Tag Archives: moving on

The Ride

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So, it’s been just over a year now since I sent that fateful letter and started this blog. In that year I have learned so much about myself and have really been forced to take an honest look at everything in my life. Sometimes the answers that I’m looking for hurt to the core when I find them but sometimes they set me free. It’s also been a bit of an emotional roller coaster but I think I’m about ready to get off of it.

One of the things that I have had to take a hard look at is my relationships and why I have them. The main reason why I kept my parents in my life for such a long and unnecessary amount of time was that I wanted them to be happy despite the lack of my happiness. I know, I know… that’s so screwed up, right? Why on earth would or should I ever care about the happiness of people that continued to rob me of my own? I dunno… Stockholm syndrome? Who knows! I realized that I’ve been this way with a lot of people. I was a doormat. I didn’t think that I was because I thought I was blunt and spoke my mind but I really didn’t. I mean, I did when I knew it wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

The biggest blow that made me take a step back and look at my relationships from another angle was the utter lack of support from people that I thought cared about me. Some family members, some friends. My coming out about being abused and writing this blog has opened my eyes to those who give a shit and those who don’t. It surprised me. It surprised me a lot! On a positive note, some people have come out of the woodwork, in my list of friends, that I now have a deeper connection with so it’s not all bad. In fact, I take this awakening as a blessing in disguise: I now know what people I should invest my heart and soul into and those who don’t deserve it.

It does make me sad that so many people just don’t care or don’t want to know about the abuse that could be going on right under their noses. I realize, though, that people generally don’t care about things until it affects them directly. It’s like people who have never been anywhere near poor but think nothing of it to cut welfare programs. People who have never been to third world countries in person aren’t as inclined to give a rat’s ass about the starving, sick children drinking shit infested water. Sure, they might throw money or bibles at a good cause, but do they really care. No. They aren’t emotionally invested in those people or situations. They lack empathy toward anything outside of their little bubbles. As long as the money keeps rolling in and grocery stores are open and gas stations fill their giant SUV’s and their kids never suffer…. why bother? It doesn’t affect them.

I realized that most of the support that I have garnered from my story comes from other survivors and people that have been directly affected by child abuse and/or sexual assault. This is a good thing! We need to stick together! We need to let the next person know that they aren’t alone. The process of facing a lifetime of sexual abuse is HARD. It will make you question everything. I have questioned it all, right down to my marriage. What are the lies and what aren’t? Who wants the best for me and who wants to sabotage me? Who is going to be there for me when I need to figure it all out and who is conveniently going to be busy and not there?

I think I’ve figured it out and I’m ready to get off the ride. I’m also ready to face life as an adult that is confident and not lacking in meaningful relationships because she knows she is worth it. I’m worth it. You are worth it. Don’t let people dick you around because they don’t “get” you. Also, don’t let anyone tell you that your mac and cheese is way too cheesy. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. 🙂

 

 

 

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Forgiveness

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Back in my Christian days, forgiveness was a major player in my faith. I had a hard time with it because I had some pretty big atrocities that needed to be forgiven. Anytime I opened up to Christian leaders, I was always told the same thing, “forgive just as Jesus forgave you.” I made sense back then because I was naive and gullible. I was also hoping for that magic formula that got the heavens to move and God to work in my favor. Well, it didn’t work. I can’t even really say that it gave me peace. Whatever peace that I did have was superficial. What it did do was get my parents off the hook. When I was 18, my step-dad asked for my forgiveness … in front of about 5 other people. This was when I went to my church pastors about the abuse. I felt like I didn’t have a choice but to say yes. Truthfully, at that time in my life I wanted to do the right, Christian thing and this was supposedly it. I was so conflicted and confused. At 18, the statute of limitations would have been in effect and he could have been thrown in jail. I did not know this at that time. Forgiveness was no skin off his back but years of emotional suffering for me. It wasn’t fair. What did I get out of letting him off the hook? Nothing? Should I have gotten something? I don’t know. It would have been nice for my mother to divorce and start a better life with her but that’s not what she wanted.

They say that forgiveness isn’t for the “sinner” but for the person “sinned” against. I can see that. I don’t think that it should be the way it’s portrayed though. In my case, forgiveness is just recognizing that I can’t change what happened to me. I can’t change my mother or her choices. I have to move on. I have to forgive myself for the guilt. I have done that. None of this was my fault. It wasn’t my job to insure my mother’s happiness. It wasn’t my responsibility to keep my family together. My responsibility lies in myself. It might seem selfish but where would we be if we weren’t selfish to some extent? I have a responsibility to take care of my own health and raise my children to do the same. It’s my job to make sure that I’m happy and fulfilled.

Forgiving others isn’t necessary. Some people don’t deserve forgiveness. When I mess up and do something that hurts someone else, I understand that they are mad at me and have every right to that emotion and feeling. Sometimes I don’t deserve forgiveness. It’s not something that we should expect out of other people. It’s not something that should be expected to be given out freely. As civilized humans we all have to take responsibility for our actions and accept the consequences of those actions. For my parents, they never wanted to take that responsibility and they expected my forgiveness of them to be abundant and free without any price. That wasn’t fair to me. I don’t forgive them. I’m ok with that.

It’s ok to harbor bitterness for a while. It’s all part of healthy healing. We just can’t let that bitterness eat at us. Admitting that I don’t forgive them has actually made me feel better. It has lifted the load and allowed me to begin the healing process. Living a life of forgiveness toward them would mean that they must have an active part of my life which I can’t allow. Some might say that I’m wrong, but I say, “you don’t know my mother.”