I can't forgive you, but the least I can do is move on

I’m Sorry, But I Can’t Forgive You

Dear Cat Lady,

I have spent the past year writing, re-writing, and then scrapping drafts of what it is that I would like to let you know. In hopes of creating a resolution for myself – the ability to forgive you – I’ve come to realize that I just can’t, at least not right now or anytime in the near future.

The earlier letters recapped in vivid detail of what you had done to me – how having you in my life made it impossible to function, let alone live, for what may have been some of the darkest six months I’ve ever experienced. Even after removing your influence over the way I lived my life and the medications that I took, I couldn’t forget the emotional bruising, despite it having healed. There arose a new level of trust issues with medical professionals, while I was trying to better myself, and that was something I could accept. But it was the reviewal of the aftermath that I can’t shake at all.

Not only did you take my situation and spin it whichever way you saw fit – suggesting that I was an alcoholic, and that I was resistant to help – but you also took my life and re-wrote its entire narrative. You made me out to be someone that I wasn’t – you were “treating” someone that didn’t exist.

Despite all of that, I was wiling to forgive you, in spite of the fact that you have never apologized to me, believing that the consequences of your actions would make you a better person because of this one case. And then I learned that I wasn’t the only one:

I just wanted to say thank you and that I am so proud of you for being brave enough to step up and say something. [She] made the same assumption (that I was Korean) despite multiple corrections and repeatedly attributed the difficulties I had communicat[ing] distress or frustration to “cultural misunderstandings” in which “Americans sometimes don’t understand [my] people.” I had been far too afraid to say anything directly and simply took steps towards avoiding treatment altogether.
You are a real-life hero – thank you thank you THANK YOU.

Mind you, forgiveness isn’t a means to absolve wrongdoing, but rather a means to provide acknowledgement and acceptance of what has been. Surely, I acknowledge what has transpired, as can be seen from my many blog entries about the whole “saga,” but it is the acceptance component that eats at me.

To me, acceptance is a two-fold process. First, I have to be able to accept that the past is past, but more importantly, and secondly, I have to be able to accept that you’ve changed. And I can’t, especially after learning that it has happened before; no one talked about it until now.

I was vulnerable, and you abused me at the worst time possible. And to know that you did this to others, I’m not sure that I can believe that you have bettered yourself beyond a promise relayed to me by others. With that said, I want to let you know that I don’t hate you. Everything aside, I hope you have changed, but that is just my wishing.

As for me, I want to move on, even it is without forgiving you for what you have done to me and others.

Best,
Barbara

Image via Flickr (user: reallltype)

Toasting away 2012 in front of a Holstee manifesto poster
Pull those mussels from their shell!

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