Dear Counsellor: Revenge on my mind
Q: I did not know my father until I was 39 years old. He did not take care of me. He was not involved in my upbringing. My mother and my grandmother struggled to send me to school. They both died after I finished high school. After I met my father the relationship was cordial and mutually respectful. My father died and surprisingly, he left something substantial in his will for me. Perhaps he felt guilty about the way he treated me when I was younger. In addition, he saw that I did fairly well in spite of my difficult upbringing. However, his wife and the children from that union are robbing me of my inheritance. They are pulling some tricks to prevent me from benefiting. Sometimes I feel like harming them or burning the family house down. They are envious and wicked. There is another serious problem. My only son was killed and the killers are walking about freely. Sometimes I feel as if I could do something to them. My daughter is doing well at school and she is my pride and joy. However, of late, my thoughts are on revenge. What advice do you have for me?
A: Congratulations on making a success of your life in spite of a difficult childhood. Your mother and grandmother would be proud of you. The desire for revenge is a normal and natural emotion when one is seeking justice. However, you should never take justice into your hands. Instead you should allow the law to take its course. In addition, you should retain the services of a lawyer to ensure you get what is your due from your father's will.
If you take the law into your hands you might get immediate satisfaction but in the long run you could be endangering your life and your daughter's future. You need to be outside of jail to care for your child.
You have had a difficult life with your father abandoning his responsibilities and you losing your only son to a senseless killing. These are very stressful situations. You are not coping well. You need to see a counselor to help you overcome these unhelpful thoughts.