I have been thinking about family a lot this week. My mother’s family has been gossiping about me now for a decade and not one of them has ever talked to me directly about my father’s will. They have a story. They never checked it. It stars me as a villain. They seem to think I controlled attorneys, which is laughable.
I forgive them.
However, I think a decade is enough. I forgive them but I no longer want to reconcile. For ten years I hoped that they would talk to me. I have asked them to, more than one person, more than once. They say that they want to believe what they want to believe. I offered to send copies of bank statements to back up what I said. No. And a cousin silenced me by saying, “Don’t make me hate my sister.” The message is that I can be part of the family for some of them, as long as I remain silent as a tomb on this topic.
No. I won’t. And it’s just like all the silencing that goes on over the world. People say they would not stand by while someone is hurt, but my family sure seems to enjoy having me be the silenced gossiped about villain. I am sick of it. They can go to where ever it is that karma will take them: gossip, after all, is a sin.
And so I am reconciled. I am reconciled after a decade to adding these people to my list of dead. Our friendship is dead, my family feeling towards them is dead, I am not asking or waiting or hoping any more.
Forgiveness is a solo job. We forgive others.
Forgiveness is NOT reconciliation. You should not take an abuser back. You should not let someone treat you badly and refuse to listen to you and refuse to apologize. I know one person whose apologies run something like “I am sorry that you took offense to what I said/did.” Um. That is not an apology. That is putting it on me, it’s my fault for taking offense. The person has no intention of changing and does not actually care how I feel. I am not okay with that. The person is forgiven but there has not been a reconciliation.
With my maternal family, I am letting it go. I would like there to be more peace in the world but as long as people cling to having villains, to believing gossip, to perpetuating gossip and hatred and meanness, I do not think we will have peace in the world.
But in letting this go, I have peace in my heart.
Peace you and please peace me.