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And When I Forgive You, it’s For Me

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It’s not because I think what you did was right; you were so wrong.

It’s not because you didn’t hurt me; you really did.

It’s not because I’m over the pain; I still cry when I think of you.

It’s not because I think you’re sorry; I’m pretty sure you still think you’re right and I’m the bully.

It’s not because I want to restore a relationship; I’d really rather claw my eyeballs out.

It’s not because you deserve it; you don’t.

It’s because I need to be free.

You haunt me, like I’ve never been haunted before. I think about you more than I think about the first boy to break my heart, more than I think about the friends who’ve left me, more than I think about my childhood shames.

When I think I’m happy, when I think I’m finally free and ready to move on, you come to me in a nightmare or a daydream. I see you walking into my school, my work, my church, my home, see you smile and feel myself crumble.

I get chills and my stomach flips and instantly I’m a scared teenager thinking she should die for everyone’s good. Thinking no one will ever love me. Thinking I don’t even deserve to be loved.

You hurt me, really hurt me. I trusted you and you betrayed that trust by treating me like crap, by trampling on me and tearing me down and calling me a monster.

You were supposed to protect me. You were supposed to love me like I was your own daughter. You were supposed to take care of me and make sure no one ever hurt me.

Instead, every word was a whip, every compliment a slap, every smile a lie.

I still ask myself why you chose me, what I did wrong, how I could have changed things, if I would have the scars I have if not for you.

I’m not free.

I’m trapped in an endless cycle of fear, anger, bitterness and self-hate.

The worst part is, I know what will set me free. I know how to move on, how to stop seeing your ghost and learn to smile.

I need to forgive you. I need to let you go. I need to take your memory and erase it from my mind and stop thinking about you. I need to stop hating you and just stop caring at all. I need to get to the place where if I saw you on the street I wouldn’t cry or scream or punch you, but would just keep walking.

I don’t need to smile at you, be your friend or say you weren’t wrong. I just need to forgive you.

I’m not there yet. I’m not ready to forgive you, because I’m still reeling from your attacks.

And just so you know: when I do forgive you, it’s not for you. It’s for me.

by Karis Rogerson

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