I Am Free

So I talk about forgiveness.  I have experienced forgiveness and I have extended forgiveness.

But there is one aspect of my life that I have not expressed, or truly thought about, forgiveness.  After all of the feedback from others on forgiveness and what it does for your life, how can I ignore it any longer.

Some time ago I wrote I Am Not Ashamed.   What a relief it was to write that.  In writing it I freed myself of so much.  One of the most important of these freedoms was that I did not have to hide, or keep this secret.  It was liberating to say I was not to blame.  It was not my fault.  And I have no shame.  Because I don’t.

But I did.  For a very long time.  I felt less than.  I felt not as good as.  I felt safer alone.  Safer in the dark.  Safer not letting anyone know something so ugly.   I hid from who I was and who I could have been.  I hid from success and achievement.  The more anyone saw of me back then,  they might know, and I couldn’t have handled the embarrassment and increased shame.  I was safest doing nothing and being nothing.

Freedom.  It came when I learned that it was not my fault.  I can’t begin to tell you what I experienced when I started to understand the truth of what had happened to me.  It wasn’t my fault I didn’t stop it.  I was a child.  It wasn’t my fault I didn’t tell.  I was a very scared child.  It wasn’t my fault.  It wasn’t my fault.

As I look back it seems like ‘suddenly’ my world opened up.  The sun shined and I didn’t hide from it.  But in truth it was a period of time that these things changed.  I went to college, later in life, and learned that I could think.  And I liked it!  I didn’t have to shut down my thoughts.  I didn’t have to shy from opinions.  It took a long time to share them, or be okay with having different opinions than others.

It was a learning process, this freedom.  I had to learn how to be free from all that I had hidden from and that I had shied away from.

I had to learn to be me.

I had to adjust to not hiding.

I had to be okay with not being perfect, taking risks, and failing.   And accepting the responsibility of who I am.

I took control of my life.

But I never forgave.

I didn’t consider it until now.

And now…I want to be as free from this as possible.  I do think about what happened.  Differently than I used to.  But I do.   I remember.  I sigh in sadness in my heart.  I think of the possibilities.   I don’t dwell on it.  But I do, on occasion, wonder.

So to be done with this I will forgive.

I will forgive you for the fear you instilled.

I will forgive you for stealing huge moments with your actions and years with the memories of your actions.

I will forgive you for making me feel worthless.

I will forgive you for making me see ugly when I looked in the mirror.

I will forgive you for not only affecting me, but my parents who didn’t know, my siblings who didn’t know, my friends who didn’t know, my spouse who didn’t know, my children who didn’t know, my grandchild who didn’t know-who I really was and could have been.

I forgive you for altering the course of my life because I truly believe it would have been different.  And certainly better.

I will forgive you for you touching me in any way that you had absolutely no right to do.

I will forgive you for robbing me.

I will forgive you for scarring me.

I will forgive you for your assumption I was yours to use and damage.

I will forgive you for stopping my life in it’s tracks.  Life went on.  Without me.

I will forgive you for hiding the value of me, from me.

I will forgive you for every tear I did not shed because I did not think I was worth crying for.

Here.

And now.

Not, I will.

I do.

Forgive you.

I am done with what you left in my life.  It’s yours.  Take it back.   I hope you can forgive yourself.  I truly hope  you can.  Because if you want forgiveness then you have accepted responsibility.

And now, so do I.

I fully accept responsibility for my own life.  My own actions.

And with forgiving you, I am owning me.  I am taking credit.  For all I do.  All I fail.  All I am.

Damnit this feels fantastic.

 

34 thoughts on “I Am Free

    • Thank you One Man. I do hope that it gives anyone that moment of change that they may be looking for. That word of …. you are valuable. Interesting though, I don’t feel like I have shared intimate details. Isn’t that odd. I guess, in reading it from your stand point it would seem very intimate. I guess I have unowned it so much that it doesn’t feel like “my” details. It speaks of the other person, not me. I am glad you wrote this, because it stopped me and made me consider …is this intimate? I wonder if others think that as well when they read it? (Sorry I kind of digressed. 🙂 ) I really appreciate your thoughts and feedback.

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  1. This really points out thats giving forgiveness to someone who doesn’t ask for it is about the peace it gives to the giver. I’ve never heard it explained as well as your blog does now. Thanks for opening my eyes to unasked for forgiveness.

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  2. I find this a heartwarming post, to hear you are free now that you’ve forgiven. It’s a shame all those years in your youth until now, were overshadowed by this unconscionable incident(s). More power to YOU, Colleen.

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    • Thank you so much. I can’t believe, even after all of these years and the steps I’ve taken to reclaim my life, how incredible it felt to say this today. And I literally said it out loud. To no one. But wow.

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  3. Am I sensing a subliminal message here as well? Regardless, what is great about you is that you practice what you preach. You are a great Queen…and congratulations on your newly reclaimed freedom.

