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how to forgive: please help me

Posted by stronger98 , 22 October 2013 · 197 views

When I Was Twelve My Brother Began To SexualLy Abuse Me more often. He Sang " Apple Bottom Jeans" And asked Me IF I Knew That Song. I Felt Uncomfortable So I Played Nieve And Said No I Don'T. Afterwards He Decided That We Should Go Up The StaiRS And That Ladies Should Go First.... So I Went First. Halfway Up The Stairs He Began To Sexually Assault Me. After He Finished...He Laughed And Proclaimed iM Your Brother I Can Do That To You Better Not Catch Any Other Man Touching You Like That OR IM Telling Ya HES Gonna Get It. I Was Utterly Humiliated. He Sexually Assaulted me Two More Times The Following Year in a similar manner. Around This Time He Began To Make Sexual Comments Around Me Alot As Well As Tickle Me tonS. After One Of His Tickling SeTions Which I Protested He PReformed OnE Of ThE Two Previously Mentioned Sexual Assaults On me. The Last Sexual Assault Occurred On Our Front Porch.My Brother Is Thirteen Years Older Than I Am. He Used To Be My Hero. I Find That At Times I Am So Angry With Him And That I Even Hate Him. I Wish I Could Love Him Again But That Admiration I Used To Have For Him I Feel Is Absolutely Impossible To Get back. Would Like Some Advice Of How To Let Go Forgive And Move On With My Life. Thank You All For The Support!I

Oct 22 2013 10:30 PM
Hi Stronger98,

I don't have too much to share, but I did want you to check out the discussion in the Spirituality forum "What Does Forgiveness Mean to You?" There are many people there from all different faith backgrounds (including atheists & agnostics) who have posted about how we define forgiveness, whether we choose to extend forgiveness, what the process has been, whether it involved the other person, and so forth. It is a sticky topic near the top of that page.

Beyond that, I only wanted to add that I think moving on with life & forgiveness are two totally separate things. I know there are a lot of people that want to frame the "solution" as "forgive, forget, and move on", but I've yet to see someone who actually successfully did just that & was able to still FEEL. In forgiving, we choose to remember without fully holding the other person responsible for facing the consequences of their actions. In a sense, we do "let go": we let go of a piece of our ongoing demand for more justice. It is a burden not every survivor is willing to take on and even among those who desire to do so, it can still at times continue to be a struggle to choose that. To "move on", we need to heal & while forgiving our attackers may be a piece of that healing, it's not the whole package. So we seek therapy, support groups, spirituality (in diverse forms), and medical care. We form healthy relationships & refuse unhealthy ones.

We acknowledge that we are always changing & while it is still very possible for all of us to become the person we were meant to become, none of us will ever be the same person we were before the assaults. In moving on, we accept that. We mourn for what was lost, accept what is, and look forward to what is yet to come. We embrace hope in the midst of the darkness, when it seems all is lost, because of our confidence that the sun will rise again & there is joy to be found in the new day. And we steadfastly commit ourselves to never give up, to run after our goals, to get back up when we are down, and to count every loss as one step closer to a win. We are survivors & we will rise from the ashes to find a glorious new day. Know that. Embrace that. Always remember that. It's what will get you through the many days of doubt, fear, sadness, anger, confusion, humiliation, as we protest with every fiber of our being what happened to us. It was wrong what your brother did to you. It will always be wrong. Maybe you will forgive him or maybe you won't. But one thing I know:

Life goes on & so will you. The sun sets & darkness falls... until a sliver of light creeps over the horizon and leads us into a new day. Wait for that day because just as the sun is faithful to rise with each new dawn, so too will you one day find that a new and wonderful future is coming over the horizon because of the healing and hope you sew into your life now. Don't give up & don't settle. Wait for it. Expect it. You are at the horizon of your life (or so I'm assuming since that song came out in 2007) & many great things await you. Trust yourself & cautiously trust others enough to accept their support. You are a wonderful person & deserve all the joys of living.
Oct 23 2013 12:13 AM
I'm sorry to say that the process is not something that you do in a matter of a few days or weeks or a month. It is a process that takes however long it takes. the process involves working with a T to feel feelings about what he did to you and release the emotions from the body. It is only after this is done...that a person can truly forgive someone due to the healing of the wound. Then it is possible to let it go or move on. This can not be done prematurely or too fast. Someone told me that If I can say the person name and not hear a ping go off...so to speak...I may have forgiven them. Hope this helps. P.S> the sexual abuse must be healed to adequately forgive. we are human and it is not quite possible to forgive truly while we are still in pain from what a person has done to us.

I am sorry for your suffering and what your brother did to you, It was wrong on so many levels...too many to count. He was suppose to protect you and he failed miserably. I don't know what the world is becoming. Safe hugs to you....((((+))))
As a survivor of sibling abuse I can say that at his age he knew better. Forgiveness is a funny thing. You have to process all the emotions inside of you and come to your own understanding of the events as you can handle it. Maybe it's just accepting he was sick....Maybe it's just knowing that you have come to a calm place out of the pain. Forgiveness is nothing to be pushed or forced. It's a very slow journey. The thing is you are not forgiving his actions or the pain you endured, you are just forgiving as in coming to terms within yourself of what it all means to you. I don't like the belief that forgiving is overlooking another persons actions. You can hold them accountable for their actions. You can absorb the truth that what they did was hurtful, and then determine by choice how you will interact, deal with, or handle that person. I never expected "justice". But I did expect from myself that I would let them know I held their actions as harmful with no responsiblity on my shoulders. I did nothing wrong. Maybe writing down your own meaning of forgiveness could help? When you reach the point in life that you choose to live in the moment/present, more often that the pain of the past then you know you are moving forward...

Just know there is no rule or singular definition to forgiveness. It is unique to each of us, at our own pace, in our own time.

Take good care.


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