My mom and I had tried for so long to have a good relationship. We had gone through so much and so many times when I would just say I'm done and would not talk to her for a long time. Eventually I would say ‘ugh, I should try’ and I would always end up more hurt in the end. I dont care how old you are you always want your parents love, acceptance, and family.
My dad died in 1998, and I don't have brothers or sisters. It was just me and her. She had a heart attack, and her heart stopped; they brought her back. She went into a rehab place. I didn't know any of this at the time. We were trying to reconcile our differences, I thought maybe this is our second chance and that’s why she didn't die. I would take the kids over to see her, I would bring her food, feed her dogs -doing a lot of stuff for her. She ended up back at the hospital and they wouldn’t let her go home unless someone was at the house. She would tell me I wish you could move in. I have a family, my kids, my job, my pets, and there was no way I could. I have an older son and I thought maybe he would want to.
I had just moved back to the Bay Area. It had been probably a few months already. I have a couple of cousins, technically my nephews. The older one that I grew up with, he's always been kind of a troublemaker of the two - really combative and argumentative with his parents. He’d been struggling with a lot of issues through high school and into adulthood. A lot of drug use, off and on, which really strained his relationship with his mom and dad. It got worse, I think, after his dad died in 1995.
I didn't meet my dad until was like four years old because he was in the service. When he came back, I was living in Philadelphia with my mom. After they got married, he had to go into the service and was in China and all over the world. When he came back, after all the years he served, there was my mom and me. I was there and he hated me. I was in his way; he wanted to be alone with his new wife. From that moment on, for all my childhood and my preteens, he always had an excuse to beat me.
I went to visit a lady a long time ago when I was just beginning to study my doctorate topics. I was a nervous wreck because I knew I was interviewing a lady who had been molested when she was young. I was a novice at that time and a nervous wreck and so was she. In terms of the topic of forgiveness and what good it will do or what a harm it will do, at the same time is like a two-edged sword.
I know better that this is not for me to forgive. One thing I had to forgive was myself - even though I wasn’t the reason I was assaulted, even though it was not me, I had all these guilty feelings inside myself. All these years beating myself up. I had to learn how to forgive myself to be able to learn how to forgive others. A lot of people don’t see that as a key factor. My biggest issue on trying to kill myself was because I hated myself. I had so many underlying issues I was going through. I had to come to a point where to even ask for forgiveness, I had to ask forgiveness of myself.