Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Imperio


Intro: So yesterday I watched a video from one of the people that I follow on twitter and youtube. The topic of her video was about an experience where she felt that her boyfriend coerced her into getting an abortion. Even though I've never had that happened to me, I've had experiences. One in particular really changed me. The main point of her post is that she can't forgive him. The abortion ended up ruining her chances of having children and she can't let go of what happened. She is a fully functioning adult...but, she brought up the question, are there some things that are unforgivable? If not, what can she do to forgive and let go? Or what is the experiences of unforgiveness?

So I thought about it, and so many things came to my mind. 

As I said I have my own experience with unforgiveness, but let me clarify something. This is not about ruminating and letting one experience take over whole lives. This is about my experience with a living in spite of a major violation that was done against me. Let me also say that my hands aren't cleanly. I've done some things in my life that people may think are equally as wrong in how they felt as what was done to me. It's an individual experience and I think often times we make the mistake of universalizing emotional experiences, and especially in thinking that people should have the same response.

I think people tie forgiveness and forgetfulness in the same kind of experience, and even though the Bible says God throws our sins in the sea of forgetfulness, it says we are to forgive our brother seven times seventy...no mention of forget (correct me if I'm wrong). And for clarification, I don't know how to separate them either so I'll talk about them as if they go together.

I can hear Oprah and Iyanla inside my head telling me that not forgiving is allowing one to control my life, and to be honest I think that's bullshit. I think they're confusing forgiveness and continuous active anger due to not dealing with a particular experience. Passive and Active. I think that people who don't deal with situations have it burst into other parts of their lives. The experience is perceived to be so painful that it can't be contained in one part of the mental space, so it comes out in anger towards a group, general attitude, and with triggers (seeing a person, being at a certain place). This is not that either. 

This is unforgiveness. 

Let me start here. We are born into sin, we know that. The depths of what we will do to one another in our sinful nature we have yet to know. We can all name at least five atrocious events ( the holocaust, genocide in Turkey, Darfur, Syria, Rwanda etc) that we can't believe we did to one another. We have imposed embargos, given resolutions, held tribunals, executions, made memorials and museums in response to these events. Why would we not have memorials in our own lives for our tragedies?

Even though someone may have not been Adolf Hitler on a large scale. They may have created a massacre on our feelings, emotions etc. It may be no less of an egregious offense...in our minds. Which doesn't make it any less important. People act like feelings mean less than physicality. Just because someone didn't kill you or beat you over the head doesn't mean they didn't do the equivalent in emotional damage. 

If that kind of assault happens in our own personal lives...why can't we do the same thing. If only for sanity's sake. And the truth is, we do. We hear of women who've had abortions lighting candles for the birthdays of children that were never born, making their own memorials in secret. Holding court, if not literally, then figuratively. Honestly, sometimes I think things get too big, too bad to forgive. I think the best thing you can hope for is to cope.

There is a person in my life who I will never forgive. My innocence was forever changed, the way that I trust others was changed. It affected everything. I was in counseling for YEARS. Do I think about what happened everyday? No. I have triggers, things that remind me. It's not hate though. I've repurposed it from that. I refuse to let someone else have the control of my life like that. Having ruined me. I want to be so successful that they are racked with guilt that they can't believe they did that to someone everybody loves so much.This is not my entire motivation, but it's a part of it.

Have I forgiven him? No. To be honest. I think he's at the bottom rung of ain't-shitness. I saw him recently, he was in a scooter, sick, feeble. Didn't even look like his former self. Was I happy? Yes. Did I feel like God had avenged me? Yes. Was I happy about his problems, yes. My darker side of humanity to feel that good about his struggle? I'm human, born into sin. I do believe these things do not go unpunished, and I was never actively trying to get back at him. That's also different. I just haven't forgiven. 

I think in linking forgiving and forgetting in one seemingly simple process we're not giving the respect that is due to these events. I'm not saying that everyday of our lives should have time dedicated to them, but there is a time and a place for these things in our lives. We go lay flowers on grave, why can't we have a time for mourning?  We can't ignore them, they're part of us. They're unforgivable. 

I don't know. Something that I struggle with. 


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