Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Truth about FORGIVENESS

Recently,  I looked at my blog stats.  Have you done that?  It's very interesting --and tells alot as to who is looking at our blogs and which posts they look at the most.  One post that I wrote in 2009 entitled "The Truth about Hugs" (click HERE) has had 5,439 views since I published it.  Another one I wrote only a month ago on Honesty (click HERE) has gotten 3,205 views already.  That just shocks me to know that so many people are reading our blogs.  They don't comment --so we don't know unless we look at the statistics.

Anyhow,  while thinking about those two titles,   there's another blog which I have been thinking about writing for quite a long time now.   BUT--since my blog title is "Joyful Reflections"--I try to keep most of my posts JOYFUL.  This topic which I have chosen today is a hard one  for most of us I'm sure.  We are all human and there are people in our lives which, for various reasons,  we have been estranged from or struggling with,  sometimes for years.  OR--life has changed all around us and we wonder how we can cope.  There is tension and stress and sometimes,  lots of bitterness.  In some cases,  things which have happened to us completely control us ---and take over our lives.

For over 25 years,  I worked for a church and did a fair amount of unofficial counseling.  I was a good listener --so people felt safe talking to me.  I also was not judgmental with others,  even though there were times when I had to work hard not to shake someone and just say:  "Get over it"....

Ninety percent of the time,  I was a help to others who sometimes just needed to talk. I heard many, many stories about family problems,  problems with relationships,  abuse--both physical and verbal,  death and bereavement,  along with who-knows what else!!!  The one thing I knew for sure when trying to help someone else is that no amount of words which I (or anyone else) could say would help unless that person is ready to make some different choices for him or herself.  It's like losing weight.  Nobody else can shame me into losing weight.  It only happens when "I" am ready to do something about it myself.

What nobody ever knew most of my adult life (while I was busy helping others)  was that I was sexually abused by a family member as a child.  It was bad enough for a child to go through that --but what was worse for me was the fact that when I confronted my mother with what was going on,  SHE didn't believe me.  I just had to move on ---and just ignore that it happened.  That is what I did for many, many years.  It affected me (through my weight problem) and it affected my relationships.  BUT--I was 'above' it ---and 'thought' that I was a BIGSHOT who didn't need any help getting over it.  HA.......

Finally,  about 1998,  a very good friend (he knows who he is) got me to talk about it --and helped me get counseling myself --for the first time in my life.  I was able to deal with it on a professional level, and learned alot about myself during those sessions.   YES---there are times when the bitterness rears its ugly head these days --but I am now doing fine.   (Of course,  it helps to have such a loving, supportive husband.)

Here are some things I have learned through my own experience and  by talking and listening to others all through the years:
-We cannot ignore situations which alter our lives.
-We need to be willing to admit that we need help.
-We need to do whatever necessary to get that professional help.
-We don't need to sit around and either feel guilty or feel sorry for ourselves.
-We don't need to allow hurtful situations to 'control' us and our lives.
-Sometimes,  all we need is TIME..  BUT--don't let that stop you from living.
-By ignoring a situation,  we allow it to grow and grow and turn into something worse than the situation itself.

And more importantly:
-We need to FORGIVE.   Most people think that by forgiving,  we are saying that what happened was okay... That is not true.  By forgiving,  we are saying that we no longer are going to allow the pain that they inflicted on us to control us.
-Forgive for YOURSELF--not for the other person(s).  You need to be able to forgive so that you can rid yourself of all of the baggage you have been carrying.
-You will never FORGET just because you forgive..   It happened --and it will always be there, inside of you.  But,  by forgiving, you can stand up and shout:  "I forgive so that I will no longer allow you to control me.  I am going to proudly get on with my life".

And the last thing which is also extremely important:
-You must LOVE yourself so that you are able to forgive and get on with your life.
-Love is the key.  I did not love myself for many years.  Now I DO--even with all of my craziness at times!!!!!

I didn't share my story to make you sad.  Mine is a SUCCESS story.  I did FORGIVE and even though all of my family are gone now,  I still love them ALL very, very much.

I have always enjoyed writing --but I never realized, when I first started blogging,  that I would be able to help others through my words... I hope that something I have said has made you THINK.   I am always here (email me) if you need to talk. God has blessed me.

Blessings to you.

