Oftentimes, I find myself looking back at the time I spent hating my parents, and I wish I could take it all back. It isn't a unique experience to have a rough relationship with your parents at some point in your life, but it certainly is not something I am proud of.

Somewhere between my childhood and young adult years, the love and adoration I once had for my parents turned into blind, unapologetic hatred, and it is tough to pinpoint exactly when...or why.

Did I just decide it wasn't cool to love my parents anymore? Or did the presence of free thought cause me to despise everything they said and did? It's hard to say.

The insides of my bedroom walls turned into prison bars that I single-handedly put myself behind, and only I hold the key to escape. But instead, I remained trapped behind my own perspective with no desire to free myself.

I stubbornly refused any offering of reconciliation and decided things would always be this way.

Not every day was a bad day, but I absolutely refused to allow myself to believe my life could be a good one with the parents God dealt me. I was a prisoner, trapped with no way out.

After years of emotionally and physically distancing myself from my parents, I realize the damage that has been dealt with. I now see them as perfectly flawed people who did everything they could to provide me with the best life they could possibly give, and I have freed myself from my tunnel-vision with one simple concept: forgiveness.

I forgive them for the mistakes they made when they truly had no idea what to do. I forgive them for not being able to read my mind and give me exactly what I needed. I forgive them for fights and the miscommunication and the occasional lapse in judgment.

And now I want to thank them.

I want to thank them for raising me with morality and empathy and intelligence. I want to thank them for continuing to provide for me past what is expected of them. I want to thank them for the sacrifices they have made and the love they continue to give every single day. And I want to thank God for giving me the best parents in this universe.

I forgive myself for not realizing how lucky I was to have such uniquely wonderful parents, and I am thankful for the time I still have to make up for it.