It’s so unfair what they have done to me especially my Father …

Dear Gillian,

I am 40 years old and when I was a child my mother left and my father took me to live with him and my new step mother.  She abused me mentally and verbally and could be physical. I am particularly hurt by my father who allowed her to treat me badly and just did not seem interested in me.  I have spent a lot of time in therapy dealing with all this. I still contact them but they never offer me any kindness or love.  I was wondering as time goes on with all  this stuff and I begin to like/love myself more and more if you stop wishing for what you never had?

I know no family  is perfect. Just to have a mum to confide in, even talk to  occasionally a “normal family”, sure you know what I mean, do those  desires get less and less? Do the what ifs stop?

I’m not a bad person (at least I don’t think I am). I think because I don’t have a family of my own, partner or whatever if it would be different if I had? The need to have a decent mum and dad would be  less than it is sometimes, sorry if none of this makes any sense.  Thoughts getting carried away.  Why didn’t they love me, how can I or anyone else love me, it is so unfair what have they done to me especially my father?

Dear Nia,

I understand what you mean.  Even though many of us will not have experienced what you have, all of us feel those moments, they are “poor me” moments.  They also happen when parents die, whether people had good or bad times there is huge sadness but an awful lot of it relates to “now they won’t see me get married…have kids…no shoulder to cry on… no one who will just accept me/put up with me like they did etc”.  Hankering after what was not there and may never have been.

So we all get that, we always think that every one else had it much easier than we did but each person faces challenges in their lives although they may not be the same ones.  You cannot confidently move forward looking backwards (try, it is really difficult).  You are starting to twist and look in the forward direction but still facing backwards eventually you will turn your body and your head and look completely forwards.

As time goes by and you take responsibility for your own happiness and healing (as you are doing now) and you build trust with yourself, then respect and love, then all this stuff will dwindle away, there will still be times when you hanker after what might have been.  But with the new joy and love you bring in all you will be thinking is “I wish I had done this sooner…all that wasted time”.  You are 40 and you have spent all those years wondering why they did this to you.  That was years ago and the only one keeping you trapped now is you.  Time to let go of that and focus on what you want now.  I know you do not want the next 40 years to be this way. What they did or did not do when you were small is terrible but it need not be your whole life story.

Here when you need me.

For more on the father relationship take a look here.

A very useful book is “Where Were You When I Needed You Dad?”, I have a few copies available on my store page.