outwardly strange behavior was unconsciously designed to support Jill in
healing her unresolved relationship with her father."
Radical Forgiveness, Part 5
Crying felt good to Jill. Her tears served as a powerful release and
a possible turning point for her. A real breakthrough might not be far
away, I thought.
"Tell me about the incident with my daughter, Lorraine, and
Dad." I said.
"Well," Jill said, while composing herself. "I always
felt unloved by Dad and really craved his love. He never held my hand or
sat me on his lap much. I always felt there must be something wrong with
me. When I was older, Mom told me she didn't think Dad was capable of
loving anyone, not even her. At that time, I, more or less, made peace
with that fact. I rationalized that if he wasn't really capable of
loving anyone, then it wasn't my fault that he didn't love me. He really
didn't love anyone. He hardly ever made a fuss of my kids -- his own
grandchildren -- much less people or kids not his own. He was not a bad
father. He just couldn't love. I felt sorry for him."
She cried some more, taking her time now. I knew what she meant about
our father. He was a kind and gentle man but very quiet and withdrawn.
For the most part, he certainly had seemed emotionally unavailable to
As Jill became more composed, she continued. "I remember a
particular day at your house. Your daughter, Lorraine, was probably
about four or five years old. That day Mom and Dad came down to visit
from Leicester and we all came to your house. I saw Lorraine take Dad's
hand. She said, 'Come on, Grandad. Let me show you the garden and all my
flowers.' He was like putty in her hands. She led him everywhere and
talked and talked and talked while showing him all the flowers. He was
entranced by her. I watched them from the window the whole time. When
they came back in, he put her on his lap and was as playful and joyful
as I have ever seen him.
"I was devastated. 'So, he is able to love after all,' I thought.
If he could love Lorraine, then why not me?" The last few words
came out as a whisper followed by deep long tears of grief and sadness,
tears held in for all those years.
I figured we had done enough for now, and suggested we make tea. (Well,
we are English! We make tea no matter what!)
Interpreting Jill's story from a Radical Forgiveness standpoint, I
easily saw that Jeff's outwardly strange behavior was unconsciously
designed to support Jill in healing her unresolved relationship with her
father. If she could see this and recognize the perfection in Jeff's
behavior, she could heal her pain and Jeff's behavior would likely stop.
However, I wasn't sure how to explain this to Jill in a way she could
understand at this point in time. Luckily, I didn't have to try. She
stumbled on the obvious connection by herself.
Later that day she asked me, "Colin, don't you think it's odd that
Jeff's daughter, Lorraine, and your daughter, Lorraine, have the same
name? Come to think of it, both of them are blonde and first born. Isn't
that a strange coincidence! Do you think there's a connection?"
I laughed, and replied, "Absolutely. It's the key to understanding
this whole situation."