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I hope this will be only a short post. It’s about my dad – my human dad. I have been thinking I forgave him a long time ago. He abused his kids in as many ways as he knew how to. I know I forgave him for all the abuse. God helped me do that around 1987.

But not all the way, I’m just finding out…. not all the way.

I need to extend my hand all the way. For my own relief, I need to forgive more.

I was reading a post from a person with Bipolar 1 disorder; a disorder I suffer from myself. I’m pretty sure my dad had this illness, although it remained undiagnosed until the day he died.  I’ve never really wrapped my head around the realization that he had something going on in his brain he could in no way control. I have it, and I can not control it. Somehow, it hurts. It hurts a great deal. I’m grateful for medication. The only thing keeping me from twirling off this planet is medication.

So, one more time, I’m finding myself needing to rearrange the furniture…. in my head … about this.

I’m stepping into my dad’s life for a minute; into his brain for a few minutes. How did it feel?

“Up! Down! Up! Down! Whirling! Twirling! ”

Crazed! Crazed! Crazed!      

is how it must have felt for him. A whirling of mania and depression all mixed up in one horrible bag – his brain. No medication to thwart the rush-and-crush. I should, of all people, understand and empathize with this condition.

But up to this moment, I have not been.

I forgave all the outward manifestation of the illness – but have not enfolded him with empathy for the struggle. Man! What a struggle it must have been!

Does this sound all “goody two shoes”?  I assure you, it is not! I learned that to do this forgiveness is for my own well being – not his. He is dead. There’s no well-being on his part I need to worry about. Just my own.

Forgiveness is a magic elixir. I wrote about this in a post called: Rusty’s Accident & Forgiveness…it’s long, but worth reading to the end.


So I am going to work at rearranging the furniture in my head again. To be feng-shui’d  into a sense of understanding the struggle with this terrible madness he endured. To have understanding for, empathy for, the terrible mental anguish; struggle; pain; he went through. Dealing with this mental illness all by himself.

No one there to help him. Alone with it.

I know the pain having a mental illness brings. But I’ve had lots of help. Being alone with this pain – I can not comprehend it.

It must have been agony for him.

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Robin Illustration
robin claire