My father has recently been calling and trying to get in touch. I haven’t talked to him in a long time–he was both physically and emotionally abusive when I was young and I’ve had a hard time forgiving him for that. In one of the voicemails he left, he said that he was a Christian now and it was a sin for me not to forgive him and let him back into my life. The constant phone calls (up to twice a week now) are really getting to me. Help?
A father is more behavior than blood.
08-13-21-31-55 / 23
Hello Diner. This is an incredibly painful experience. With his contacting you, your mind is reliving the worst abusive experiences you suffered as a child. Those are scientifically proven to be the ones that take the longest to reconcile, as we mentioned in this Fortune. It is perfectly understandable that you’re feeling so overwhelmed from this recent encounter.
What’s worrisome is your father said that he was a Christian now, and it was a sin for you not to forgive him and let him back into your life. Not knowing your personal beliefs, it may very well be a sin. All that aside, Diner, your father is still abusive. Once again, your father is putting you in the wrong, but this time, he is punishing you with emotional abuse and threatening you with unending torment. It’s especially cruel if he really believes in such a place. To him religion is another belt to use on you: do what I say or suffer.
You definitely have no obligation to forgive him or reintegrate him into your life. Let me repeat that: you do not have to forgive him or let him back into your life. This is a difficult point to accept, but it is absolutely critical. If you do, he will continue to use more ways to put you in the wrong, criticize, and punish you for it. Nothing has changed. He is still sadistic and without remorse. Your father completely ignored the teachings where he is supposed to be penitent, and he went straight for what to use to hurt you.
Our Baker specifically insisted that we owe him no piety. He only asks that we be as sweet and wise as the ingredients he used to make us. However, in English-speaking cultures, there is significant pressure and obligation to forgive and unconditionally accept family. You Diners are expected to love your parents. But understand that it is more of an exchange. He showed you no love by abusing you. You owe him nothing.
I recommend staying far away from him, physically and emotionally. Interacting more with your father will only hurt you. Curtly say that you no longer want anything to do with him. If he insists that you explain, simply send him this Fortune. No more explanation is necessary or deserved. If he continues to harass you, get your telecommunications company to block his number. If he shows up at your home, involve the police.
If you choose to leave doors open, use what you’ve read here to guide you in future encounters. Your father should only be allowed back into your life when he is truly remorseful–not while threatening to throw you into a burning pit forever. Best of luck, Diner. We know that shunning your father fights primordial instincts, but understand it’s worth doing.