Forgiveness TOTW 34

I am a spiritual person.  I don’t think a day has passed in my life that I haven’t contemplated my relationship with God and the universe (well, maybe when I was in a coma).  I am a confirmed Catholic convert, a choice I made just before I turned 40.  Even still, my beliefs are very unChristian, by the definitions of people who would consider themselves an authority on the subject.

Still, in taking Holy Communion, I have made a commitment to uphold the values and teachings of my church.  This may seem contradictory, given that I am pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, and I live with a man who is not my husband.   For pro-choice and gay-marriage, my stance is that they are civil rights issues, and my religion’s practices should have no bearing on the rights of others.  On the topic of living with a man who is not my husband, the truth is, I do what I want.  It’s between God and me, and I believe that God is more concerned with my ability to minister to the hurting and the confused than He is with whom I share my bed.

One issue with which I have wrestled is forgiveness.  There are two men from my past that remain on my list of people I love to hate.  If you’ve been reading all along, you know them:  Bill and Jackson.

Yesterday, a friend confided in me something very painful.  It involves a man who is considerably younger than she.  He is in his early 20’s and behaving very much like a boy in his 20’s.  We talked about it and agreed that he is young, and a time may come when he looks back and regrets his behavior.

There were a lot of parallels between her story and mine with Jackson.  Most significantly, to this entry, was that Jackson was also in his early 20’s.  I was suddenly faced with the possibility that Jackson may have grown up since then.  It was 18 years ago, for goodness sake.  It’s possible that he could look back on his behavior and regret it.

I constantly give people the benefit of the doubt.  I believe in compassion and forgiveness.  But when it comes to him, I don’t want to let go of the anger and loathing.  I actually feel like I’d be losing something.  It makes no sense to me because I’m the first to say “Hate only hurts the hater.”  But I don’t feel like hating him hurts me.  I feel like hating him makes the memories of that time in my life a little more tolerable.

I was recovering from the suicide of my ex-husband.  I had lost my dream job.  I was at my most vulnerable point ever in my life and he exploited that.  No one will ever be able to convince me that he didn’t simply lie about his sterility in a deliberate attempt to get me pregnant.  I know that this ploy was intended to bind us together, likely so he could continue to mooch off of me.  But it nearly cost me my life.  It left me with a scar from ovary to ovary and a plethora of internal scarring which has led to other life-threatening conditions and excruciating pain.

I have always balked at the word “evil.”   I don’t use it lightly.  But when I think of him, I think of pure evil.  I’ve had nightmares about him.  He was manipulative and did a great job of convincing people that he was the victim.

I was hoping that writing this out would lead me to a place in which I could finally let this go, but I can’t.  I’m not ready to give him anymore.

I need some ibuprofen.

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