Originally Posted by nycindie
Just as parents need to accept that their children are adults making their own choices, part of the growing up process is accepting that our parents are no longer our parents. It is possible to see them as just people. Yes, they are the people who gave us life, instilled their beliefs and values in us, loved us, nurtured us, and raised us, but they aren't parenting us anymore and at some point there has to be a disengagement from the emotional need for their approval. The only way I know how to do that is to stop thinking of them as our parents. Really, to step back a bit and start looking at them as almost strangers you are just getting to know. That doesn't mean we don't honor them and show respect for what they gave us, but it is a letting go of any romantic notions that they still have power over us. It can be done. I know people who have, and they have wonderful friendships with their parents because of it. I was able to do that with my father, which freed me a great deal from unhealthy attachment to him, but I couldn't completely do that with my mother. It's a process, but it starts with proactively choosing to see them differently.
Thank you for this.
I think that's an excellent aim. I think there's a lot of baggage with my father, which is making it hard. I haven't been able to forgive him some things, and communicating with him raises a lot of difficult emotions. I really don't want to hold a grudge, and I believe he's sincere in that he admits his responsibility and regrets a lot of the things. I don't know why I can't reach forgiveness, since in my other relationships I don't find it difficult at all.
I do think that I've made some progress with the process you're describing, the intense sad feelings I had when writing that post are quite uncommon, and I generally don't care a lot about his opinions. I think there may have been more contributing to that than what I felt the reason was..