To Forgive or Resent?

Mikayla - El Cajon, California
Entered on April 30, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

To Forgive or Resent?

I believe that I can forgive. I believe this because people make mistakes.

My mother died when I was two years old. My father soon remarried to a beautiful woman he met at my preschool. She had a daughter my age and by the time I was four years old, my step-mother was the only mother I had ever really known.

For some reason, I could never quite accept her as my mother. As time progressed, I began to notice my separation from the rest of that side of the family. There were intense physical and emotional fights up until my last year in high school. I was always in some sort of an argument with my step- mother and at that time, I severely despised them.

During my last year in high school, my parents stopped getting along. They decided that it would be best for them to get a divorce after almost 13 years of what seemed to be a perfect marriage.

Once I began college, a month after school started, my dad took me to lunch. It was then that he exposed what would seem to be terrible news. My stepmother had been cheating on my father for the past 3 years and was no longer in love with him. My dad was completely unaware, but it definitely put many things into perspective for us both.

I think he thought my reaction would have been anger filled with hate and disgust, but to be honest, I guess I somewhat expected it. I was neither angry nor upset; it was just so heartbreaking that my father had been deceived and hurt so immensely. That was when I saw the other side of my father; everything went downhill. He began cussing, yelling, and showing so much hate towards her. I knew what she had done was unforgiveable, but I could not bring myself to hate her as much as he did. I saw that it was consuming him and I did not want the same for me. I just wanted to be there for him, but it was hard for me to take a side on this one. She made a mistake and although it was one that essentially destroyed our family, I have forgiven her. What I saw in him, I did not want to be evident in myself.

It has now been about two years since that lunch date with my father. I talk to my ex- stepmother quite a bit and do not resent her for what she did; somehow, we have a better relationship once she opened up and let me know her side of the story.

My father is better now and his heart is slowly mending, but both he and I have forgiven her. A lot of things have changed since then, but I truly believe it was for the better. He got out of a relationship based on lies and she got out of an empty relationship. They both did what was necessary for them to get over each other and move on. This is why I believe that even though people make mistakes, it was how I responded to that mistake that makes me who I am today.