72 comments:

B. Meandering said...

Okay, you just blew me away. I too was sexually abused by two family members: my uncle and my cousin. However, my parents did believe me and in the crazy way of the 1950's protected me. They even warned my aunts and uncles, but they wouldn't listen and thus two of my girl cousins were raped continually over years (I was not raped). The three of us have struggled with this cousin for years and it was interesting to see how we handled our last parent's funeral. That's when we all three felt we could finally make a public stand against him being there as family.

I drew the line at his attending dad's funeral because at mom's he snuck up behind me and physically hugged me in a way that repulsed me.
But I didn't think I had the right to deny him closure with my dad. So he was permitted to come and say goodbye to dad when dad had taken himself all life-saving measures and was talking with folks one last time. My one brother stepped in and handled my cousin graciously telling him he was to honor my request that he not approach me at all.

I have since gone through a process of forgiveness and you're right: it's for us not them. God has been able to use me in ways that he couldn't before because part of my heart was closed off.

My one cousin had a lawyer friend contact the cousin and it was done harshly. She is still bitter.

This was a gutsy post, Betsy---good for you. I'm sure it will touch many folks.

Twilight said...

What a lovely topic which moved me. I am glad you are such a great person who would just help anyone. I always felt that your blogs radiate certain aura of kindness and compassion. I am glad my guess and instinct was right!
My young wife was also subjected to a similar sexual abuse by her older sibling and she kept it to herself till she married me. Somehow, she managed to sign up to take a course in hypnotherapy by a London professor and she managed to overcome all her childhood pain and darkness eventually. I realized that most humans have difficulty to cope with their mental torture and stress. The best remedy is to speak to kind souls like you who would be of great help to divert all their focus away from problems! Betsy ~ You are truly God Sent!!

*Honest Abe said...

Statistics are a good thing that I so often forget to look at. . .

diane b said...

A very interesting post. A thought provoking one. It is going to be interesting to see how many of your friends can relate to this post. I too was sexually abused at 13 by a family friend and the father of my girlfriend at the time. He threatened me not to tell my parents like they do, so I didn't. I made sure never to get into a situation where it could happen again. It took some vigilance.
I could never forgive him but I learnt not to let it get me down and I think of him as a nothing and that I am a much stronger person for dealing with it. It doesn't bother me or worry me any more. I suppose I have forgiven. When I was 19 he was sent to gaol for doing the same to much younger children. It was then that I told my parents but they didn't say much. However, they did organise for their friend to be sent to a rehabilitation centre rather then gaol. I found their support for him a bit hard to take at the time.
A brave post Betsy.

Peggy said...

A wonderful post Besty. Something I needed to read and apply. Think God sent me to your blog before I started my day for a reason.

Tracy said...

Betsy,
I am proud of you...very very proud and I read this with tears in my eyes as I realized what a huge step it was to look past your 'Joyful' banner and talk about something so real in your life. Yes, we do need to be joyful, however, we need to honor the 'storms' so to speak, in order to recognize the power of the joy.
The tumultuous times make the joy that much sweeter...
You are a great friend and I am honored to say you are one of mine...I know your post will have a positive impact on all your readers; those known and unknown...
love you...and again, I'm proud of you!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

These words are thought provoking.and true.You say that we need to forgive for ourselves and I have found that to be very true.Someone told me just recently, 'I will never forgive him for what he did,I can't. '
This statement made me very sad,because I see the baggage this person is carrying because of this unforgiving spirit.The other person doesn't feel the pain,but this one sure does.
We can't afford not to forgive.
Thanks for using the blog to share and to encourage others.You are a blessing to many.

Valerie said...

Well written Betsy - and so wonderfully honest and helpful. I truly believe that sometimes we go thru the very hard things in life - so that we can, at some point, be an encouragement to someone else as they walk the same road.

You have been blessed to be able to forgive and to now share with others - not to mention all the listening you have done in the past.

Thanks for the blessing you are to all of us. I know I appreciate you!

Pam said...

Betsy, it saddens me to think of what you went through as a child and to have an uncaring Mother is sicking.
I'm glad you found the help you needed and were able to find forgiveness in your heart.

hugs,
Pam

June said...

It is such a TRUTH that nobody gets through life without some horror thrown in. And you are so right about first loving yourself, and loving yourself enough to let go of the anger and bitterness. Y'can't believe it could happen until it does, and then y'can't believe that it held you in its grip for so long!

