I've had several thoughts regarding my last couple of posts and the comments left on them. First, I believe adversity doesn't build character. It reveals character. I always told my children delayed gratification builds character and they responded by telling me that they must have a lot of character. I know anyone reading this will immediately feel bad for them because they didn't get every toy or piece of candy the moment the thought/desire popped into their heads.

I often say I wouldn't be who I am without all I have experienced, but I really cannot not say who or what I would have been today with the love and guidance that was absent in my life during my younger years. Although I suspect somehow I would have arrived at being the same person I am today with maybe a little different surroundings. Perhaps, what I have wanted most in life wouldn't have been so allusive if I had better examples of what a healthy relationship is or if I had been taught about success and failure.

Second, any speculation I may have regarding my father's choices in life would be just that...speculation. Quite frankly, my father is a question mark to me and the person I remember is being remembered through the eyes of a child. My father seemed to be emotionally bankrupt and closed off to having healthy interpersonal relationships. I can connect the dots and draw a picture that shows he became the same father he had growing up. I can safely assume that the alcoholism that he battled all his adult life had a large part in retarding his parenting skills, but as down as I have been at times in my life, I have always loved my children and made sure they knew it. I never tried to hide behind the "parents are perfect" facade or to rule my household with a "do as I say and not as I do" mentality. I taught my children that everyone makes mistakes and it's okay to make mistakes as long as you learn something from them. The difference in our parenting styles may be why my children know I am approachable and on their side every step of the way and why I never felt that way about my father.

Last and I think most important is that I can say with 100% certainty that suffering in silence is wrong on many levels. Nothing positive comes from it. I erected a rubber wall so everything bounced off it. It took me a long time to recognize that lack of emotion is not a sign of strength, but a sign of weakness. Strong people are able to cry and reach out. Strong people believe forgiveness is the true key to the kind of strength that pulls a person through adversity. Strong people are able to feel pain and then reach the other side with the determination to find the true peace forgiveness gives.

Gratitude statement: Although my father remains a mystery to me, I have forgiven him for not being the father I needed him to be. I'm truly grateful for being strong enough to forgive the people who have hurt me most in life.

All gibberish within ©2004-2010 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.