I was watching an old episode of Six Feet Under last night, where one of the characters goes to some self-actualizing seminar thing called "The plan."
In the show, the seminar leader talks to one of the participants, a woman from a foreign country. The woman tells this story about how when she was 12, her father had a dream that she was unfaithful to her future husband (who had already been picked for her), so her dad set her on fire. She then shows off her scars to the seminar.
The seminar leader responds with something like "you should invite your father over, and forgive him for what he did to you." The woman is of course skeptical, at which point the seminar leader says "as long as you can't forgive your father, you will always be on fire"
Now my parents never set me on fire, but I think the general principles are the same. Forgiveness is not for the person who is being forgiven. It's for the person who forgives. As long as I can't forgive my parents for how they have treated me, they will always have some kind of control over my life. Even now, when I talk to them once every several months, I still have a major chip on my shoulder about them. Not a day goes by where I don't feel upset about the way they are reacting to my choices. Not a week goes by without me fantasizing about what life would be like if my parents would be supportive and happy for me and my decisions.
But how ridiculous is that? I'm barely talking to them, and they still manage to cast this huge shadow over my life. I need to somehow figure out a way to forgive them, to be at peace, to not be spending so much energy thinking about my parents. Part of me wants to go to therapy for a bit to figure this stuff out, although I kinda hate going to therapy cause then it just makes me dwell on bad things more so than I would otherwise. Part of me wants to just call my mom up and say "I forgive you" and see what happens. Part of me thinks that if I truly did forgive them, I wouldn't even feel the need to tell them about it, so clearly I don't forgive them.
Who really knows anymore.
Meanwhile, I don't think I ever told my parents I was going to Chicago for Thanksgiving. Oh did I mention that? B's parents are flying me (and B) out to Chicago to meet the entire extended family of B who all meet up outside of Chicago every year for Thanksgiving. I think it might be fun, and I'm hoping that his family will be cool, since our future kids probably won't be having too much contact with my family.
But meanwhile, I don't think I ever told my parents, and they never asked what I was doing for Thanksgiving...so I guess it's good that I made these other plans, since it seems I'm not invited home anymore. This will be the first time in my life that I won't be at my parent's house for Thanksgiving (Since they don't celebrate Christmas, and since I won't go to my parents house for Jewish holidays, Thanksgiving was really the only holiday my family was ever all home for).
I'm not sure if that's going to be weird or depressing or what...at this point I'm more excited about taking a mini-vacation with B (Our first plane ride together! The first time in a while that I get to go on vacation!) and meeting all of B's family (who soon will also be my family!)