Nanniepannie said...

Wow! Finally a post with some meat.
I'm glad I found you and your blog.
I can't relate on an personal level to the abuse, but everyone needs to know the importance of forgiveness. I tip my hat to you for a great heart felt post.

Mildred said...

Good Morning Betsy, Thank you for sharing from your heart today and you have my love and respect for posting this in order to help others. I am so happy/thankful that you and George found one another. It's a blessing to "visit" with you both daily. May God bless.

Arkansas Patti said...

Betsy, I am so sorry for what you had to go through that was made so much worse with the lack of support from your Mom.
This was a thoughtful and brave post but hopefully will help many.
Anger and resentment are very heavy. They can weigh us down and alter our life's paths as we try to carry them.
You are so right about forgiviness.
When I finally forgave someone who had given me 30 years of hurt, the freedom was absolutley wonderful. Those whom I have forgiven, do not know of it but then they probably never were aware of needing it. It is something we have to do for our selves.
Great post.

Dar said...

A few years ago, a pastor and friend of our family, said at my sisters funeral, the opposite of what I once believed. I used to believe that God does not give us more than we can handle. Instead, Pastor said, "God Does give us more than we can handle, so we Remember to Turn to HIM." That has always stuck with me. You are such a strong person, Betsy, and I applaud how you took something terrible and turned it into something useful. Your being a great listener, I know from personal experience, has helped so many through difficult situations. You are truly an ANGEL sent from GOD Himself. I love you and your courage as you encourage others to FORGIVE. It does clean the heart.
BlessYourGenerousCaringHeart

Big Dude said...

Great post Betsy - nothing like advice supported by personnel experience to really get others thinking and hopefully acting.

Lucy (aka rharper) said...

Forgiveness is everything you said it is and I've been told that all of my life. But it's so very hard to do.

Lana said...

Somewhere in one of Shakespeare's plays is a lesson that teaches us that anger/hate is not the opposite of love; indifference is. It kind of applies here too. You have to be able to move on in a way that the other person does not influence or govern your life to move forward. You have been very courageous to share your story in hopes that others will understand this message of moving forward through forgiveness. And you are so right in saying the forgiveness is with yourself. That is the magic key that takes away the power the other person had over you.

Bless you for sharing such a strong and important message! I'm sure you have shown many people how to unlock their sadness and let it go!

Hugs!

Chatty Crone said...

Great and honest blog Betsy - I'm sorry you had to go thru something like that and I'm sorry that your mother didn't believe you.

I'm glad you got help - learned to love yourself - and to forgive. I think forgiveness is huge - but I know too the scars - while lightening up - will always be there as a reminder.

Think about this - if you had not gone through that - do you think you'd be the strong happy woman you are today? Struggles seem to strengthen us.

Hugs,
sandie

Karin said...

Oh Betsy, I hope this post gets so many hits - that it's out of the ballpark and a homerun for many who need it. Mine is the same story - different people. Age 10, mother never knew because if I told I'd be shot, kept it secret (compartmentalized it) until 50 yrs. later when God sent a safe, loving, caring pastor-colleague to initiate the healing process! Totally unexpected and blew me away! A lot of personal poetry came during the healing process! God is so good. Total forgiveness! It brought forth more compassion and empathy! What a helpful post to those who are still dealing with issues!
Hugs!!!

From the Kitchen said...

I stopped by to spend time in your garden and, instead,
find myself sharing a painful part of your past that has made you who you are today. You are so wise, Betsy, in the way you have dealt/are dealing with this very sensitive subject. I have a feeling that you will find many of your followers opening up about the same sort of incidents from their past. For every person that steps forward in these circumstances, there are hundreds who don't.

For me, I immediately saw a photo of my three darling second cousins posed in a Christmas window and sending greetings to family and friends from an "ideal" family. No one knew the secret that the eldest little girl kept--and kept for many years--that her father was sexually abusing her. When it finally came out, the parents divorced. There was hushed talk that the father was charged in the case. It was never public knowledge and ceased to be discussed in the family. I often wonder how that, now adult cousin, has handled her life since we were distant enough not to keep in touch.

Best,
Bonnie

Out on the prairie said...

