Life is a journey where we love and learn, where we stand and fall and stand up again, where we do good and bad things, or have good and bad things done to us. Life is a journey where we learn to forgive and forget, and sometimes we choose to forgive, but never forget.
Throughout my life I have done a lot of forgiving, but many things I will never forget, because they shaped me to be who I am today.
Things to remember
… I fell pregnant, and not by accident. I refused to have an abortion, refused to have my child adopted. I even refused to marry the father of my child, not wanting to correct one wrong with another. It wasn’t easy, being such a young mom, for so many reasons. I made mistakes, so many mistakes I probably wouldn’t have made had I only became a parent when I was ten years older.
I have forgiven myself for those mistakes, but I will never forget them, because all of them were made in love, believing I did the right thing. I will never forget, because I have a beautiful daughter to remind me of those difficult times, and how we came through them together.
… I was now mother of two, and a married woman. He was enrolled at college through his work, a rising star they called him. He loved the student life, and lost sight of his responsibilities, his wife and children waiting at home. One day his son was sick, and needed to be taken to the ER. He had the car. I went to get him from the bar, demanded he took me to the hospital. That’s the day I saw him with her for the first time, a young, beautiful student. It hurt, but I kept my mouth shut. Wasn’t he the one who told me I should be thankful he had married me, because no one else would ever have wanted me. Months later I left him, and the next day saw him walking hand in hand in public with her.
I have forgiven him for what he had done, for how he had treated me and my children. I will never forget the way he made me feel insignificant, dull and unloved, because the four years I had been with him, made me a stronger woman, and prepared me for much worse later in my life.
… I ended up in a horrible relationship (https://rebelsnotes.com/tag/no-consent-series/) where I was mentally and physically abused, gaslighted, and used by a couple. It took me some months to find my inner strength, and when I did, I didn’t only fled their house, but also my country. It happened 26 years ago, and still I am triggered by what happened back then.
I will never forget. I have not forgiven… yet.
… I wanted her to experience the same I did, being touched there. I was too young to understand it then, but in my adult years I realized that being sexually abused, I wanted someone else to feel it too. I touched her sex. I crawled under the blankets and run my tongue up her slit. Then stopped, not knowing what else to do, except to crawl out from under the blankets, lie down next to her again and go to sleep. Oh, and before we went back to sleep, I told her never to tell anyone, or we will be punished, just like I had been told to keep it a secret.
I have forgiven myself for what happened then, but I have not forgotten, because only in my adult nature did I understand what bisexuality is.
There are many other moments in my life I can mention here, such as that one moment between a friend and me where she was guilty but I took the blame on me, or that time at work where I was accused of something I haven’t done, only because someone tried to take the attention off their own incompetence. Thankfully the manager was bright enough to see through it, but not before the damage was done.
There were the times I took a long time to trust some people, and when I finally did, they betrayed my trust the way I instinctively felt they would, and which was the very reason why I took so long to trust them. Some of those things nearly broke me.
I’m thinking of the night I cheated on my second husband. That definitely didn’t deserve a reward, no matter what the state of our marriage was.
There are so many things that happened in my life, and sometimes I was the one who hurt others; other times I was the one getting hurt. I remember many things that have happened, but there are also enough things I have forgotten.
I believe in forgiveness. To forgive is to learn your lessons from what has happened, grow from it and move on with your life. Forgiving someone sets you free from the pain they have caused. In a way it breaks the hold they have over you. I believe in processing what has happened, take the good from it, forgiving them and moving on. Sometimes forgiving comes instantly, sometimes after a couple of weeks or months, and sometimes only after years. But forgiving them is like cleansing your soul.
I don’t believe in forgetting. Forgetting will mean you have to learn those lessons all over again. Remember what has happened. Remember the pain, the hardships, but most of all, remember the good you have taken from it, and how it has changed you.
Forgive, but never forget.
© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay