How can you forgive your parents for being bad parents?

Over time…

My parents were not good parents to me.I was “not going to be more than her,” I wasn’t allowed to go to high school. I wasn’t allowed to read “this is a waste of time.” The training I wanted to do: “… we have no money to let you go to school even further”… Instead, I had to do an administrative apprenticeship. They did not want to allow me to go to Berlin before the age of majority. And otherwise: My father was very authoritarian, his word was valid and he was very violent. My mother was quiet and calm and had her peace by not punishing us, but threatening us – and punishing the father. I couldn’t forgive my parents for a long time.

When I was 18, I went to Berlin.Over the years, I broke off contact several times. My parents both died quite early (at 60/64).

The older I got, the more I could see first and then often feel how well my parents meant it!What I learned: discipline. Sense of reality. Caring for me, standing up for me. Helping myself instead of waiting for someone to help me.

My parents both worked very hard (mining/factory) – and after that there was still the household and the children to look after, to run the marriage with all the opinions of the relatives…

There was simply no time for imaginative or difficult children.Zack-zack – we had to work. And: My parents didn’t tell us that, but lived it out.

Today I see all the positives: my always friendly, almost always smiling and singing mother, my very hospitable parents (I could always bring all my mine, there were no negative comments after my coming-out!- and that in the 70s!), my father helped all the neighbors with craftsmanship, drove them somewhere. My parents never argued and made up their feelings.

Already at the time of the 12 they bought me a typewriter, a distance course, courses paid for by the little money they had at their disposal to give me a good basis.And I had that. Out of 200 applicants, 20 were recruited – clearly, I had better performances than I needed in the final exam after 3 years! And from there it just went on: I ended up at the youth office, had a super supervisor, who later put a brochure in my desk, which showed me the opportunity to learn my desired profession here in Berlin. Another colleague supported me, visited my parents and helped them give their written consent for Berlin and the education.

Even if my parents didn’t even get me on the train: they later supported me, gave me their savings for my first apartment.They visited me. They gave me a gift. They invited me and my respective partners to dinner here. I couldn’t see all of this for a long time.

Sure, I also got some damage from my father’s violence, but today I know that my parents loved me and wanted my best and did everything they could.

Their “you must-should-but” exhortations, their voices inside have long since disappeared, today I hear these “parent voices” lovingly, advisoryly, accepting.I made peace with them.

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