Finding Healing in Forgiveness

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The healing process is a long road to recovery, with all sorts of unexpected twists and turns. Some paths to healing are harder to walk then others. Those of you who read my blog, know that I am at the end stages in my healing process.

I don’t talk about my trauma. I started this blog to reach out and hopefully help others suffering from PTSD. I also started this blog to reach out and help other parents who are raising special needs kids. So, to talk about the trauma itself doesn’t work for the purpose of my blog. I have studied Psychology and been a part of some amazing non-profit organizations that specialize in helping others heal. Through that I have learned that to talk about one’s own personal trauma when you are trying to help another isn’t always the right thing to do. It tends to distract the other person from dealing with their own issues. Finding healing in forgiveness is one in which I will divulge some information for the purpose of this post.

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I was hurt by a lot of people throughout my life. Aren’t we all? My life began in darkness. Many adults who were supposed to love me and care for me, ended up hurting me. Some of them didn’t intend to hurt me so I was able to forgive them pretty easily. Others sometimes intended to hurt me but out of their own anger at themselves and I just happen to be in the way. That took a bit longer to come to grips with and to forgive and move on, but forgive I did. But there were still others who took pleasure in not just hurting me but hurting those I loved. One person who did the most damage in this category was my father.

Parents are supposed to protect and love their children unconditionally, unequivocally, and without a second thought or question. We all know this. Many of my readers are parents and we all love our children with every fiber of our being. There is NOTHING that we would not do for them. However, there are some parents out there angerandforgivenesswho simply can’t do this. Some of them do the exact opposite of loving their children. My father is one of those parents.

For years during my childhood, all the way up until I got pregnant with my oldest son, I lived in the land of denial. It was encouraged so living in denial was easy for me. I never talked about the four hellish months (that
felt like centuries) I lived with my father to anyone. I didn’t talk to my friends. I didn’t talk to my siblings. I especially didn’t talk to any adults about it. However, the one thing I held onto was that I swore I would NEVER FORGIVE HIM.

For a long time, every time I saw a picture of him or even thought of him, I would shake and it would trigger a set of horrible nightmares that left me pretty messed up for weeks on end. I would go into these deep depressive and angry states of my mind that would cause me to withdraw from everyone around me, including my kids, who I absolutely adore, but I couldn’t deal. I wouldn’t deal.

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I was determined to hate him forever. My reasons are many but the main reason I refused to forgive him was simple: Justice. He only served 6 months in jail for what he did and I always felt that got away with it. He was a monster to me. Six months wasn’t long enough. So, in my mind I was dishing out my own justice by not forgiving him. I was taking back my power by doing this.

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When people told me that forgiveness is good for the soul, I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand because I was blinded by hatred for a man I only could ever see as evil. I held onto that hatred with the fervor of a hundred battle-hardened warriors who had faced down the devil himself and lived to tell about it. I was determined to keep him my prisoner…

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But I was the one still in prison. I didn’t see that until this past year. I had come so far into my healing that I made a goal for myself to forgive him. This wasn’t just for me but also for my boys. How can I preach to them about forgiving people if I can’t do it myself? So, I set out to make this a priority and it was the last step that I needed to take in order to truly move on from my past. When I finally took the plunge, it felt like all of the dark clouds that were hanging over my head since childhood were lifted away and my outlook on life has changed drastically!

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