Letting go of the past is not an easy feat. You are never really able to say “Goodbye” and really let go. Especially if your past is particularly painful. Post traumatic stress disorder can thwart any realistic efforts at getting past the hurt. For me, I lashed out. I lashed out at the one person who had absolutely no hand in the incidents that occurred. But still, I lashed at myself.
I sabotaged my growth, picked dead end relationships, used drugs of different variety, and nearly sucked the life out of myself. I won’t say age has anything to do with it. However, as I grow older, I mature and see things differently than I did in my youth. Half my life is gone and I had to say, “Enough!” I am so sick of beating myself up that it is no longer a viable option for me.
The first step to “Letting Go” is to forgive everyone who has hurt you. That took years for me because there were so many that “Hurt” me, I had to take that one at a time. I wrote inside a card to one perpetrator and sent it to him while he was in the hospital. One family member/perpetrator was confronted in front of immediate family. Most, were forgiven in my mind because for one reason or another, they past away. Once, you forgive, there is this huge weight that comes off your shoulders.
The last person you have to forgive and is ultimately the hardest is that of self forgiveness. I am stuck in this step because even though I know the incidents, child molestation, bullying, sexual assault, rape, sexual harassment, etc., were not my fault. Yet, I can’t forgive myself for not doing anything to prevent any of that from happening. I could have screamed as a child. ( I did tell an adult 2 times and nothing happened) I just feel like I could have done more. The incidents still replay in my mind.
I suppose that once I do succeed past self forgiveness, a new level of peace should emerge. I have just begun strong boundaries for myself. I’m not in a relationship because I demand honesty now and have zero tolerance with secrets. But what I want most is to build a relationship with myself. I’m pretty sure I can trust me now. No more beating me up was a milestone for me. The forgiveness of others was a piece of cake in comparison.
written by Joan Farley Nyobe