Forgiveness is more for the forgiver
Dear Dr. Pam,
As a child I was molested by a very close relative. My parents learned about the abuse after it had stopped.
Their reactions were different.
My father was sympathetic and understanding, my mother called me a liar.
Now, almost 12 years later, she tries to reach out and bond with me, but I just can't seem to get past her accusations.
In fact, it seems she has not believed me my whole life. Now that she is trying, I find myself annoyed.
How do I get past the walls I have put up and begin to develop a relationship with my mother?
Dear Jhene Parker,
Abuse can be a traumatizing experience for anyone. I would first suggest that you see a professional counselor who is skilled and able to assist you in working through many issues.
Secondly, I am happy to hear that you desire to have a relationship with your mother, despite everything that happened in the past.
Forgiving your mother will be the ultimate accomplishment, but it can be a difficult task.
The counselor can assist you with this. Remember, forgiveness is more for the forgiver, than for the forgiven.
Your mother is probably missing you very much and wants to spend time with you.
This bonding is needed by both of you for different reasons and will help you to bring closure to this sad situation.
Family and good friends are all we have to share and care. So cherish them.
Dear Dr. Pam,
If you are in a serious relationship, when is the appropriate time to get engaged or married; six months, one year, two years, five years or 10 years?
Dear Shay Snow,
Marriage is too serious a commitment to be based solely on a "time factor."
Albeit, the assumption is that the more time spent with someone, the better you should know him/her.
A marriage should be based on stronger attributes such as, shared values, expectations, trust, compatibility, maturity and love.
Moreover, premarital counseling has proven to expose vices and idiosyncrasies that warrant discussions, understanding and acceptance, prior to a life long contract.
Therefore, there is no hard and fast law about when one should marry, but ensure that when you do, it is a life long institution of which you are ready to join.
Point to Ponder: "Second chances are sometimes better than first opportunities." Ask Doctor Pam is an advice column that is featured every Saturday in this journal.
Your letters and comments are encouraged. You may email your letters or comments email@example.com, or write to Askdoctorpam P.O. Box F43736. Dr. Pam is a Clinical Psychologist trained in all areas of mental health.
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