Parents’ unforgivable sin

by Sunday News Online | Sunday, Jan 21, 2018 | 312 views

Nhlalwenhle Ncube

BETRAYAL by your mother can be one of the most devastating experiences in life and it can skew the way you see and trust the world for the rest of your life. It leaves your heart with lifetime scars making it hard to let go.

I know this is one of those sensitive topics which in most families are said to be ‘‘Not open for discussion’’ as they are emotional and hurting. We are talking of those parents who betray their children to push their selfish goals. The common case being of women who leave their child or children at a tender age under the custody of their parents or siblings and the child grows up knowing her as aunt or sister. They do so just to please the new lover or to get married.

To make it worse, some even keep the distance and never make an effort to show some love by supporting the child. He/she grows up with a ‘‘fake’’ mother and unfortunately with life’s fate, the love she/he will be getting will never be at par with the one the real mother could have given. At times some even grow up in poverty and never get to have good childhood memories.

It is so bad that families manage to keep such secrets for years, but the truth always comes out at some point and it is usually during teenage years.

After hearing rumours about one’s real identity, the person will dig out the truth and it will be the worst day of her life when she/he discovers that her real mother or father is alive, but he/she chose not to take care of her.

One will definitely be hurt and there will be a wound in her heart. This is the wound which leaves lifetime scars to most people. It’s probably the most painful betrayal of all, because nature designed parents to care for their children, not harm them. There will be a lot of questions in the child’s mind, but not even a single answer from the parent will justify her actions, making it difficult to forgive her.

The parent’s betrayal breaks trust and goodwill in a relationship and leaves a wound which will take a long time to heal and leaves one a changed person. Remember, this is not a single lie, but one would have grown up through a series of lies and finding out the truth makes one to lose respect for human beings as they get to conclude that a person is capable of anything. It just affects their trust and respect for family members. Deep down, they will be heartbroken!

Such people, even when they are adults, there will be a little child living within them who will still be in pain because of betrayal. On the other hand, the adult in her will be figuring out how to let go of the hurt and move on in a constructive way. There are several different things that hurt when betrayed.

You have to address the fact that it was a parent, someone you should trust the most that betrayed you. You then have to address the betrayal itself, what was done and how. Next you have to choose what you want, whether to create a relationship with that parent or to keep the distance forever.

The final decision lies with the betrayed child and must never be pushed into forgiveness as one has got to handle it her/his way!

It is at this time when we realise that tables would have turned as in most cases the parent will be eager to have a good relationship with her grown up child, but then gets to be haunted by the question, “Mum, where were you during the time when I needed you most?”

Sadly both the mother and child get to have serious problems which even affect their happiness. Parents’ betrayal is clearly the breeding ground for lifetime hatred and some affected children never get to forgive and they take out their bitterness on other people they meet in life. I have realised that some people who are evil hearted have got such background as they do not know love no matter how much you try to be close to them, they do not appreciate as they believe they survived the worst and do not need anyone in their lives.

In most cases, these betrayed people get to see themselves as ‘‘black sheep’’ in families because they will be a man of one gang, not close to anyone.

Because of the distance caused by the parent, they grow up not having good relations with their other siblings and it becomes just difficult to get close to others when they are adults. It is just a lifetime scar as they will always look back and be haunted by bad memories of growing up without the mother by her/his side.

Of course, betrayal impedes personal growth and one should not be stuck in bad memories for the rest of their life. Learn to control your emotions as they can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Emotions are the essence of our existence, but when they are taken to the extreme, they can downright block someone’s life. One can easily become stuck in her feelings, mentally and even physically. In order to heal from betrayal and get over the past, you have to keep your emotions in check. If you obsess over something that happened in the past, you become stuck in that moment in time.

But if you can think logically and understand the need to move forward, you can indeed master your emotions.

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