Day 12 — The person who caused you a lot of pain

Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future. ~ Beverly Flanigan

To a certain someone,

It isn’t easy writing this to you. It isn’t, because I have tried so hard not to think about what happened — a defensive reaction, I guess, to a betrayal by someone I love. But there are some things that need to be said.

The first is that, against all odds, I still care about you. I don’t want any kind of revenge, I don’t want you to suffer. But I do need you to know that it doesn’t work that way — you can’t escape your own pain by hurting someone else. Especially someone who was on your side. And I was on your side. You can choose to believe it or not, but I was.

Even now, I’m struggling with the impact of what you did. After one year, the pain isn’t so sharp anymore, but the issue of trust still is still unresolved. Do you have any idea how much I needed to be able to trust people? I needed to know that I was in a safe place, that I was surrounded by those I could rely on to be on my side. Yet you took that away from me when you chose to involve others just to get the sympathy you wanted. For months, I was oblivious to what you were doing, and when I found out, the damage was done. You had isolated me, when what I needed most was to know that I wasn’t alone. Even now, I struggle with believing that I no longer am. Even now, it is still the hardest thing to let myself be vulnerable.

And yet — here comes the hardest part — I forgive you. I forgive you because the last thing I need is for bitterness to grow inside me. I forgive you because this has hurt us both long enough. And most of all, because I have been forgiven, too — over and over again — by those whom I have disappointed and pushed away. One thing I have learned from bipolar disorder is that fear and guilt make you do irrational things, hurtful things, just to protect yourself. I understand the choice you made, perhaps better than you do yourself. And I know it must have hurt you as well. So, for what it’s worth, I forgive you — not with my own strength, but with the Grace that I have experienced when I deserved it the least.

I don’t know if the relationship can ever go back to how it once was. I honestly don’t. But with this, I hope that I’m one step closer to the bridge between us — where, perhaps someday, you and I can meet in the middle.

Sincerely,

A friend


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