It’s very difficult being a pagan and an abuse victim, especially when ancestor veneration/worship comes up in the books you’re reading. The assumption is always the same: that you’re working from a decent enough background and just changed religions from your parents or other extended family. (One person I know of doesn’t make this assumption, but that isn’t enough.)
I just finished reading a passage in a book that discussed ancestors, including “difficult” ones, where the author concluded that because her father stayed in contact with his obviously abusive biological father, then she has no right to cut him out of her practice. Her justifications amounted to the aforementioned “my dad kept talking to him until he died”, as well as “he had his good moments/qualities as well” and “no ancestor is perfect.”
I have heard every single fucking one of these as an abuse victim, about my still-living parents.
“You can’t cut them off! They’re family!”
I will talk to or not talk to whomever I see fit. I don’t have to put up with gaslighting, emotional manipulation, the threat of violence, or actual violence because of blood ties. Besides, the author expressly stated that death did not change personality, so why would she trust this ancestor of hers given all she knows?
Besides all that, even if someone does choose to stand by their jackass family members, that’s more a sign of Stockholm Syndrome than anything else. You may see a dedicated family member but I see someone who is so abused and so blinded they can’t find the way out.
“They have their good qualities too!”/”You just have to look past the bad stuff.”
No. No I fucking don’t. All the times my father took me fishing do not erase his neglect and drunkenness. In fact, his neglect and drunkenness almost completely erase all the fishing trips to me, because the first thing I think of when I think of my father is “oh, the man who doesn’t really love me”. People who say this have no true understanding of abuse and trauma.
“Nobody’s perfect.”/”You just expect your parents to be perfect!”
I don’t fucking care about perfection. I care about making an effort. As YouTuber Aliakai said, “Respect is not an inward feeling but an outward expression.” If you aren’t making the outward expression, I have no obligation to feel anything toward you.
Perfection may or may not be possible, but if you aren’t striving to be a good parent, you cannot be angry with your family members for deciding you aren’t worth their time and effort. And if you think people owe their jackass family members something because “family!” and “blood ties!” and “Blood is thicker than water!”* you are a horrible person.
*The true phrase is “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb”, and means the exact opposite of the way it’s been used in modern times.