As usual I am floored by the responses to my writing, especially the responses to my piece on Aish.com. Unfortunately, some more than others.
“David K , August 6, 2009: Easy for me to say but please try to love your mother. Any person with such mental illness needs love.”
Right, uh, what? Why is it that someone can read that my mother held a knife to me and then tell me in the next breath to love her? I’ve been told even that I should “love my mother no matter what.” I’ve even had people sit me down and tell me that mental illness alone cannot explain why a person would treat their children that way. When I got my first restraining order against my mother, a secretary at the police station asked what I had “done to deserve this.”
Can you tell this is a touchy subject for me?
I think there are people who cannot fathom mothers and fathers who do not play nice with their children. They cannot imagine the children who have physically, mentally, emotionally and even sexually abused by their parents. Perhaps, the parents of these children who are suffering from mental illness DO deserve love but to ask the children they have abused to give it to them?
Does anyone realize what cold comfort the words “love your parents” provide to someone who has survived frequent abuse and neglect at the hands of their parents? Would you ask someone to “love” the person who has routinely brutally attacked them? No. Unless that person is their mother, apparently. No one asks me, for instance, to love the father who has only neglected me (but never beat me) my whole life.
Yeah, I guess it’s time to recycle that post on honoring abusive parents.