Forgive, to Be Forgiven?

Forgiven of what? I owe no debt to the people who abused me. Why then does it feel like I am forced to repay something I didn’t steal?

Why do abuse survivors feel the need to hide the dirty secret? Is it for their own protection or is it to protect the abuser?

Is silence the result of somehow being complicit in the wrongdoing? Maybe it was our fault, you know — somehow. Were we needy and allowed it? Did we crave attention so bad that we gave our nod of approval?

Absolutely not!

But, somewhere in the quiet recesses of our minds, we hold these quiet accountabilities.

So, again, the question is: Do I need to forgive the offenses against me to receive forgiveness?

When it comes to the question of abuse, there is nothing you did to be sorry for. Abusers often want reconciliation without offering their words of, “I’m sorry for all I’ve taken from you.” They also like our false and inaccurate accountability.

How do I receive forgiveness for a crime I didn’t commit? Or deeper still, how do I offer the abuser forgiveness when they aren’t asking for it?

Forgiving is truly a one-way street. Understanding that it cannot be received when a person doesn’t need it or hasn’t asked for it.

Forgiveness can sting when it’s offered, but then rejected. Again, forgiving is a one-way street that is yours alone to walk. Most abusers don’t believe they even need it!

Originally published at http://prisonerbynocrimeofmyown.com on April 20, 2022.

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Jodie Tedder

Jodie Tedder

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Incest. Murder. Rape. Then, I turned four. This is my story.