I have always heard that we are supposed to forgive those for the crappy things they do to us. I pretty much thought it was a crock of shit.
You see, in my mind, forgiving someone was like saying, “Well, it is ok that you did this shitty thing to me… so go ahead and do it again and I will forgive you for it again.” You see, ladies and gents – that kind of forgiveness belongs to God’s grace. I am entirely too stubborn to allow someone to get away with that business. So, up to a point, I don’t think I had ever forgiven anyone for anything.
And y’all… that is a world of misery.
You see, when you keep all that toxicity bottled up inside, it eats away at you like a cancer, and can literally drive you mad. It has driven me to the hospital more times than I care to count. But how can I forgive someone for breaking my heart?? For stealing my youth and treating me like a disposable napkin? And more importantly – why would I want to? Doesn’t that mean that the other person wins? I am still left with the hurt and their conscience is clear because I “forgave” them.
At least, this is what I thought.
A few months ago, after yet another trip to the hospital (these are all trips to regular hospitals – I have been lucky enough to stay out of the psych hospital), I decided to go into a group therapy situation with others suffering from Depression and Anxiety. During this group, our therapist talked about forgiveness. She said something that I think I will always remember.
She said that forgiveness is NOT for the transgressor. It is not about letting them get away with it, or pretending it didn’t happen. No, forgiveness is about acknowledging the pain and choosing to let go of the hurt. I thought this was a very powerful statement.
The fact of the matter is this – The frog hurt me. A lot. I don’t know that I have ever felt pain in my life like the kind of hurt he put me through. And that made me angry and bitter and a bit broken. After the divorce, he finally admitted that I had been right and that he had been fooling around with other women. As much as I love to be right… that shit broke my heart all over again. Because it is one thing to THINK you know what is going on… it is a whole other thing to realize that it is actually true.
Now, he wants to be friends. I have gotten requests on Facebook, LinkedIn, via email, and (before I changed my number) voicemail. I am sure he has even called my office, though I haven’t been there in months. He sent me a message this week that the person he loves has been diagnosed with a very serious illness and life is too short and he wants to be my friend.
While I wouldn’t wish this illness on anyone… I don’t WANT to be his friend. I don’t need his kind of friendship in my life. I have a lot of friends and family and am quite content with that. Not to mention – I have chosen to acknowledge the pain, but more importantly I chose to let it go. To let HIM go for good. That is the only way to move forward.
Because forgiving and forgetting are SO not the same thing. I will never forget the scars he created with his harsh words and shitty actions. I will never forget the day he decided to use every one of my insecurities against me, just to make himself feel better. I won’t forget, but I WILL learn from those situations and will never allow those things to happen again. Because I am stronger now. I am lucky enough to have recognized the good in my new sweetheart, and that is paying off in spades.
So, to answer your request, ex-husband of mine (because I know you are reading this, or it is being reported back to you by proxy), I am going to have to decline. Not because I am angry with you. Not because I am bitter. But because I have nothing to say to you. Your friendship is not healthy for me, and I am working too hard to live a healthy life, both physically and mentally. I have moved on with my life and I wish you would do the same. I am not going to be your shoulder to cry on, or your emotional punching bag ever again. I wish you the best, but it is time for you to let go, too. I tried being on friendly terms and you maliciously burned me time and time again. Go in peace.