I so related to your original post about forgiveness. Cancer has this way of bringing out the best and worst in people. Its also a time when our sensitivity is heightened, so we notice the things people do and dont do much more.
Forgiveness is key to the healing process, but clearly you know this. Acknowledging that there is a forgivenes which needs to occur is the first step. And you have done that. Give yourself some credit and also a break. When we have been betrayed deeply and let down like you have by someone we are supposed to be loved by and love, it can be more like a process to forgive, and not the immediate unburdening event we wish it would be. It may take time.
I suggest you talk yourself through it every time the thoughts come to your mind. We all run the mind dvd of the things which have hurt us, events we wish could have been different, things people said and did to us which hurt us. We re-live these over and over like playing a movie. Part of forgiving is letting these thoughts go - breaking the circle they run in. They go round and round until we let them go. We can acknowledge the occurence and the feelings that go with it, and even allow ourselves to feel that hurt, cry, be indignant and angry. But then its beneficial to allow the next stage to come, which is grief.
You will maybe need to grieve this relationship Amanda, because its like a little death has occured for you. This mother-daughter realtionship you both could have shared and which could have been drawn upon in your time of need (cancer) has been shown to be not everything you rightly hoped it would be and could be. Your expectation that your mum would support you the way you hoped she would is not unrealistic in the respect that its natural you would expect her to be supportive and caring. But in light of how she has behaved instead, its clear you will in future have to adjust your expectations. Thats sad for you both, especially you because its you feeling this loss. Its been unfair, but it is how it is. Acceptance is the first step to forgiveness. If you can accept that your mum did not set out to hurt you or do you wrong, that she merely did what she did for whatever reason, then you may be able to se her in a new light - with compassion. That might be an appropriate way to see someone who had a role to fulfil but missed out on their opportunity to shine? She had a great opportunity to shine, and be a part of something wonderful between you both. But she could not participate. I encourage you to move towards a more compassionate view of your mum. Clearly, she hasnt an understanding of what motherhood requires for a crisis such as you had. See her more as a fellow human being at these moments, and not just as your mum. This may help you see her in adifferent light.
Its also OK for you to adjust your "boundaries". Forgiveness is one thing - its possible for you to do this - but please don;t think that you must put yourself in a position to be let down again. Trust is precious and must be earned. Perhaps you resist forgiving because you think you will have to place yourself in a vulnerable position with her again, knowing you'll be let down. You may wish to move up in your own world and be a bit of a "mum" to yourself. take on some of that nurturing yourself - you know you'll always be kind and loving toward you! And make sure you do. Its important to realise that as an adult you dont have to give your trust out arbitrarily. This doesnt mean being uncivil or distant. Its just means managing your boundaries, and making sure you are in control of where you begin and others end.
Every time that mind-movie comes into your head Amanda, remind yourself that your mum is just a human being with limitations, that she did the best she could at the time, that the only person you can change is you and that you certainly cant change the past. You dont have to be that vulnerable again, and the greatest gift you can give yourself is to let your mum off the hook. She is never going to be able to make up for what happened. Nothing she could do, even if she wanted to, would take away the past.
Sometimes we resist forgiving because we feel its a huge blessing we are giving for free to someone who has done nothing to deserve it, and which they may never acknowledge or understand. Forgiving your mum is not a gift you are giving the undeserving. Its a gift you are giving yourself. Its a gift of peace, joy, acceptance and love. Its a present not to her - but to YOU! I hope this helps to make it easier for you.
Praying for you, hope you continue in good health and well-being!
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What a shocking situation you are in. I really empathise with you. I am six years out from having cancer, and the whole event wrecked my marriage and my husbands life. We have four children, and had been married 20 years. We are separated now after a long and painful break up, I have lost a lot, but I have a lot of things I didnt have BC (before cancer).
I hated my job before, I was living for everyone else. Now I am doing what I love (helping people who have had cancer) and I love it.
I have my health, and responsibility for it. I no know I have no one else who will look after me, so I look after me. I am healthier now even with my post-treatment side effects than I was for the 34 years before I had cancer.
I am no longer subject to others failures and weaknesses. I am in control of my own life, yay!
This journey we have come through having cancer teaches us so much about ourselves. I have a feeling Loraleeb that you already know you deserve better than the life you are subject to right now. I also have a feeling you know in your heart how you'd like this life to look and be in the future. You are one tough cookie girlfriend - you proved that already. Look what you have been through! Don't let this set of circumstances make you a victim, the way cancer could have made you a victim. No way! You are better than that.
I don't know what happiness means for you my dear, but I know for sure you are better than your circumtances would have you believe right now. You deserve happiness and joy in your life. I recommend a big dose of being thankful for the gifts you have (your children, how wonderful!) and finding a path to forgive those who have hurt you and let you down. No one really seeks to do wrong to others - we all usually just do the best we can do with what we have to work with.
If you had to start again right now, you have everything you need to be truly happy. Money wont make you happy, no one else can make us happy. Our happiness is our own responsibility. You're in the drivers seat. You have had CANCER for crying out loud! What better reason do you have to live for today, to live the best life you can? You have every reason now to never have to settle for less than the best you can give yourself ever ever again. You are worth it, and you are worthy of it.
Your intuition is telling you why you got sick before...are you going to allow that to happen again? Who will you blame if it happens again? Will you kick yourself because you didnt go after that dream? I hope not, I hope not!
Please be encouraged, that what could have been your downfall has made you stronger than you think. If you take away all the expectations perhaps you have that others will change, you are left with what you need to do next. I mean that you can wait around for the rest of your life waiting for others to change...it probably won't happen. But YOU can change.
You are only becoming what you are becoming right now.
Praying for you Loraleeb, hope you find what you are looking for.
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Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.