Forgiveness is definitely one of the hardest things in life to overcome, without a doubt.
I had a really difficult time coming face to face with the reality of forgiveness.
Believe me when I say there are moments where I still struggle with forgiveness.
I don’t mean forgiveness of others.
I mean forgiveness of self.
I blamed myself for what happened in college when I went through a very toxic and abusive relationship.
I blamed myself for getting assaulted in a park while running on a trail.
Then for a third time, I blamed myself for what happened in 2016; I blamed myself for someone else’s crime.
Forgiveness is so much easier said than done.
It requires so much healing and self-growth, and self-awareness, which comes from counseling.
I hated myself.
I digested with myself.
I thought what happened in college was my fault.
I didn’t see my worth, and I didn't think I deserved better because I had nothing to compare it to.
It took getting cheated to walk away.
I attended therapy in college that year which allowed me to move forward and put the past in the rearview mirror.
Then in July 2016, I was assaulted while running in a park and, I let my low self-esteem tell me it was my fault because I wanted to run on a trail.
It wasn’t only that when my friend told me this was happening to other girls, and I didn’t report it.
I thought, how could I, as I put others at risk with my reporting?
We don’t realize that these incidents aren’t isolated; they happen more often than we think.
Who knows, maybe if I reported it, they would have caught him faster.
I felt so ashamed.
I knew going forward that I would report something like this in the future if I needed to.
I guess you could say I took this as a learning opportunity to do better next time and take the proper steps so that this didn't happen to someone else.
I think when this happens, your body just shuts down and goes into shock.
I felt so dirty after this I literally went home and showered right away and put on a brave front, as I had Will at my house, not knowing weeks later he would be doing the same thing but even worse.
For weeks I didn’t run; I was scared out of my mind.
Plus, I was mad at myself for not taking action and reporting this incident.
Then August 2016, the unthinkable occurred and rocked me to my very core.
It was so difficult.
I placed so much blame on myself.
I went through all the what if’s.
I said to myself, maybe I should have done more for Will; he needed more help than I was aware of.
Maybe when he got back from out West, I should have gotten him into counseling because I knew he was depressed.
Maybe I should have never gone to a party that night and hung out with Will instead.
I went through every single scenario in my head.
I replied to things over a million times.
Most of all, I felt so guilty for being alive and knowing that the deceased was gone.
I hated myself for being here.
I felt guilty for even crossing the street.
I couldn’t understand why I was even still alive.
I thought it wasn’t fair that one person is dead.
I am still here.
I almost took my life over the guilt; it ate away at me.
When I entered counseling, I knew in order to have any forgiveness for myself.
I knew I needed to address every emotion that I was going through that I was experiencing.
I knew honesty that ir was going to be one of the biggest factors in order to get better and do better.
I had to contract everything past, present, and future.
I had to start at the beginning of my life.
I had to crumble all the walls that we were caving in on me and knock them down so I could begin to rebuild.