We are all the same. I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again and again. People are all the same. How? We have the same struggles. The same wants and needs. It boils down to love and acceptance. We all want it, we all crave it, and we all need it. We want to be liked, and we want to be accepted. But what do you when you have family that doesn’t like you, or worse, treats you badly? What do you do when it’s your family that hurts you the most?
I have so many friends, and we have all discussed this so many times. Wow, there are some seriously hurt families out there. I thought my own family was difficult, but there are others who have it worse than me. Yikes.
This is tough. Because of so many different personalities, there will always be some that just don’t get along. I have two wonderful siblings, but we didn’t always get along when we were younger. Nope. Typical fights about “don’t come in my room! No, you can’t borrow my clothes, Go away, my friend is over, Quit following us!” Those sort of things. And once my younger sister and I even got into a slight fist fight due to me decking her (literally) with a deck of cards because I was being a sore loser playing war. She was winning, I was frustrated, so I wacked her, and voila – fight. But guess what – we grew up and out of the bickering, and we are fabulous friends. I did apologize for my behavior, but there was a ripped sweater involved. Oh dear. (oh those memories!) I love my sisters, and I am so blessed to have such wonderful, supportive family. My sisters are my greatest blessings! LOVE you Debbie and Laura!
But what if you have a sibling that you don’t get along with? What then? What if it’s your mom? Your dad? Your in-laws? Any other family members?
FAMILY DYNAMICS ARE TRICKY
Family is so tricky. We all do a little dance, of pretending to be nice. Well, some of us do. We don’t really say what we think, or how we feel, in order to keep the peace. Why? Because family is family, and we are all supposed to get along, right?
I am always willing to forgive, and not hold grudges, because I refuse to carry anger in my body. It kills me. It literally makes me feel sick. I’ve mentioned before that I can’t stay mad for usually over 5 minutes. It’s a rare day indeed if I stay angry for more than a couple of hours. After the anger goes, of course it’s just hurt, plain and simple. Sometimes that hurt takes a lot longer to dissipate.
BEING IGNORED IS PAINFUL
Hurt can happen in so many ways. One of the biggest ways we feel hurt is by being ignored. It’s not nice, it’s actually very painful. In fact, studies have proven that being ignored is one of the worst things you can do to someone. Unfortunately, this happens all the time. These wounds get bigger and bigger, and guess what, if you say something? It makes it worse. It doesn’t help. The person doing the ignoring becomes defensive, and tries to make it all about you. Then what? Pointing out a fault to someone who isn’t willing to acknowledge their hurtful behavior is like banging your head against a wall. It’s pointless, and useless.
SHOULD YOU SAY SOMETHING?
What do you do when you are continually being hurt by family? Do you risk confronting? Do you risk exposing your feelings, when you know you will be invalidated anyway? Do you suffer in silence? Is there any point in saying anything? When you know you will just cause harm by saying anything, then there really isn’t a point. Is keeping a relationship fragile better than not having one at all?
Do you distance yourself from family? Ignore them? Is it worse to not have contact, than to be treated badly? It can be our families that hurt us the most, and we never say anything, because we’re trapped. We’re damned if we do, and damned if we don’t. We suffer in silence, or we say something and make it worse.
BEING CONTINUALLY REMINDED OF YOUR PAST
What if you’ve apologized for something in your past, but someone keeps continually bringing it up? What do you do, especially if you have asked for forgiveness, repented, and changed your behaviour? Sadly, it brings back the phrase, “life is not fair.” No, it is not. There are those who are condemners, and even if you’ve said sorry, they will never forgive you, or let it go. How sad is that. Forgive yourself, and move on. Don’t worry about the other person. How they deal with it is their choice, and they will have to deal with the consequences of those choices.
HAND THE HURT OVER
My only solution to this is that I have to hand it over to God, as sometimes I get so overwhelmed by the sheer unfairness of it all. I am thankful that I have God to lean on, because I’d be a mess if I didn’t. I have shed a lot of tears over the hurt. I personally have been hurt the most by my family. I have forgiven each person who has hurt me, and I don’t carry any grudges. The point in saying that statement at all is because most of us ARE hurt by family members, whether intentional or not. It’s painful, and it hurts. But we can learn to forgive, and let the pain go by giving it to God.
GOD IS A SOURCE OF STRENGTH
Give it to God. Let him carry your wounds. Psalm 56:8 tells us that, “God knows our troubles and our wanderings, stores all our tears in a bottle, has counted each one of them.” Wow. Let him hold our pain, and he will provide comfort.
God is our only source of healing, and strength. You can never recover from hurt if you don’t hand it over to him. It’s too much of a burden.
So – I guess my advice to you (and myself) is to choose to love family no matter what. Choose to love them, support them, no matter how they behave. Choose to be kind, choose to be respectful, and choose love over anger. Choose forgiveness over hate. Pray for your family! Don’t give up on them.
Choose to let God carry your pain, and let him heal you. It takes time, oh yes it does. But if you choose forgiveness, pain does fade. (Well, until the next time when they do it all over again!) But rise above, God is the answer. He is always the answer.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF FAMILY HURTS YOU?
Always choose to love, and forgive. ALWAYS!
Here’s me loving….and handing off my hurt and pain to God. His hands are bigger than mine anyway!