The 12-Step Programs have a lot of great acronyms that help to keep us all sober and focused on recovery. Today I was grateful to read this one: "FOG stands for FEAR, OBLIGATION and GUILT. When we work on these three issues the FOG begins to clear."
These three emotions are exactly what I am feeling as I consider the fact that I'll be back in my home state where my stepfather lives during the Father's Day weekend. I just told my therapist yesterday that my FOO (family of origin) has a real committment to obligation. With the obligation comes guilt.
The truth for me today is that no one can MAKE me feel any emotions I don't choose to feel. However, I can make a decision to turn my sense of fear, obligation and guilt over to my Higher Power and ask for guidance in my thoughts and actions. I can ask for healing and acceptance in my heart and in the heart of my abusive stepfather who I truly want to forgive, not for him, but for me. I have realized I cannot give away forgiveness. It is a gift I give myself. But I cannot do it alone. I need others to help me learn to love myself enough to let go absolutely.
People have told me for years ... "You don't owe him anything." I KNOW I don't, but knowledge carried in the head, doesn't always make it to the wounded spirit that still wishes for those beautiful father/daughter relationships you read about on Hallmark cards. There's still that feeling of being unsettled, knowing that my stepfather could die at any time, and I might feel as if I never took the chance to release my pain face to face. I chose to stop talking with him about three years ago, because I was tired of "putting on a happy face" and pretending that I was not hurting, but unwilling to scream and rage at him either. At times my silence has been punishment, and at times it has been necessity. But because of it, I've been able to heal without continuing to live the lie.
I'm grateful today to be able to speak these truths, to have this wisdom and to desire healing that will come in God's time, not in mine. I'm grateful for the willingness to pray for God's guidance and to be quiet and listen for it. My therapist and a recovery friend have both recommended writing a letter to my stepfather (not necessarily to be mailed) which outlines what happened, what the results were and what I am doing about it. Both have said that unless I can own my own power, that going to see my stepfather during this trip was not a healthy move, but one based in classic codependence. Just for today, I can accept their guidance as gifts from my Higher Power.
1 month ago