Is It Possible to Make Peace with an Abusive Parent After Experiencing the True, Amazing Love of God?

The Love of God:  One of the most shocking experiences of my near-death experience was feeling the love of God.  This love of God accepted me exactly as I was—all my thoughts and feelings.  I did not have to change my thoughts to please God.  I did not have to worry about whether God liked the look on my face or my interpretations of the world.

God loved me infinitely just as I am.  I didn’t have to change or pretend in any way.  God didn’t call me names, hit me, lock me in a closet, or invalidate anything about me.  God loved me without end.  I felt completely supported and without a single worry, experiencing only bliss, peace, and deep understanding. God immediately forgave me for all self-harm and showed me how to love myself more deeply.  God did not make me relive or see any of the abuse I had survived in life. I had never known a love like this  growing up or what it felt like to be supported.

One of the most common attributes of a narcissistic father or mother is the inability to understand or care about their child’s thoughts and feelings.  This parent is not able to validate their child’s feelings as real or important.  Empathy is simply out of the question.

motherMy Story:  Growing up, anything that I thought or felt, especially if it was different from my mother, made her angry, withholding, cold, or critical.  Often, this abuse was even spiritual in nature because she used the Bible as a reason to beat me.

However, Mom allowed and encouraged reading, so that was the way I could escape my lonely life.  I read at a 12th grade level by second grade, and I devoured any book I could get my hands on in the library or garage sales, often fantasizing that I might be sent away to a boarding school or that I might magically encounter a nice couple who would mentor me.

In the isolation of my home as an only child in the country, Mom painstakingly taught me to worry about her sadness, her depression, her angry feelings about my dad, her physical complaints, and her thoughts about the world and everyone in it. She coached me on who to like in her family and who not to like in her family.  If I liked someone she didn’t like, she rolled her eyes.  If she stopped liking one of my few friend’s mothers, then I was told that I no longer liked this close friend of mine either.  She taught me to be her counselor, her best friend, and her confidant.  I pretended as best that I could to survive my childhood, but honestly, at best there were only fleeting moments of fun.

takingcareNo one really witnessed the full extent of my mother’s abuse.  My father was rarely there, and I’m an only child. When my father’s parents stopped by unannounced, mother made us hide in the closet to avoid them.  They loved me so completely as their only grandchild, and she didn’t like it when I received that kind of adoration.  I remember a moment when she argued with my grandmother that I didn’t need a toy that I wanted.  My grandmother looked at her and said, “I want this child to know that we love her.”  The moment felt powerful to me, and I remember feeling excited at the cash register. We didn’t see them as much after that moment.

Around Mom’s family, she controlled of the narrative and talked about everything she sacrificed for me.  Mom certainly worked soul-crushing, blue-collar jobs to pay for my private Christian education through seventh grade.  The problem is that I would have rather had more food, decent clothes, trips to the doctor, and a public education where there were more people in my class than three or four students. I longed for more socialization.

Mom presented herself as a loving, doting mother, but in private I felt sucked dry.  She wanted me to make up for all the love she felt she didn’t receive from her own mother and her husband, but this scenario seemed a setup for a dramatic failure.  When did I get my needs met?  I don’t doubt that she feels that she loved me, but from my perspective most of what I experienced didn’t feel like love.   I feel compassion for the young, lost woman who raised me, but my biggest lesson in life has been learning how to feel great compassion for myself.

Mom rarely considered my honest needs. Sometimes, I got lucky and wanted the same things that she wanted.  We both enjoyed walks in nature, fresh fruit, and dogs as pets.  We both enjoyed a few of the same movies, though my tastes eventually changed and different from her always meant wrong.  For a few years in childhood, I experienced the bliss of owning a horse, and that freedom to ride fast and far away from my life meant everything to me.

pleaseSince Mom was all I knew of love, I thought love meant sacrificing every one of my feelings and ideas to make someone else feel a little better in their miserable life.  When her mental illness took a turn for the worse when I was in high school, I realized that she needed help; however, she refused help from the people I told about her frequent suicide threats.  There were many nights when she was alone with that pistol in her drawer, and when she threw the door open suddenly I always ran out of the house to put distance between us.  I didn’t know if she was going to shoot me first before she shot herself, and that level of terror changed something within me.