Many of us can't find the strength to forgive and let small things pass. We let it rip our minds and bodies apart.I have used pastoral care many times to sort through problems that seem so big only to find how small they really are.

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is a very thought provoking and honest post Betsy. Thank you for sharing. Sexual abuse is rampant. I read somewhere that ONE in THREE girls are sexually abused. I was not immune to this either. It is very sad...but you are right, we can move on and life does HAPPEN!!!
xoxoxo

Daisy said...

Betsy I am sorry to hear what happened to you in your past, but glad to hear you have gotten help to work your way through it and get past it. You offer good words of advice here that I'm sure will help someone who reads it.

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

You have had a lot of pageviews!! You have a great blog! Yes Forgiveness is necessary and a good lesson here for us all. I need to forgive myself for not being perfect :) I know no one is perfect but??

Loren said...

Betsy,

We are in a Series @ Church titiled "Getting Past your Past" My husband and I did some very deep work in ourselves and for our marriage about 8 years ago with a Life Coach. We both did ALOT of Forgiving of our situations with family members, and/or circumstances that had happened to us.

Something I heard this past weekend at church though was this....
Are you a peace "keeper" or a peace "maker".
A peace "keeper" is someone who refuses to face the issue and sweeps it under the rug and usually will be the one who harbors bitterness & unforgiveness just to keep the peace!
A peace "Maker" is just the opposite! They seek to work things out and work things through! they face the issues to seek restoration within themselves or the relationship!

Bless you Betsy for sharing your story! I know God will bring such good out of this and thank you for being a peace "maker" for facing a very difficult time in your life and being able to forgive and move on is such a gift!


Love and Hugs to you!

Darla said...

AMEN! Let go and let God!

Sandra said...

you are one of many friends that have told this story, and it still amazes me that all of this was going on when I was a child and I had no idea. i did not even know what child abuse was or sexual abuse or what hate was or what the word gay meant. i lead a sheltered life and it still shocks me when someone i know tells your story. i know that god has used your life for you to help others. and that is is good to forgive and to talk about it. i have a friend who is 78 years old, and she have never told anyone in her life that her father abused her, except for me. she will not talk about it has never told anyone and she still sufferers from it and always will until she gets help

i had never looked at my stats, did not even know they were there, i left here and checked them out and was amazed at all that is there. thanks for pointing it out

Catherine said...

Sending you an extra big hug today Betsy!
xoxoxo Catherine

Becca's Dirt said...

Great post Betsy. I exptect the comments today will be long and from the heart.

I was a victim too at a young age 4 when it started. I remembered and had vivid memories while going thru therapy. For many many years I lived it over and over and thought at times that I had forgiven him. I said that I forgave him. But... it was only in the past 10 years that I have finally do not need anymore counseling for this and I truly have forgiven. I even talk to and visit him now. Never is that mentioned but I believe that is/was sorry for what he had done. My dad is a minister and has been always so this was hard for me growing up. My children want nothing to do with him. My relationship isn't much but at least we can communicate and we can say I love you now and mean it.

Thanks for this post Betsy.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Thank you for this wonderful post, Betsy. Hugs!

Linda said...

This is a topic that has to touch everyone's life. Every one of us has experienced at least a perceived wrong and could easily fall prey to the curse of unforgiveness and bitterness. As you said, forgiveness is not excusing the other's behavior. Rather, it's releasing ourselves from the need for revenge or recompense and allowing God to handle the situation in whatever way He chooses. After all, Father truly knows best.

KathyA said...

How brave you are to admit this openly. I'm glad you can forgive and move on and that you have also helped others in doing the same. But more than that, I'm so sorry you went through this as a child. So very, very sorry...

~mel said...

This is a topic for all ~ and one that has certainly been a chapter in my life. One can forgive; but never forgets. What I have found that brings me relief from some situations is turning it over to the Lord.

Velvet Over Steel said...

Betsy you are my inspiration and strength!!! This post brought me to tears for numberous reasons, mostly because I have had similar experiences and had to really forgive. Which was after my own growth and healing, when I was ready or at the point when I finally could! You have just helped so many, many more people than you can even imagine!!! When I write personal stories post like these, I get comments but so many more read it that can't comments. I too see that from the personal emails I receive and the STATS, which blow me away too!!

