Forgiveness is the only way

Mel - stetson, Maine
Entered on October 16, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that forgiveness is the only way to cope with adversity.

In the summer of 2001, I was driving down the road in my home town. I only had my permit at that time, so I had a family member in the passenger seat beside me. One of his hands started at my knees and then began to move further and further up my leg. The other hand was under my shirt caressing my breast. I began to tremble from the inside out. My mind was going one hundred miles an hour. I was having an outer body experience.

I was only 16 years old but I still remember my thoughts at that time. I am a victim. I am a statistic. I am embarrassed and ashamed. I would never be able to look my family or friends in the face without wondering if they knew. All of those thoughts were overwhelming. What was I to do? I contemplated suicide for many years, figuring it was my only way out.

My high school experience was shortly over. I was then supposed to take on the role of being an adult. How could I take on all of the responsibilities when I couldn’t even tell my family what had happened to me? I was falling apart more and more every day. I pulled away from the boyfriend of 3 years and gained over 30 lbs.. The girl I was that day in 2001 was slowly but surely dying. The girl that I stared at in the mirror every morning, I no longer recognized.

It wasn’t even a year after that experience when my perpetrator passed away. My family expected me to be devastated because we had always been so close. To tell the truth, I was relieved. I cried, but now that I look back I think I only did that because everyone else did. I don’t remember being sad. If anything, I thought he got what he deserved. I hated him. I wanted him to be out of my life forever.

It has been seven years since that event rerouted my life. I am not the same happy-go-lucky girl that I was. I am not innocent, and I am not ashamed. I am stronger, braver, and wiser. I am no longer a victim nor a statistic. I am what I was supposed to be and I am proud.

Out of all this pain, I am on the path to becoming a nurse that will one day help others who have been hurt. I can take my experience and learn from it. I can give support to people who believe there is no end to their misery. I can show them the light at the end of the tunnel.

I do not hate him for what he did to me. I am sad for him and the endeavors he will endure in his after life. I have forgiven him. He has shaped me into being the more considerate and sympathetic woman that I am.

I would not change anything in my past. I know now that bad things happen to good people but if they continue to hold on to all the anger the only one who ends up hurt is the victim. I believe forgiveness is the only way to resolve this type of adversity.