I never knew

My father was abusive to me, mostly mentally and emotionally but sometimes physically as well. When I came out to him as gay, he treated me even worse and all but disowned me. We haven't spoken in a few years, but recently I found out from my mother that he was molested by an uncle of his. My mother says she fully believes this is what caused him to be so deeply homophobic. All my life I never knew. I just thought he was a product of his environment, he comes from a very gay-unfriendly state. Knowing this now, I can appreciate the fact that although he abused me in almost every way imaginable and left me with deep mental scars and broken social programming that's taking me years to undo, he never, never laid a hand on me sexually. Who knows, maybe because of the abuse he suffered he had the temptation and resisted. I will never forgive him for the damage he has done to me, but I understand a lot more about him now.

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  • You should find it in your heart to forgive him. Forgiving doesn't mean forgetting. Forgiving means letting go of the anger and hurt inside you. Parents aren't perfect. They're flawed human beings, just like their children. That doesn't give them a free pass to abuse and I'm not trying to imply that. you can forgive him and still never talk to him again. Just tell yourself that you have a better understanding of why he acted the terrible way he acted but that still doesn't excuse it. He probably won't own up to it but that's on him. Tell yourself that you are who you are and you love yourself. It doesn't matter if he does. That's on him. YOU have to power to control your life. Anger is a terrible, deep emotion that only forgiveness can get rid of. Forgive him for yourself and your own sake, not his.

  • Your "advice" is misplaced. OP has reached a new level of understanding toward his father. Daddy, OTOH, didn't bother with any attempts at insight and just reactively abused his son because of old feelings HE couldn't deal with.

    OP is doing better than most people do. Get off your soapbox. Your input is not needed here, and you don't win any brownie points for sharing your so-called "wisdom".

  • I'm not angry about it anymore, but I think forgiving him would be equal to him getting away with what he has done, just like he always has with every bad thing and every hurt he has inflicted, and I can't abide that.

  • Forgiving is overrated in our bumper sticker society. You've found a measure of peace with the situation, which is what forgiveness is said to do. You're far more evolved than your dad. Pity the poor b@stard, but never ever let him off the hook. Take good care :)

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