It’s been exactly four years since I walked out the door and took my first steps to a new life. It took all 48 months of those years to discard the many pieces of baggage that I carried – from years of being lied to and cheated on, to the loss of my expectation of what marriage and love should look and be like. I had to learn to let go of my anger, my victim mentality, and the chip on my shoulder. It took a lot of self-discovery and hundreds of hours reading, listening to podcasts, reflecting and writing to finally stop, take a look back and realize that I had finally ditched the weight I was carrying.
Yet, there’s still one thing holding me back. And it’s something that I’ve clung tightly to the entire time. It’s the final piece that’s keeping me from closure and moving forward. I’ve only owned up to it recently and realized that it’s holding me back from my current relationships, dreams, and passions.
I haven’t forgiven him.
Forgiveness is one of those things that is much, much easier said than done. Besides spending years avoiding the subject altogether, there are so many layers of anger, hurt, and pain that need to be sorted through. With each layer requires active forgiveness and that’s a lot of work and emotional trauma to revisit. Aside from the betrayal, I realized that he took from me something that I can never get back.
He took my innocence and my naiveté. I used to view the world with rose-colored glasses. I used to have the vision of a perfect Disney fairytale and happily ever afters. Now with age and brutal experience comes wisdom. I’ve fought hard to not become jaded. I’ve fought hard to face my fears, my insecurities, and my doubts, keeping them at bay so I could rebuild my life, and more importantly, my dignity.
I don’t mourn the loss of my marriage. I don’t mourn the loss of my twenties. I’ve accepted that my experiences are part of my story. But I mourn and weep for the oblivion that was shattered in such a merciless manner. The scars that are left is what I haven’t been able to forgive him for. It’s unrealistic to go through life unscarred, but to be broken by someone whom you entrusted your most precious gifts to – your heart, your allegiance, your life – forgiving him is the biggest and final hurdle I must overcome.
[RELATED POST: A LETTER TO THE ‘OTHER WOMAN’]
So, how do you forgive someone for deliberately destroying your foundation (however distorted it was)? I’m not sure yet. I’ve forgiven the other woman, but this, this is different. He and I stood before God, our families, loved ones and friends and made promises and signed legal documents. We brought a child into this world.
I know that until I completely forgive him, I cannot move on to the next chapter. And so I continue (begin?) the arduous process of forgiveness. My head knows it’s what I should do, but my heart (and pride) wants to keep pointing at the damaged caused and doesn’t want to do it.
It’s time for me to close the damn door and let go.
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