Though I had good grades, I didn’t realize how broken I was emotionally by the time I left for college.  I didn’t know how to heal, and I tried to alter those feelings of pain and inadequacy with drugs and alcohol.  By the time I had my near-death experience my senior year of college, so much inside of me felt devastated and then in a single instant—-healed.

The near-death experience granted me a huge dose of optimism, love, and connection to God and angels.  Immediately, I felt whole and alive inside, despite my wounded body.  During my physical recovery Mom took care of me, and we got along better than ever before.  She had remarried, changed jobs, and seemed much happier.  I wish I could say that the near-death experience completely healed our relationship, but I can only say that the near-death experience eventually helped heal the gaping hole inside of me.  We don’t choose our family, but we can choose supportive friends.

neededAnd, no matter what happened in life, I could always remember and return to what it felt like to be loved by God.  No matter who validated me or didn’t validate me, that moment in the presence of God showed me my worth.  I never knew that I was worthy of even an ounce of that love and consideration.

I’m sure my mother doesn’t realize she is worthy of that level of love.  Her religious beliefs are ones that validate her narcissism and deep need to feel superior to others.  In her mind, only she, and a few select others, know the “truth.” The way everyone else interprets the Bible and God is incorrect.  She owns the market on being right as she stockpiles food and fears the apocalypse is around the corner.  She’s been fearing that since the 1980’s.  I wish she felt less fear and more connection to a loving God.

I’ve seen interviews with other near-death experiencers whose parents felt blessed to hear their stories of the afterlife.  My mouth dropped open in amazement at what it might have felt like to have a mother who learned something from me.  There were snippets of time when Mom understood the power of that love I experienced on the other side, but ultimately she tried to convince me that I had experienced a lie—tricks from the devil.  How ridiculous!  Most of my life with her felt like a trick, not love.

When To Tell Your Story:  Many people wait until their abusive parents die before they talk openly about their experiences.  Tony Robbins waited and describes deep love and forgiveness for his abusive mother.  However, several others have decided to not have  contact (or minimal/harmonious contact) with abusive, narcissistic parents and speak openly to help others come to the best, safest conclusion for their lives.  I am enormously grateful to the work and teachings of Lisa A. Romano who speaks openly about her experiences and helps so many people.

The sooner people begin a healing process after surviving an abusive home, the sooner they can begin to heal and have healthier relationships.  Abused children sometimes don’t have children of their own out of fear, but if they start healing work soon in life they realize how different they probably would be as parents than their own parents.

During my NDE, God told me to return and to work as a teacher.  Since that time, I have been a mentor and caring person in the lives of many of my students who have survived abusive homes. Abuse of many varieties is all too common in family units.  Telling a snippet of my story to students who were in pain allowed them to tell me what was occurring in their lives so that I could get help for them.  One of the greatest gifts of pain is the ability to point others in the direction of healing.

I know that many spiritual people want to center love and peace in all situations, no matter how toxic their family members might be.  For those who can do this, I honor that ability.  I tried to do this with my mother, but I recently had a defining moment when I realized that my life, my health, my well-being, and my trip to the emergency room didn’t matter as much to her as the contents of her refrigerator.  She endangered my life and did not care.

When I realized how little my life mattered to my mother, I knew I had to take a break from her.  I don’t know the future, and I don’t know what healing might be possible in her life.  Maybe a rebirth can occur and a different type of relationship between us can manifest, but this might also be the death of our relationship.  I know people with childhoods like mine who haven’t spoken to their parents in ten years.  All I know right now is that I want people to pray for her.  I want other people to center love and peace in her life.  I want her to know the love of God that I felt in the afterlife, and I want her to know that I wish our story was a different one.

img_1882Your story might offer a different outcome with a toxic family member.  There might be a way for you to calmly listen to your family member and center kindness without putting yourself in danger.  Your love might transform this person over time.  I hope so, but if you decide not to have contact with someone in order to heal yourself from narcissistic abuse there are many support groups online and otherwise. Choose the sanctity and healing of your own life.  Life isn’t a “who is the most spiritual contest.”  In fact, if someone is playing that game, that person is probably a narcissist.  Love who you can authentically love.  Love is not torture; rather, it is easy as breathing when it is right.

freedom

16 thoughts on “Is It Possible to Make Peace with an Abusive Parent After Experiencing the True, Amazing Love of God?

