By: Alisa Tanaka, Guest Blogger August 28, 2015
A month ago, my mother came up to me and announced that we were going to Canada to send my younger sibling to university.
What she did not reveal to me until some time later was that the “we” she used in that particular clause did not include me. That “we” that she used meant my father, my brother, and herself.
When I brought up the fact that I was disappointed in the fact that they had made the decision (i.e.: bought 3 tickets to Canada) without consulting me or making sure we were on the same page, I was upset for more reasons than one, not the least of which was that she blew my entire argument completely out of proportion.
I did not think that I was entitled to a free trip to Canada. On paper, I understood why they had excluded me. I was simply expressing the fact that I was disappointed that the decision had been made without consulting me, especially since at the time, I was in the midst of preparing to make a major career transition.
image by John Suder via johnsuder.com
Throughout the process of said transition, my family had largely stayed silent. They had badgered me for time frames, but I had been hesitant to give them one because there were so many things I was unsure of.
That discussion, should it have occurred, could have been the opportunity for all of us to get on the same page. We could have discussed time frames for my career transition; I could have walked away with a much better understanding of what my parents’ plans had been.
But it didn’t.
And that, I realized, was exactly what had hurt me so much. In being excluded from these discussions, mistake or not, I felt as though I was no longer a valued member of my own family.
When you are hurt in ways like this, it is difficult. It hurts, regardless of whether or not they had good intentions. Sometimes an apology isn’t enough for you.
And that is okay.
We see so much talk about forgiveness that sometimes we don’t acknowledge the pain we feel.
We see so much talk about forgiveness and gratitude and moving forward, that sometimes we don’t stop to acknowledge the pain we feel.
Let’s face it: it’s much easier to throw wisdom around than to actually practice it. You can say that it’s important to forgive. You can say that you have to find the positive in everything and exercise gratitude. Those may be great things, but actually putting them into practice in order to make them habits is an entirely different thing, especially when you’ve been hurt.
I tried to look at the positive: a few days to myself, more time to renew my passport. But I couldn’t.
I was angry. I was disappointed. I was hurt.
It was only when I let myself feel that, in an environment where I felt safe, that I started to move past it.
Healing takes time. Some things take longer than others. It’s okay to be on a different timeline. Some things affect others differently and more deeply than others, and that’s okay.
Take all the time you need to heal. You’ll be better off in the long run.
Do you forgive easily or do you tend to hold onto things for a while longer? Tell us below!
While the phrases “passionate mental health advocate,” “bilingual college graduate” or “confused 20-something” would all be accurate ways to sum Alisa up, she doesn’t want to settle for just one of them. When she’s not working, she dreams of traveling the world (having already traveled to/lived in China, Japan, Ireland, England, and Australia), writes her blog, plays with her puppy, watches copious amounts of Netflix documentaries, and curls up with a cup of tea and a good book.
Every girl is a work in progress. If you need more help, click here