My Dad is a hard topic for me. He moved to the small town I live in this year. I’ve had more contact with him this year than I have in seven years at least. It’s caused me to have to deal with a lot of issues. I’ve had to look at what it means to forgive but also keep him at arms length… wondering the whole time if I was doing the right thing.
It’s been hard to know how to deal with someone who is clearly not mentally well. How do you forgive someone when they are clearly not the same person that hurt you? I pray a lot for help. How do you know what was intentional? You don’t. How do you care for them? I don’t know. That’s the truth. This is one of those times in life when there is no simple answer.
Dad has a hard time communicating. The one thing that he keeps telling me is “I love you, anyway”. Even when I don’t visit as often as he would like. When I don’t meet his expectations. When I feel like I’ve failed. It’s hard for me to feel like he loves me. Dad didn’t tell me he loved me until Mom told him by not telling me he would mess me up. I was eleven.
He told me “You know I love you right?”
“Yeah Dad I know.”
But I was never really sure. Not when I was young, he didn’t behavior in a way that made me think he loved me. I wasn’t able to see that he was trying, doing the best that he could. At times I think that he could have done better but he couldn’t understand how his actions affected me. I don’t honestly think that he understands the long term affects of any of the actions that he’s taken.
It’s hard to explain what my Dad is like…He’s just so different. His actions often lack any logic that I can follow.
There were many times that I have to thank those around me for taking care of me. For teaching me things that he should have taught me that he didn’t have the words for or didn’t know himself. I can say looking back that God watched over me and kept me safe. I would like to think that I’m more empathic for what I’ve been through. I can honestly say that sometimes being normal still eludes me. That is both a blessing and a curse.
I try to remain grateful for how peaceful my home life is these days. At least it truly is a place where I can be myself. Sorry to my family that I live with, I know that I’ve been a lot more on edge these days.
Sorry for the silence online it’s just that most of what I’ve been writing about these days is just between me and God. For all those like me who have to live with mental illness and the lack of knowing what to do about it. I don’t have any advice expect to lean into and on God. If only to keep yourself somewhat sane.
God has lifted me out of the worst parts of my life in the past. He will do so again in His timing and in His own way. Until then I will keep holding on to my Heavenly Father, His son who died for me Jesus Christ, and The Holy Spirit that is my strength in all storms.
Autumn, stay encouraged. Thanks for sharing your heart.
Thank you for sharing. You are not alone. I’ll be praying for you. You’re right, somethings are between you and God. Those who are close to you in the body of Christ are there to encourage you and pray. 🙂