lately. Calls me up and asks to take me to different places.

He and my mother have been seperated for years now but will not divorce each other. I do not refer to him as my "Stepfather" because he was never a "father" to me or a couple of my sisters way back when. This is going back to the 70's when I was a teen in High School, my two younger sisters & I lived with our mother. She started dating him and it was "let the drinking begin". Two older sisters booked out of the house ASAP and us three younger ones were left behind to learn how to survive both an alcoholic mother and her alcoholic boyfriend. It was a mess for many years. He never liked us and made it very clear. He was the reason I tried to leave at 16, which I actually did. I got an apartment with another girl and I went to school days and worked nights/weekends. I tried really hard to make it, but one simple, innocent decision turned my life around. I went to Planned Parenthood for birthcontrol. They offered me this "New and Improved" IUD called the "Dalkon Shield" perfectly safe and effective they said. A week later I was in the Emergency Room at the hospital with Pelvic Inflamatory Disease. So severe the Doctor told us that I may not survive the infection. My Bio dad was there by my side and crying. No one else was.

That was it. I was back at the place I tried so hard to escape from. He allowed me back because of my mother. So my Jr. year of HS I was tutored every class at home. Once that year had ended I was well enough to be up and around again. I looked for another job and was anxious for my Senior Year. One month before school started he came to me and told me to be out of the house before my mom got home from work. His idea was to have my dad take me in and that backfired, my dad at that time wouldn't. So there I was. On the streets and all alone. My two younger sisters, I worried about them so much but I was totally helpless and by that time rebelous with an attitude. It turned out that I flew to Seattle to live with my older sister. Her husband – an alcoholic. Go figure. Let's just say I stayed there for 9 months, never got back into school or made any friends and found my way back to Rochester. I was miserable emotionally and still suffered with chronic pain.

This man was never a Father to me. But many years have passed now. He & my mom seperated years ago and both have stopped drinking. He had a bad heartattack and with that came enlightenment. Slowly over the past couple of years he has tried to reconnect. Made many efforts in fact. One time he actually told me "you really weren't a bad kid". So, little by little I have dropped the anger and in some ways started to feel sorry for him. Why? Because I can't imagine carrying that burden of KNOWING that you hurt someone so badly, sent them into the wolfs den to survive and now realize what you've done. And frankly I've grown. I stopped carrying all of that mess around with me. Life is too short and I have so moved on.

Soooooo, I accepted his offer to go for a nice meal. Buffalo is about an hours drive from Rochester. I've never been crazy about Buffalo and certainly driving an hour to go to a Mall is not something that I get excited about, but I will let him try to make amends. We enjoyed a nice meal and conversation. Our young server was adorable and a major sports/football hobbyist, so he and she chatted and it was fun to watch. The drive back was enjoyable and relaxing. All in all it was a nice ending to a hard week. He has grown and is trying to "fix" or make things better, so I let him in my life again.

Forgiveness is freedom.

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4 Responses to Forgiveness is Freedom

  1. Kzinti says:

    Forgiveness my be freedom, but it is one of the hardest things to give in some cases. I see families torn apart because of a drunk driving death. Then you see the Mother or Father stand up in court and say their peace. They forgive the person. It's very difficult to watch. An infinite degree harder to get up there and say those words. And yet, the fundamental teachings of the Bible say that you should not harbor ill will, that forgiveness should be freely given. If only more people would look within themselves and see that the hurt, the dark emotions they harbor are actually hurting them more than the original act.
    I like this thought. A lot. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I've seen my one older and youngest sisters spend most of their adult lives hating our mother. Both have scary health conditions, one heart and one multiples but the most severe being Asthma and now total and complete Alopeshia (sp?). My gut tells me that their anger has festered these conditions. Our mom is different now. Just turned 80 and has been sober for at least 20 years. When we were very little children she was a great mom with plenty of love to give. She has us 5 girls and in the summers babysat for 5 more kids. That's 10 kids running around her house. She loved it.
    I understand completely what you mean about drunk driving deaths….lost a cousin at the age of 18, a cousin at the age of 16, a brother inlaw at 30 who left my two beautiful neices at 5 & 6 years old and my sister a widow. I lived with an alcoholic for 15 years, took me a few years of therapy to fix myself.
    It can and does tear people apart, no question. Neither myself or my sisters are alcoholics, we just married them. I have yet to forgive all of the wrongs my ex did to me, probably never will. Don't get me wrong I can be a hardass in that department. But when it comes to my mother….well she is my mother. And to he that was married to her, well, he won't divorce her so that she can have his Health Benenfits and he gives her money every month so that she can meet her bills and get her meds. Now that they are both clean and sober and much older it's easier for me to forgive.
    How long do I want to carry that burden of anger? Forgiveness is freedom to move forward, make changes, be a good person, give to others wholly. Raise more children that think they "can" intstead of being "children of alcoholics". See my earlier post about my mom's 80th Birthday. That's my family. Not a single drunk in the bunch!

  3. I've just now read this, Jacquie, so apologies for a late comment!It is freeing to share stories such as these, and with that freedom brings strength, clarity, and peace of mind.

  4. Wow, thank you so much for such a beautiful comment my friend. You see, I do think we have many parallels you and I. A few 20 something years age difference but similar experiences. I understand you, you me.
    I have always called him my mothers husband. Truthful. We believe in Karma but have to remember that we are not the judges of it. It may not come in the ways we wish, but it does come. Second circle is a chance to change.
    My health, that issue is long past. Thanks to Planned Parenthood and the makers of the Dalkon Sheild I was sterilized. No babies for me. Once I finally had my hysterectomy in '87 that ended all of those problems once and for all. At least the physical ones.
    I'm good. Life goes on and you just keep going. Use the past as a guide to the future.

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