Forgiveness is a bridge that provides an alternate path over/around the raging rapids of sadness, darkness, and pain. As I unpack my #traumapack, there is a lot of forgiveness necessary. This doesn't mean I'm ready to let these people share in the life I've created for myself. It sets me free.

Forgiveness isn't for them, it's for me.

I forgive you for not knowing the signs. I forgive you for not protecting me when I couldn't protect myself. I forgive you for not knowing how to help. I forgive you for judging the actions and decisions I made in a state of trauma. I forgive you for questioning my sanity. I forgive you for not believing me. I forgive you for not saving me when I couldn't save myself. I forgive for teaching me that salvation came outside of myself. I forgive you for enthusiastically paving the path with crimson & blue, a path that required I seek higher education. I forgive you for not contributing financially to said education, which led to me getting a job that would help me earn more money to pay for said education. That job set up the conditions for me to be raped. THERE IT IS. While I realize you didn't physically do the damage, I forgive you for not healing from your tragic experiences and for passing the trauma on to me. I forgive you for the literal and emotional debt I still carry.

Most importantly, I forgive myself for all of the above. I forgive myself for any of it and all of it. I forgive myself for doing what I needed to do to make you happy, for my safety, health, happiness, academic career, professional career, love, meaning, and purpose. I didn't know what I didn't know, and now I know I would and could choose differently. I have chosen differently. And those different choices are what lifted me out of my trauma state and into healing. Into thriving, not just surviving.

I've learned a lot of lessons.
I've lived a lot of lives.

I am whole.
I am loved.
I am free.

I have a voice and I will continue to use it to heal myself and help others find language for their stories so they too can start to turn their pain into their power.

I forgive you.
I love you.
I forgive myself.
I love myself.