My Father is One of the Biggest Jerks Alive and This is How I Forgive Him

I made my first conscious decision when I was seven years old. My biological father was (and probably still is) an alcoholic and an abuser. My mother got pregnant six times, only two survived. A relative revealed that my mother was severely abused and beaten up when my father found her pregnant. It was never clear why he got so upset with the pregnancies. The worst abuse took place shortly after my mother gave birth to my sister. My father accused her of having an affair (which wasn’t true) and beat her up, leaving her in hospital care with bruises literally all over her body and face. After she got out of the hospital my mother escaped the continuous torment with my sister but somehow left me behind. When she was strong enough, my mother fought back and lost the case—the judge granted my father the custody of me. My mother was left with no financial security—not even a dime, my sister and bruises that never healed until she passed away.

I stayed with my father for one year before I decided enough is enough. A man pointed a gun to my face to make the nanny reveal my fathers hiding place during a raid, but that wasnt why I wanted to leave. My father used to sneak into my room at midnight and steal my piggy bank, but that wasnt the reason I left. It was really simple: no one in my class went to school in a Mercedes with a bodyguard. Believe me, its very far from cool when youre seven. My father believed my mother would kidnap me and closely monitored every inch of my move. I could not talk to my mother on the phone. I could not play with my best friend after school. I wasnt allowed to play outside. I could not attend birthday parties. I could not do things kids my age did. Other kids made fun of me. I fought them and lost. Going to school became a constant torture. I had tons of dolls and toys at home that I barely touched. I had everything a kid would have ever wanted, except love. I wanted my mother. I wanted to see my baby sis. I craved for human touch and affection that nanny and maids could never provide.

My father developed a habit of coming into my room once a day, around 4-6 oclock in the afternoon, sitting on my bed and with a soft tone asked me two questions: 1) Do you love me? 2) Which one you love best, your mother or me? Sometimes he added the third question: Are you sure? My answers remained the same. Until I had enough.

He received a slightly different answer one day. Yes, I loved him, but I loved my mother more. He asked why. I did not answer. Instead, I told him I wanted to live with my mother. I kept repeating the same answers for days. It took him less than a month to send me off. After that I only saw him once or twice a year since and strangely enough, I did not miss him. We talked on the phone every day before I started to resent him—he always called in the afternoon while I was playing with my sister and cousins. We talked less and less. I was in junior high school when my mother told me that he had stopped sending money for my education. My father got married two more times. He came to my mothers funeral half drunk, grinning like a fool and talking nonsense. He was arrested the day my little sister got admitted to a hospital for appendectomy. He publicly disowned us a few years later. We never saw him again.

I honestly thought the pain from everything he did would never heal.

I spent precious years of my life hating him. Blaming him for my miseries (and for the losers that I dated). Asking unanswerable questions. Why he had to be such an asshole. Why he treated my mother the way he did. Why he made our lives miserable. Why this and why that. I could not find it in my heart to forgive him. I tried. I failed. Maybe, just maybe, forgiveness was not something thats meant to be.

Until the day I finally saw him—truly saw him—from a completely different point of view. I might not be able to call him father anymore but that doesnt make him less of one. That was when I got it. The awareness and wisdom I never knew existed.  Something I had never understood before, when I saw him from a wounded childs perspective: A father that lost.

Im not sorry for leaving him. It was one of the best decisions in my life. Im sorry that he lost me, a daughter who at only seven years of age firmly chose not to be with him. Im sorry that he lost my sister. Im sorry that he never got to see us grow. Im sorry for his pain as much as Im sorry for the pain he had inflicted upon us.

I paved my way towards healing with the understanding that he, too, has suffered. As a human being.

And thats how I forgive him.

Happy Father’s Day, Pap. Wherever you are.

15 Replies to “My Father is One of the Biggest Jerks Alive and This is How I Forgive Him”

  1. You are amazing. Amazing. I dont know where to start but this post is strongly i can related to. I forgive my father, even its not 100% im on my way to get there. One thing that i learned forgiveness is a learning proces. It takes time. He disown me 5 months ago. Im still learning to forgive him and understand him….

    1. Thank you for sharing. If I may suggest, forgive when your heart is ready. Don’t push it. It took me years to get there. The time will come 🙂

  2. Finally I heard the whole story from you, after you told me bits and pieces several times. Congratulations, Jenju, it’s not something easy to do. You’ve conquered your demon <3

  3. Know you is an honour, know you more is a bless.. I’m not the one who has that moment that’s make you who you are now. But what touch my heart and kick my mind is how great you can be is what you choose to be doing and forgiving. Salute. *peluk erat-erat*

  4. I had a similar experience with my father; just like your father, he was a first class asshole. My brothers and I suffered endless physical and mental tortures inflicted by him and his wife, our evil stepmother. I only was able to overcome all suffering when I joined NST and start chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo.

  5. Jenny, but you are now was a wonderfull woman. im so proud of you, (huge of me!).. you can excapt your father back of anything pain in your side.
    One day the reason it is why, you will know it, basicly.. lifes is any white, yellow, red, blue, black or gray & you must knew that.

    Have a lose or you left something, god will be paid of a best thing.

  6. I didn’t know who u’re.. I just happened to find ur IG on Arina’s, that led me to this blog and post.
    This blogpost is so saddening. I cried reading this and I feel like hugging u now, Mba Jenn..

    Anyway, you are a really good writer.. and storyteller
    I am already a fan…

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