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Author Topic: Resentment, hate and how to forgive  (Read 924 times)


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Resentment, hate and how to forgive
« on: March 26, 2017, 09:48:37 PM »
I love my 81 year old father.  I'm loyal and fiercely protective over him especially since my mother passed away in 2013.  I do a lot for him.  I am always the one to take him to doctor's appointments, purchase items he can't get at his local store.

I grew up with friction towards my half siblings (whom my mother took in from an orphanage upon marrying my dad, their biological mother having abandoned them) who were between 15 to 20 years old than me.  My mother was the glue of the family.  My father was never the father archetype.  I seeked paternal support but never got it.  My mother filled that role more, but also wasn't the typical mother archetype.  She was very stoic.

Six months after my mother passed away in 2013 I received a brutal, scathing character attack from one of my half-brothers. He dug very deep to tear me apart and to show what an awful person he believes I am.  He wanted to hurt me so much that even sent it to our father, to bring me down in his eyes.  My aunt who is a devout catholic was so shocked by the letter's contents that she exclaimed to my father "but he's a man of the cloth".  My half-brother is about 16 years older than me, he has his own daughter who is about ten years younger than me.

I never got on well with that half-brother, his wife or his two daughters.  My mother to whom I was very close would also challenge him at times.  They were very religious, something like born again Christians.  I was particularly not happy when my parents payed for my half-brother's daughter's accommodation at university.  I think the reason was because my parents never encourage their own children to go to university, citing financial reasons and I couldn't fathom how they could then support somebody else's.

I cannot believe that it is now over three years later since that letter was sent and drama ensued.  I saw my half brother last year for the first time and briefly while my dad was in hospital.  But I cannot stand him or his wife.  I am civil in their presence.  I still can't believe inside how awful he was.  And how he suffered no consequence. 
My twin brother did a bit to defend me and my father tried.  But I don't feel it was enough. 

Today my half brother, his wife, his two daughters and their boyfriend descended on our father's house.  I had intended to visit my dad.  I walked to my dad's house having thought they'd have left by the time I got there, but as I walked passed the house I saw they were still there all outside, but I just kept walking and when my dad shouted out I just said I'm going to visit my cousin and kept walking. I felt so emotional and tears rolled down my face.

I don't know why this all effects me so many years later.  I thought I had forgiven them (my half-brother and his family) but perhaps I haven't.  I'm so angry that I've allowed them to upset me all these years and cause this emotional pain.  I'm angry at myself that this still hurts me and that I've allowed them to crush me.  And I'm angry at my dad for not having done more.  The only thing my dad does is give money.  That is all he knows how to do.

I think the letter obviously did show some bad parts of me that are true and perhaps it's horrible realising that I do have mean parts.  I also know that everyone does.  I think I just can't believe to what lengths someone would go to to try hurt another person, to go to such lengths so deliberately with such intent whether the contents are true or not.

Being alone and single (of which my brother pointed out in his letter, look at all the boyfriends you've had ... when they get to know the real you they leave you) I feel so alone and so unsupported.  And I have to stand there an see him, his wife and his two children.  While I stand alone.  I think that's what is so hard for me.

Tony Crisp

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Re: Resentment, hate and how to forgive
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2017, 11:47:21 AM »
Miephenk – Some years ago, I had an experience that let me see – not thought – that everything has an equal opposite in our universe. This was a huge shock to me. The shock was that no idea, feeling or fear was in itself true, because the opposite was also true.

The awful thing for me was that I was in my second marriage, and felt love and commitment were very important, as of course they are. But what I saw as certainly as I knew myself, was that we live in a dual world, so everything opposite is also true. It was true that I was committed to my wife – it was also true that commitment was of no consequence. Everything matters – Nothing matters – Duality.

Anything said to you by your brother in law, from this point of view makes it seem like nonsense – as of course it is seen from any point of view. Especially as it was said by a Christian. See http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/martial-art-of-the-mind/



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Re: Resentment, hate and how to forgive
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2017, 10:07:51 PM »

I grew up in a family where humiliation by my parents and a male sibling, in particular, was frequent.  I was expected to tolerate it.  There were times I spoke up for myself and was laughed at or dismissed for being "too sensitive" or that there was something wrong with me.  So your situation feels familiar to me.

In my 20's I met a woman my age who had disowned her family.  I thought she was very brave.

It is  sad that your half - brother needs to put you down (and probably other people) in order to feel good about himself.  I can understand you not feeling supported.

The best advice I have for you is "do not throw your pearls before swine."  It is a practical approach to only visit your father when your half - brother and his family are not present.  You should feel proud of yourself for walking away.  You are learning what you will not tolerate and who you will not tolerate.  You should be proud for having nothing to do with them.

No one parent or family gives us everything we need....otherwise we would never grow or leave home.  At some point, you may stop looking for what you need and want from people that have treated you badly.  At some point you may realize that only your own approval, support and love are really necessary.  You would prefer to have it from others, of course, and yet you will not die without it.  I no longer choose to give up my Self in order to have it from anyone else.  Especially with unhealthy people, there can be a steep price to pay.

And yes, what Tony said is true.  There are or will be consequences to your half brother for his behavior, although you and/or others may not see that. I would not concern yourself with that.

You might find some of these helpful:

Toxic Parents by Susan Forward ( this is not necessarily just about parents but all toxic people).
Healing the Shame that Binds You by John Bradshaw
Books by Albert Ellis
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Book and Workbook by Marsha Linehan

DBT in particular was wonderful.  There are classes to cover the material all over the US.

You can learn to use the power of your mind to heal your feelings and rise above others behavior.




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Re: Resentment, hate and how to forgive
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2017, 06:42:53 PM »
Thank you Chris, for taking the time to respond to my post.


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Re: Resentment, hate and how to forgive
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2017, 08:03:50 PM »
Thanks for the resources Chris.  I'll check them out - I'm all the way over in South Africa  :)
May I ask if you still have contact with your brother?