Thursday, 12 February 2015

Sorry

I'm sure the words 'I wish you were dead' are not that uncommon in many households. But the words were spat with a calculated venom, aimed for maximum hurt and pain. Repeated carefully to reinforce the certainty of the intent. Much more had happened to get to this, a bit of argy bargy and a touch of fisty cuffs. But this is the bit that stuck.

The thing that stung me the most then was not the words or the intent but a sadness for her that at this moment the feelings were real. Emotional overload. Frustration. Defiance. Anger.

Of course it stinks to be unjustly 'hated' but that stuff comes and goes, a good nights sleep and I usually feel a lot better but it still hurts. I've resigned myself to a bumpy road with this child.

For her the feelings brood over her long after the moment had gone with her struggling to feel reconciled even a day later.
I was still a little stung a day later but pushed through my own unforgiving inner 10 year old and was working hard to draw her in, jokes, playfulness, affection, talking about her hobbies.
All fail to penetrate the brooding cloud around her.

As parents Mrs C and I have placed great stock on apologies and forgiveness.  They draw a line behind events and help us to move on. We place them in high regard for the wellbeing of all concerned and I believe in forgiveness without apologies, a lofty ideal I'll grant you.

We've had a broad variety of 'sorries' through the years; forced, begrudged, petulant, angry, defiant and insincere apologies.
The freely offered sincere ones seem to work out the best so we aim for those. We gave up squeezing them out of children like toothpaste.




So, much later, we sit together in the car after football practice. And out of the cloud.
A soft and gentle voice confesses "I'm sorry dad"

"It's ok, I love you"

The cloud dissolves. Visibly relieved the last 24 hours is cast aside and relationship is restored. She chatters all the way home.
We all feel better.

Did I say I don't mind what she said?
Did I say I'd resigned myself to a bumpy road with this one.
I don't think I'd need to forgive a child with a broken leg for limping so I'm not sure what to do with that feeling.






16 comments:

  1. We can intellectualise around this all we like, but these spat out insults are just like bee stings, and the pain and then the tingly feelings hang around a while. That's my experience anyway. Hope your tingles ease soon.
    PS The best I've been hit with yet is 'I hope you drive off and hit a lorry and DIE. SLOWLY.' Man I've dined out on that one ; )

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    1. Probably like you, it's just how we live. Sometimes it doesn't even touch the sides then others the words penetrate and 'sting'.
      I can't help think of the reaction my parents would have had if I'd dared to speak such words to them let alone the attitude.

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  2. Beautifully written (love the toothpaste bit).

    My teenage son has taken to saying, "I really don't like you." Quite calmly. I think that might be worse?!

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    1. Ouch, that's designed to hurt. Often it the quiet insults that sneak their way into our hearts.

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  3. Oh boy. I was having a really bad day today with the young adult who i somehow allowed myself to become responsible for...nothing like yours but feeling used and let down. Then that phrase "I don't think I'd need to forgive a child with a broken leg for limping" completely undid me.

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    1. It feels like such a complex dynamic! At times I'm not sure what is really going on and if there is choice about the snarled comments. Hence the last phrase. I'm just not sure it requires my forgiveness, often I'm just left with a lingering sadness.

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  4. Those forced apologies are almost worse that no apology at all, IMO. I completely understand the approach you and Mrs C have taken. Interesting analogy at the end. Food for thought, as always from you.

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  5. Thank you, I spend my life pondering between all the other stuff.
    :-)

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  6. Such a beautiful piece about an ugly incident. Your courage and openness help us all. Thank you Al!

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    1. Very kind words.
      Like a lot of parents, adopted or not, we just do what we have to do.
      :-)

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  7. Like the analogy at the end. Really makes me think differently about the pain in adoption. Sounds like you handled it well. Stay strong #WASO

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  8. Thank you. I often wonder what right I have to be offended at some of the stuff that gets thrown us. I'd like to say that I cope admirably but often it's just pants.
    Thanks for the comment.

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  9. I love your posts. Eve and I are not very good at saying sorry even as adults. We were worse when we lived in the Children's Home! We felt that we didn't need to say sorry for minor things when the adults showed no sadness for huge things that they had done to us. If you have been abused or neglected for years by people who "got away with it" saying sorry for minor matters isn't an easy thing to do. http://livingworldsedge.blogspot.co.uk/2015_02_01_archive.html

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    1. Sorry is a very tricky thing for us all! Thank you for your comment. :-)

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  10. Bless her! Bless you! Bless mrsC! Bless the sisters! The brother! The home! The car! The animals! The lodger! The weather! The football! The school! The schools to come! And everything!!!!!!!!!!!x

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  11. Throwing that blessing right back at ya. You're an inspiration.

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