I find this post pretty difficult to write. Not because I’m at a lost for words, but because there’s a mini-war going on inside of me. I know all of the Biblical scriptures on forgiveness, I know the pastoral answer to my situation, and now, I am painfully aware of what many of my peers feel I should do in the situation. Yet, there is a significant part of me that doesn’t want to give in, “bow down”, and forgive the person who wronged me. This year I learned a shocking fact about myself: I can forgive a stranger, brother and sister in Christ, quicker than I can my own blood kin.
Obviously, after the initial shock of this revelation, I realize why this is, and it’s quite simple. I have absolutely no expectations (or the only expectations are that a stranger is supposed to slip, supposed to cross me and/or disappoint me, because, as I am fond of saying, they are only human!) of these strangers; I don’t hold strangers, or common folk to high sets of standards. The person whom I cannot easily forgive at this moment is my blood BROTHER.
A brother may mean and be different things to different people. But for me, he was my protector, teacher, play date, role model, counselor, enforcer, — in short, he was my hero and everything I wanted to be. I lost my father at age five, so in some ways he was that, too. That man could have told me the sun would fall tomorrow and I would have believed and unwaveringly waited for such an event. Ironically, the most important lessons he taught me were the very ones he shattered. He taught me the importance of loyalty and watching those persons in your inner circle the most.
So, here I am now, a grown woman in a situation where the opportunity was ripe for him to live out those important lessons, be my hero in action, and he failed. The little girl inside of me who absolutely adored him has sprung to life and she now refuses to get over this moment. My hero was crushed in an instant, and that little girl does not know what to do. She can’t help but wonder if all those fundamental lessons upon which she built her foundation, –how she carried herself throughout her early years, chose her associates, chose her attire, chose her music, chose her lingo –was all one big stupid lie. If he is a fraud doesn’t that make her a fraud?
This little girl is stubborn and hurt, and no amount of adult reasoning is talking her down. She doesn’t want to forgive; she wants pain for pain, another lesson he taught her. She has already lost one brother to means beyond her control, but she didn’t expect to lose this one. This next sentence that I write may shock, even surprise, you but here it goes: it’s easier to think of him as lost, gone than to think of him as a willful betrayer who drove an icepick right through my heart. Can he not look at me and still see that 10-year-old girl who would gladly give him the last bite of her popsicle, or take his punishment for her punishment? Unfortunately, after that fateful night of betrayal, I can no longer look at him and see all the wonderful things he once embodied for me– definitely no longer a hero or protector.
Everyone says I should be the bigger person and forgive him, talk to him. I don’t want to for so many reasons. Primarily, he wronged me! I think I deserve at least an apology, and I damn sure shouldn’t have to request it. How can I throw out a lifeline to him, help him back into the fold when I know that I will never, ever trust him again and I will always have to wonder if I’m telling or showing him too much out of fear that he will roll on me again?! I would rather not have that in my atmosphere. I already have to watch other family members, do I really need to add him to the list, the one person who completely had me fooled into thinking he was too real to ever be on that list?
This little girl inside of me can tell you beyond a doubt that forgiving ain’t easy, and the grown woman inside is trying to tell her that everyone else is right: somebody’s gotta do it. I need to forgive him for me, not for his own peace of mind but for mine. Knowing this, the hardest thing is letting him know that I forgive him. However, I will proclaim it in text right here, that theoretically I am willing to let go of what he did but I cannot forget it by a long shot.
If he ever reads this, my message to him would be: I forgive you for wronging me. I also apologize for placing you higher than you should have been, I forgot you were only human. I would have laid down my life for yours, and the thing that hurt the most was finding out that you wouldn’t do the same for me. You didn’t even give up a good night’s sleep for me, so I will never believe you would give up your existence. I don’t know what you were thinking when you took that route. I don’t want anything from you and I will never ever look at you the same. You will get the same treatment as a stranger in the street; which won’t be too bad ’cause God says love thy neighbor. If you need anything I will try to provide it, or at the very least direct you to someone who can. I love you as my brother and neighbor, but I don’t like you.
Well, I needed this release and honestly, I’m still reeling but I am trying. So, World, if yall are praying people, send one up for me and the hurt little girl inside.
Peace and Prosperity,