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My parents went through a dragged-out divorce. Then my father vanished out of my life on my 15th birthday. Before he disappeared that day, he told me that he would bring me the best gift. Fourteen years later, he still hasn't fulfilled that promise.
I spent some time being angry at him and at all men. I sang the songs about how unreliable men were, and took out my pain and anger out on people and things around me. But being angry and full of pain is weighty and self-destructive.
I finally came to peace with him when I realized that it wasn't doing me any good to be angry at him. He's no longer in my life, so there's no need to wait for his apology.
I have forgiven him. I need not wait for his apology to forgive him, here are the reasons why:
1. If I hate him, I hate myself.
People who knew my father would often say, "You look just like your father!" I would reply with anger because I didn't want to be anything like him. I wanted to look like my mother, the woman who did her best to keep our family together; not the man who left three little girls broken-hearted. The truth is that a part of him makes up who I am. If I'm angry at him, I'll subconsciously dislike myself.
After I released my anger, I was OK with looking like him — because I do look like him, and I can't change what I look like. I released my anger for him so that I could completely love who I am.
2. Parents are examples, not perfect examples.
We all make mistakes. Unfortunately, my parent's relationship didn't work out. The details are none of my business. I could judge him and think of other ways that he could've lived his life, but what happened, happened. Once I became an adult, I started to understand more how children who are a result of a complicated relationship can suffer because of the pride and drama that occurs in that kind of relationship. I can sit and cry about it or get on with my beautiful life.
3. Being angry with him was hurting my relationships with men.
For a long time I believed that men were unable to fulfill their promises. My father was the king of unfulfilled promises. I went into relationships believing that I would be lied to, because my father had lied to me so many times. I had no trust in the male race, which left no room for me to trust my former partners. Forgiving my father allows me to give relationships with men a chance. What happened to me isn't my or my partner's fault so there's no need to take out my past on my current romantic relationships. I want to give myself a chance to love without living through the burden of what has happened to me.
4. Blaming someone else stops me from being productive in my life.
When I was angry at my father, other areas of my life were full of drama and negativity. I would blame bad school results and bad behavior on my father. Blaming him didn't help me progress; it kept me in turmoil and dramatic situations. I created a dramatic life and blamed all of it on a person who wasn't even there to take the blame. I came to realize that blaming was only allowing me to play the victim. My life is a blessing, and I take full responsibility for my actions or play the victim. I can't control my life if I constantly blame things that I do on someone who's hurt me.