I can't thank you enough for your continued visits, support, friendship and esp. for letting me to visit this post today!!! Love you, Betsy!! XOXOXO ~ Coreen

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

Thank you for sharing something so personal about yourself. I'm sure your words will speak to someone and make them think. I don't always comment; however, I rarely miss reading your blog posts.

Happyone : ) said...

I am sorry to hear about your past but glad that you could forgive and move on.
A great post with so much good advice.

Glenda said...

Forgiving can be so very, very difficult, but it's so freeing! Sometimes we must pray that God will help us to WANT to forgive; He answers that kind of prayer! There's so much brokenness in our world today, and so many need your message - God's message. Thanks for being brave enough to share it!

Janie said...

What an awful thing to experience as a child, and yet you have overcome it to become a caring and kind person. You're wise to recognize that forgiveness of yourself and others is the key to peace of soul.
My all time most visited post is "ear wax." Ha! I never knew this was such a googled subject.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Betsy,
First of all, I'm so sorry for the abuse as a child. I'm glad you have forgiven the person and moved on with your life. This was a wonderful posting on forgiveness.

imac said...

This Betsy is one of your best posts Ive read.
You hit the nail right on the head.
spoken from the heart to other hearts.
Thank you.

Dorothy said...

Dear Betsy,
It is heartbreaking that child abuse is so rampant. I'm sorry that you were a victim of it. I'm glad that you sought professional help to get over the effects of it and that you sought God's help in seeking to forgive. Forgiveness IS hard, but it CAN be done, with God's help. I hope that your gutsy post today will prompt many people to forgive others for all the unforgivable things they have been holding on to.
May God bless you more and more!

Janice K said...

Hi Betsy,

I actually read your blog and left a comment much earlier this morning, but for some reason bloger was "acting up" and wasn't letting me leave comments for a while. Anyway.....What a tremendous blog! Certainly not about something "joyful" but it is so full of HOPE which enables us to live in JOY.

I remember some words from a sermon from the past. You can choose to be "Bitter or Better." Choosing better, which involves forgiveness, removes such a big burden from off our backs. We no longer feel the responsiblity of seeing that the other person "pays" for what he has done...We can let God do His job as far as judgement is concerned, and we are FREE to live in God's love and forgiveness and enjoy the life he has given us. I am so thankful for that.

God bless you for sharing from your heart and your healing and for all the Hope and Joy you bring to so many.

Retired English Teacher said...

Betsy, this is a very powerful post. You have said it all. Forgiveness is for the one who has been wronged. "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." So many times those words have convicted me. The Lord knows that it would take grace to allow us to forgive. He also knows that in our very human nature does not make such a process an easy one, yet He tells us to do it.

I have had to work through much forgiveness. This past year has compounded the need to forgive. It is a work of humility and accepting that we are not in charge to be able to forgive.

You are a powerful witness for the power, the freedom, and the love that comes to those who forgive. Thank you for your example.

Diane AZ said...

Hi Betsy, what a powerful post today! I'm so glad you were able to forgive. As you said, forgiving does not mean what happened is okay, and forgiveness helps us to move on without that heavy baggage. :)

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

I tried to comment earlier, but blogger wouldn't let me. This is a very powerful post, Betsy. I'm so sorry for what you had to endure.
And you are so right when you say that forgiving is essential to YOUR well being, not condoning what the other person has done. Blessings to you.

Neal said...

That is really good Betsy. Like you say LOVE is the key. I must say that you come across as a very loving person now.

Forgiving doesn't mean you forget it. How can you ever forget some things. However, forgiving means all the bitterness, which can destroy you, disappears. I think the hardest problem for most people is admitting that they need help. None of us like to admit that we can't do it on our own.

Rose said...

Betsy, wow! Would never have dreamed this happening to you and don't know what to say. Read this a while ago and been thinking over my reply.

I hope it helps a lot of people...I am having trouble thinking how to say what I want. I think this will help a lot of people...it will spur them on to seek help....there is nothing quite like talking to someone or reading about someone who has had something similar happen to them...I still sad that it happened to you.

I know forgiveness is the answer, but sometimes it is sure hard...oh, I did NOT have this happen, but just thinking about things in general. About how our mom was...she has been dead 15 yrs and some of the things she said to me still color how I live and how I feel about myself.

The only thing I can think, and I really do feel this, is she suffered depression...

Ann said...

