I want to share my journey as I am working on healing from being sexually abused and tortured at the age of 4 yrs old and now I am 50 yrs old.
I believe I still have a lot to learn about being a survivor of child sexual abuse. Something I noticed every time I think I am over the trauma,something creeps up and shows me I am not over it. The first thing I want to do every time this happens is focus on forgiving this person,like that is the answer to my healing. But, i am starting to think that forgiving this person, is not the solution to my healing. My healing is going to come from within me,not from the person who violated me. I don't like sexual predators. I don't like being told to forgive them and maybe I should understand that maybe they were sexually molested as a child. I don't care,it does not make it right. I didn't do this to anyone nor could I conceive doing this to another human being. I don't get angry with others anymore when they tell me I need to forgive or get over it. I don't completely understand how to deal with the trauma and I don't expect anyone to understand it either.
The trauma of what happened to me as a child affected my life negatively for many many years. This kind of trauma can take many many years to heal from. I am not a victim of child abuse anymore. I don't feel shame or guilt and I definitely know it was not my fault. It took me a long time to figure out where the shame and guilt came from that I felt for a very long time.Once I figured out where it came from I was able to move on from that. Just like I had to realize it was not my fault what happened to me.
I don't like sexual predators. I don't care if they were molested in childhood. I don't care if they feel any shame or guilt for what they did and they should feel shame and guilt for what they did or are doing. I have no love in my heart for these people and I am not going to be focusing on forgiving them. Because I need to heal from the trauma of what they did to my life and how it affected my life. My forgiveness of them is not of any importance to me. So forgiveness is off the table and it is all about me and my well being.
I use to believe I needed to forgive them over what was best for me or I would not be able to have a good life. Well that is not true, I have a very nice life now and I work hard to get to where I am at now. I feel very blessed and grateful for my life and my past experiences have been able to teach me a lot about who I am and what I can do, and how I can be a blessing to others.
So I don't believe this has anything to do with if I forgive this sexual predator or not. I could be wrong but maybe I am not. I don't like sexual predators they need to be exposed and we need to stop feeling unashamed and guilty about what they did to us. They need to feel the shame and guilt for what they did. And these predators need to be exposed for the filthy, disgusting acts they do against a child. Sexual abuse needs not be such a taboo subject and victims/survivors should not be told to get over it,just move on,or you need to forgive. It is a process and that process might take years. There is no quick fix.We as survivors, are entitled to move on, get over it and forgive when we are ready,and no one should tell us differently. I still hate the person who molested me. what he did to me is disgusting. He's dead now and honestly I hope he is in hell burning for what he did to me. That is how I feel today, I might not tomorrow. I am going to feel everything and not put on a smile and pretend it is fine and I am over it. It's a process and I am going to give myself as much time as I need with no time limit.
I am a strong woman today and I love me just right where I am. I am not perfect nor will I try to be something I am not any more for anybody. I am just going to do me because that is all I know how to do.
Will I ever have complete resolution, I don't know. But, I will not worry about tomorrow.
And that is my story the in between, the messy part of healing from victim to hopefully victory or maybe I have the victory and I am still healing from the trauma I endured.
I know forgiveness is not...
Forgiveness is not letting the offender off the hook. We can and should still hold others accountable for their actions or lack of actions.
Forgiveness is returning to God the right to take care of justice.
Forgiveness is not letting the offense recur again and again. We don't have to tolerate, nor should we keep ourselves open to, lack of respect or any form of abuse.
Forgiveness does not mean we have to revert to being the victim. Forgiving is not saying, "What you did was okay, so go ahead and walk all over me."
Forgiveness is not the same as reconciling. We can forgive someone even if we never can get along with them again.
Forgiveness is a process, not an event. It might take some time to work through our emotional problems before we can truly forgive. - Sandra Schell Geiss
"I think there are two parts to the forgiveness equation; the resentment and anger part that eats us, and the absolving the abuser/perp or controlling person of responsibility. I let go of the resentment when I finally understood that just because I was taught that the responsibility was MINE, didn't mean that was true. BUT I do not absolve 'them' of responsibility for what they did."Darlene Ouimet Emerging From Broken; the Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing