I have been avidly reading every response to the post called “What Do You Wish Your Parents Would Say to You?” and I was struck by the enormous amount of courage, caring and integrity people expressed in their many different suggestions for others and stories about their own families.
I was also struck by the enormous amount of pain.
While reading all your comments it occurred to me, what about you talking to them? Turn the original question around. You are the person who made a tough, thoughtful decision to break away from your family’s path. You are articulate and sensitive as well as smart, or you probably wouldn’t have made that decision. You can initiate the talking too, (as some have) not just wait and wish for them to say something to you.
Short of compromising your own values or lying to them, like “Mom and Dad, I’ve decided to come back into the fold,” try on one or more of these questions:
- What would you like to say to them? (other than venting your anger)
- What have you actually tried? How could it have gone better?
- What do you think they wish you would say to them? (other than you’ll come back)
- What do you regret saying to them?
- What do you regret not saying to them if now it’s too late?
- What will you regret not saying to them, if you don’t say it soon?
- And to all of the above questions, what stops you?
A few people on that other post have already said some remarkable things to these issues. I should acknowledge to you that I never had this conflict because both my parents were agnostics. I both admire your strength and am appalled by your suffering, but on this issue I’m an outsider using empathy rather than direct experience.