A Time For Healing


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I wish to share a few thoughts with those who are now, or have in the past, been in the same situation in which I now find myself, in the hopes that something in this may prove helpful to others..

With the recent passing away of my father, I am once again haunted by old ghosts. However, as I am a minister now, I can no longer run from them. I am compelled to deal with them. A little background seems to be in order.

I am a veteran of a chronic, dysfunctional family background, and of hard feelings that have gone on within my family for many years. I have been severely scarred emotionally by certain family members who have issues, real and imagined, that they impose on others (within the family), and because of their dysfunctional behavior, it impacts those of us who are trying to live the life we want, a life unfettered by this dysfunctionality.

I promised myself a long time ago, that I was not going to sit still and let others continue to destroy my self-esteem. After many incidences in which I was summarily blamed for things I didn't do, have any control over, or in some cases, never even happened, I decided it was in my best interest, for my mental, emotional and physical well-being to remove myself from their influence. I moved far away and became estranged from the rest of my family for several decades, which in turn took that powerless feeling away. After a failed marriage, many failed relationships and numerous mis-adventures, I finally got my gray matter arranged correctly and began "packing the gear". I went back to school, worked hard and have became a respected contributor to my community.

Now for the present. When I was notifed of my fathers passing, I had to communicate with my siblings, some who obviously still have personal issues with me, as well as my other brothers and sisters. There appears to be hard feelings all the way around. Not only have things not changed, they appear to have gotten worse.

It saddens me greatly. This should be a time for healing. A time for all of us to come together. It should be a time for mending fences. We should be able to put aside our differences long enough to at least pay our respects to our father. I feel, as a minister and family member, that my duty should be to go to them and attempt to bring the family together. But I feel woefully inadequate to the task-at-hand. My previous attempts over the years were disasterous, to put it mildly. I feel like if I showed up for the funeral, it would simply be pouring gasoline on a fire.

I find myself once again feeling like the little boy I was...when anything I did was wrong, and would result in immedeate physical punishment for no other offense but that of being born..............Hence my dilema.

The only words of wisdom I can come up with at this time is in Luke 17, verses 3 and 4:

"Take heed to yourselves. If thy brother trespass againt thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him."

"And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying I repent; thou shalt forgive him."

I have forgiven everyone for everything they have done to me, and I have repented of anything I might have done to anyone. I have attempted to communicate this on several occaisions over the years. But unfortunatly, it is a 2-way street. All parties have to be willing to do this, and it appears this may never happen.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, all I can say is to look into your heart, as deep as it takes, and find a spot of forgiveness and understanding there. Work on it. You only have one family, and you are your brothers keeper (sisters, too...).

"Judge not, that ye be not judged"

"For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged, and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measure to you again." Matthew 7, verses 1 and 2, from the Sermon On The Mount.

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Guest Pastor Brian
I feel like if I showed up for the funeral, it would simply be pouring gasoline on a fire.

You should go. He's your father and you have every right to go and pay your respects. Don't let anyone tell you any different.

I feel, as a minister and family member, that my duty should be to go to them and attempt to bring the family together.

Negative. In fact, I wouldn't even bring up the minster thing.

But I feel woefully inadequate to the task-at-hand

..and thats one good reason why..

My previous attempts over the years were disasterous, to put it mildly.

..and theres another good reason.

Just go, be confident, family is always, well, family...

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I wish to share a few thoughts with those who are now, or have in the past, been in the same situation in which I now find myself, in the hopes that something in this may prove helpful to others..

With the recent passing away of my father, I am once again haunted by old ghosts. However, as I am a minister now, I can no longer run from them. I am compelled to deal with them. A little background seems to be in order.

I am a veteran of a chronic, dysfunctional family background, and of hard feelings that have gone on within my family for many years. I have been severely scarred emotionally by certain family members who have issues, real and imagined, that they impose on others (within the family), and because of their dysfunctional behavior, it impacts those of us who are trying to live the life we want, a life unfettered by this dysfunctionality.

