Where does forgiveness really start? It starts with you forgiving yourself first.
No matter what has been done to you, forgiving your abuser is extremely important. It’s part of your healing. You’re doing it for you, not for the abuser.
When I was sixteen I was dating Leon (name changed for anonymity purpose.) I really cared about this boy and thought I loved him.
This wasn’t your normal two young people dating. This was different.
When I’d come over to his house, if his friends were over, he’d lock me in the bathroom because he was ashamed of me. So I’d stay in there locked for hours.
He used to put me on a scale many times and tell me how fat I was. He got mad one time because I ate an apple, and told me it would make me fatter. As a side note, I’m petite.
He’d force me to bathe him, and then he’d get dressed up and go out with his friends, while I stayed in his room awaiting his return.
Each time I wanted to break up with him, he wouldn’t allow me or make me feel guilty or bad if I would want to break up.
Another time, he came back with tissues on his wrists saying that he cut his wrists because he couldn’t stand the thought of me leaving him. How could I leave him? He was going to commit suicide if I’d leave.
Of course he didn’t cut his wrists, but made me think he did at that time.
In another incident he told me he was going to go to the train tracks (which were walking distance from his home) and have the train run him over if I left. He’d leave his home, and I’d be sitting in his room wondering if he’d ever come back.
One evening, I was sitting on the floor next to his bed, and he pulled out a knife and put it against my throat. He told me to get undressed, and as frightened as I was, I asked, why? He said; “If a rapist ever comes to you with a knife and tells you to get undressed you do it”. I replied;” but you’re my boyfriend, not a rapist”. I don’t remember what happened after that. I don’t think anything happened, but as I mentioned in a previous blog, I don’t remember my childhood since being molested by my father.
He’d say to me that in the future if I ever have a boyfriend, he’s have to put a paper bag over my head, because I was so ugly, and he’d f- – - me and dump me, because that’s all I’m worth, and I’m an ugly short midget.
When I finally broke it off with him, my mother had to get involved and get a restraining order against him, as he wouldn’t leave me alone.
When I was eighteen, I ran into him, and he seemed like he’d really changed, and became a different person. I was impressed. We started seeing each other again.
After a while, some of his stories didn’t make sense and I told him, we need to talk about it because I’m confused. So, he came over one evening at around 11:00PM to pick me up, and take me somewhere where we can talk about things.
Since it was late, I just grabbed my coat and my keys (this was in February.) I got into his car and off we went. All I remember was that we entered another city, but didn’t know where we were.
As we were driving, I thought I imagined a car was following us. It was late and I was tired, so I was imagining being followed.
He pulled into an outdoor parking lot. On the right side there were tall trees and the other side apartment buildings.
He started talking. The next thing I knew, there were two cars not so far away facing each side of Leon’s car with their bright lights on his car. People (his friends) got out of each car and approached Leon’s car, and opened my passenger door and the driver door. There were about eight males walking around the car in circles laughing at me, and saying that I am a short ugly midget, and that I’ll never have a real boyfriend, that I’m a joke, and how worthless I am. They said this over and over, while the bright lights of the two cars were on me.
My head was spinning. Was this really happening, or is this a nightmare?
I asked Leon to please take me home. He laughed and told me that I’m worthless and that I’m a short ugly midget, etc.…. He continued to say, “Remember when we were going out when we were sixteen? You meant nothing to me. All you were was a bet. I made a bet with a friend, to see who could drive a girl crazy first. And thanks to you, I won $300. I drove you crazy.” And he laughed.
I asked him again to please take me home. And he laughed as all his friends, were still walking around his car and laughing at me.
I got out of his car, and all three cars drove off. It started to drizzle. I was in a state of shock. I didn’t know where to go or what to do. It was almost 1:00AM. There were no lights in the apartment buildings. Then I saw one apartment with a light on. Luckily, this building had no security door. I walked up the stairs to the second floor and knocked on the door. A young couple opened the door and when they asked me what has happened, I was unable to speak. I was crying so hard, where I had a hard time breathing and was almost hyperventilating.
I asked them to please call me a taxi, so I could go home. The taxi arrived and took me home.
