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Jun 10, 2008
Forgiveness is NOT what you think it is...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Grace, what your mother's best friend and your step-brother and your parents have done to you is inexcusable. When your parents did nothing about your disclosures of abuse when you were 7 years old, they set you up for further sexual abuse. They enabled your step-brother to continue to abuse you. All four of these people have much to answer for.

You do not do drugs, you are not into prostitution, and you do not self-mutilate; this shows your strength of character. You "console" yourself through writing stories and drawing; both great and cathartic outlets. You love school and are doing well in it; a tribute to your amazing intelligence. You have MUCH to be proud of. I can see where you would think that you are past the abuse, and that you are moving forward. On the surface, that's the way things would appear.

Regarding the issue of forgiveness...forgiveness does not say that what these people did to you was okay. None of what they did was okay; it was criminal. Forgiveness does not excuse the people for their criminal actions. And forgiveness certainly does not mean facing the people with forgiving words. Forgiveness releases YOU. It releases you from the hostilities. It releases you from the hatred and the anger and the feelings of abandonment and betrayal, and all that goes with that.

You are not yet ready to forgive; and that I understand. But if you decide to NEVER even try to forgive, the rest of your life will be affected: your intimate relationships, your friendships, your work, all that you decide to do. Maybe not now; but more than likely, in the very near future. These unresolved issues tend to come back to bite us when we least expect it, when we are thrust into situations that remind us of what we have endured in our past, situations that you cannot yet comprehend.

I commend you for how far you come, Grace; goodness knows you've got a lot to overcome. I also recommend you seek out some form of counselling; otherwise, the anger and the hostility will eventually consume you. You're too smart to let that happen. You're worth too much to let that happen.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Jun 30, 2008
question and update
by: Grace2

then what forgiveness? I'm sorry I'm just a little confused here... forgive for what then since what they did is inexcusable? could you elaborate on how do you go about forgiveness?

oh and i'm also planning to join a sexual abuse survivor group at my university geared toward those abuse when they were children. I have tried contacting them for a while but got no answer. I'll keep trying.

When I was posting this story my "so-called" father (sorry but I don't consider him my father any longer) called me for a talk. Yet again he promised never to have dealings or invite his eldest son home. I didn't believe him. I got had at least three times it's enough. I actually told him to his face what I thought of him and the whole lot. It was painful but wonderful.

I told him he wasn't my father that he loved his children from the first marriage because he covered up for them. I told him that he did not love me because of how he had acted. I think he felt guilty but that his problem not mine (and honestly I think his guilt is a minuscule price to pay for the hell he put me through - he used to beat me when I didn't get my homework right or couldn't explain it his way), he should have thought about what he was doing. The man prides himself on his child psychology capabilities; always stating how he knows his way around children. Ha! The irony. Hope he chokes on his words.

The sick thing is I remain the family's dark family secret: my two youngest brothers 11 and 6 have no idea why their sis cannot hug them or respond violently when being touched unexpectedly. they think it's a fun game and keep on teasing me. When would be a right time to explain it to them why I react in such a way? they often complain that I'm a loner that I don't like them etc...

Jul 09, 2008
Grace:
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Forgiveness is NOT saying that what the person did was okay; because it wasn't okay. Please re-read what I wrote, because I did explain in some depth what forgiveness really is. As long as you hold onto the anger and hatred and resentment, you don't forgive. When you let go of all that, you do. And THAT'S the ticket to moving forward. Really moving forward. You have to challenge and shift the way you think of forgiveness.

But you may not yet be ready to forgive. It's a process, Grace. Give yourself permission to feel all the emotions, then when you're ready, let them go. This is one of those things that you will simply have to go through. I can write till the cows come home and never make any sense to you, until you're ready. Counselling is the best route to go.

I wish you all the best, Grace.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

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