Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ryan & Tatum

Have you been watching the documentary on "OWN" TV about Ryan and Tatum O'Neil? It is their attempt at reconciling after being estranged for 25 years. Tatum has serious anger and abandonment issues toward her father and Ryan doesn't seem to want to admit any wrongdoing and would rather  just let it go and move forward. 

Ryan is painted as the "bad" guy, but I feel he really does want to restore their relationship despite his frustrations with Tatum. She is the distressed victim who endured years of brutality from her father. But I wonder if anything in real life is that black & white?

I know from my own life that perception can be utterly different between two people. I believe there is much of this going on between Tatum and Ryan. For instance, I remember having profound issues with my mother about specific incidences that happened in my life; issues that she saw totally unlike my memories. How was it possible that she saw it so differently? I could never make her fully grasp my point of view on what happened or how it made me feel. All we did was frustrate and anger each other whenever I wanted to discuss it.

After many tears and much prayer, God revealed to me that our recollections were poles apart and just as I remembered my way, Mom remembered hers. It was what it was and nothing could be gained by our tug-a-war except more hard feelings. I realized that seeking the  "Big Apology" from Mom was never going to happen because she couldn't see any wrongdoing with her actions. I either let it go and forgave her or walked away from our relationship. I chose the former because despite it all, I loved her and wanted her in my life. It was then that I began to heal.

I don't know if my way is what Tatum needs to do; I'm not a professional, but I believe we can't change anyone. Until they realize the need to change we have the choice to leave or remain, stay in pain or heal. Forgiveness is not contingent on the perpetrator changing or deserving it. Maybe Tatum needs to just forgive her dad and begin to heal. Just saying...