If you’ve been wronged by somebody, you may have caught yourself replaying memories, ruminating over what happened as you think such thoughts as, “Why did they do that to me?” or “Why did that have to happen to me?” There are people who years after having been hurt physically or emotionally or even both, keep replaying what was done to them in an attempt to understand the whole thing.
If I’m describing you, then let me give you some guidance on this. I know this situation too well.
My mother disappeared when I was 5 and my sister 3 years old. My dad who was an abusive alcoholic was the culprit in her disappearance. He soon after also disappeared so I had to be raised by a grandmother who was a rager. Needless to say, I had a very hard childhood. For the majority of my life I felt like my life kept going from bad to worse. Still, I managed to grow in emotionally toxic circumstances.
At the age of 19, I found my father who explained that our mother had taken off with another man and abandoned us and that since he couldn’t get custody of us since he wasn’t a US citizen and on top of that was an alcoholic, was lost in alcoholism for years. Even though he had been abusive with me as I child, I forgave him and had a lot of empathy for him. So for 10 years, I became a part of his family and I did my best to be a good daughter.
At the end of those 10 years, my dad’s stories started to slip and I found out the truth. He had been lying. He had in fact killed my mother years ago. You can imagine how angry and hurt I was. Not only had he taken my childhood away from me but on top of that was lying to me once again as an adult. Not only that but he was a big taker so he was always painting himself as somebody who didn’t have much so that I was constantly giving him all kinds of gifts. The kicker to this whole story is that my father thought he had done the right thing by murdering my mother to prevent the possibility of having his daughter’s sexually abused by somebody new that she might meet. The irony is that my father touched me when I was a kid. It made no sense right? And why would he keep hurting me if he loved me?
After a few years of ruminating over what had happened, I realized that all of what he did didn’t make any sense and it never would because my father was one really sick man. The same person who could kill could look at a fatherless boy he had come across and feel pity for him and say, “Sometimes I think about adopting this boy.” His behavior was absolutely inconsistent.
This very personal story that I shared with you led me to learn the following:
#1. A lot of what people do isn’t rational and will never make sense so stop trying to understand it. It’s only a waste of your valuable mental energy. You’re time is too valuable for that.
#2. What happened already happened. We can’t change what already happened so it’s important that your mind stop going over it as though it’s trying to change what happened. By no longer giving it any energy, you don’t let something from the past continue taking control of your life. Life is too short to be wasting it on stuff that is long gone.
#3. Understand that what people have done has everything to do with them and not you. That’s why, it’s important that you not personalize it. Instead, just see it for what it is. What happened is just what happened. The more you are able to detach from those feelings, the more you will be able to find yourself in peace in the present.
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