The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. – Mahatma Gandhi
Forgiving you is the most selfish, self-serving, self-centered thing I will do in a long time. It’s long overdue and I should have done this for myself years ago.
I forgive you for snatching from me my childhood innocence with your perversion and forcing me to participate in things of which no child should ever have knowledge.
For years I kept the dark painful secret of your abuse out of fear, guilt, and shame. Afraid because I thought I did something wrong and would be punished and then the fear that no one would believe me. Ashamed because I felt dirty and tainted. Guilty because I thought that somehow it was my fault and I should have known better and stopped it.
These feelings were complicated and twisted all the more with your proclamation that I was your “favorite niece” whom you showered with gifts. Little did I know that these were nothing more than mere bribes to keep me silent.
And silent I remained unit that fateful day when I could no longer suppress it as it forced its way to the surface like a foul bile. It was at that moment when, in my early 20s, I knew…I felt that if I didn’t tell it, the toxicity would kill me.
When I finally told my mom, VMH, and my boyfriend I wept, no, sobbed uncontrollably. It was if a huge weight had been lifted and I felt a sense of freedom. However, with that freedom was short-lived because there was anger. An anger so intense that the mention of your name left me entertaining thoughts of killing you. And even though I felt a measure of freedom, or relief, I imprisoned those with whom I shared this dark secret by making them promise never to tell a soul, specifically, Mother (Mudda) and my daddy.
I could not bare the thought of Mudda not believing me because after all, you were her son, her blood. Equally, or even more so unfathomable would have been my daddy’s heartbreak. I truly believe, as does every family member, had I told him, you would be dead and he would have spent the rest of his life in prison. Both of my beloveds went to their graves never knowing the foul things you did to me. I would say ‘you could thank me later’, but I did not do it to protect you, but rather to protect them.
It wasn’t until about 10 years ago that I took the next step on this journey to freedom by releasing those who knew from that vow of silence. I was tired of keeping your nasty little secret…the molester, the abuser. I was tired of the unwarranted shame for I had nothing of which to be ashamed. It was a burden I was no longer willing to carry.
This allowed me to share my story with a cousin and to my horror she admitted that she too had been victimized by you. I was overwhelmed with first sadness and again guilt for not being strong enough to speak up sooner – maybe it would have spared her. Unrealistic expectations to have a 6 year old child to be someone else’s savior.
Here I stand in this final stretch of my journey having peeled away and shaken off the fear, guilt, and shame; having let go of the anger, ready and able to forgive you. By doing so, what you’ve done to me no longer controls me. Forgiving you frees me from the fear, guilt, shame, and anger.
This forgiveness is not an invitation to re-enter my life for there will never be a place for you there. I do, however, wish you well.