How to Forgive an Abusive Parent

Written by Fatimah Musa, Pastor Zack, Ben Rubenstein

Some parents treat their children based on their memories of how they were treated themselves. They may not have been brought up in an environment with good examples to model and know how to show affection and love.

Recall pleasant moments. In a lifetime, a parent does not always abuse a child. He or she may have behaved badly when their state of mind and emotions were disturbed and in turmoil. Try to recall at least one pleasant moment when she or he was nice and treated you well. Each time your mind brings back the thought of an abusive parent, "swish" it back to this pleasant moment.

Release your old hurt and blame from supression. Ask yourself where the hurt is leading you and why are you still keeping it inside. Relax and sit quietly for a few minutes each day, then let yourself feel and then let go of those feelings inside you.

Know that each one of us is only visiting on this planet. Our life is short and it is of no use to keep grudges forever. Everything will pass and the best you can do is savor the present moment. Don’t allow your old hurt to ruin the rest of your life.

Work on yourself. Focus on what you can do to make life better for you and those whom you care and cherish. Become the example and the role model for those after you.

For things to change, you've got to change. And for you to be able to forgive, you need to forgive yourself and remove whatever blame and anger you have inside.

Do not use these methods if you are, at present, still being physically or emotionally abused by your parent. Do not use these methods to allow yourself to be further abused; suppression of your own hurt and pain does as much mental and emotional damage as the abuse itself.

Do use these methods if you're not being physically or emotionally harmed any longer or for the foreseeable future and wish for personal peace or resolution.

Continuing to be Angry at Your Parent is Only Going to Hurt

Write about it, talk about it often. The pain you feel rages inside of you like a demon. Or, like a neglected child cowers in the corner. It needs to express itself. However, don't let yourself feel worthless. Listen to it. The more you do this, the less it will feel un-loved. Keep trying, keep going. It will take time, but eventually, it will die down.

Sometimes contacting this parent or your other (nonabusive) parent will help. You all need to understand and find love for each other. However, if they only continue the abuse, break off contact carefully then retreat and recoup.

You need to be resolute in this decision. If you and this parent are still on bad terms, a bad argument can bring back all old residual feelings of resentment. Don't let this happen, it will just prevent you from progressing with your relationship.

Remember that continuing to be angry at your parent is only going to hurt one person...YOU! They're sleeping at night and you're going around angry and depressed.

Don't Continue the Cycle of Abuse

Make sure you don't continue the cycle of abuse. If you also have not grown up witnessing loving parental behavior, seek counseling and parental classes to learn how to be the best parent you can be. Your county department of health or social services or local hospital maternity department may offer free classes for parents who want to improve parenting skills.

Archived Articles Not On Main Website: Sexual Addiction: When the Sex is Too Important Boundaries Tools of Respect. Leaving A Partner with Borderline Personality How to Forgive an Abusive Parent The Perceptions of the Loved-one and the BPD are Very Different. Is Your Partner Serious About BPD Therapy. Now That You Are Separated. Becoming Dependent on an Abusive Partner. Stockholm Syndrome in a Romantic Relationship

Updated: 06/03/14