Forgiveness

Before I begin today’s blog, I’d like to get some messages/maintenance out of the way. First, I had a flash fiction story accepted by the wonderful folks at Bank-Heavy Press—awesome stuff, go check them out—and second, today is the last day to enter my May Giveaway. I’ll announce the winners tomorrow.

Kiss and make up

Let’s talk about forgiveness. There are only a handful of people that know a lot about me, most of them from the MySpace days years ago. When I was younger, my father said some very nasty words I’d rather not repeat—forgetting is not my strong suit. I took them to heart and had a lot of trouble with that relationship. Through following blogs and talking to who I will call enlightened people, I began the process of forgiveness.

It is not an easy road, forgiveness. It took me time to process the idea, test it out by forgiving “minor infractions.” Simple things, I would forgive, let go of the emotional anger at people driving—mostly trying to drive over me. Once I tested the forgiveness theory, I felt a burden taken off my shoulders (so to speak) and it was freeing. I forgave more and more, but there was that incident February 13, 2003 that still held on.

While in New Mexico, I would, on occasion, have strained conversation with my dad. We didn’t see eye to eye. I hadn’t forgiven him yet. It took moving home and having a conversation with him for several hours that led to me forgiving him. We don’t see eye to eye still, not on everything, but I forgiving him  allowed me to move on, to grow from the fragile youth I was into a stronger person.

This lesson also taught me to forgive my own mistakes: to allow myself to not be “perfect” all the time. As a writer, that was the most valuable lesson I learned. I have freed myself to write whatever will be written with no expecation. No one has to see my writing but me—if I want to share it, I can, and if I want to edit is several times, I can too.

Have you ever had difficulty forgiving someone? Have you had a similar experience as me? Please let me know!

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5 thoughts on “Forgiveness

  1. My father was dead before his sins were revealed. Mom died eight weeks later than he did. It was for the best.

    All we had to do was deal with the aftermath of the destruction which goes on to this day.
    His granddaughters knew. They either acknowledged or denied, but they never told. Their lives were not anywhere normal until they dealt with their abuses in their own ways.

    Some of my siblings suspected; I denied their hints. Until my 24 year old daughter came to me with her story. It had been repressed until she met the memory in therapy. I immediately recognized the truth. My brothers and sisters began querying their children. We counted 15 little girl victims: my brother’s five daughters, my three daughters, but not my son, my sister’s two daughters, and my youngest sister’s one daughter. We also felt that four neighbor children may have been abused.

    How can I write about such shameful, hurtful things? Our family tradition taught us how to keep a lid on things. Our children seemed to know it would be taboo to mention this secret. We must have taught them that. But I believe that if we are to bring cleansing and healing, we need to take our secrets out of the shadows and into the glaring light to be examined. So I boldly share our children’s shame in order to bring healing. They need to know that they are the victims of a diseased mind who preyed on them. They need to know that they have not been damaged beyond our love. We love them, and we sorrow for their lost innocence.

    So what about this father that I never felt comfortable with? It took me a few years to look at him objectively. His father died when my father was five. His time was split between two grandparents who lived on opposite sides of the Mississippi. I have strong suspicions that he may have been abused, or at least been made an object of ridicule at one of the farms he went to.

    He was not a smart man. He didn’t have too much character, except he insisted we always tell the truth and obey authority. He raised five children on a minimum wage job. He wasn’t always true to his wife, but she was the love of his life.

    I was not looking for an excuse for his behavior. I was looking at how it could have come about. I was looking at his lapse into sensual pleasures over doing the right thing. I saw a man so low in self awareness that he could only conquer small children, even babies.

    As I looked at the sorry excuse for a man, I felt some compassion. He died an incomplete man, one to be pitied. Never excusing what he did, I have found a measure of forgiveness.

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