Fandango’s Provocative Question (19 January 2022)

Prompt image for the Fandango's Provocative Question prompt

Fandango Provocatively asks:

What has been the most difficult, hardest, or most painful decision you’ve ever had to make in your life?

I thought this question was interesting, just because so many of my decisions have been easy.

Life-altering decisions such as:

  • whether to move to the USA or to stay put;
  • to get married. In fact, I knew it was right because it was so easy;
  • to have children

were all no-brainers.

I suppose in terms of difficult decisions, I think probably the most difficult is still ongoing.

Do I want my daughter to be a part of my life, going forward?

For those of you who don’t know my history, my daughter accused me of child abuse. 2015, when she would have been fifteen.

I resent that, mostly because I didn’t abuse her. In fact, Mrs Bump and I, like most parents, went out of our way to ensure that she had a better start in life than we had.

So not only did we endure my daughter’s behaviour for several years before, we endured police, social services, solicitors… for probably six months after. The only thing we were spared from was court, because there simply wasn’t any evidence. In fact, the case against us was dropped when my daughter shot herself in the foot, also accusing known, trusted foster carers of child abuse.

The other reason I resent her behaviour is that, six months after all this stress, I suffered a stroke. I blame her, at least partially. She gets to act like nothing ever happened, and I get to live the rest of my life disabled.

There were various special circumstances with my daughter, mental health diagnoses, which always meant that bringing her up would be a challenge, but ultimately she harmed me, caused permanent damage, and I’m veering toward thinking that what she did was unforgiveable.

Veering. We’re mostly not in contact, but there is a tiny thread there. Whether/when I sever that completely will be the toughest decision.


  1. Your story is really heartbreaking and who wouldn’t understand and feel with you. I wish you and your wife strength. I am sure, when the time is right you will feel the answer to this dilemma and this decision too will then become an easy one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One of the most difficult decisions: do I take chemo or die in 2-3 weeks due to the Lupus shutting down my kidneys. At 43 who wants to die? if you can stop it. So for 2 years had Cytoxan therapy. once a month then every 3 months. The hardest part ( as a woman I lost my hair twice and became this overweight-looking person). But the most painful thing was it distorted my features with swelling from years of high-dose prednisone and then the chemo. Elvis had nothing on me, but my face was so swollen, I didn’t want to go out in public.

    It wasn’t the children staring, it was the adults, making you realize how distorted your features are. Children are naturally curious that I could take, but adults? Just plain rude. Forcing myself not to become a house bound I began to tell myself the world looks the same through my eyes and viewed it as such. That’s how I got myself through it. To this day is why I have long hair 🙂 plus 2 years after the chemo it put lupus in remission and has never come back at this point.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. This is an awfully difficult decision. Some things are better put off indefinitely if possible, because once that decision is made, there is no turning back. Whatever you do, good luck! .🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Thank you. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet. Yes, I admit I looked ugly but from the time we are little we are taught we don’t stare at people just because they do not look like we expect them to. Yes, adults need to heed what they teach their children and follow their own advice. They do not understand conditions that can be caused by meds.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Same here Pete, at such a young age I wasn’t ready to give up and after 2 strokes I know what you mean. The only
    this is the therapy is very hard on the bladder and kidneys. I am fighting bladder cancer off and on and I know it is from that…. So you take the good with the bad. But I am in good shape, we catch it quickly.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pete is going through one of the most difficult things I think a parent can go through, however, I have learned
    just because someone is family does not mean you can always forgive and forget. So he will come to his own
    decision when it is time. he will know what is right for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That is a tough decision. I had to cut my son off financially because he just wouldn’t do anything. We were always fixing things, paying for things, dealing with the courts for him. I just lost it one day and told him no more. So far he hasnt asked for anything, but he hardly speaks to us now. I feel for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I had to make the same choice with both my sister and my father — for entirely different reasons. Ironically, family doesn’t always have the people to whom you are closest. What makes the choice so painful is that relationships are complicated and especially parents and their offspring have such deep levels of complexity, in the end you wind up making your decision not on what happened, but on whether or not continuing the relationship is going to result in anything positive for you. When you know there’s no outcome other than pain, giving up may be the only answer.

    Only in the movies do people who have seriously wronged you and caused you irreparable harm turn around and make great, heartfelt apologies in front of that glorious sunset. In my life, that has NEVER happened — not even close. My father died 15 years ago and I’ve been waiting for grieving to begin. It hasn’t. My sister went down the road of drugs and at some point, there simply was no relationship left.

    It happens and it happens more often than you think. People like to romanticize family relationships, but so much of that is pure fiction — what they wanted and which never happened.

    Be well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I fully agree. With what you say about families. We’re all our own different people, and blood is no guarantee of compatibility.

