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Forgiving the unforgivable...how do you start the process of forgiving?
My biological father molested me from the age of 5 at my earliest recollection to the age of 13. He messed up so many areas of my life that I can't even count them all. I haven't spoken to or seen or written to him in about 20 years. Lately though, I've been thinking a lot about him and wanting to talk with him. I'm not sure why. I just do. He's a little old man now, in his 70's, and harmless to me physically. How do I start that conversation with him? What do I say? How do I even begin to forgive him? ...or should I? The picture I've included is me at the age of five. Thanks peeps
To start with thinking of how much I love him or her, and the fault of my own, or to start with thinking of benefits I will get from forgiving.
Something deep within you seems ready to come to terms with the abuse he inflicted on you as a child. You can forgive him without restarting contact, but it seems like you desire contact at this point. Do you have a support system in place in case contact stirs up strong and unexpected emotions? If not, you might want to consider finding a trusted friend or counselor who could be supportive. You could also consider writing out what it is you hope to accomplish through contact, such as forgiving him in person, wanting to be able to ask him why he did it, wanting to hear an admission and apology? Or do you want to let him know how his actions did hurt you? Say I love you?
There are no easy answers to your question and only you can figure out what it is that you're truly looking for. Forgiveness, if you're ready can be a very healing and powerful process that helps you move on and release the hurt that's been buried inside you.
As I already said it can be achieved with or without direct contact.
On the other hand, if you're ready for contact and know what your expectations are and are prepared should they not be met, attempting contact can also be a helpful thing.
My brother, who was an alcoholic, sexually molested his 5 year old daughter and thereafter was only allowed supervised visits when his wife divorced him due to her discovery of the sexual abuse. As a young teen, his daughter wanted no contact at all with her Dad, but when she was 18 her father was in the hospital dying from cirrhosis of the liver, and she chose to visit him every day during the last few days of his life (he was only 44). The reunion was bittersweet due to the circumstances, but I know it was emotionally healing for both of them. I will never forget the way she held his hand and stroked his forehead during his last few (comatose) hours. Tears streamed down her cheeks and there was such tenderness and love on her face that a stranger witnessing them together would never have known there had ever been anything but love between them. This was 10 years ago and she's doing well now with 2 small children of her own.
I'm truely sorry to hear that yet another young lady has lost so much do to the powerlessness we had against adults. Someone was said that to forgive means to forgive the past and move forward. You can't change what had happened but you can move forward. There is life out there sweety. You don't have to forgive him as a person, but forgive the past.
The way I see it, if you want to have this conversation with him you shouldn't have to worry about how to start the conversation. Don't worry about hurting his feeling because he is a "little old man". He wasn't too worried about hurting you when you were a "little girl". Just come right out and ask him why he did this, how he could have done this to you. The thing is will you be able to believe him?
Either way, you seem ready to find that piece you have been looking for. You DESERVE to have that piece in your heart. Ask God to come in and help you find the words to say. And remember.....
To forgive means to forgive the past. You can't change it, you can only move forward.
Best of luck to you sweety
My,my, such a deep and sensitive subject. A friend and I were just discussing forgiveness the other day. Our conclusion was that forgiveness is not a blessing to the forgiven as it is to the forgiver. When you release forgiveness towards someone who has harmed you, you are releasing yourself from the imprisonment you have been confined in......your thoughts and emotions recoil remembering the horrible events that happened, but by forgiving you have actually given a gift to that person, and it somehow changes how you handle your emotions about the events past. Many who have done harm don't even WANT forgiveness, and that's why it's important to forgive the person, tell them that they have been forgiven, regardless of whether or not they have asked for forgiveness, regardless of whether or not they are deserving of it. Don't delay because often, something happens and then it's too late, leaving you with regret. Just do it and be blessed.............
You don't have to forgive before you begin a conversation. You can just try to talk to him or write him to express what you are feeling. I can't imagine being in your shoes. It is a difficult situation.
We are all going through many lives obstacles from the day we were born. Sorry to hear your bad encountered in younger days.
Though forgiveness is always a tough decision that we have to face in our path of life but if we can do it, it release our soul to the next level spiritually.
Being able to forgive takes a lot of heart from a person especially when a great hurt had been done. But to be able to forgive will be the greatest release of anger and hatred. This will help you to live a better life thereafter. What had been done cannot be changed. By forgiving the person you hate will be helping you to move on.
Let bygone be bygone. Forgive and you will have a better life thereafter.
Thank you all so much for your well thought out and wonderful answers! Oh my!
You're absolutely right. All of you. Trying to forgive him (or the past) is what I feel in my heart is the right thing to do. I have struggled with this for years, but especially for the last several months now.
I'll start making plans for the early fall when it starts to cool off, cuz it looks like I'm driving to Colorado (that's where he lives now). I'll bring my "support system" with me, Happy. My pup, "Bug." He'll be bigger by then and he can be my protection. (:
I pray that peace and love will be in all of your hearts...always,
i wouldn't even think of forgiving him but beating him with a bat would definetly be something i might do. forgiveness for things like what he did is rediculous and counterproductive.
Forgiveness is the only way to cross through the shadows between the deathly darkness of great pain and life's areas of light. Everyone's way of forgiving is personal, different, unique. And forgiveness is not always achieved in the first few steps. However many steps that it takes, though, it is worthwhile because of the peace that blesses you with each step and which awaits you at the last step. Remember that forgiveness is a gift which you are giving to yourself and, by extension, everyone in your life. Best wishes.
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