  1. Thank-you Tricia for the beautiful and heartfelt story of your life. It took me a long time to figure out how forgiveness really worked. Yet when I understood, it’s amazing how freeing and healing it is for all involved. Sending light and love.

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  2. Stunning parallels to my own but you have to multiply this story by a XXXXX. Some parts of this story I could have written verbatim. My conception was borne out of malice, hate and certainly a pair of conniving parents. A Designer Child I was. I was trying to get out of my family since 18 months old and attempted suicide several times, first at 7, then 11 then 14. Still I am standing. I have not had the benefit of an NDE to understand the injustice that comes from such abuse rooted in Christian Belief that judgment , physical torture, and a flaming tongue with 24/7 abuse is the way to relate to your own child. I had no vibrational match to anyone in my family. I don’t even look like them!! What kind of Cosmic accident caused all of this I wondered. Many think that a mothers love is natural – I tell you I have faced the incomprehensible vibration of a mothers hate!!!! I have got so used to NON LOVE, that Love does not matter to me anymore,. I dont need it, but I can love others. easily.. This state of solititude is extreme and maybe even frightening since I was a toddler. If the plane disappeared under me and left me as a single individual in the middle of the Cosmos, not problem, I am fine with that.. I can stand on my own because I have got used to this “silence” since a toddler. A Bhudhist Friend describes it as a life long Bardo.

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    • Life-long bardo…I understand that. There is something about abuse at very young ages that makes us removed—like little philosophers analyzing the world from a far. For years, therapists told me I had to examine my mother but I was so rooted in having empathy “for all she suffered.” I made so many excuses for her behavior, even thinking she simply didn’t have my IQ so she couldn’t understand how to be a loving parent. When I wrote my memoir, my life with her is demonstrated in a flashback scene in one chapter. It was healing to show a portion of my life but shocking to see how little I received of love. The verbal and physical abuse is so bizarre that our child minds have to disassociate some. I remember being so bruised I could barely sit down at school. Never in my life since have I had bruises that looked like that yet I loved her and tried to explain to her when I was only five that if she continued to hit me that hard teachers and police would probably see the bruises and start questioning her. I’m sad to hear of your suicide attempts. It is natural to want away from those situations. Many of my students long to talk openly about suicide and suicide prevention. The best prevention is having strong supportive bonds with others…something that doesn’t come easy for those of us who lived through severe abuse. I have memories still in the crib…probably a little over a year because I could stand. I don’t know many people who remember 18 mo old. The NDE was a relief….I felt true love and the love I had at home was brief and fleeting…a few happy moments in nature and with pets….but that is all that I took with me. Love was the only truth. So I’m certain that they more live we have for ourselves and others the more moments of truth we experience. Here, there are quite a lot of people who have forgotten how to access love and its importance. Also, sad to hear that your childhood was drastically abusive. I know there are much more horrifying stories of abuse than mine. My mom didn’t drink or do drugs….that kept a certain madness out of my life. I’ve seen these cases in students lives. There’s much I still leave out of my story because who can understand that vitriol that comes from someone’s mouth like a never ending river. Who would want to hear that? It might be easier to say she was drunk instead of only mentally ill. I’ve never called my worst enemies a portion of what I was called…for doing nothing but existing. I had the NDE that I had because it was perfect for my healing. I know that God meets us in a way that helps us personally.

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    • My heart goes out to you and Tricia. It’s hard to understand such abuse. A friend of mine,when she was born, was not expected to live long so the doctors told her parents not to get too attached. So she was treated as a reject. Years of rape from her father and brothers starting at 5. She was last to be fed. Beaten. Ignored. No affection from her large family. Fast forward to adulthood and choosing a violent criminal as her husband. He broke most bones in her face and would kick her with steel tipped boots in her back. Although she had a very high IQ she could not escape him. She ended up living on the street for two years in order to escape. Chronic painful diseases developed and as she described it ” was like someone taking an ice pick and stabbing her back over and over.” You couldn’t count how many times she contemplated suicide. Even though the pain medication she used was meant for cancer patients it couldn’t take away the pain. Just numb it for a bit. This year she got off pain medication and for the first time in many years slept through the night. We spent countless hours on the phone and I helped her work through forgiveness. Memories she thought she could never find peace with she found peace. She forgave everything. It took a year. Her work done mostly in solitude. She had 3 ndes in her life and had every psychic gift imaginable but she still had to do the hard work of forgiveness. I encourage you to never give up. Thank-you.

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      • Oh yes….It has been easy to forgive my parents as I have been busy helping students with MUCH worse stories than my own. Certainly, fathers who rape their daughters send these daughters into such a painful place for a long while like your friend. I’ve encountered too many students with that story. I KNOW healing and forgiveness is possible and sets us free. Sometimes, I write to process moments. My mother accidentally poisoned me this past weekend by not labeling something in her refrigerator that I shouldn’t have eaten. I was watching their dog and attempting to have a friendly type of relationship with them. She didn’t call or text while I was in the ER, and my stepdad said she was upset that I ate things in the refrigerator. I’ve always eaten stuff in the refrigerator while at their house. There was no note not to eat anything.
        Anyway….it was simply a moment that showed me that I can’t be in her life. Forgive her…you bet I can. She was young…had a tough marriage with my dad. She had her own wounds….but to accidentally poison me and not care….I draw the line there. We will not be interacting for a long while or ever.. I forgive her…just shocked and I would like to live, you know. My life matters to me and to others…just not to her obviously.

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  3. Thanks for your stories and kind words. Forgiveness for me is understanding the other. But to blindly accept their behaviour (forget) is to reward evil and they will never reflect on their actions.

    I can only wish that Death may be kind to such persons who have caused untold suffering on their children and others and hope they will move to a better place and understanding.

    Maybe we could ask for help from those NDErs like you , that can help abuse victims process life a bit better. Many people who have suffered abuse by their parents don’t talk about it is because it is incomprehensible to those who have had caring parents.

    Another area than can help persons who have suffered abuse and not had an NDE liike me, is to access Angels and SGs. Angels and Sgs seem extremely remote and aloof. A topic I am interested in but unable to access these higher powers who I believe exist.

    It actually is part of a persons spiritual journey and when we reach out to some people who specialise in this the conversation turns to money and such. So I sometimes wonder why our Guides and Angels don’t appear to us in our darkest hour…..

    David

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    • Oh yes!!! The angels provide so much relief and always remind me that I am connected to millions of others who have suffered. As I pray for them, my own suffering lessens. The angels shift the energy quickly….And the unconditional love of God transforms those moments. When anxiety is at play…it is hard to access God’s unconditional love, but the angels are wonderful messengers in those moments. Sometimes, when we are in too much pain we neeed someone else access this energy for us and help us heal…especially victims. There are countless modalities, but a really good healer gets out of the way of his/her ego and connects with that love of God for another who is in too much pain at the moment. I know I have a grieving process (like a death) to go through now. It is a natural process, and there will be stages to the grieving the loss of my mother (even though she is still alive.) I will get through it….and to full acceptance and release of the story. I probably will reach out to other healers in difficult moments and keep helping those in much more intense situations. Meditation and yoga today is already helping me quite a bit. Yoga is a great way to release pages from the past. Believe it or not….writing and getting it out helps too. Thanks for your comment. I know the life review shows us the perspective of others. I’m certain these parents will see the perspectives of their children….not in a punishing way but in an enlightening way. Once we are through with the body, there isn’t that attachment to the story.

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    • You are so right about those with loving parents not comprehending it. A good friend who had loving parents who would do anything for him told me that he would must likely have become a murderer if he endured what I endured. That made me chuckle, but the statement also made me cut all abuse victims some slack. We are all doing far better than we realize….though more healing never hurts. Creative Writing classes were such wonderful classes to teach. Lots of students wrote about stories like mine or much worse. Not only was the class a support, but I could connect these students to school counselors and programs. And that movie “August Osage County” was a good reminder that we never know what our parents endured. They are usually better than their own parents.

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  4. Tricia do you believe that before you incarnated this time around that you set up what kind of experiences you were going to be facing? Do you think you chose your mother and father so that you could experience such a tough life? Is it possible that your mother in this life was someone very close to you in a past life and agreed to play the bad mother role for your soul’s growth? I listen to a lot of past life hypnosis and it seems we keep incarnating within our soul groups. We play good roles and bad roles for each other. Can it be that we are 100% responsible for our lives because we signed up for it? It doesn’t make sense from a 3d perspective but if we don’t really die and you know that, wouldn’t you give yourself a big challenge because you knew you couldn’t lose. I mean if you incarnated 100’s or thousands of times before wouldn’t you want to experience something new? I think people like you and David have been around many times otherwise you wouldn’t have given yourselves such testing lives. I can’t prove any of this and I know it sounds insensitive yet I wonder. Did we do this to ourselves for the right reasons?

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    • I think one of the most fascinating things about a near-death experience is that we experiencers get a complete break from ourselves and our stories. I know I didn’t want to come back to this story and this life, but I also knew I had a calling to help others. I like to think that any of us at any time can wake up out of our stories/roles. I’ve remembered one past life vividly when I was a child. I died helping others become artists (I was a patron and helped young artists financially with the money my husband left me.) But, I never took a chance on my own art. That life ended in Boston in the 192Os. When I lived in Boston for a year, I never needed a map for older parts of town. I just knew where things were. The time period was rough for women, granted, but I died longing to be braver and bet on myself as much as I helped others. In this life, I knew it would be natural for me to help others grow (especially with an afterlife mission to do that). It was natural to help others become writers, follow their dreams. A couple of years ago, God said my mission to teach was completed and I was free to do what I wanted.

      Writing this book—which is more than a NDE book and is a literary memoir—is a step in the direction of going beyond the place I didn’t go beyond in that past life. I am finally betting on myself. Now, did my mother have a contract before coming here to help me achieve that goal? It’s possible…most writers and artists seem to have suffered greatly. Suffering makes us think deeply and contemplate our existence. It makes us remove ourselves from society and in those times art can bloom. I even had a therapist once say, “You can thank your mom for guaranteeing that you would become a writer. She gave you suffering, and she gave you a story.” I chuckled and that seemed as close to accepting our experience as a soul contract as I might come. We very well may have known each other in a past life. I certainly felt older than her at five when she was in her twenties:-)

      I didn’t get direct information about that in the afterlife. I think the more important thing to remember from the NDE is that love is all that we take with us. The love we give ourselves, others, the world…that is our truth. If we can take the pain and turn it into something good or beautiful than even better. Maybe that is why I love art, writing, and music so much. Great art is an attempt to transcend the pain of this world and to connect with the divine.

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  5. Tricia, I know speaking on this topic is exceptionally difficult. But even more, the subject matter also deals with frailties and vulnerabilities within a family. We come back from NDEs seeing every single person we meet in a different way, we are changed. To have been in the midst of the Light and Unconditional Love of God, and to return and see the same Light in every person around you, as you also have inside of you, is probably the greatest revelation of all. But then reality also enters the picture, because the people around you do not see you the same as before, and you wish you could give them a very small piece of the experience so they could understand. Such is not the case.

    Writing this post clearly was not easy for you, but in doing so, other people are able to relate, learn, and hopefully seek help. Truth is truth…period. Walking on eggshells in order to not offend, hurt, or raise a stir, only diminishes the power within you, and the chance to love yourself. So, thank you, for having the courage, for speaking from the heart, for speaking from true experiences, and doing so respectfully. Also, in doing so you have loved yourself without conditions, now the love you are able to give others will be so much more profound. I’m proud of you.

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  6. It is a big journey Tricia, one that is the making of us, as hard as it is. And in the many things that touch us, they all show us…us.
    Those fears that hold our hearts and restrict our expression, to those understandings as we come out the other side. The ‘conditional’ that life is, so that we can understand the ‘unconditional’ waiting for us in that understanding.
    Your heart in what I have read so far is on a beautiful journey, that truth you have seen and now apply in your life. A teacher of self as you give that love to others in the many ways it can be shown.
    May that love always be your light in each step that you take. Thank you for sharing it ❤

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