All I remember is when I got home I called my best friend, and told her what has happened.
It took me a while to actually comprehend and accept what has happened to me. This wasn’t a nightmare, or a scene from a movie, this was my life.
In my young adult life, I thought I was an ugly short midget and that I’m fat. I had very low self-esteem after the events between the ages of sixteen and eighteen. It didn’t matter if men in my life told me that I was beautiful and sexy, as my core belief was what Leon had instilled in my head over and over.
Eventually, I accepted that I am beautiful, that I am smart, that I am sexy, and that men love me for who I am, and I am not a short ugly midget. I am a petite, beautiful woman with a great big heart.
I thought to myself, when I see Leon again, I’m going to punch him in the face and tell him off, and use painful martial arts techiniques on him, and make him suffer for what he’s put me through. And he’d see how beautiful I am.
Years passed and I hadn’t seen him. I have moved to a different country, I would search him on the internet, and couldn’t find any information. I asked my friends to search him, and get me his phone number so I can at least tell him off on the phone. That never happened.
I let go of wanting to find him and “showing him” who I am. I forgave him, and forgave myself too for all that has happened. I completely let it all go.
Years later, out of the blue, I decided to search for him on Facebook, and there he was. I saw what he looked like after all these years. My heart started beating so fast. I decided to email him on Facebook and to briefly remind him what he has done to me, and to let him know that I forgive him, and that I only want the best for him in life, and that I hope that he’s well and happy. I didn’t get a response, as he wasn’t on Facebook regularly.
Seven months later, he replied. We started emailing on Facebook, and texting, trying to coordinate a day and time to a have a Skype video call, since we were on two different sides of the world.
That day finally came, we met on October 21, 2014. We spoke on Skype for about 45 minutes.
Here was the man that has abused me for so long and had caused me so much pain.
When I saw him, all I felt for him was compassion and sadness that he had to have such a low self-esteem to put another human being down and to cause another so much pain, because his lack of so many things in his own life.
He shared with me how miserable and unhappy he is. And that his life is a mess. Was I happy to hear it? No, I wasn’t, as I only wanted the best for him.
I asked him if he remembered locking me up in the bathroom. And he said: “Yes, I was ashamed of you. But how can I be ashamed of such a good-looking woman? You look great. You’re beautiful, you’re thin, and you take good care of yourself. “
Hearing this from the man who said I wouldn’t amount to anything, and put me down, meant a lot to me. In a way it gave comfort knowing this for the teenager in me.
I asked him if he remembered putting a knife against my throat, and he said he was probably joking around to see how I’d react. Just teasing me. And he remembered slapping me. Really are you effing kidding me? Joking around? He then went down memory lane with me.
I asked : “Do you remember calling me a short ugly midget?”
He replied,: “Short girls are the hottest. I love them. Do you think I was normal at that time? Are you kidding me? I had so many issues I suffered and still suffer from sever ADHD and low self-esteem. “
He asked me: “Can you do some sessions with me and help me?” In my mind, I was thinking, wow, how the tables have turned.
He added, that he’s sorry and asked me for forgiveness for how he has treated me when we were together. He admitted to making many mistakes in his life that he can never take back, and he realizes now how horrible he’s been.
I told him, to forgive himself first for all that he has done.
He said when he comes to visit here, that he wants to take me out to the best restaurant in town and make it up to me. He said, “Aviva, I’ll give you a hug and tell you that I am sorry for doing all those things to you.”
As, I’m writing this, I just received a text from him telling me that he’s in the hospital for sever abnormal pain, which may be a result of stress.
Is karma a bitch? I guess it can be.
Leon, if you somehow end up reading this blog, know that I truly forgive you, and please forgive yourself too. You didn’t know any better at that time. You were a poor soul, lost and confused. My hope for you is that one day you will feel healthy, and find life’s true happiness and joy. Sending healing light and love your way.
What I have learned from this experience is that true love and true forgiveness comes from within. Nowhere else. Always take a look at yourself first, and know that you are number one. So take good care of yourself first.
Peace, love & blessings to all. Namaste.