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, December 7, 2008

On Child Abuse, Family Estrangement, and on Writing for Ourselves and for Others - Part Two

As my healing journey progressed, I soaked up information like a sponge; received a great deal of validation from others; expressed my anger; mourned my losses, and then, a confusing thing happened; I started to feel a glimmer of forgiveness. "No! I resisted, "That can't be!"

After militantly standing in the healing freedom of non-forgiveness for four years, this did not seem like a good thing. I didn't want to give up my safety. In my confusion, I abandoned my quest for publication.

Another four years passed before a friend asked me what happened to my manuscript. I told him that I had abandoned it because I was in a different emotional place. He said, "Why don't you continue anyway? I'm sure there are many people who are in the place you were and would benefit from your sharing the growth you experienced during your period of non-forgiveness. "

His words haunted me for months before I began to write again. I was in a quandary. How could I write a book titled Mother, I Don't Forgive You, if I was beginning to forgive? I didn't want to be disingenuous or to be one of those annoying people waving the forgiveness flag. I understood the pain of premature forgiveness all too well.

I felt deeply compelled to share with other survivors in order to spare them the delayed healing that I had suffered during all my wrong turns, detours and dead ends. Somehow, I wanted to write in a fashion that truly honored the experience when it was important NOT to forgive and still honor the place my journey was taking me. In other words, the entire process.

Of course, once again, writing helped me heal, and gave me greater clarity about my entire healing and forgiveness journey. This clarity helped me express myself in an authentic fashion.......


Magnus said...

Thank you very much for your posting. I too am an adult survivor of child abuse. I deal with the demons created through the years of abuse daily. I have tried therapy, medication, and a combination of both. Neither of which has been successful. Building from the strength of others and writing my own experiences has been the best therapy so far. Thank you for your honesty and courage. It is deeply appreciated. Todd Seyler

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the book - and for your posts. I've just started reading it, and although I'm not estranged from my family I've connected with many of the same thoughts and feelings. I've been journaling for the past year or so, which has really helped my healing. Thanks again!

AbuseAndForgiveness said...

Hi Winona,

Thanks for your comments. I agree that estranged or not, abuse survivors share many of the same emotions and experiences.

I'm glad you are journaling.

All my best on your continued journey!


Marj aka Thriver said...

Another great post series. Maybe we can get it into the BLOG CARNIVAL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE. It was dying a slow death, but I'm determined to revive it.

Also, I can hardly believe it, but I just got around to getting alink up to you on my sidebar. Good Lord! I really WAS behind in bloggy land. I hope you didn't take it personally. I'm sure I meant to get you up there a long time ago. ;P

AbuseAndForgiveness said...


Thank you for your note. I know from your blog that you feel bad about not writing as much as before; however, I think it is a good thing to take care of yourself.

I used to "power" through life even when I was dealing with traumatic phases of my recovery. It was all I knew, but it wasn't healthy for me.

I was very uncomfortable when I stopped "powering" through and became healthy enough to remain "present" with my feelings. Learning to nurture myself felt very unnatural. Yet, when I did spend my emotional energy on nurturing myself, I didn't always have the energy to fulfill many other obligations. It has taken a long time to feel comfortable with the realization that it is okay to honor the depth of my pain, rather than ignore it in order to meet other expectations.

In that vein, although I'm sad that you are experiencing a tough time in your recovery, I'm glad that you are placing your well-being above expectations.

Thank you for adding my blog to your sidebar. The funny thing is, I thought I had your blog on my sidebar until I checked after you added mine. Although I have the Carnival on my sidebar, I didn’t have your blog (Whoops! I added it).

Thanks again!


Anonymous said...

I am finding it still so difficult that I never had the mothering a child should have.

I am grateful that I somehow was able to provide my kids with some of what I never had. (Could I have been better at it? YOU BET! But considering I had to figure out the script from watching Donna Reed, Leave it to Beaver and the like I now see I did a great job)

WHen my kids call me for advice I'm thrilled that they call me. More so that they value my opinion.

But still I long for a memory of being told, "You did a good job!" Or called and my call was welcomed........or that I had more importance than a cat having a litter of kittens that she just walked away from

AbuseAndForgiveness said...

Thank you for sharing. The pain of motherlessness is indeed a profound loss. We mourn the loss of the mother she should have been, and could have been, but was not.....