My mother refuses to accept my forgiveness. I am an adult who lives away from home now. She denies any neglect even though both my brother and I carry scars from her inattention when we were growing up. My brother and I carefully have examined this issue and we are in agreement about the unfairness. How do we get my mother to see this?

It never is too late to establish affectionate relationships.  You do see that what happened with your mother has damaged your trust and this an important insight. If you start to forgive your mother now, this is a start with establishing trust more generally.  Forgiveness itself does not necessarily engender trust, but it does make one open to trust because, if others fail you, at least you begin to realize that you have a way of confronting and overcoming resentment—through forgiving them.

In other words, forgiveness is a safety net against the wounds of others.  So, I would recommend that you start to cultivate a sense of forgiveness toward your mother and, when you are ready, be open to others, knowing that any unfairness on their part will not lead to a crushing resentment within you as you practice forgiveness in these new situations and relationships.

For additional information, see How to Forgive.

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