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Forgiving those who hurt us

Updated on January 31, 2012

When I was eighteen a friend who was six years my senior suggested I move in with her, her brother and his girlfriend. It sounded like a grand idea; I craved my independence and wanted to live my life outside the family home. After I’d spoken to my mum about it, she was so supportive and still is– Bless her I decided to leave home. My mother supported my decision and I left home to live with my friend.

Whoa! It wasn’t until I actually lived with her that I realised who she really was. It was a shock and I won’t go into much detail about it as its past and gone. But being young and vulnerable I wasn’t ready for what the world was like. Unfortunately she was a very cruel woman. At times when I hadn’t yet found a job she would decided whether or not to give me any food, sometimes I was locked outside the house at night and since I didn’t have a bed she’d give me one blanket to sleep on the hard floor. It was a shock to my system. I’d never been treated so cruelly before.

One Sunday afternoon I rang my Mother just to speak to her. I didn’t let on that I was having a difficult time because I wanted to make it work and I didn’t want her to worry. But she could tell by the sound of my voice –mums always know – that something wasn’t right. I just told her I’d been struggling to find a job but things would be fine. Two days later an envelope arrived in the post for me. It was from my Mum, when I opened it she’d put quite a bit of money in it. This brought tears to my eyes because that very day I hadn’t had anything to eat. Not long after this I found a job as a waitress and my life changed around and I’ve grown from there.

There were times when I often wondered why my friend behaved this way. I was extremely angry and hurt for the way she’d treated me. Three years after I’d moved out and got on my life. She found out that I was getting married and invited herself to my wedding. Unfortunately she never seemed to realise that she’d done anything wrong and at the time I don’t think I’d forgiven her. I secretly resented her. But resentment serves no purpose, it only eats at you like a toxin and only you suffer. I had to work through this but it wasn’t until years later that I was able to do this.

Four years ago I heard she’d moved to London and was married. We met up for the first time in years. She still didn’t realise the pain she’d caused me but there was something wrong with her. I felt sad for her because she wasn’t herself. Her husband confided in me telling me that she was hearing voices and had been admitted a few times to hospital. I’m not really sure what happened between them but I really began to feel compassion towards her. I opened up my heart and forgave her, I did it for me. I let it go and allowed peace into my heart. When I did this I was able to see her in a different light. I don’t excuse her behaviour towards me but I began to understand it. I later found out that she’d been badly abused as a child. This made me aware of where her behaviour originated from.

The point of this story is not to put down this woman; it is to show you that some people behave in ways we don’t understand. This doesn’t excuse how they treat us but it allows us to understand their actions and that can free us to let go and forgive. You forgive for you, you forgive to let go of the burden of carrying resentment around. Sometimes the people who treat us badly are the catalysts that propel us into better lives. We are forced to take action, I was forced to leave, to move out and find better for my life. I deserved better. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I know I’m a better because of her. I know that people deserve respect no matter who they are. So whatever anyone has done to you, it’s time to forgive it and let it go for you.


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    • lin8t profile image

      lin8t 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Forgivness is a must if we are to progress in our lives. It has taken me a long time to get to such a place. I found that I was a lot lighter after that and that my life began to progress. Thank you for your lovely comments stessily

    • profile image

      stessily 5 years ago

      lin8t, Thank you for sharing your experience with forgiveness. It truly is a gift which we give to ourselves and, thus, it's also a gift which we ultimately give to the world. Forgiveness is a painful path but the rewards are immeasurable.

    • lin8t profile image

      lin8t 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks ChrisWritesHubs, I always find that the people who treat us badly put pressure on us to want better. It makes us realise we deserve better. Thanks for your comment.

    • ChrisWritesHubs profile image

      ChrisWritesHubs 5 years ago

      This is a beautiful line: "Sometimes the people who treat us badly are the catalysts that propel us into better lives."

    • lin8t profile image

      lin8t 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi gmaoli, thanks for your comment. I'm gald that you got to the place where you were able to make ammends and move on. I'm sure it's made you feel better and it's funny when you learn their story, how you see them in a different ligth. Not forgetting but understanding, letting go and moving on. Allthe best to you too.

    • lin8t profile image

      lin8t 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      AnnRandolph, it is very difficult to forgive but it does help us. It's taken a while. Thanks for your comment.

    • lin8t profile image

      lin8t 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi SheilaLee thanks for your comment. Yes it's true sometimes we don't know what goes on behind peoples behaviour or actions. It took awhile to get to that stage but I'm glad I did. Thanks for voting up!

    • gmaoli profile image

      Gianandrea Maoli 5 years ago from South Carolina

      I once knew someone that hurt me very deeply and it took me years to get over it. We meet up once and made amends, though things were never the same even after that. Still, I saw her in a different light like you did with your friend and realized that things happen with people we truly care about that can hurt us, but in the end the past needs to remain in the past. You can't forget it, but you can't let it hold you back from embracing the future either. If anything, it'll make realize what kind of person you really are and who truly matters. I admire you for telling this story and I wish you all the best.

    • AnnRandolph profile image

      AnnRandolph 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing. Yes, we need to forgive. Sometimes it's very difficult to do it on our own and we have to have help. The good news, help is always there.

    • Sheila Lee profile image

      Sheila Lee 5 years ago from Canada

      Very touching story. It just goes to show that we don't always know the whole picture about someone. That sometimes there is an underlying effect going on behind their behavior or actions. That doesn't mean that you need to forget, forgiving means putting the past behind us and releasing ourselves of the coldness inside. I'm really glad I came across your hub. I voted up!