Forgiving the Monster Within

Kim Buchwald
5 min readJun 16, 2020
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels

Christ dying on the cross said in the gospel of Luke, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Sitting here, after the aftermath of yet another inability to handle my emotions like an adult. I wonder how forgiveness works, when I do know what I am doing.

My entire life my dad has told me I am like my mother. My entire life my mother has resented me for being like my father. No where, to this day, can my parents find me. Me as in the child that was stuck in the center of constant emotional and psychological abuse. Me at the center of a household that was incessant in it’s quickness to erupt into flames. No where was there space for me to be seen as anything but a superficial extension of my parents.

Bringing this up at a family dinner would have resulted in an argument started by me and ending with the combustion of my parent’s character. “Yet again, I would think to myself, I have incited chaos.” The child, the teenager, the young adult, the 30 something married with kids is lost and never found. Thank God, my parents got divorced.

Here I am left with the legacy of toxic tendencies, the only part of my personality my parents ever acknowledged, because it was the only part they could see in each other. Like my mom, I have the tendency to center myself in the conversation. It is a tremendous strategy. One that enables you to never have to fully engage with the other person’s feelings or viewpoint as a function of your own actions. How could I have done anything wrong, when it is me who was hurt by you not the other way around. Like my Dad, I cannot handle being anything but the ideal version of myself, which when this is inevitably challenged because it does not exist, I subsequently collapse into shame and incoherence — a blind rage. Do not touch the fire, or you will be consumed by it.

I guess my parents are correct that I was always a smaller version of them. There wasn’t room to be anything different. I guess there wasn’t really room for anything at all, if the moment you attempt to communicate you are either gaslit or a sounding board. Where is the child? But in the eye of the hurricane — ignored.

The worst part is while I was told that I was my mother’s victimization and my father’s rage, I was also the one doing the feeling. My mother, underneath that…



Kim Buchwald

Writing about the relationship we hold with ourselves. Founder of @theartofgoodenough a platform dedicated to wellness rooted in love and presence.