Respect Requires Work-Part One

As I return to the subject of respect, there are as many varied opinions as there are individuals. As I researched what others may say about respect, Susanne Slay-Westbrook noted,  “Healing from brokenness is a long and arduous process at best. We know that (when) we compile hurt upon hurt the healing process just gets more and more complex. Just saying that we need more respect in the world may sound way too simple—glib even. But in reality, respect requires a lot of hard work from each of us. It requires a very focused mindset of compassion, forgiveness and an openness to really hearing and understanding what others are trying to say.”

How often we may be disrespected because people don’t understand us, nor do they desire to do so.  The lack of respect within my small family began when our children were toddlers. When I would discipline them, one of the children always insisted on “tattling to Daddy” and the cycle of disrespect began. Because my ex-husband of 44 years touted only months ago that he didn’t love me for the majority of our marriage, his disrespect (and also his lack of love and compassion) toward me was transferred to our two children.

Why should they respect me, if their own father didn’t? Thus, now over four decades later, my son refuses to respect me. I know I’m not a perfect person and thus an imperfect parent, but never have I said or done anything to be disrespected for over 27 years of my son’s life. As Susanne noted, “as we compile hurt upon hurt the healing process gets more complex.” For years, I’ve pleaded with my ex-husband and son for an understanding of why they have treated me with such disdain and disrespect. With each, they have refused any form of discernment.

My ex-husband noted he married because he felt he would be more successful in his career. He also reminded me countless times that he would have preferred being single, so he could live as he chose. Thus, to our son, if I were not valued as a wife, why would I be valued as a mother? I will conclude part two of this blog at a later date.

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