In 1992, I shunned the conventional “how to” wisdom and followed the path that worked for me. I weighed my therapist’s words against the conflicting advice I’d heard from everyone else. I listened to my heart; let self-preservation be my guide, and my journey to wholeness began:
Today I told Thomas, “I’m so very angry at my mother! Everyone tells me that I should forgive her. But how can I forgive someone who has never asked to be forgiven; somebody who’s never even acknowledged any wrongdoing, someone who continues to do the same thing?"
Thomas said, “Well, psychology for years used to counsel to forgive. But we are beginning to recognize that it isn’t always possible or even healthy to do that. I believe that sometimes it is important not to forgive, and to hang onto a healthy sort of rage at what happened, in order to protect yourself from being hurt again."
I felt indescribable relief; a feeling of peace came over me. There was a potent healing power in Thomas’s words. I felt an overwhelming sense of freedom. Freedom from spending every ounce of my energy trying to suppress the dam of pain. I could let the dam "wash away" and be free to experience my suffering with a full range of emotions. For the first time, I could tell that I’d be able to heal.