"I Forgive You": An Open Letter To My Abuser
Updated: Oct 6, 2019
The act of forgiving seems easy, but forgiving someone that abused you more than once is way more complex than one might believe. Many survivors, including myself, struggle with resentment; they are unable to forgive their abuser. And forgiveness is a unique tool that will help you on your path to healing. As simple as this sounds, it can be incredibly challenging for survivors of abuse to acknowledge the abuse via writing because they may feel that it would be like reliving the abuse in their heads all over again.
To My Abusive Ex-Husband,
It’s hard to put into words all that you did to me. Sometimes I wish you could go through the pain and struggle that you made me live through, but there’s no way I’d want another person to have to endure that.
Five years ago, you physically abused me for the first time. One time became two times, then three, then four, and then I lost count for the rest of our marriage. I held on to this pain all these years, and I have not been able to truly forgive myself for letting the abuse go on as long as it did.
But today, I choose to let go. I choose to stop returning to you with the false, empty promises that you will change or to hear that you’re truly sorry, only for everything to happen all over again. I choose to forgive myself for my very wrong judgements. I choose to stop blaming myself because it was never my fault.
I put aside my hopes and dreams in favor of helping you reach yours. I was your biggest cheerleader. I bragged about your accomplishments to my family, friends, and even work acquaintances. If I could have yell it from the tops of the mountain, I would have because your accomplishments were mine as well. They were OURS. However, you did not feel the same about me. But I know that I’m an amazing woman whoaccomplished many great things before we met and even during our marriage. You can’t take that away from me.
You don’t define me. I define myself. I am much, much more than the marks you’ve left on my body. I am dreams. I am hope. I am forgiveness. I am the person others always want to be around because I am laughter, and I am love.
Without your abuse, I wouldn’t have found this strength inside me that I never knew existed. Without your abuse, I wouldn’t have realized my worth. Without your abuse, I wouldn’t be the daughter, sister, niece, granddaughter, friend,or person I am today.
I’m not writing this to hurt you. I’m not writing this as an act of revenge. It is simply for me. I’m trying to finish this chapter, this entire book of our life together and the trauma you created. But I’m also leaving it here, open to YOU—to read and take responsibility. For you to learn. You can deny it ever happened, of course; how you deal with the horrible things you did is not my issue. I may still be dealing with the damage that the abuse caused, but the scars will heal.
Even though the future scares me, I know I am going to be okay. In the meantime, I will try to find myself, the things I can do best, and the things that I forgot I once had. I am going to learn how to truly love myself, first, before I can give more to any relationship.
I forgive you.
A Flower With A Voice