Thank you for sharing your story Betsy. My daughter was molested by my 65 year old neighbor when she was around 10. It went on for several years before she finally told me about it. I never considered not believing her. Im sorry that your mother didn't believe you.

eileeninmd said...

Betsy, I am so sorry that this happened to you and to all the others. You must be a very strong person, you have made a great post with a great message. Thanks for sharing your story.

Loran said...

Betsi, you are an amazing woman, a true survivor. That was a brave and honest post.

Diane said...

Thanks for leaving the door open Betsy. I, too, have things I'm dealing with.

Besides that I worked at the Episcopal Church here as secretary but most of the time my job was being there for the people. The priest was invariably gone when someone would come in to tell him they just found out they had inoperable cancer, or that they were going to take their own life. I did the best I could but I was not trained to handle these things. Listening was good, compassion was good, but helping them work through these things made me feel hopelessly inadequate.

Again, thanks for leaving the door open, someday I may just need to talk. Diane

agrigirl said...

God is clearrly giving you a methodology to help others. forgiveness is a very key topic. I've found it helpful personally and believe that it would be helpful for the masses. Thanks Betsy.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Betsy this was a powerful post that I am sure will help many. I thankfully never suffered phyical or sexual abuse but I lived through the traumatic event of my father being murdered by a co-worker when I was a young teen. This man is still in jail and every two years I give a victim's impact statement before a parole commissioner asking that he be denied parole. I can forgive, but I can't forget, and I would not want another family to suffer the way my family did by the actions of this unremorseful and deranged person. My father was a good man and I've tried to honor his life my whole life.

I'm glad you found understanding and peace in your life and i think many will read your words today and learn from them!

{{hugs}}

Twilight said...

I like Loren's comment. I just learned the new words "Peace Keeper" and "Peace Maker"... Really makes my day!

Carletta said...

My Dear Betsy,
You say 'God has blessed me' I will add that God has blessed us - your readers - for having you in our lives everyday.
I can read through your comments and not wonder if what you have written will make us think. It has and so many of your readers have opened up and it might be the first time they have said it out loud. You've given so many today the courage to speak about often unspeakable things.
Every day we read your posts and 'hear' the joy in your voice. We see your comments on our posts and others that are always filled with that joy for what we've done. If you hadn't written this post today we would never have known because you have led by example -
"Life is all about choices and attitude. Make the right choices, keep a positive attitude-- and you will find JOY through all of your ups and downs."
Tell George to give you a big hug for me.
May God's Blessings surround you.

mudderbear said...

I am touched by your post and your courage. Everyone I know has someone they need to forgive and issues they need to talk through. Bless you for your goodness. You are a wonderful, caring person. Your goodness shows in your posts and your spirit shines.

amy @ Life in Pink Hi-Tops said...

What a courageous post. Blessings to you. Your story will help so many people. Thank you for sharing it.

mudderbear said...

Hi Betsy...I woke up this morning thinking and worrying about all this. In spite of this post being replaced by the newest one, maybe there will be some who come back to it, including yourself.
So many victims say "My mother never did anything." I would so hope they realize how shocked and terrorized a mother/aunt/daughter can be. And how helpless. I am haunted with worry that it looks like I didn't care very much. I will never get over it. I hope they know that.

Jen said...

Hugs to you Betsy!!

Lola said...

Thank you Betsy. It is strange how some lives are so similar. Some times a person really needs someone to just talk to, like to just "get it off your chest" or to know that someone is really listening & cares.

Terry said...

Found your blog through retired school teacher and found this to be a very moving post. Thank you for sharing, I'll be following.

Lynda said...

WOW! I can't get over how many people have suffered this abuse. It is not in my history but it makes me want to weep for those who have endured this. Beth Moore's 'Breaking Free' Study has helped a lot of women with forgiving and freedom from the past, too. You are right that forgiveness is the only way to move forward but it is the hardest, hardest thing - - even when we forgive, Satan still likes to torment with memories.

The Retired One said...

