Approaching a conversation with a parent who left you can be emotionally challenging and requires careful thought about what you want to ask or express. Here are some questions you might consider, keeping in mind that your personal feelings and the context of your relationship should guide the conversation.
Understanding the Past:
What were the reasons that led you to leave?
How did you feel about leaving at that time?
Were there things you thought I should know but never told me?
How do you think your leaving affected me?
Have you ever thought about the impact of your absence on my life?
How have you dealt with the decision to leave over the years?
How do you feel about our relationship now?
Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
What are your feelings towards me now?
Reconciliation and Moving Forward:
Are you open to rebuilding or strengthening our relationship?
What are your hopes for our relationship in the future?
How can we start to mend our relationship?
Understanding Their Life:
Can you tell me about your life since you left?
What have been some significant events in your life during this time?
Have your perspectives or feelings changed over time?
Is there anything you would like to share with me?
What do you think I should know about you?
Are there questions you have for me?
Reflecting on Their Personal Growth:
How do you think you have changed since you left?
Have you learned anything about yourself from this experience?
What has been the hardest part of this journey for you?
Understanding Their Perspective:
Did you ever consider coming back or reaching out?
What were your main concerns or fears about me?
How did you envision our relationship evolving over time?
How did your leaving affect other family members?
Were there external factors that influenced your decision to leave?
How do you think our family dynamic could have been different if you had stayed?
Communicating Regrets and Apologies:
Are there things you regret about leaving?
Is there anything you are sorry about?
How do you think we can address the hurt that has been caused?
Discussing Their Current Life:
What are the most important aspects of your life right now?
How do you think your experiences have shaped your current relationships?
Are there significant others in your life who you’d like me to know about?
Exploring Future Possibilities:
What are your hopes for us in the future?
How do you think we can best communicate moving forward?
Are there specific ways you would like to be involved in my life?
Addressing Unanswered Questions:
Are there things you think I don’t understand about your decision to leave?
Do you have any unanswered questions about my life?
Is there anything I’ve assumed about you or your reasons for leaving that might be incorrect?
Seeking Emotional Closure:
How do you think we can work towards forgiveness and closure?
What do you think is needed for us to move past the pain and start fresh?
Are there particular emotions or issues you think we should address more directly?
Remember, these questions are just a starting point. It’s essential to approach such a conversation with openness while protecting yourself. Be prepared for a range of emotions and responses, and consider having support available (like a trusted friend or therapist) before and after the conversation.