A while back a good friend was deeply wounded by another aquaintance. Shortly thereafter that same aquaintance, in my opinion, betrayed me. In both cases the “perpetrator” of the situation used the rationale that “it wasn’t personal.” About that same time, an article in Time magazine and later a book by the same author came out and proclaimed, “It’s always personal.” It is. We are people and when our personhood is threatened, when we are reduced to things not individuals, it is personal…especially when the hurt comes from people we trust.
I still haven’t recovered fully from that wounding. I have tried repeatedly to “forgive” and I just can’t get there–yet. I’ve talked to my pastor more times than he probably wants to hear about all of this and he reminds me that people are messed up and that it’s okay to be angry sometimes–but that I need to let it go.
My therapist–also a pastor–asked me what it is that I wanted. He assured me that the person involved isn’t going to apologize and isn’t going to repent. He’s right and I acknowledged that. Then he asked what it was that I wanted from them. I told him. “I want the person and his associate to be the people I thought that they were.” “But,” he assured me, “they aren’t.” And what do I do with that? Typically, when people aren’t what I want them to be, I am able to reframe them–as weak, or lost, or broken, or sad–in need of love. But what happens when the people are people that you once admired or at least once really, really cared about? What then?
My therapist noted that when he talks with sexual assault survivors he notes that too often, survivors allow the perpetrator to drive the cart–so to speak. The perpetrator moves on. The victim keeps waiting for the apology, for the repentence, and the perpetrator moves forward. The perpetrator is able to justify themselves, believe in his/her rightness, or even convince themselves that it was the victim’s fault, and then the perpetrator moves on–feeling like it’s in the past. Meanwhile, the victim holds on…waiting for the apology so that they can let go and move on…it doesn’t come. The victim keeps getting pulled around by the driver. At some point, the victim, just needs to let go or they will continue to be pulled around and pulled apart.
I started this two days ago. I am pretty sure it was supposed to have a conclusion…but I don’t know what it was and I don’t know how to get it there. So, I guess, I send this letter/post and trust that it’s resolution is somewhere…I just don’t know where yet…