I promised myself a long time ago, that I was not going to sit still and let others continue to destroy my self-esteem. After many incidences in which I was summarily blamed for things I didn't do, have any control over, or in some cases, never even happened, I decided it was in my best interest, for my mental, emotional and physical well-being to remove myself from their influence. I moved far away and became estranged from the rest of my family for several decades, which in turn took that powerless feeling away. After a failed marriage, many failed relationships and numerous mis-adventures, I finally got my gray matter arranged correctly and began "packing the gear". I went back to school, worked hard and have became a respected contributor to my community.

Now for the present. When I was notifed of my fathers passing, I had to communicate with my siblings, some who obviously still have personal issues with me, as well as my other brothers and sisters. There appears to be hard feelings all the way around. Not only have things not changed, they appear to have gotten worse.

It saddens me greatly. This should be a time for healing. A time for all of us to come together. It should be a time for mending fences. We should be able to put aside our differences long enough to at least pay our respects to our father. I feel, as a minister and family member, that my duty should be to go to them and attempt to bring the family together. But I feel woefully inadequate to the task-at-hand. My previous attempts over the years were disasterous, to put it mildly. I feel like if I showed up for the funeral, it would simply be pouring gasoline on a fire.

I find myself once again feeling like the little boy I was...when anything I did was wrong, and would result in immedeate physical punishment for no other offense but that of being born..............Hence my dilema.

The only words of wisdom I can come up with at this time is in Luke 17, verses 3 and 4:

"Take heed to yourselves. If thy brother trespass againt thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him."

"And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying I repent; thou shalt forgive him."

I have forgiven everyone for everything they have done to me, and I have repented of anything I might have done to anyone. I have attempted to communicate this on several occaisions over the years. But unfortunatly, it is a 2-way street. All parties have to be willing to do this, and it appears this may never happen.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, all I can say is to look into your heart, as deep as it takes, and find a spot of forgiveness and understanding there. Work on it. You only have one family, and you are your brothers keeper (sisters, too...).

"Judge not, that ye be not judged"

"For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged, and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measure to you again." Matthew 7, verses 1 and 2, from the Sermon On The Mount.

I am a believer in God but not the bible so I won't be giving you verses to read

I will give you the view of a person who also lived the wars of childhood abuse.

You do not come into this world with the freedom to choose into which family you land, your DNA does make you in part who you are as it does set your mental capacity, your height, eye color and if you will loose your hair among other things, your childhood sets how you react to things, how you interact with others and much more. As adults we can throw off the learned behavior as you have done and set off to be different people than how we were raised and we can move far away and cut the bonds that tied us to a past that was unhealthy for us so we can live happily and in peace.

Many times we might be tempted to save others still in the middle of the war we left behind, but only they can choose to leave or to change.

When family is a good thing it is a really good thing, a healthy wonderful comfortable place to grow from where roots can be deep and strong but sometimes that is not the family we are born to so we drift until we find our own place to be planted and we set roots, start our own family and begin from there with our chosen town, friends and loved ones to build that strong safe healthy place. What most don't get is that it is okay to let go of the bad past, including the people who made it so or continue to condone the wrong doings of the past.

I grew up in abuse, but my children didn't and my grandchildren are not and we are a family without the ones who were not worthy of being in our family being invited in, they gave up rights to all of us with the choices they made, we don't miss them.

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I am sorry to hear of the passing of your father and of the conflicts within your family Nature Boy :(

Pastor Brian has given good advice when he said "He's your father and you have every right to go and pay your respects." and when he said "Just go, be confident, family is always, well, family..."

Sometimes, I think, life only presents with choices between a rock and a very hard place. If you go family may use it as an opportunity to attack you, and that would their wrong not yours. If you do not go they will almost certainly attack you for that, which, I guess, would be both their wrong and, albeit arguably, yours.

T'is an unhappy situation for sure but I wish upon you all the strength you may need to do the right thing.

All the best with this one Nature Boy. I think I can safely say that I speak for all of us when I say you have 'family' here and we will be behind you all the way.

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I agree with what others have said.

I know that it will be a challenge

for you to deal with others who may

use this time to confront you. :unsure:

I want to offer my condolences

during your time of grief.

The passing of your Father can leave

you feeling vulnerable and unprepared.

