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Oatpunk

To forgive unaccepting parents

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Hi all! :aroicecream:

So basically, when I came out as trans to my parents the reception I got wasn't great. They were very much in denial and they victimized themselves while continuing to do things that they knew hurt me deeply. After a while, they begun to educate themselves and listen to me and we spent a few years healing our relationship. Now I'd say our relationship is even stronger than it was before and I feel completely safe with them in a way that I never did during my teen years.

But while I've for the most part left the past in the past, I still have this bitterness that sometimes rears its ugly head. When I think about certain things I'm still filled with anger and resentment, not only because I was treated that way but also because I'm the one who has to carry this while they get away scot-free. It was traumatizing to be a teenager rejected by my family and this pain and grief has played such a large part in shaping me that I don't think that I will ever be free of it. What was a bit of a rough patch for them was for me a life-altering event that nearly killed me, if I'm allowed to be dramatic. 

Yet I still feel guilty about my anger towards them because they genuinely didn't know better. They have changed so much as people and now they not only accept me, but they understand and celebrate me. I don't know how to deal with these feelings, if I should talk to my parents about it and, in that case, how I would even go about doing that. 

I'd really like to know if anyone else has been in a similar situation (not necessarily about gender identity). 

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Posted (edited)

Did they appologize?

I am still bitter about things that happened a long time ago. Once, my dad messed up really bad. he gave me a hug (maybe the only one ever, or a very rare one. Not that i get them a lot) but... he never really appologized. I think that my anger come from it mostly. 

Also some transphobic things they said (or dismissing of transphobia or worst) and... not an appology. Barely an acknowledgment.

I also noticed that i am still hurt by "little" things that peoples barely remember doing. For them it's nothing i suppose. It's not gaslighting, i just think they are legit surprised i have feelings over it .

Edited by Leton.

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44 minutes ago, Leton. said:

Did they appologize?

No, never. They don't like to acknowledge it and just show that they're sorry by not doing it again. I think it's because they feel guilty but none of them have ever told me that so I don't actually know. I haven't really thought about it but I think you're right that that's where some of the anger comes from. 

45 minutes ago, Leton. said:

I also noticed that i am still hurt by "little" things that peoples barely remember doing. For them it's nothing i suppose. It's not gaslighting, i just think they are legit surprised i have feelings over it .

Yes! Someone asked me if my dad is gaslighting me by pretending not to remember the shit he's said, but I genuinely don't believe he has it in him to manipulate someone. It just wasn't important enough for him to remember and he can't imagine himself saying something like that in the present, so it must not have happened. I also don't know how much it plays into it that they thought I was over-reacting. Like even if I said over and over again "please don't do this, it's transphobic and hurtful", I don't think my mom was capable of or willing to understand how or to what extent, so she just waved it off and eventually forgot about it. 

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1 minute ago, Oatpunk said:

No, never. They don't like to acknowledge it and just show that they're sorry by not doing it again. I think it's because they feel guilty but none of them have ever told me that so I don't actually know. I haven't really thought about it but I think you're right that that's where some of the anger comes from. 

Yeah, learning from a mistake is one thing. But if you have the occasion to appologise and you don't (or ignore it), well... there is that. 

3 minutes ago, Oatpunk said:

Yes! Someone asked me if my dad is gaslighting me by pretending not to remember the shit he's said, but I genuinely don't believe he has it in him to manipulate someone. It just wasn't important enough for him to remember and he can't imagine himself saying something like that in the present, so it must not have happened. I also don't know how much it plays into it that they thought I was over-reacting. Like even if I said over and over again "please don't do this, it's transphobic and hurtful", I don't think my mom was capable of or willing to understand how or to what extent, so she just waved it off and eventually forgot about it. 

That's... common i think . But not great :/ 

"You overreacted" oh, did i hear this a lot. My therapist say hello ! It's not always said like that, in your face, but i feel like the sentiment is here a lot of the time. Not helped by the fact that i am anxious and have ptsd. I wonder if it allow peoples to dismiss my feelings sometime. 

But that's me.

But anyway ! Appologies have power. And i think my grudges come from it. Peoples not giving them to me when they should.

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ok my parents are cool with me being aro but unrelated, my mom emotionally abused me (picking on everything, hella gaslighting, stuff i've prob repressed) so i thought i'd weigh in.  though she has apologized and she's like, a good parent aside from that, i'll never forgive her.  i've just accepted that and kind of moved on.  like i don't waste energy, you know, it's just over.  of course it sucks, but what's there to do.  so yeah, i guess if you think there's no way they'll understand or make up for it or whatever, i recommend the 'move on' approach.  good luck.  

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7 hours ago, aro_elise said:

ok my parents are cool with me being aro but unrelated, my mom emotionally abused me (picking on everything, hella gaslighting, stuff i've prob repressed) so i thought i'd weigh in.  though she has apologized and she's like, a good parent aside from that, i'll never forgive her.  i've just accepted that and kind of moved on.  like i don't waste energy, you know, it's just over.  of course it sucks, but what's there to do.  so yeah, i guess if you think there's no way they'll understand or make up for it or whatever, i recommend the 'move on' approach.  good luck.  

Oh yeah, not forgiving is also a right. Appologizing is a first step but it don't erase anything, really.

Just a precision bc i dont want to sound like all my talk about appologizing mean that it will fix everything.

--

I personnaly have troubles moving on, guess it need a lot of internal work.

But it's not about me. So i hope you will find a solution.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, aro_elise said:

ok my parents are cool with me being aro but unrelated, my mom emotionally abused me (picking on everything, hella gaslighting, stuff i've prob repressed) so i thought i'd weigh in.  though she has apologized and she's like, a good parent aside from that, i'll never forgive her.  i've just accepted that and kind of moved on.  like i don't waste energy, you know, it's just over.  of course it sucks, but what's there to do.  so yeah, i guess if you think there's no way they'll understand or make up for it or whatever, i recommend the 'move on' approach.  good luck.  

I'm sorry you went through that, and thank you! I suppose moving on is the goal.

 

3 hours ago, Leton. said:

Oh yeah, not forgiving is also a right. Appologizing is a first step but it don't erase anything, really.

Just a precision bc i dont want to sound like all my talk about appologizing mean that it will fix everything.

Yeah, I get it. Of course an apology won't change the past, but I think it's an important step in being able to move on. If someone can't even own up to past mistakes, that says a lot about their character. I hope it will get easier with time even if you never get the apology you deserve! 

Edited by Oatpunk
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