I did not stop hating all at once, unfortunately, no epiphany and instant insight!
It is so sad when I think on how his life went, how he tried to keep it together til he died from a heart attack, surely it must have been broken? his heart, I mean. And so, gradually I lost my hatred as I knew that he had only the best of intentions for me and did help me when I asked for it.
When I was 13, I recall saying to Mom, that Hell was life on Earth, as it was living with Dad. She didn't know what to make of it!
And now, it is Mom I am estranged from! The Mother who was always the understanding one, who gave to her other daughter a life changing gift that excluded me. I had such a hard time getting close to Mom when she moved nearby and now I think it was due to this long held secret, which, when finally outed accidentally by sis, ended our relationship at Mom's instigation. Whew! I got lucky, I figure, as sis is now taking care of the evil tempered woman who is my Mother.
Oy! Go figure!
They both still hate Dad and will hate him til the day they die, not realizing the importance of forgiveness. It felt so much better to be at peace with Dad and our past. When I mentioned forgiveness including Dad, sis went quiet on the phone (wanting forgiveness for self but not willing to give it to Dad?). I suppose they think I will never forgive them......but how will they know if they will not speak with me?
There are still some cranky days when I awake and feel anger and hatred toward what they did to me and their attitudes toward me but I do know better than to harbour such or to try too hard to make it all go away too quickly. It does take time and small steps,
unless you have that karmic quality that allows for quick release for these things.
Unfortunately my mind is like a steel trap, unwilling to let go..........until those neural circuits learn new paths, making learning a slow go for me! Ah dummy D
Not everyone can afford to pay for therapy, I know, but the pros have seen it all before and do know how we tick and what might work for our personality once they get to know us. If you can afford some talking sessions with a friendly listener and adviser, it may help a lot, much faster than working on one's own.
May the Blessing of understanding and forgiveness be yours, soon!
It is so true that you don't stop hating all at once. As you have done I have looked at the good things about my father.
1. i always knew he loved me; i was his favorite. even my brother says so. ha.
2. i could have been crippled if he had not taken me to other doctors instead of listening to the first one and then finding penicillin at the military doctor. It had just begun being used.
3. he alone sent me money when my dog had distemper. Of course my dog died anyway
4. he never once put down my mom after the divorce.
And when he was dying I alone had to make the decision to not extend his life which would make him a vegetable, and it was I who went down to L.A. from Northern California to get his clothing and arrange for the ashes to be sent. No one else wanted to, but my older sister would have but she had already returned to Mississippi. This is not to praise me, but show that this is how sad his life was. Even his brother who lived there wanted nothing to do with him. My sister had come to visit him in the hospital, and we had taken her there, and he was unconscious (not in coma) until I sang the song he always wanted me to sing to him when I was a child, "Mockingbird Hill," and he reached over and touched me. Then he was out of it again. I wanted to get out of there early; my sister didn't, but we left, and I wish now that I had allowed her more time.
So when thinking about your parents you have to think of the good as well.
it is hard to be estranged from one's mom. i was for a year after i told her in a calm, kind way that it made me feel guilty to sit and listen to her always putting down my sisters, brothers, in-laws, etc. She blew up; my step-dad came in the house and threw me out because she was crying, saying that i was the one putting them all down, and this after my sitting there listening for 5 minutes to her doing it. she didn't talk to me for a year; my step-dad never forgave me. it wasn't easy forgiving my mom and maybe i never have. when she died i thought, now i don't have to listen to her verbal abuse, but then my two sisters took over for her. i do my best to forgive them. so i think the op is going to continue to have a rough time of it until he can figure it all out. i am still working on it with my sisters.
therapy could help but i would recommend cognitive therapy instead of some of the others. if one has a Buddhist teacher that would be helpful too. And I would recommend a psychologist over a psychiatrist or family counselor.