I have been thinking lately about forgiveness. As a Christian I was brought up to show this to those who hurt me or did me wrong. I didn’t really understand, I did try. After telling my mother about Bill hurting me, she turned on me and slapped me saying I was wicked, he was only showing me love and I didn’t deserve such love from anyone. So if he hadn’t done anything wrong and if she didn’t love me, then why did they need forgiving? I felt it wasn’t him or her I should forgive because it must have been my fault. Every victim of Child abuse thinks they are to blame. The abuser makes sure they take the guilt on, to make sure non of the blame is placed at their door. My priest taught forgiveness and said over and over that we should ‘forgive those who trespass’. I asked once what that meant and he said, to forgive anyone who hurts us. So. As a child, I forgave, I think.
As I grew, many hurt me but some loved me and I was happy and grateful for their love. I just assumed that all of us get hurt, at times in our lives. I was just unlucky to have been continually harmed by Bill in a way I found very hard to cope with. Hence the antidepressants I talk about in NOBODY TOLD ME. The other person who at times caused me pain was Anne. She would get me into trouble at home, as I grew up and had Melissa, as I have said before, she tried very hard to undermine me to my daughter at every opportunity. When Lucy was tiny and Anne had her son, we stopped visiting her because my little girls were horrified a the way she treated him. How scared he was of her and how badly she looked after him. Lucy was about 2 when Anne dropped out of my life for the next 30 plus years. She would tell anyone willing to listen that I had done something horrible to her and that is why she didn’t speak with me. This was a lie. There was no reason on her part and she knows it but the rest of the family were led to believe that I had done, whatever it was, to her. Leaving me the baddie. I was used to taking the blame after all, hadn’t my own mother said I was to blame for everything that happened in my family. All the bad stuff. I tried over the years to make it right with Anne, knowing I had done nothing but she didn’t want to know . I hated the fact that she wanted people to think badly of me but could do nothing and tried to think perhaps she had her own reasons. Making excuses for her. Forgiving her for blackening my name.
When I was older and went to college, as part of my training I was taught to help clients show forgiveness. In most cases this was okay and I would do this but sometimes, like in cases of abuse, I help the client feel okay about their feelings. They will have suffered so much guilt already, feeling guilty about not forgiving their abuser, was not something I strove to achieve. Acceptance is sometimes better than forgiveness and how could I ask this of victims, if I realised that I couldn’t and wouldn’t forgive my own abuser?Using forgiveness to let go of pain, is about allowing your own feelings and accepting your past.
The people in our lives we freely ‘forgive’ are the ones closest to us. We tolerate our children’s mistakes. We forgive our children anything. We do the same for our parents, sometimes wrongly.
After Bill died, I knew I would never be able to forgive the things he did,. The things he denied me. The pain and fear he instilled in me. He stole my ability to have special memories. My first kiss. My first time at making love. He damaged me physically, emotionally and psychologically and I have suffered for the whole of my life. as a result. Things can still today trigger the fear, the hurt and pain. No one has the right to expect to be forgiven for having done this to a child.
A few years ago, Melissa was going to adopt a baby. I was so excited, filled my home with photos of this little girl. I helped my daughter and supported her in every way. We had a disagreement on the way she spoke to a foster child, as I have said before on my blog but I have an email that says ‘let’s not fall out Mum, we will have to agree to disagree. I want you to be part of all of this’. So that was how it was left. Then out of the blue, she blocked me on here and other Social media sites and became nasty. I didn’t understand the change. I then could not be her ‘pivotal support’ as I had said I would in a statement to the Adoption panel. I wrote to them explain that she had fallen out with me and asking if I didn’t sign would it affect the adoption because that was the last thing I wanted. They said it wouldn’t. Because now, the statement saying we were very close etc, was a lie. I didn’t sign it.
Little did I know that Melissa had recently been in touch with Anne, someone who knew nothing about Melissa’s life or mine for over 30 years. I know now that it was this intervention, this timely arrival that has influenced, in a very bad way, my daughter’s life. Now the change in my daughter made sense.Anne saw a way to get Melissa away from me as she had tried to do years before and has succeeded. I am sorry if I am repeating myself but this has to do with forgiveness. As I won’t and can’t forgive Bill the man who all of my life until I was around 22 , abused me, or forgive the woman they called my Mother, I also cannot and will not ever forgive Anne. I know that won’t worry her but it is the fact .She has done what she is good at, pushed her way in and trampled over anything good. How can I forgive that.
These recent events have tested my powers to forgive to the limit.
Today , trying to plan my Christmas visit to family and friends I was in tears thinking about what I have lost. Thinking about how this visit will be so hard, not seeing Melissa or my grandsons. I have kept in touch with my eldest grandson but this has stopped since Anne has been on the scene. She is a very good liar. Has had many many years of practice and was taught by a great teacher, a great liar in our mother. Her evil lies and made up stories have no substance and she knows this but people listen and if it is convenient, they believe.
I am getting too old for this. Too old to continually get hurt by people close to me. I miss my daughter, miss hearing about the family. Miss my new little grand daughter and there is nothing I can do to make it right. Anne has made sure of that.
So this blog is about forgiveness and it suddenly dawned on me . Yes I woke up to the fact that no one has the right to expect us to forgive. When evil deeds are done to us, no one has the right to say, ‘forgive them’. I for one, know it is not always possible. Why should I forgive the evil that Bill did to me? Why should I forgive my ‘mother’ for not protecting me? Why should I forgive Anne for the damage she is doing and has done to me? I can’t. I live my life in openness, in honesty and truth and expect hat to be done to me. Un realistic expectations I think. No, I cannot forgive the lies that have caused damage to people I love and to relationships I cherish.
As for Melissa. I just feel heartache. I feel sad and scared for her and her children. I know my younger sister only too well and know she will, when it suits her, cause damage and pain and then spit Melissa out and walk away.
Will I still be here for my daughter? Once I would have said ‘always’ but now I am not so sure. How much hurt can we or are we expected to take.
So, the purpose of this blog originally was to say this.
If someone has hurt you to the core. I f you have been sexually or emotionally and psychologically abused, If you have been hurt beyond feelings ,do we expect you to forgive your abuser, the person who has harmed you?
Do you know what? No we don’t. forgiveness is not always necessary. acceptance and forgiving your self is okay but forgiving those who have hurt you? NO. Sometimes the pain is just too great.
Remember you are the victim. They are the abusers, either of you sexually, physically or in any way. You are the victim and as such, I wish you well. x