Your world has changed and it will never

be the same. So, in many ways, you are

looking at the world as though you are

looking through the eyes of child :inno:

And healing your spirit is a life long process of nurturing the seeds of love and courage resting in your heart.
by Gale Massey, M.S. Edited by chi
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Natureboy,

If you get the oppertunity to go, you should. Not for anyone else, but for yourself. Don't let anyone tell you how to live your life. It is yours to live. I have spent my entire life having to deal with others telling my children they would not come to see them because of me. This is their choice. You do what is right for you.

And as others have said, I am here for you if you need me. And I will be sending you strength.

Bright blessings,

ShadowDancer

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My farther also recently passed and I understand your situation as I too had a difficult upbringing. I feel, with the limited knowledge I have of your total situation, that you should go. Do not let the feeling of others make this decission for you. Do what YOU want for yourself. Rev. Stan (The stickman)

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I see it a bit differently than most, although I think Crzyme has said it very well. To be honest, I was faced with virtually the identical situation about 2 years ago. My father passed and my family fits the dysfunction description perfectly.

I have trouble with the word "should." I find it amazing how often that word, and a few others like can't and have to, define our choices regardless of whether it is healthy for us or not.

I choose not to go to my father’s funeral. My grieving process was/is personal. My presence there would have poured fuel on the fire as you suggested yours would and I choose NOT to perpetuate pain, theirs or mine.

There is not a whole lot I can do to change the situation, and believe me; I spent most of my youth and much of my young adult life trying. For their own reasons my family “chooses” to stay in the dysfunction and I don’t. I also don’t want that same pain and poison to touch my children either so I don’t take them around the family of my youth anymore either.

My father knows my feelings, good and bad, without having to attend a rather hypocritical funeral. (Hold your own personal one if you truly desire a memorial. NO ONE says there can only be one.) If a situation is unhealthy for you and or your family, there really is no reason to stay in it except that dreaded word “should.”

I have no regrets that I am not in touch with my family or that my kids don’t have relationships with their aunts and uncles because they are mean spirited people. We have a warm caring extended family here that would walk on broken glass or give up a kidney faster than any blood relative I have would, so we are just fine… In fact we are better than fine because we have broken that cycle of dysfunction.

So my advice is for you to do what is right for you and your family, not what others tell you that you “should” do.

Edited by Sky
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I see it a bit differently than most, although I think Crzyme has said it very well. To be honest, I was faced with virtually the identical situation about 2 years ago. My father passed and my family fits the dysfunction description perfectly.

I have trouble with the word "should." I find it amazing how often that word, and a few others like can't and have to, define our choices regardless of whether it is healthy for us or not.

I choose not to go to my father’s funeral. My grieving process was/is personal. My presence there would have poured fuel on the fire as you suggested yours would and I choose NOT to perpetuate pain, theirs or mine.

There is not a whole lot I can do to change the situation, and believe me; I spent most of my youth and much of my young adult life trying. For their own reasons my family “chooses” to stay in the dysfunction and I don’t. I also don’t want that same pain and poison to touch my children either so I don’t take them around the family of my youth anymore either.

My father knows my feelings, good and bad, without having to attend a rather hypocritical funeral. (Hold your own personal one if you truly desire a memorial. NO ONE says there can only be one.) If a situation is unhealthy for you and or your family, there really is no reason to stay in it except that dreaded word “should.”

I have no regrets that I am not in touch with my family or that my kids don’t have relationships with their aunts and uncles because they are mean spirited people. We have a warm caring extended family here that would walk on broken glass or give up a kidney faster than any blood relative I have would, so we are just fine… In fact we are better than fine because we have broken that cycle of dysfunction.

So my advice is for you to do what is right for you and your family, not what others tell you that you “should” do.

I once had a wise person tell me "Don't should on yourself or others" and I still love that saying.

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Let them know it is their own personal fight within themselves. It is no longer a part of you and you choose not to join in.

It did work well for me. I went as far to say that I choose not to step into their battle field.

Things are now a bit better, I am happier with the newly forming relationship. Time will tell.

Just a suggestion.

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