The soul cannot forgive until it
is restored to wholeness and health.
In the absence of love - how can one forgive?

With an abundance of love, starting with one's self,
forgiveness becomes a viable opportunity.
-Nancy Richards

Sunday, January 6, 2008


The very mechanism that kept my mind safe as a child, prevented my healing as an adult. I needed to contend not only with my family's denial, but also with my own.

The angry wall of disagreement I faced each time I talked about my abuse - shook my confidence in my own experience. At the beginning of my recovery, I thought to myself, "What if I have exaggerated my abuse out of proportion, just as my family always said? Maybe it wasn't that bad after all."

At this confusing point in my recovery, my therapist suggested that I research the legal codes on child abuse. I headed to the library and stared at the black and white proof of my mistreatment. Still, my mind had difficulty accepting the gravity of my abuse. Then my therapist suggested that I write a letter to myself - offering my inner-child the validation she never received.

Sometimes we can see things for others that we can't see for ourselves. For instance, the thought of anyone treating my own children the way I was treated seemed appalling to me. Yet, for many years, I accepted that same treatment as "the norm."

The letter said in part:

Dear Nancy,
.....I know you have been looking for someone to listen to you, to believe you, and no one helped; they all blamed you. You believe you are bad. That's not true!

When Ed burned your hands, you knew it wasn't right, but your mom told you it was your fault, because you were bad. When Ed hit you with your skis, your Mom didn't come help. She blamed you. You were never safe at home. It's not okay to be beaten, tortured and tormented. It's not okay to have to witness your brothers being hurt, to inflict injuries on yourself or on your brothers. It's not okay to participate in sadistic games.

They're wrong! Nobody, but nobody, deserves this kind of treatment; especially not you. You're not bad: you're sweet, kind and innocent....

This letter opened the door to accepting - rather than denying - the painful truth of my past, and marked the beginning of my journey towards authentic healing.

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