Surprisingly, I don't hate the person who physically and emotionally abused me.
And I'm having a hard time deciphering if that's because I still haven't fully accepted what he put me through, or if it's because I have finally accepted it, forgiven him and moved on.
Looking back, I've never really been one to hold a grudge, but I'm not sure if that makes me weak or strong. Is there a specific way a victim is supposed to feel?
In a way, I feel like I'm letting down everyone who has ever experienced any sort of abuse by not hating him. And I am sorry if anyone feels that way.
See, throughout our 11-year relationship, my abuser drained me of every positive emotion I had, making me feel so small and worthless and convincing me no one else would ever love me.
He drained me of all my love, all my compassion, all my trust and all my hope. He replaced these emotions with overbearing feelings of fear and guilt. He turned me into someone I could hardly recognize.
By putting him first, I was telling him that I came second.
Yet I put him first in every aspect of my life. And by putting him first, I was telling him that I came second.
Once I finally left, it took a while, but I started gaining back the my emotions I missed so much, as well as control and power over my own life. It was the most refreshing feeling in the world.
And for every ounce of power I got back, an ounce of hatred turned into forgiveness.
I starting forgiving him because I couldn't hold on to the anger anymore, and I didn't want to give him the satisfaction of still being a relevant piece of my puzzle. I wanted all my pieces back.
Finally, I disconnected who I am with the girl I used to be in that court room two years ago. Don't get me wrong; there are days I wake up angry and depressed. There are still nights when I wake up from a nightmare, petrified he'll hurt me again.
There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
But usually, at the end of the day, I'm OK. I remember I have amazing friends and family, and I remember the lessons I've learned and tears I've cried to get to where I am today.
I didn't realize this back when I was stuck in the darkness, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
And that light can be anything: a person helping you make it through the day, reading a book that lets you escape reality, listening to music or writing.
So for my sake, I'm choosing to forgive him. Maybe not completely, and maybe not every day, but having gained back my control, I can choose the direction in which I want to go.
And forgiveness is my direction.
Forgiveness is my direction.
Every day is different, and I might never know what'll trigger me or what I'll have to fight through. But one thing I do know is, I'm so tired of being angry and of feeling hate.
I believe hating someone and loving someone take the same amount of energy. Of course, some days, it's easier to be angry and sad. But if you can, fight through it.
There's a beautiful light at the end of the tunnel waiting for you.