Oh Betsy, I am so sorry you experienced that in your life. The person that did that to you obviously was sick and had to face the deeds done at some time,some where...and you are correct to let it go and forgive in that it gives you the POWER and freedom to continue with your wonderful life without being imprisoned by what happened to you.
I escaped being sexually abused by seconds...by a PRIEST no less...when I was 7. He tried to attack me and I ran for a door and frantically opened it and RAN and because he was drunk, he couldn't catch me and I got away. But the experience changed me forever also. I am not telling you this to make your experience sound any less important or horrendous, but instead to let you know that I got a glimpse of the terror, the fear, the horror and the awfulness of only SOME of what you endured and I so admire that you have gone past that in your life. Bless you and ((hugs)) to you.

LV said...

Betsy, that was a very personal and brave post. I am sure there is much more of that going on that we ever know about. Simply because the victim is sometimes ashamed to say anything. It is not always easy to forgive and forget. It is even harder when you do not forgive yourself. Thank goodness I never experienced this situation. I am sure there is not many that does not have a skeleton or two in their closets. You did the right thing and are living the good life now. Blessings to you and George.

Ann said...

Hi Betsy,

This is a powerful and brave post.You share a most personal matter that affected your life.

As you read my book, you will know I have issues with the doctors of my ante natal care. When I talk about them, I still get very emotional and angry.

The evening of Good Friday, after I launched my food, I laid in bed, asking myself why I don't let go. On Easter Sat, I was in bed listening to the Christian radio. The speaker quoted an event in South Africa about Mr. Vanderbrook and the old woman. He had murdered her husband and son.
After hearing, I googled it to read morning. I prayed, God, help me to be like this woman, help me to forgive. I was sincere about it.

Thanks for tell me to read this post by sending me your email.

Love,

Annxxx

texwisgirl said...

hi betsy. i followed you back here from the comment you left on my blog yesterday. glad i read a few posts back. you are brave and strong to talk about this, but even braver to forgive. God bless you!

LindaGay said...

Thank you for sending this my way. You are an amazing person and brave and strong and good. God Bless you, Dear Friend!

Linda

http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com/

Jo said...

Betsy, what a deep, painful and thought-provoking post. And what a wonderful woman you are to have forgiven. I read the comments and my heart tugged at the many women who have suffered abuse as young girls. I laud and honour you, dear friend. I know you post has helped and will still help many people. You are a truly remarkable lady. Bless you, dear Betsy. (((Hugs))) Jo

Chatty Crone said...

I don't think I had joined you yet when this came out - first of all I am sorry it happened to you - hugs - the amazingly great thing is - that you probably would not have been the wonderful woman you are today.

Hard way to get to be that woman though isn't it.

I'm glad you made you way through it and can be a positive role model for me!

Glad you have such a great hubby too.

Love,
sandie

Prophet Eric said...

WOW, I AM STUDYING UP ON FORGIVENESS IN THIS SEASON.VERY INTERESTING....YOUR STORY REMINDS ME ALOT OF MYSELF......I HAD TO MINISTER TO THOSE WHO HAD HURT ME IN THE PAST....IT TAUGHT ME THAT WHEN I FORGIVE.....IT HELPS THAT PERSON GET OVER WHAT THEY DID WRONG TO ME...JUST AS WE FEEL WHEN GOD FORGIVES US! WE MUST REMEMBER TO WALK IN THE LOVE OF THE LORD AND NEVER MAKE THE OTHER PERSON FEEL THAT THEY ARE NOT FORGIVEN AND LEAVE THEM WITH THE LOVE OF CHRSIT! THE SAME PEOPLE HE FORGAVE...HE THEN TOOK ON THEIR SINS AT THE CROSS! SOME ONE HAS TO SHOW THE LOVE EAMPE IN THE SITUATION! AND NORMALLY THE ONE WHO STEPS OUT FIRST HAS IT THE HRDEST ...BUT IN THE END YOU ARE REWARDED WITH KNOWING THT YOUB ARE MORE THAN A CONQUEROR! JUST AS JESUS SAID YOU WOULD BE! THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY...IT IS TRULY A BLESSING!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Thanks Eric.... I appreciate your comment and just wanted to say that to you... God Bless You.
Betsy

Dee said...

Dear Betsy, thank you for suggesting that I read this posting. Your words, written with such honesty and gratitude, fill me with admiration. As I read your wise and thoughtful words about forgiveness I realized that because of the love and support of others--friends and counselors--I have been able to forgive a number of people in my life whom I let be stumbling blocks to my growth as a human being.

I'm sure that the words you wrote in this post have helped many, many readers of your blog. Thank you.
Peace.