There are depths to this world that we might live our entire lives without seeing.
When I finally faced the truth that my father had physically and emotionally abused my mother, I was liberated from my deep need for his approval.
For decades I had labored—mostly unwittingly—to win his attention and his respect. My sense of worth hinged on getting the applause that I assumed would surely come with the next achievement or award or promotion.
A light came on as I read my stepsister’s account of his abusive relationship with her mother. It finally dawned on me that this was a man from whom I could expect only manipulation and condescension.
Facing reality changed who I am. My sense of self-worth derives from understanding that I am a child of God.
But you know, that whole facing-reality thing doesn’t happen in a single instant. Reality, as it turns out, is too big and complex and textured to grasp all at once. And every time we face reality, we get stretched in ways that we didn’t anticipate.
A couple of years ago, I connected with my half-brother’s daughter and my half-sister’s daughter. Continue reading