      Incidentally, my daughter shows absolutely no remorse, even now. She still believes that I abused her, that these other people abused her… so there is absolutely no chance of an apology. It’s just that when you compare her experiences to any objective metrics of abuse, they don’t stack up. But she still believes…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Mister Bump. Thank you for sharing something so personal because you changed my mind about participating in this week’s FPQ. I was going to pass, but I can relate to your post after going through nearly the same thing with my three kids. I’m sorry you went through all of that with your daughter and your health.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Forgiveness? In the sense of letting byegones be bygones and going back to some a priori relationship? Sorry, the poem has its head in the clouds.

      Let me respond with a real-world example, since real world is where we live. You stick your hand in a fire, it gets burned, then you put your hand back in fire, on the grounds that next time, it won’t get hurt?
      You don’t learn to “forgive” the fire for burning you. Instead, the lesson is to keep away from it. To learn from our mistakes.
      I want her far enough away that she cannot harm me any more than she has already. So, do I trust that she would not harm me again? No way! Leopards don’t change their spots and people get one chance. Even grown-up daughters.

      You know, there’s a reason that these old sayings have survived the years.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Forgiveness isn’t a journey back, Pete, it’s a journey of healing. If you can’t release something, you carry it heavy and it keeps you from happiness, health and peace of mind. You’re stuck in the mud, but you think your protecting yourself from the next sticky turn. Pardoning and releasing isn’t for the person who has wronged you. It’s not the same as forgetting. A child isn’t a flame it’s a life you co-created and forever share a part of. A much h older saying is, “to forgive is to set a prisoner free, and to realize that prisoner was you.” As for leopards, their spot don’t change but it’s interesting to think how they got them.


  11. I think each one of us has to take a difficult decision at some moment in life.
    What concerns our children, though, I believe can sometimes make decisions very difficult. Sometimes, even with our loved ones we must sort of make a step back. This doesn’t mean that we are not there for them, but they also should have time to realize if their decisions are right.
    Try to think of the nice things of your life, you deserve it. Hopefully, with time, she will realize that her approach was not correct.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The hardest decision I made was to leave a marriage that was turning ugly. Before I could physically leave he killed himself. I felt relief for many reasons and felt guilt at feeling relieved. I think it’s an individual decision and what is hard for one may be crystal clear for another

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you’re absolutely right Michele. I’ve had seven years to think about my situation and, while I don’t articulate it often, it feels quite clear in my head. So in that respect, I have peace. I hope you are able to say the same.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I do now but it took years of guilt shaming myself to be at peace. My boss at that time told me he did you a favor which I found rather callous then but now I understand what he meant
        I’m not a quitter so the decision to split up was a year in the making but we all have our breaking points and I had reached mine

        Liked by 1 person

  13. It is an individual decision for all of us through circumstances Michele and it is an individual choice on how we
    each handle things. I so understand the sense of relief and the guilt of feeling relieved. It’s human honey. There
    are just times in life you say no more, family or not family when too much pain has happened.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. oh Mr. Bump .. that is a big bump and bruise to bare and I’m sending you a hug today.. It’s truly a hard life living with mental illness.. I know with my brother and his family and I have a healthy distance. 💖🤗🤗🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s difficult, isn’t it? I mean, as a parent, of a dependent child, you just deal with it. Because you can’t not deal with it. That side is a no brainer. That she subsequently did so much harm, that I was nothing, just some collateral damage along the way – is tiough for me to take. You know, as a parent you don’t expect gratitude but you certainly don’t expect malevolence…

      I wish sometimes I was more forgiving, but I am permanently damaged by it all. My gut feel is to walk away.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is and I understand. My mother has been through the ringer like you still manages to remember it is the illness talking.

        “You know, as a parent you don’t expect gratitude but you certainly don’t expect malevolence…”

        I certainly understand this.
        Try to forgive yourself for anything at all that might be lingering. And then see if there’s a way to remember it isn’t at all abut you. You’ve read the 4 agreements rightZ?

        Liked by 1 person

        • No I can’t read any more. Eyes not up to books, certainly. In any case, I prefer to tread my own path.

          But I’m not sure “forgiveness” is relevant, either for me or for her. Bottom line, whatever her reasons for harming me (and I’m including mental illness), I cannot allow it to happen. So I’ll keep my distance.

          If I have to sacrifice the relationship in order to remain safe, so be it. That’s a no-brainer. My priority is me, not her.


  15. So very different but the thread is the same for me. My daughter, as a young adult, pointedly took sides in the divorce, caused me much financial suffering, in spite of pleasant admonitions that some of her life choices were unsound ignored my words, and worst, has never admitted any of her errors. I am expected to hold all blame and “reconcile” which is something she wants because she knows she could gain from renewed relationships. I think on this often but never regret my actions through any of it. Best to you, and I hope for all concerned there is equitable and pleasant resolution.

    Liked by 1 person

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