Annie: It's hard to forgive someone who isn't sorry for their actions

Annie: It's hard to forgive someone who isn't sorry for their actions ...

Annie: After growing up in an extreme abusive home with a functioning (mean, abusive) alcoholic for my mother, I found my way into recovery and therapy, which enabled me to make some dramatic changes in myself. I have now started living in a happy relationship and have changed my life around. I have forgiven people who have never asked or deserved my forgiveness; I must to to recover.

My mother continues to reject any responsibility for her own actions. It would be wrong if she took responsibility for her actions, and she is NEVER wrong. It is making it really hard to forgive her, but in my heart, I keep hoping she will change and, beyond that, she is my mother. What should I do?! Trying to Heal Your Heart?

Dear Trying to Heal: It is very difficult to forgive someone who isn't sorry. However, as you appear to know, it is essential to your self's recovery.

Your mother may never be changed. It's up to you to decide what her behavior will have on your life. Do you want to hold onto your anger, or do you want peace?

Follow Thich Nhat Hanh's advice: "Forgiveness is difficult; even if you want to forgive, you cannot. If you suffer so often, even after you have warned him or her, it's difficult to forgive. However, if you understand the suffering and the deep suffering of them, and see that they have been the number one victim of their own suffering, the situation becomes different.

Dear Annie, I am a mother to three wonderful children. I didn't get enough credits to graduate high school, which has messed up a lot in my life. I don't drive yet, and it makes life a lot easier when I need to go to the doctor or get groceries. I'm at a loss on how I can transform my life around and become a better mother and a functioning member of society.

Everything leads back to money and transportation. I want to get out of this cycle of going nowhere. I feel the need of so much on my shoulders, and I don't know what approach to take. Should I get my GED, then get a job, then worry about a car? I just don't want to get ahead of myself and get a car, and have more finances to worry about before getting my GED and a stable job.

I'd just like to be a role model for my children and feel a lot better about myself. Everyone around me advises me to be happy with life the way it is. But I don't want to be the mother of my children who has to choose between feeding my kids and purchasing school clothes. -- Feeling Stuck and Lost

Firstly, kudos to you for taking the initiative to improve your and your children's lives. You are such a wonderful mother and are putting a good example for them.

While you can get rid of your high school credits, you'll have one thing off your plate and even more opportunities when you enter the job market. Try saving up little by little for the kids' expenses and for car payments, whenever you are able to make them. In the meantime, make the most of public transportation and other affordable options.

It takes time and effort to gain financial security, but it sounds like you're on your way. Be proud of yourself for how far you've gone and continue to go for yourself and your family.

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