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  4. YOU found freedom in forgiveness — not only did you write it, I can FEEL it in this post — and that’s the most important thing of all. You are courageous. A true Pirate Queen. 🙂

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    • Oh Gosh! Waking up on Ay Mayteenth when the Pirate Queen was newly coronated and be called a Pirate Queen! You are my FAVORITE TODAY! Robin. 🙂 Thank you. I am glad you could feel it, because I feel freer than I ever thought I could, even as I wrote the words…I felt it.

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  5. You are amazing. A true inspiration and to read this just reaffirms how truly awesome you are! Its hard to give forgiveness completely and shows a level of maturity and strength of character. I hate that this happened to you but am glad that you have reached this stage!

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    • Oh P-shaw. I’m not so amazing as I am just plain fortunate to have been able to work through all of the stuff that needed worked through. Thank you for the wishes, if only. But since we can’t have the wishes we’ll go with the joy of reclaiming, reowning and loving the path that got us to where we are. 😉 YOU are awesome. Thank you.

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  6. I had to go back and get caught up with your original post, and I am just blown away at the strength it takes to confront the abuse so openly. But in that brave act you have discovered such freedom, and that is inspiring and beautiful. I’m tremendously sad when I hear of a child’s life literally being torn in two by such violence. But you are amazing in your resilience and I am so glad you continue to share your journey. You have a very powerful voice. Silent no more, I can see! Blessings!!

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    • Thank you! For the blessings and the support. It has been a process. From where I sit now it really seems like the realizations and strength happened over night. But they were small steps. That added up over time and brought me out of ‘hiding’. I have had fantastic support. And I have grown in to “me” and feel strong on my own in ways I never believed I could before. Though, in hindsight, I give credit to the very young me for being strong enough. And getting me through that time, until now. I was stronger than I ever knew. THank you so much for your feedback. That alone is a blessing.

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  7. Colleen, you are so fantastic with your open heart and soul. This about to accept the one we are .. with pluses and minuses – isn’t an easy thing – but when we have done it … it truly gives a fantastic FREEDOM. To always have to worry about what we do, what we are, what we say … what we maybe could have been. We have to give ourselves the freedom to be the one we’re. Love this post.

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    • Thank you Viveka. It is about accepting ourselves isn’t it? I love that I can have memories, good or bad, and it doesn’t change today. Today is what I have and where I am. And who I am, today, is what matters today. I love how you remain with today Viveka. ANd thank you, for the always support!!!!

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  8. This is a very important post for you and for so many others. I hope that this can help someone get the clarity they need so they don’t have to live so long with shame and guilt. It’s sad to think that so many years of your life was wasted living with these feelings when you are such a wonderful person with so much to offer the world!

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    • Oh pooh (bear)!!! 🙂 Thank you for the very kind words. It’s amazing that even though I had processed all of this and have felt very good about ‘me’ and my life… I knew I was not what someone else had done to me. I had not even thought of, it did not occur to me, to forgive. Since yesterday? I am amazed at the lightness I feel inside. It’s incredible.

      I am sad to think of the children now, and the children of the past, who can’t find this lightness.

      Thank you, for making me feel special. There was a time when I never thought I was ‘anything’. I hope they all can get to the point where they realize they are.

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  9. I relate to your personal post. I’ve rejected myself all my life and this self rejection has sabotaged me in many ways. Uncovering beliefs and judgments, forgiveness, compassion and willing to feel (and let the tears flow whenever) are some keys to freedom and healing emotionally. We are here to know our greatness and each of us is authentic and beautiful. I see that age doesn’t matter when one comes to understand and uncovers their true being. Our true being is ageless and timeless. As I’ve learned this moment is all that matters. 🙂 Blessings to you Colleen.

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    • Thank you Feeling Joy. You said you’ve rejected yourself all your life. I relate to this, and yet didn’t realize it until a few years longer than I care to admit. But realize it I did. And freedom came from the healing, the letting go, the realization that what was done TO me was not a bit about who I am. Thank you for the wonderful feedback, understanding, and blessings. I return them. 🙂

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  10. I read this yesterday (as well as the other post, I Am Not Ashamed) and had to think why I identified so strongly with it. Certainly I’ve not been sexually abused. It finally occurred to me that if I substituted “bullied” for “abused”, I felt exactly the same way. I got it all day at school and all night at home. I still get it from my parents, but have finally learned to fight back and / or walk away.

    Thanks for sharing so honestly and putting words to my own emotions. I need to think about this more. I too lost way too much time fighting back from this, but I never thought about it in this way.

    Nancy

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    • If anything I said connected to you, I am glad. Certainly not that you were bullied. But that something I said gave you thoughts, and I hope they are thoughts of your own strength and courage. I can’t tell you the difference I had that very day I wrote this. Which seems silly, if one hasn’t been through something where they carry it around for a very long time…not knowing what to do with it. It’s like I literally put it down and walked away. Whistling. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It actually helps me, a lot.

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