"Some incest victims have struggled with forgiving an offending parent or caregiver." BRB p. 114
Those of us who were sexually abused struggled for years trying to accept what happened to us. Mostly, people told us to shut up about it, or if they were a little more polite, they let us know that we should somehow just "get over it," put it out of our minds, stop dragging the family down, or some other such sentiment. We lived with this burden for years.
When we're working Steps Eight and Nine, the most important amends we make is to ourselves. We stop trying to push those wounded parts of ourselves down with food, anxiety, stinginess, and pornography - things that make us feel as if the abuse was either deserved or acceptable in some way.
We learn to set boundaries with our perpetrators and those who protected them, including our sisters and brothers who told us they couldn't talk about it. We put ourselves first for the first time in our lives. We detach with a hatchet if we have too, but we detach.
Forgiving our perpetrators, who we can finally view for what they are, may take time. But we will eventually find a way to move forward. Then forgiveness will be easier because we no longer have to pretend that the abuse didn't happen.
On this day I will make amends to myself by putting myself first for the first time. I will also learn to forgive my perpetrators so that I can focus on myself instead of them.
Copyright © 2013 by
Adult Children of Alcoholics®
& Dysfunctional Families
World Service Organization, Inc.
Page Number 344
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