Friday, November 23, 2012

Perspective (Part 2 of 2)

(This post comes from Dann Youle.)

While writing about the perspective that I now have of my abuse, the thought occurred to me that stories of how my perspective has changed would be helpful. I want to share one that is the most powerful to me.

On October 28, 2000, my friend Mark and I drove to my abuser’s grave in Wisconsin. I remember it feeling like there was something exciting but terrifying that would happen that day. We arrived at the cemetery and found it was much how I remembered it, yet strange and different at the same time.

After we searched for about 30 minutes, I saw it. Walking up to the grave I was visibly shaking, and more scared than I remembered being in my life. With Mark giving me my space, but also keeping watch, tears flowed as I said what I needed to say, released forgiveness, and, as I sat there, the change started happening.

As I spoke forgiveness toward my abuser, healing flowed. I felt pity for him. I realized he had probably not known he could heal. His generation wouldn't talk about something like this, especially not in a redemptive way. I realized he may have been abused himself. He was probably unable to forgive himself.

Yet from the moment I remembered he abused me, I wanted to get to the point where I could forgive him and myself. My abuser gave me a gift that day, in spite of all the pain he brought to my life and perhaps to the lives of others. He allowed me to see that I could make peace. Peace with him, peace with God, peace with myself, and peace with life.

I could and did walk forward from that day, October 28, 2000, knowing that life is a gift. Each day I can truly live and I don’t have to allow something horrific that someone did to me and over which I had no control. Now I have control over this moment, this day, or all the stuff that makes up my life.

That’s a perspective change that I couldn't have learned any other way.

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