Worthy of my own Forgiveness
I believed the lie, that I was not worthy. Not worthy of love, or understanding, or compassion. I forgive myself for not standing in the truth of my own beauty. It took so long to see it.
I believed my parents didn’t, couldn’t love me (my father told me I was a mistake). Surely they did, but lacked the language to speak of it, with each other or with their children (i have an older brother of 9 years). I forgive myself for thinking it was my fault.
I believed I was stupid. My father said so. An IQ test confirmed I was just squeaking by and a beloved guidance counselor told me, “You’re not gifted, but you work very hard to make up for it.” I forgive myself my utter lack of faith in my God given intelligence, which continues to this day.
I believed I was unattractive. Fat. Ugly. Clumsy. Lacking in social graces. Unfeminine. I starved myself. Vomited. Cut my wrist. I hated my body in all its density and torpor. I forgive my self-hatred. What I put my body through. I wouldn’t treat an animal so mercilessly, yet I abused my own sweet self. I’m sorry it took so long to love you.
Somehow, I came to believe I should be able to be perfect. Willing, if not quite able, to work as hard as necessary to overcome all human weakness. I forgive myself the shame of perpetual failure, and the false belief that of my own efforts, I could overcome my humanness.
I forgive myself for feeling damaged. Broken. Beyond repair. Tainted (juxtaposed against the desire for perfection, it was a battle I could not win). I forgive my lack of faith in human kindness (between my parents alcohol addiction and a seemingly uncaring world, my aloneness felt overwhelming). I forgive my silence.
I forgive myself for my impatience (especially when driving). For my oversensitivity to criticism. My periods of existential angst, cynicism and sarcasm (few and far between now).
I forgive myself the years I needed to be in control, and did not trust in my own safety. I forgive myself the pride of believing I know what’s best (this has left me). The fear of failure (this has not). I forgive the desire to be the best and the corresponding judgment of the best of others. For my distrust of authority.
I forgive myself for my lack of forgiveness. My stubborn refusal to admit that the people who hurt me were doing the best they knew how to do. I forgive myself for my enormous anger and sometimes hatred.
I forgive myself for being an imperfect parent. For my inability to protect my precious son from cruelty at the hands of others, before incident (certainly after. Most certainly).
I forgive myself for sometimes eating the dead animals my husband prepares for me. Loving animals as I do, I prefer not to eat them.
I forgive myself for not mourning my mother’s death. For never knowing her. I forgive my inability to ask for help. The firm belief that I must muddle through alone. The narcissism which made me think that everyone should care, and the bitterness of realizing they most likely don’t.
I forgive myself for trying to take my life. For wallowing in the dark hopelessness there seemed to be no escape from. For the charade of happiness with which I deceived my friends. For my inability to speak the truth. I forgive that ultimate in giving up. I am so strong, fought so bravely, and I was so exhausted, so bereft. I forgive myself my deep and desperate despair.
Lori Beth McCray March 15, 2015