The Freedom of Forgiveness of Yourself and Others
I had to learn this as a necessity to be able to move forward in my life. At the age of 4 I experienced a trauma which made the world not feel safe. I was the fifth of six kids.
I blocked out the memory. Sometimes our bodies help us by suppressing the memories of the incident in order to protect us because at the time, we are not able to process it. But as we get older, we start having dreams and memories.
My own memories started resurfacing when my children were small. I asked my mother if I had been molested as a child. She said yes, and explained to me what happened.
It was the first day I was let out in the yard to play in the neighborhood. Apparently, an older boy who lived on our street sexually molested me. My mother said I came home and had a weird look on my face. She knew something had happened. She said she asked me and I told her.
She took me to our pediatrician and he examined me. I had not been penetrated. Our doctor suggested I see a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist gave me tests and told my mother I was very bright, that I had drawn fingernails on the people. At this time, early 1960’s, he told us, the family, we needed to move so I wouldn’t have to see this person anymore. So…. My parents found us a new home and all 8 of us moved. It was never spoken of after that. I’ve been told that this was the way these types of situations were handled in the ‘60’s. Crazy, I know!!!!!
As I grew up, I knew I was different. I never felt safe and the truth is, I really don’t remember much of my childhood. It really wasn’t a fun childhood. I started being very rebellious. First with my family and then as I got older, I started drinking. This caused a lot problems for me and others. I was rebellious and drinking. I’ve learned since then, that this is a very common avenue people take when they have been traumatized. I would not come home at night sometimes. I started counseling because my parents didn’t know how to handle me. But as I look back, I CAN’T believe my parents didn’t connect the dots and tell my therapist what happened. They never did and I didn’t remember so I couldn’t get to the bottom of it.
As an adult I received counseling for this and started looking at it from a broader perspective. I knew my parents loved me and I could see they didn’t know what to do except to follow doctors’ orders. I’m glad they did!!!!! I can’t imagine what my life would have been like if we didn’t move.
So, since I knew my parents loved me I looked at the age of the incident. Doctors were not properly informed yet and laws were not in place. Also, the boy that did this to me most likely was being molested by his father. What a hot mess!!! Poor kid!
The bottom line: I chose to heal myself. In the process of healing I learned there was no such thing as “bad” Jane. This is what I had internalized without knowing it. I learned about Trauma and how our minds protect us. That shame, was what I was feeling (which is common in this situation). I had to learn to love myself, to trust myself and to trust the world.
Then, came the forgiveness!!!!!!!!! I knew my parents did the best they could, so I forgave them. I realized the boy had probably been molested, so I sent love to him and forgave him. And then the most important part, I forgave myself for my self-destructive ways that I used to handle the situation and for numbing myself with alcohol because of not feeling safe. This was critical for my survival! I DID IT! I’M PROUD TO SAY! IT WAS A LONG ROAD BUT WORTH IT! FORGIVENESS IS KEY TO FREEDOM AND JOY!!!!!
I encourage anyone who has ever been betrayed or hurt by others to go to counseling and learn forgiveness! It’s critical for life!
Love to you all!!!!!