Love is a river and there are times when impediments stop the flow of love. Mental illnesses—addiction, shame, narcissism—these are boulders that stop the flow.
Sometimes there is a miracle. The boulder gets removed. Some families get to experience this Removal Miracle. Many don’t. There is no rhyme or reason. No one earns it. Healing is not the reward for those who love the most. Love is love is love.
When a parent becomes healthy again: they want their baby back. I have met zero exceptions. When the boulder is removed—the water flows again. It’s the way of the river, the way of a parent’s love.
We are the victims and we are the river—we are not the boulder, that’s what our abusers are.
Your parent—your sister, your friend: the one who hurt you, the one who couldn’t love you—she was impeded. That love was there, though. It couldn’t get to you—it just couldn’t get to you—but it was there—gathering power, swirling, festering, vicious in its desperation for its release. It was there—is still there—all there for you. That parent’s love does EXISTS. It just couldn’t get past the boulder that she set up somewhere within her mental illness, her abusive powers, her horrible existence, and her complex of a state.
You can trust me about this because I have been an impeded river for the majority of my life. She impeded me on and off for eighteen years until finally, I lifted it myself. The boulders of addiction and depression and her mental illness blocked my love from her, her love for me, and all my family felt was nothing from me when I left, almost selfishly but for the sake of myself before I almost killed myself. Nothing but pain and absence.
And then I got the Removal. And my swirling water flowed again. Because I was always love. I was always the water—not the boulder. She was the boulder.
I am so sorry if you have also felt this, experienced this, and went through this same experience. You deserved to have the love of your parent delivered to you and for you. You deserved to feel her love. You deserved to be soaked through to the bone with it every day and every night.
Please listen to me:
The miracle of grace is that you can give what you have never gotten.
You can. You do not get your power, your water from your parents’ river. You get it directly from God. Your river is strong. Let it flow. I believe in heaven because I know that one day no river will be impeded and we will all flow into the same ocean. And then you will feel all that love that could never get to you here. You will feel every bit of it like a mighty tidal wave at first and then forever like a river.
All I know is that you have nothing to do with the removing. The removing is not between you and her. The removing is between her and God. She will feel it, whether or not she ever notices it coming from Him or not. Because His mercies work through His grace like that, and it is not in your control or her control. It is in His.
So for now: Flow. You are the river. Flow unimpeded. That’s what you were made for.