Saturday, 19 December 2020

Saturday Stories - Don't forgive

Trigger warning. This post contains information about sexual assault.
When I was nine my 17 year old cousin molested me. At the time my parents didn't know, what happened when they found out is a story for another day.
When I was ready, I went to counselling to help me deal with what had occurred. I've dealt with it numerous times, I'm over it.
What I haven't done and will never do, is forgive him. Never. So often you see and hear people saying that you can't heal without forgiving the perpetrator. Bullshit. That's total and utter bullshit. 
I think it's quite harmful to tell a survivor/victim that they won't be okay until they can forgive the person who harmed them.
Why should we forgive someone who knowingly did awful things? We shouldn't. They don't deserve forgiveness. They don't deserve it at all. They knew what they were doing, they knew it wasn't right and they still chose to do the wrong thing. There's no excuse for that.
What people should be told is that they won't completely heal until they've accepted what happened. Acceptance is the key, not forgiveness. For me to heal I needed to accept what had happened, understand that it wasn't my fault and decide that I wasn't going to let it affect my future.
Stop telling people that they need to forgive, they don't. They need to accept not forgive. 
Forgiveness is not an essential part of healing. 

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