Today I decided to do one of my longer posts in which I share my opinions on the subject of abuse, especially domestic abuse. I’ve written about it in some of my posts and I shared pieces of my domestic abuse story on this blog. One of my goals in life is actually to find a way to help abused women and children and to also open people’s eyes about what is abuse and how to fight it properly.
It’s always hard for me to write about this subject because I’m still on my journey of dealing with my past and my experience with domestic abuse so I don’t post that often about it. For those of you who are new to this blog or maybe haven’t read my posts about it, just to sum up – I was abused by my father. He got mentally ill during the war, got PTSD, became an alcoholic and suffered from an identity disorder. The abuse went on for roughly eleven years and he ended up in jail and is currently in a facility where he is being taken care of.
Now that you all are up to speed, let’s get on with today’s subject – Should you forgive your abuser? The answer to this is yes. You should forgive everyone who has done you harm but this situation is particularly difficult because abuse leaves a lot of scars on our soul and our body. I, myself, suffer from nightmares related to the years of abuse despite being already 22 years old and despite not seeing my father for years. An experience such as this one just has a tendency to stick with us forever and, even though you might not see it, this is not a bad thing.
The reason why it’s hard to forgive our abusers is because they rarely say they are sorry. Most of them are oblivious of their actions and consequences of their actions and believe they haven’t done anything wrong so it’s hard to think about forgiveness when you haven’t even heard the word “Sorry” coming out of their mouths. The reason why you need to forgive them is your inner peace. That’s the goal of coping with abuse. You need to find the strength to forgive someone who might not even be sorry just for the sake of preserving and healing your soul and mind.
I will write on my own example. To this day I still have many bad feelings relating to my father but I found a way to be already halfway done with forgiving him for everything he has done. I used to say to myself that he is ill and that deep down he does feel sorry about his actions, but it was hard for me to believe it when I would get flashbacks of him beating up my mother or me escaping through the window of my house because he threatened to kill me. As time passed by I realized that I have to be the bigger person or I will never be able to escape my past. Every now and then I pray for him. That’s right, I pray for the man, for my own father who abused me just because I have grown enough to realize that he doesn’t perceive reality in a way that I do. I also realized that he probably denies everything he has done because it’s a defense mechanism. On some level his mind is blocking the horrible acts he has committed to protect him from facing himself. I began to forgive him so that I could find peace and put my past to rest. On some strange level I found some positive sides to what he has put me through. I don’t want you to think I’m weird for doing it, I promise I will explain everything in a different post.
By wishing the best for him, hoping that the universe will give him the strength to face himself one day and see all of the things he has done wrong I began to discover serenity. You need to rise above the situation in order to move on and you can’t do that without forgiving the person that abused you. If you forgive them, you will first benefit yourself and after the hell you’ve been through you deserve it.
Holding on to abuse and hating the person that did it to you can only lead to further problems in your life. You could develop serious trust issues or become unable to establish a healthy love relationship with someone (I know I have my troubles with this). Step back, take your time and discover within you what it is that you need to do in order to forgive your abuser. Don’t think about him or her, don’t think about anyone else except yourself. This is actually where one of my favorite quotes applies: First, put your own oxygen mask. This sentence just resonates on so many different levels, despite it being a warning on a safety video on planes. Give yourself air, fix yourself, heal yourself and without noticing it you will forgive the person that did you wrong and it will be the most liberating experience of your life.