A friend shared this morning about the painful, ongoing rejection and lifelong hurt (I started typing “heart” instead of “hurt” which is wonderfully ironic!) experienced from parents, stirred up again in her interactions with a mom with declining health.They characterized their home growing up as a Frankenstein Factory. Just in case there might be one or two others out there who have to navigate such waters, here is my response to chew on…
I think we all grew up in a Frankenstein Factory – just for some of us it was more extreme than for others.
So sorry for the pain this has caused, is causing afresh.
Seems to me this is a type of mourning, and for one thing, you have to allow yourself to go through the assorted stages of grief with it – and, of course, it’s not over. When she does pass, it will be there fresh again. So brace yourself for that. Many of the Psalmists found relief in writing what are sometimes some pretty rough Psalms about their grief and hurt, expressly addressing their adversaries and foes (and friends and family!) and what they had done to them, then complaining to God about not intervening in it, then asking him to do something about it (or to them!) and then simply praising him anyway. That’s a bit of a grief process in itself. Might be worth considering.
Two other thoughts.
Jesus tells us when we come to a house we speak our “shalom” and if there is not a “son of peace” there, to let our shalom come back to us, and then move on, wiping off the dust of our feet in the process. It might seem callous, but it’s actually the only way for us to keep going. When a bull charges at you and you feel it’s hot snorting breath, don’t own it or take it on yourself, let it pass by, then you do the same. Just walk on. Easy for him to say! But it is what is desperately needed in such cases of pain and rejection. Otherwise we internalize the pain
and pass it on.
Second thought. Jesus says, “If you, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven.” So, let’s just acknowledge this straight up: Parents are evil. Yet they still know how to give good gifts – but all too often all they can pass on is stones – and such stones are usually thrown. So, we learn to duck (let the bull pass). And failing that, when we find ourselves under a pile of their stones, we can hopefully either a) with Stephen have a transporting vision of Jesus standing at the right hand of God, standing up for us; or b) when we’re dragged outside of the house and left for dead, with Paul get up, dust ourselves off, and keep moving forward.