It’s about time that I make an appearance and talk about things. There seems to be a build up of thoughts and emotions that have clogged the flow of words from getting to this screen. For several weeks now, I’ve had an emotional surge and have wanted to come here immediately to release. Of course, work and life get in the way and all I end up with is my weekly Haiku, which I love, but my life is not all about counting syllables and rhyming.
So. Here I am. Mid thought. Hoping to dump out a bit of what has brought me here without it being all moshed up, and after reading you think…what is she even talking about? Maybe I should start jotting down thoughts as I have the urge to write just so that I don’t forget what it is I wanted to say. Anyway, here’s hoping I don’t start rambling and that this makes some sense.
As part of my “self-healing” process, I’ve been taking part in an online chat group with some other Domestic Violence survivors that I’ve met over the last two years. It takes place on Twitter every Monday night at 9pm EST under #domesticviolencechat – brainchild of Lindsay Fischer (aka @LinsFischer) usually accompanied by her trusty group assistant, Amy Thomson (aka @AMarie9619). There has been a decent round robin of participants. Some people stop by every week while some take a pass depending on the topic at hand, as it could be triggering. Others, I’m sure, just read along without saying anything, if only just to know they’re not alone.
Last week, the topic was forgiveness. “Forgiveness of our abusers, of ourselves and of others who were not there for us either by choice or ignorance.” I had made the suggestion. I’m sure we had covered this topic a while back but forgiveness seems to be one of those ever evolving enigmas. As survivors begin to heal, I think, their thoughts on forgiveness change.
(Way back) In the beginning, when I started to share my story, I discussed the elusive Missing Ingredient. Forgiveness. I pondered “How can I forgive my husband for years of abuse?” What I came up with were reasons to forgive myself. At that point, only two months into pouring out my story, I wasn’t sure I could ever forgive my abuser and I certainly wasn’t sure I was ready to forgive myself. I understood all of the reasons why it is beneficial but it was still too early.
Yet again, two months after initially discussing this topic, I posted Forgiveness 101 and still I was unsure of where I stood. I had read an article by Deepak Chopra, which read in part:
“Some people are so ashamed that they can’t bring themselves to tell anyone their secret. The result is the worst kind of guilt, that festers inside with no chance for relief. If you feel that you have this kind of deep guilt, you must still find a way to believe that you are forgiven. You may have to take baby steps to get there.“
In reading back my post and the article, I could see how close I was. Just on the outskirts of understanding the necessity of this “F-word”. I knew somehow it was key but I wasn’t sure how to obtain it and I wasn’t even sure I deserved it – let alone give it away to my abuser.
Since then…it’s been something along these lines:
“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different.” ~ C.S. Lewis
And by that I mean, I can’t pinpoint when it happened or even how I’ve changed but I can feel something different. It’s this bizarre internal feeling. Almost evolutionary. Maybe enlightenment. I’m not sure. All I know is, I feel good. Mentally. For the first time in a long time, my mind is clear and focused. It’s weird. Kind of like an out of body experience. As if to say, I’m aware of my awareness. If that makes any sense.
So back to last week’s #domesticviolencechat group session. I didn’t think about it when I was in the moment. It wasn’t until someone retweeted my comment:
“I forgive myself for falling prey to my abuser. I was 17 and didn’t know how to ask for help.”
Wow. That’s an eye opener. First thing, apparently I forgive myself. Kudos to me. And the other thing, which is huge, is that I don’t think I ever allowed myself to acknowledge the fact that I was indeed a kid. Probably because back then, when I was a kid, I was so intent on being a grown-up. Plus, I had a lot of responsibility at a young age, so I always felt grown-up. In comparing me at the age of 17 and my own daughters when they were that age, I was a grown-up! There’s no comparison to the way the kids are today and the way we were in the 70’s and 80’s. Granted, it was a different time, no matter where you were raised.
Nevertheless, this statement I made, almost unaware, really opened my eyes.
I was a kid pretending to be a grown-up who got caught up in a world of unexpected trouble with no real skills on how to get out of it. For those of you that can’t comprehend the intensity of the situation that child was in, for those of you that judge her choices and for those of you who think she deserved everything that came her way…I forgive you.
Most of all, I forgive her.
My story starts HERE.
Read more about Lindsay Fisher.
Read more about Amy Thomson.