Content Warning: There are mentions of bullying, abuse and sexual abuse in this text
I’ve mentioned it before: I’m a spiritual person. Loads of my decisions are based on emotions, on what I sense to be the right choice. What I’ve read about forgiveness is that it’s obligatory to apply in your life. Do not hold grudges. Forgive others and accept the lessons you learned from the experience. But you know what? I’ve considered it, and I’m not that big. I do hold grudges, and I wish people had treated me differently.
As a kid, I was bullied in both primary and secondary school. At nine years old, I moved across the country. I moved to a town near a big city, and people were different from the rural part of the country where I had grown up. I was younger, smart, and I dressed differently. Do I forgive the people who bullied me there?
Ah well, they were kids. That doesn’t make it any better, but I don’t really hold it against them. They didn’t know any better.
What I do hold a grudge against, is how my friends dropped me. I’ve talked about this before. I don’t mind it when people grow apart, get new interests and thus leave each other’s lives. That’s fine.
Looking back, though, I see there were inequalities in these friendships long before we broke up. I was the only one travelling to the other party. I was the one who had to make the phone calls. I had to keep it all up or get berated for doing it wrong. This is unforgivable in my mind.
Another situation that I have been taken advantage of, big time was at work. I know it’s easy to ask the submissive girl to work late, or to take another shift at an impossible hour, but it’s not fair. Especially management should have been wiser, instead of leading the train towards ‘ask Liz, she’ll do it.’
Yes, I did learn lessons from my time with them. I should have shown more backbone and resisted more, but it’s not that easy. And yes, I still hold it against them.
One major grudge that I’m still holding on to is against my first ex. Just the other day I came across a thread on Reddit where they asked young people who had been seduced by older men what had happened. I cringed reading it. It was precisely what had happened to me.
I met this man for the first time when I was sixteen. He was thirteen years older than me. Nothing happened then, he was smarter than that, and he waited until the day of my eighteenth birthday to seduce me. This is the legal age to have sex in my country. Reading the experiences of others, I felt even more duped than I had already done. He had made me feel special. He had told me I was so mature for my age. I was enthralled by having conquered such a grown-up and sexual man. I was in love.
Do you know what the worst part is? Just the other week I was talking about him to a friend of ours. You should have heard me talking about my former lover. How attractive he was, why all women fell for him, what a charisma he had. Do you believe that? Almost twenty years later, and I still sounded like a schoolgirl in love.
So no, I have not forgiven him. He knew I came from a broken family. He knew I was vulnerable. He should have respected me and taken care of me, instead of only coming by when he wanted a quick fuck. He broke me, and I have not forgiven him.
Not a Saint
See, I’m not a saint. I do not have the goodness of heart to forgive everyone who has done me wrong. And yes, this is probably stilting my spiritual development, but I don’t care.
I appreciate the lessons I’ve learned. In a way, I’m glad I’m not as trusting and in good faith as I once was. In all honesty, people don’t deserve it.
So when you meet me today, you will have to prove yourself first before I open up. I have set up a defence line that you will have to break through before you get to see the real Liz. You have the people who came before you to thank for it.