My father shook me so severely as a small infant that I suffer from SIS (Shaken Infant Syndrome).
So at the suggestion of my chiropractor, I have recently started this exercise: I write in longhand "I will forgive my father for everything"
(See thread thus titled in Male Survivors forum, also thread "Mathematics of Forgiveness" here in Religion forum). The exercise requires doing this 70 times a day for 7 days, based on the gospel of Matthew chapter 18 verses 21 & 22.
Since then I've had a car accident that has caused
my already traumatized lower back & trunk, neck & shoulder areas much more severe pain.
After my first day of doing this there came more pain: the clear realization of what I'd long known
that my father when he shook me also sexually abused me. The intense pain has brot it all back.
It physically pains my hand (not the one I hurt in the accident) to even write about forgiving this man. I even found myself thinking each time I wrote those words, "I hate that bastard for putting me thru this pain--again!"
But today I completed this exercise for the third day. Just previous to doing so I had read these words, quoting another survivor:
"When my father sexually abused me, I lost my ability to trust him. He would make promises to me and not keep them. He would say loving words to
me but then abuse me. My inability to trust Him also tragically affected my relationship with God.
Why would God be any different from my father? All
I knew was what I had experienced at the hands of my parents, and it was not trustworthy. It left me
unable to trust God. Why should I trust Him?"
(above excerpted from "On the Threshold of Hope" by Diane Mandt Langberg, Ph.D.)
I have long struggled in my concept of & relationship with God (yes I am a professing Christian), but reading that & doing this exercise
has made me realize that perhaps my next round with this exercise (wait in line, mother!) is going to be not with my father but with my Father!
At least I'll be used to writing it; just hafta capitalize one letter. :rolleyes:
Yes I believe God doesn't sin. Yes I believe the abuse was not His fault.
But what I believe and what I feel, and how I'm thus relating to God my Father, are two very different things.
God the Father has since I've bothered to think about Him at all seemed to be usually absent but when there abusive, like my earthly father. That's not what I believe nor when I stop to look at it has this been my experience. But it's very much what I've felt.
I think my own Father wants me to be honest with Him about my feelings: for my own good; He knows them already anyway. I don't think He feels particularly threatened by my writing that I forgive Him even if He doesn't need it. He understands my feelings & perceptions. He wants me to be real.
So I will start next week doing this exercise as a prayer, a way of communication son to Father & Father to son.
And we'll see...