People who know me know how horribly my son’s dad treated us. (People who don’t know me have a difficult time believing how much of it’s really true.)  For years I actively hated him and his wife, and wished only bad things on them.  But in the past year or two, I’ve been working on learning how to forgive him… not for him, but for me. (I’m still not there with her yet.)  It’s still a work in progress.  Some days are easier than others. There aren’t actually very many people in this world who I just really can’t stand, but those two have to be among the top five of about five. Anyway, for today’s Throwback Thursday, I offer a poem I wrote about a year ago in an attempt to let some of my anger go.

By: Rachel Carrera

Occupied with anger
And filled with rage,
The madness holds me hostage
Like a beast in a cage.

For all that you’ve done,
I hold onto my fury,
Hoping you’ll soon be punished;
I’ll be your judge and jury.

You are wicked and spiteful;
You are cold and callous;
You are filled with aggression;
I’m boiling over with malice.

But as I sit here hating you,
Your life seems to go on;
You’re not even affected
By all the evil you’ve done.

You got me pregnant,
Then you took me to court,
And you laughed when the judge
Said you should pay child support.

I raised your son for you,
I did it all alone;
You couldn’t even be bothered
To call him on the phone.

And without you he grew up;
He took the good and the bad;
The only thing he learned from you
Was how not to be a dad.

But when I look at our son
I see he’s not filled with ire;
He accepts that you weren’t there,
And to great heights he does aspire.

You wanted a look-alike son;
Your twin you wanted him to be;
But though he may look like you,
He’s a reflection of me.

You were so concerned with yourself,
You were so narcissistic,
You weren’t even there when your son
Was diagnosed as autistic.

But there’s one thing I noticed
In our son as he grew;
He didn’t waste his time
Thinking of or hating you.

So that got me to thinking
I needed to let my anger go;
My reward was our child
Who you don’t even know.

I think back on the years
I wished you’d end up dead,
And I hear my rage screaming
Inside of my head.

As much as I don’t want to,
I have to agree,
If I don’t release my hatred,
I’ll never be free.

The resentment inside me
Through my pores does bleed
As I think about all
Your selfishness and greed.

So, though you’re a liar,
A deadbeat and a faker,
You don’t answer to me, but
Soon enough, you’ll meet your Maker.

Someday you’ll look back
And you might hear voices
In your head as they remind you
Of all your poor choices.

You’ll be punished abundantly
When in this life you relive
Each moment in your solitude;
But as for me, I’ll forgive.

I always thought that forgiving you
Meant I’m fine with all you’ve done,
That I accepted your cruelty
Toward me and my son.

But now I realize that I was wrong;
The act of forgiving
It isn’t to help you one bit,
But it’s to help me keep living.

Because one thing I’ve learned,
Though it took me too long,
Was hating you didn’t hurt you
But it instead made you strong.

So I take back that power
That my hate helped you accrue,
‘Cause you’re not even worth it
Despite what you put us through.

When I think back to all
The tears that you made me cry,
They’re nothing compared to what
Will haunt you ‘til the day that you die.

One day you will realize
That you’re left all alone,
And you’ll look back and wonder
Where the time has gone.

Your son won’t be with you
As you grasp all the drama
You caused in his life;
But he will be with his Mama.

So I’m now letting go
Of all this anger and hostility;
I’ll feel sorry for you when
You’re all alone with your senility.

Let’s talk:  If someone tried to take your child away from you, how long would you feel anger toward that person?  Have you ever let your anger consume you, or do you easily let things go?

33 thoughts on “Forgiveness

  1. Well, I don’t know. I have an in-law that tries my patients regularly, though, because he persecutes my son who can really fend for himself but it’s a mom thing you know?. Then when I call the person he blames it on his brain injury and faulty filters. He drove drink some years ago in spite of friends putting him in a cab and paying the cabbie. It makes me crazy.

  2. Okay, so quick follow up, after I spoke to my dad for the last time and realized what an idiot he was, it was kind of closure for me because I just realized how much better off I was without him and I really don’t think about him much at all. My mother, on the other hand, still holds a vendetta towards him. She has gone after him to sue him although the case was beyond that statute of limitations. She also often tries to look him up on the internet to see what he’s up to. I can tell that she is still angry at him after all these years and I wish she wouldn’t let it consume her. Anyway, I just want to pass that on to you if it offers any enlightenment to your situation.

    • Thank you. Yes, it helps. I know I shouldn’t let it consume me, yet on the other hand, sometimes it’s hard not to think about how different my and my son’s lives would have been either without him in them, or if he’d have paid the support the court ordered when he sued me. I still owe money from the attorney I had to hire for all that!

  3. Letting go would be a great thing, Rachel. I spit lots of venom at them both at the end of your previous blogs. If you can forgive, that is the bigger and better course of action.

  4. That’s the thing, Rachel, forgiveness doesn’t mean that what they did was okay, just that you can’t hold onto it anymore. I had a very difficult estrangement with a family member that let me down enormously. We’ve patched things up but the damage to the relationship remains. Forgiveness, true forgiveness is one of the toughest things in life to do. And one of the most worthwhile.

    • It’s a journey, for sure. I’m still working on “how” to let go of the anger without dismissing the offense(s). I’m usually actually very forgiving, but that’s when there’s only one thing the person has done, at least one at a time. With these two, there are just so many offensive things, it’s hard to put them in the past when they keep happening. Thank you for your insight. 🙂

  5. Excellent poem you wrote about your story of forgiveness. It made me think and realize what it means to forgive. You are right, forgiveness doesn’t mean that you are okay with what the person has done, but that you are allowing yourself to move on and live life with positivity–which is the ultimate freedom. Some years ago, I struggled with forgiveness and harbored anger towards anyone who offended me. But overtime, I learned to let things go and focus on the things I can change to make my life better.

  6. What a moving, honest poem. I felt your rage, the way you hurt at the injustice (his life goes merrily along), and the pain that a father could ignore his son. Some men (and I guess it’s true of some women, too) just aren’t worth spit.

    Your son has a wonderful mother, a wise woman. You’re right: the foregivensss is for YOU, not for your husband. Why let him blacken anymore of your life by wasting your time hating him.

    You’re a remarkable woman, Miss Rachel.

  7. I think you are wise to give up your hate. Hate takes a lot of energy–and he’s not worth it, is he? I think there must be a better word than forgiveness though. Maybe acceptance? You accept that he’s done awful things, but you’ve moved on? I think these lines from your poem are the most important:
    “My reward was our child
    Who you don’t even know.”
    You are rich in ways your son’s father cannot even comprehend.

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