Charlotte S. Murphy

My mother and I have not had a close relationship. As a nurse, I understood the psychological impacts of her childhood abuse and being raised in an extremely poor area with an alcoholic father. My father had the exact same life events. They joined a very “narrow minded” christian church that taught my sisters and I that drinking was a sin, showing any type of affection in public was a sin, and on and on. When my first child was born, I recognised I was transferring those learned behaviors to my son. I went into 3 years of therapy where I worked on letting go of my resentments and anger towards my father, Then, life took over (I had 4 sports minded children and worked full time) and forgiveness took a back seat. I have always been a spiritual person and am a medium and shamanic practitioner, which is totally alien to my mother’s belief system.

At the age of 55, my life took a sudden dramatic change with the illness of my husband ,and consequently the loss of our business and income. I had a lot of time on my hands and so began my spiritual investigations and healing of myself on an intense level, not quite understanding how important forgiveness was, until an argument while at my mother’s house opened my heart. I was so angry with her that I walked outside and around her neighborhood until I calmed down. I sat on a park bench, while mentally complaining, how she never forgave her abusive relative or anyone else that hurt her. I looked up and saw huge dark storm clouds in the distance coming towards me. I did not want to be like her and suddenly “knew” that I had never forgiven her for the verbal abuse and lack of affection growing up. I’m glad no one was out in the impending storm to see me sobbing and releasing so many toxins I had held onto for so many years.

I cannot help my mother, but I can heal myself, by continuing to forgive those that have “caused” me to feel pain. It’s definitely an ongoing process!