How can you forget and forgive the abandonment of your father when you are an adult?

I lost my mom when I was 6 years old and my dad left me and my sister with my mom’s parents. He never came back until a few years ago. How can I avoid feeling abandoned?
Asked by JP

Forgiveness is for You

Your view on forgiveness is that it seems to be for your father when forgiveness is really about your peace. Forgiveness isn't a necessity, though, especially not today. True forgiveness takes time and learning to be able to sit with the reality of what he has done and how it has affected you. It will come up at odd times. So, how do you forgive? You start to love the person you are as a result of the circumstance. 

I want to take a second to validate your feelings and experiences and the results of your childhood. This validation is critical for you to know you are heard. Being heard is what your father did not give you as a child and what you can do for your childhood self now. You today can allow the thoughts and emotions that were developed early in life when they come up. You can show you respect your childhood self and the pain of it all but allow the hurt to exist. Don't be the disconnected parent to your childhood self who discounts emotions. Find a way to find gratitude for who you are and how you turned out because of that kid, and how they responded to the circumstance they were put in. 

Your dad contributed to your formation of self. If you like yourself, then you can be grateful for the pain and hurt you endured. You can forgive then, naturally, because you aren't mad for what you've been given because even though it hurt, you are better now because of it.

If you don't accept or like yourself and all parts, even that six-year-old who wants to cry, then it will be difficult to forgive because it's easy to blame him for this less-than version of what you might have thought you could be. Self-acceptance is critical to move forward because without accepting all parts of you, you will always struggle with a self-disdain, and any forgiveness will be falsified.

Find the most inadequate part of you and learn to sit with that person because they are you and have contributed to the person you are, which is what parents are tasked with. As for abandonment, that is something that will be difficult to overcome because you were abandoned, and you know, you were.

Your father left you with people that was neither mom nor dad. However, it is not beneficial for what that child went through to indulge that abandonment to be a victim. Remember, you aren't forgiving and moving forward for him or even you today, but as the responsible caregiver to your six-year-old self that tells you all the horrible things he experienced. His service was not in vain, for you will take his experience and grow from it. Thank your childhood self, for your pain because it helped you grow. That abandonment the child felt, that isn't going anywhere because that child will remind you. You can thank him and go forth with a sense of peace your father may never know.