On Forgiveness: Forgiving Abuse

Yes, I am still working on my project on forgiveness. Much of it is still in my head (I know I know, I need to be writing and drawing it out). I did end up doing a bubble map the other day, which helped me visualize some actual objects and possibilities.

I have decided to create "wall lockets" for each person--there will also be quite a few relating to forgiving myself--with some sort of etching on the outside, and objects inside relating to the situation. Much like drawing dreams, it is hard to visualize some of these and create something physical from something emotional. But, I am up to the challenge.

One thing I have wrestled with in this process of forgiveness is forgiveness relating to abuse. There are a few specific situations in my past which this relates to. One of the first big issues I run into with this part of forgiveness is, once again, the definition. It is one thing when you yourself have changed your personal definition, and are comfortable with it. It is a completely different thing if you tell the person you are forgiving, that you forgive them, and they still have that notion that forgiveness means that what happened was okay.

As I've stated in the past, forgiveness in my eyes does not include forgetting. How can you forget your past? It also does not mean that what happened was okay, but rather that one is acknowledging that what happened happened, it is in the past, and they are letting it go and allowing themselves to move forward with their live without that burden.

Without going into too much detail, there are 4 instances of abuse that I am directly dealing with in this project. In one instance, I have come to the conclusion through many many years of reflection, that this person was incapable of behaving any other way towards me because they didn't know any better. That doesn't mean that what happened was okay, but it helps me understand their actions and makes it easier to distance myself enough to let it go. In another instance, the abuse was horrific enough that the situation will stay with me forever, whether I want it to or not. There are some people that just do not deserve forgiveness and I would never use the term to describe my process of letting go, even if just because I wouldn't want them to think that what they did was okay, or that they got away with it. In a situation like that, I make peace internally, and let it go, but would never let them know that. That may sound contradictory, but I hope it makes sense.

Even now, there are instances that will take years to process still, before any form of letting go is possible.

I have, in the past, gone to counselors for help with various matters of moving forward, letting go, and forgiveness. I strongly urge anyone who feels like they have hit a wall and need a little help, to find a counselor to aid them. It does a world of good, even if it's just for one session, to have an objective perspective on matters.



  1. Bravo sister! I applaud the hard work you are doing and the amazing personal growth. It's not easy, I know from personal experience (incest survivor and some other icky stuff) and art has been a perfect vehicle to process and release blocks for me. The wall lockets sound really powerful and interesting.

    Sending much love and support your way~ stay the course, it's worth it!


to top