The Hardest Person to Forgive

*Warning: this post contains graphic nature and references to rape. If you are under 18 or sensitive to graphic content, please do not proceed.

In order to heal, we must first forgive … and sometimes the person we must forgive is ourselves.” – Mila Bron

Yesterday, I wrote about my experience of being raped. I expressed my shame, but today, I want to present a narrative of healing and finding peace.

HEALING FROM TRAUMA

Healing from physical trauma is often done a lot more quickly than healing from emotional trauma. Physical healing is often an automatic response from your body. You skin your knee so your body reacts and forms a scab. You break your arm and a doctor sets in a cast so that your bone can mend itself.

Emotional healing requires a bit of extra work. It’s not as simple as sitting back and relaxing. It doesn’t necessarily happen as automatic response. It’s a not a, “You break it, you buy it” sort of thing. It’s more like they break it and you still have to pay for it.

In cases of rape and abuse, the ability to cope emotionally doesn’t come so easily. You are stuck in a mindset that you are dirty. You are stuck thinking that you are worthless. You think that no one else will ever love you. These things can lead to depression and make coping that much harder.

I think questioning whether it was rape made is so much harder. Was I just a dirty skank? My ex had denied it and lied. He said he had never touched me and that it was in my head. But he also slipped up one day, I knew he was trying to make me think I was crazy.

Coping looks different for everyone, but for me it was a long process and I think I’m still coping a bit. There was denial, there was anger, there were feelings of worthlessness, and then there was forgiveness.

I FORGIVE YOU

Forgiving my ex did not come easily. If I ever see him again, I will walk in the opposite direction.

I had been angry at him for so long. I had harbored bitterness and resentment. It had made me become this person who was hard to be around. I would constantly think about how he needed to pay for raping and abusing me.

Anger and bitterness can turn you into a cold person. It eats at you. Staying angry would have been easy, but forgiving him took a lot of strength.

I didn’t want to hold onto the resentment anymore. It held me back from enjoying much of life. I couldn’t enjoy the moment because I was so hell bent on the past. Forgiving isn’t simply saying, “I forgive you.” If it was that easy, everyone would do it. It’s a conscious decision to squash your resentment. It’s a conscious decision to absolve the other person from their “crime.” And everyday after that, it’s a fight not to let the hate creep back into your heart.

I don’t think you need to forget though. It’s important to learn from the past. How can you learn, if you completely blackout their actions? I think it’s best to forgive, but still remember their words and/or actions.

I will always remember the rape in vivid detail. I will remember hearing myself scream and the pain. I will remember the tears that fell down my face. I will remember that I couldn’t move and get away. I remember being trapped. I remember his voice when he spewed venomous words.

I FORGIVE ME

Even in suffering some of the most horrible physical and emotional trauma, the person who is hardest to forgive isn’t your oppressor. The hardest person to forgive is yourself.

I’m the kind of person who will replay things in my head over and over again, thinking about what I could have done differently. I’m the kind of person who will say, “What if I had just ignored his flirting? What if I broke up with after this or that? What if I never met him?” Most of the time, I shift a lot of the blame on myself.

For so long, I blamed myself for being naive and weak. If only I had been stronger then I could have fought him off. If I wasn’t so stupid, I never would have even dated him. If I didn’t believe his lies, then I could’ve spared myself so much heartache. It was my fault that he raped me.

Forgiving my ex looked easy in comparison to forgiving myself. I self-loathed for years. I finally forgave myself in December 2019. I forgave myself after meeting Sir. When I met Sir, it showed me that everything my ex said about me was lie. Someone else could care about me. Someone else could want me. Someone else was able to see beyond the tough external shell and see who I really am.

The rape was not my fault like I had been led to believe. It took a great deal of strength to leave him when each time I was met with hostility. I wasn’t weak. I was strong.

Many think that rape and abuse survivors are fragile, but to survive and walk with your head held high is quite the opposite of fragile. Society seems to place a lot of shame on those like me. Many times, people don’t even believe us.

When we can breakthrough those stigmas, we can begin the process of forgiving ourselves. We can recognize that we aren’t defined by the actions of others.

I forgive myself for putting up with the abuse for so long. I forgive myself for not having the courage to call him out. I forgive myself for the self-hatred. I forgive myself for blaming myself for the rape and abuse.

Forgiveness is freedom.

Yours Truly,
The Sassy Sub Daily

To see what others have to say about Forgiveness, please click here.

To see what others have to say about sex and mental health, please click here.

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9 Comments

  1. I am glad you talk about forgiving yourself as that is very important – although u have done nothing wrong it is natural to blame yourself for getting into such a situation – I have done that too and u have to forgive yourself that to move.on
    I agree about the forgetting – remember and learn is better.
    I read your other post about this and hope that writing about it liberates you in some way.
    Take Care and TY for linking this to both memes
    May

  2. I found myself nodding reading how you blamed yourself, as I am the same – forever blaming myself when things go wrong. It is indeed so difficult to forgive yourself but also very freeing. And like you, I believe in forgiving, but not forgetting. If you forget, you also forget the lesson you have learned.
    ~ Marie

    1. Absolutely. And if we forget those lessons, we’ll end up repeating the cycle and making the same mistakes over and over again.

  3. You have found the holy grail of forgiveness…forgiving yourself. It isn’t always easy, and while forgiving others is important and freeing, I think forgiving yourself is where real healing comes from.

    I am so sorry you had to go through what you did. This is is an amazing thing you have shared. Thank you for being vulnerable with us.

    1. Thank you for reading. I think forgiving ourselves is harder as it means letting go of the guilt, the shame, and the many lies we’ve believed. Or at least means a willingness to work on letting it go. It’s definitely something that I work on to this day as I do have my moments of relapse.

  4. I will never forgive my ex for the abuse he poured on myself and our children. But I have forgiven myself, and I am no longer angry with him. I used to waste so much energy on anger and fear, I now spend that on building a positive future and, it’s amazing.

    This sums it up for me: “Many think that rape and abuse survivors are fragile, but to survive and walk with your head held high is quite the opposite of fragile.” To survive rape and abuse at the hands of someone we love? To grow and learn from them life we endured? That has shown me how strong I truly am.

    Great post, thank you for sharing.

    1. Fear is still something I struggle with. When he tries to contact me, I get scared. I worry about what he could do if I ever see him again. It’s not a constant thing, but definitely in those moments when he’s demanding me to talk to him. I ignore his demands, but the emotions that run through my head show the fear, the hurt.

      But I am happy to have found Sir and lover. They show me that it’s possible to love again and to be loved. They’ve shown me that in the past, I may gotten a rotten apple, but some are good.

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