Dirk Knemeyer

The perspective of time

When I was first reconciling the pain and disconnect of my childhood, it was important for me to find culpability on the part of my parents. How they did not handle me properly in one way or another that was the cause of pain, grief and confusion. By attributing these things to them, as an adult, I was far better able to make peace with the past and start a relationship with my parents.

Fast forward a few years.

Now, I am not only an adult but very successful and very self-assured. My identity and my acknowledging that I am a good and valuable person are well cemented. With that, and as I visibly watch my parents – father in particular – break down and age rapidly, my perspective is changing as well.

I want to think of him as a good person. Heck, I *know* that he is a good person. But I do not want him to wear the crown of thorns that I pressed down upon his head as I attempted to reconcile the past. Now that I have peace, I want him to be absolved of it as well.

This came to me unintentionally, without analytical thought. I just caught myself the other day saying, “You know, I don’t think that things were all that bad as a child. I think that I was just a very difficult child. He did the very best that he could and I made it too difficult.” Saying that to myself, I stepped back and tried to figure out where that came from. And the above analysis is what I came up with as the reason why.

I can bear that now. I don’t need to blame him – or anyone – for what happened. It just happened. We all love each other now and, actually, we all loved each other then. I had to grow up into an adult and mature into a man in order to realize that. There were no villains, just uncooked people doing the best that we could.

I love my father. I hope that he realizes it. And even more than that, I do now truly realize how much that he loves me.

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