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Post-Polio Health (ISSN 1066-5331)

Vol. 29, No. 1, Winter 2013

Promoting Positive Solutions

Questions answered by Rhoda Olkin, PhD, and Stephanie T. Machell, PsyD

QUESTION: I am a 72-year-old widowed male. I read in the September issue about the reader whose parents didn’t tell her about having polio and only discovering it as an adult. I had a similar experience and have always felt my parents were ashamed of my polio, not just wanting to protect me, and this had a scarring effect on my self-esteem growing up.

I have let this issue go, but I cannot forgive them. I feel the “they did the best they could do” explanation I have read in self-help books pushes me to forgive, which does not feel doable for me. I have been able to forget, but not forgive. Is this healthy?

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