Mon | Jan 22, 2018

Can’t forgive my mother

Published:Saturday | February 20, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Dear Joan,

I was motivated to write you this letter after reading the feature story in last week's Family and Religion about loving one's worthless parents. I note what was said about forgiveness, but, to tell you the truth, I am not at that place yet.

My mother gave me up for adoption when I was a baby. I must say the woman she gave me to was really nice. She took care of me and was like my best friend as well as a mother. My mother visited sometimes and, one day, when I was about 12, I asked her why she gave me up. She said that I was a mistake. My adoptive mother was so upset and told her not to come back.

But then she turned up a few years later, when I was about 16, and told the woman I considered my real mother that my grandmother wanted to meet me. She asked permission to take me to her. I didn't want to, but I was persuaded to go.

There was no grandmother. The wicked woman just wanted someone to take care of the other children she had while she went out to have fun. It was a while back and cellphones were not prevalent, so I could not contact my adoptive mother. It was the summer holidays, and I know she wouldn't be expecting me back so quickly. I could find my way back, but I kind of felt sorry for my siblings.

When the holiday was over, she took me back and told me to pretend as if I had fun. I didn't lie to my adoptive mother. I told her everything that took place.

She was never allowed back at her home.

It's been years. I am working, own a home, drive a good car, and am taking care of the woman who raised me. She is now frail and sickly and is pushing me to forgive my mother and build a relationship with her.

I can't do that. I am in touch with my siblings. They visit me sometimes. They told me that their mother was 'down on her face' and needed medication as she has diabetes and pressure. I can't find it in my heart to look on this woman as my mother and I certainly don't feel as if I owe her anything.

- K.P.


Dear K.P.,

What your mother did was wrong, but from what I am reading, she hasn't been that bad to you. She placed you with someone who was able to give you the love she could not have given you and her one sin was taking away an entire summer vacation from you so you could take care of your siblings. Don't get me wrong. I am not saying that it was cool, as she used deception to get free babysitting. But you admitted that you stayed because you didn't want to turn your back on them. Out of that experience, I believe the bond was formed, and now, today, they have the freedom to visit you from time to time.

Remember, if you want God to forgive you of wrongs you have done, you must also be prepared to forgive others.

Before you make any decisions, have a visit with your mother, talk to her about her reasons for giving you up, and why she chose to keep the ones who followed you.

Maybe when you finally get some things off your chest, you will be in a better position to forgive her. You might not be able to have a 'chummy' relationship like you now have with the woman you consider your real mother, but you could at least get to see her in a better light.


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