I forgive – for me

2017-04-18 06:01

It is often that our subconscious does us a favour by suppressing the most traumatic experiences we are unfortunate enough to endure. Until something triggers a memory that brings it all rushing back like a waterfall, slowly drowning you.

A few days ago I felt an unsettling feeling. It was exactly seven years ago that my innocence was taken from me. I was in my teens, confident and bright-eyed with dreams and ambition. The one who was sheltered. But also the one with a secret of assault.

Yes, I was bullied. If only they had known when I left school that day, unsettled by their words, that I was about to fight off a molester.

It was someone I knew, someone I was supposed to trust. Had I not been so strong-willed, it would have been more than inappropriate remarks, unwanted kisses and the disgusting notion of accidentally “slipping hands”.

I always felt a sense of discomfort, but with younger siblings I felt it was my duty to safeguard them from the same fate.

I remember his words to me as if it were a stuck record, playing over and over again: “Oh, you don’t want me to. Okay, I will remember that.” As if saying “No” was wrong, as if I had asked for it, as if I were there just for him.

A few years passed and I thought I was okay, until I realised the person I had been before had almost completely died. I realised I was only hurting myself by holding on. I was allowing this to defeat me. I was allowing him to win.

I learnt that dangers lurk in your own home, and your children are never safe.

Most of all I have learnt to forgive. Not for the one in the wrong, but for me.

To the women being raped, abused, mistreated and undermined, I understand how frustrating it is to hear people tell you to forget. But take it from someone who truly understands. It is not until you forgive that you truly move on and set yourself free.

This is something I would not wish on my enemy. Protect your children as best you can so they never have to speak the words I now write.

I am not a victim of sexual abuse, I am a survivor.

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