I have been going to a new therapist for a few months and I love her! She has taught me so much about taking care of myself and being honest and real with myself and others. It has been challenging to confront my past and my issues but it is so worth it in the end.
Yesterday my husband came with me and we worked through some of his insecurities and how we relate to each other. It was very helpful and we both got so much out of our session. I’m lucky to have a man who is open to looking at himself as I know this is hard to find.
There were many lessons learned throughout this process but one thing I suddenly realized yesterday was that I might have the ability to forgive my abuser. I never ever thought I could do this. In fact I had so much anger inside of me that I really didn’t think it was possible to forgive someone who had hurt me so badly. There are a couple of reasons I think I can work toward forgiveness.
One, my son Griffin. My abuser was about 16 years old and I was about 6. Most of us know that abuse is a learned behavior so I of course realize that he was most likely repeating things that had happened to him. I know he knew better but he was also a victim. He was a child as well. When I look at Griffin and think of all of the terrible things that could possibly happen to him my mind goes in circles and I am more in touch with just how vulnerable a child is. I don’t know my abuser’s full history but I know it wasn’t a good one and he didn’t have any supportive parents or role models. While I hate what he did, Griffin reminds me that when a child is hurt or victimized by another person they are vulnerable and most of all, a victim. If there is no intervention, the behavior is most likely repeated.
The other reason I think I might be able to forgive is that I have a compassion for victims now more than ever. What he did to me was inexcusable and if I had the chance to talk to him today I’d most definitely tell him how he hurt me, but I can also have compassion for where he came from before he came into my life. Griffin teaches me about compassion all the time because he is a child and he doesn’t yet have the filters and judgements that we learn as we become adults. For instance, the picture in this blog is something Griffin has already given to his brother who is coming in August. How compassionate is that? He hasn’t even met his brother but already has feelings for him enough to give him a gift.
So, I don’t know if I have reached the point where I can actually say I forgive him but because he was a kid and a victim it makes it easier for me to be compassionate for his experiences and victimization. I still have a need to find him and confront him now that I am an adult but I am not sure I should until I have reached a point where forgiveness is fully possible for me. I think this is the first step in forgiving him and in the end a huge step towards healing.