Saturday, March 9, 2013

Rape (Part 2 ~ Forgiveness)

Healing and forgiveness 

Can it happen?  Yes, most definitely. 

Does it take time? Of course and God will help you. Forgiveness should never be confused with weakness. Forgiveness is not really about the other person. It's about reaching a place of inner peace within yourself so you are not riddled with rage, bitterness, resentment and shame. It's so you can have a fresh start, whatever it may be you are healing from and forgiving. 

~ nineteen years ago ~

I could have gone home but I was still stubbornly sold against returning to that alternate strict environment. I knew I was in over my head. I knew I was drowning metaphorically speaking. But stubborn pride and fear is like an offspring of the devil and it interferes with humble rational judgment. Pride and fear could get you hurt. Both could kill you. Pride and fear was keeping me from returning home and facing my father. I didn’t want to admit I was indeed in over my head. By doing that I was admitting I was wrong and by admitting I was wrong I believed I would be consequently saying he was right. I knew my father was seriously lacking in parenting skills yet I knew it wasn’t safe for me to be where I was. I had chosen to leave yet I had not chosen what had happened to me. However, I was bent on doing what I thought best at all costs to avoid facing him and an even more rigid emotionally and psychologically suffocating environment. I decided I would soldier on and keep going. I told myself I would get through this on my own. 

When you live with a man who has raped you in order to survive you develop a bond with your captor. At the time you don't understand it yourself. It can take years to wade through your muddied feelings and understand why this initial horrific act against you took the strange turn it did and developed into a relationship of bonding. These feelings are blatantly irrational to others looking in from the outside but when you are in it it doesn't appear that way at all. Not until much later after you are out and can later look at the relationship objectively do you realize how irrational it was. How bizarre. One theory that Sigmund Freud developed is that it's a way for a victim of a hostage or rape situation to adequately cope with the trauma of such. Often this is referred to as "Stockholm Syndrome." It refers to the hostages who bonded with their captors during a bank robbery in Sweden during the 1970's. 

Men are to be women's protectors. Unfortunately in this world we live in there will always be men who take advantage of a woman's weaker physical strength or circumstances. This is an issue with them. Not women. No one asks to be violated. It's not a woman's fault. It took years to understand my circumstances and heal from it. My emotions were all over the place, like a ricocheting shard of glass. It changes you. You become defensive. You close yourself off. You don't trust as easily. You look behind your back. You believe nearly everyone has an ulterior motive. You feel shame. You self-blame. You second-guess your choices. You hate that you have so much anger and yet it feels inescapable at times. It took years to get to a place where I wasn't angry all of the time. It took years to get to where I wasn't angry period. It took years to not continually allow myself to drown in the angry vocals of music and instead choose something soothing to listen to. It took years to get to a place where I chose to forgive. I began praying for the man who took what he did from me. Praying for him. Praying for peace. God and only God alone is who can help you heal from it. 

Forgiveness provides something so great...


It's not for them. 

It's for you. 

And it's worth it. 

© ~ 2013

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