I was looking through my blog stats again (no… I’m not addicted to them) and glanced down at the search engine results. This one jumped out at me and hit me like a ton of bricks.
finding forgiveness for child abusers
That’s an excellent question my dear reader. How does one go about finding forgiveness? I wish I had a good answer for you. It’s something I’m working on right now.
The issue of forgiveness is something I struggle with almost every single day. My faith tells me I should forgive them. I got that. It’s been drilled into my head since Sunday School. But do I want to forgive them? And if I do, how do I do it?
There is still so much from my childhood that I don’t remember. There is still so much left to process. There is still so much to work through. There are so many questions.
What is forgiveness? Is it for me or for them? Is it necessary for healing? What do I say? What do I do? If I do forgive them, does it mean that what they did was okay? Does it let them off the hook, so to speak? Am I ready to do it? If I’m not ready, how will I know when I am? What will happen if I don’t forgive them? I don’t know. I don’t have answers to any of these questions.
I worked with a priest in my parish when I was in graduate school, but at that time, I really wasn’t ready to forgive. I’ve started talking to one of the priests at my parish here. It’s very slow going because it’s hard to talk about what happened to me. I tend to get intimidated by him, despite the fact that Father S is one of the least intimidating people I know. Thankfully, he’s been patient and kind with me. Working with him and learning to trust him has been a positive experience.
Right now, we’re trying to tackle the question of whether I want to forgive. Part of me feels like if I do, then it’s condoning what they did to me. Maybe that’s not rational. I don’t know. But it’s what I feel right now. I’m just really confused about the whole thing.
Another part of me of me feels like forgiveness somehow negates the pain I feel. It’s hard for me to put it into words. I don’t really understand it. Again, it might not be rational, but it’s how I feel.
I don’t know. Somehow the entire topic seems to bring up more and more questions in my mind. And answers are slow in coming. But it’s something I’ll continue to explore.