Monday, April 13, 2015

Forgiveness, a Choice

Good morning everyone. I have sorely neglected my blog because of school. I have finished a huge chunk of my school and can now get back to writing. Last week I had someone share with me that they had read my story, they wanted to know how in the world could I ever forgive this man who had terrorized me and my siblings? It's so interesting that she asked because forgiveness came up once again a couple of weeks ago.

First a bit of the story I have not shared before. That first day my dad was in hospice and we all met was not the only time he was "dying".  When you deal with someone who truly is a pathological liar it is very difficult to know fact from fiction. Do you remember me telling you the day my older sister and I confronted him on the homosexuality and the sexual abuse? He cried big crocodile tears and wrote a poem about how much he loved his children and would never harm them. He could try and convince you that you were the one that made all this drama up and he would never harm anyone.

His "stories" are legendary. Most of the stories are grandiose like dining with the president kind of stories that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt simply are not true. So when it comes to his health it is difficult to sort fact from fiction. He managed to convince doctors early on that he was dying, without any medical records as proof so the doctors wrote illnesses in his chart that simply were not true. We have joked for years that he will outlive us all. He is like a cat that has nine lives. So when he does die I have said I won't believe it till he has been dead for three days and then a doctor confirms it. Even writing this sounds crazy, I know.

So recently, my sister called to tell me she thought our dad truly was dying this time. He was going back into hospice. Since we have played this game before I was once again skeptical like the rest of my siblings. But, this time seemed different. Maybe he really is dying. That thought brought up a whole lot of emotions that I thought had been dealt with many times before.

Forgiveness, such a simple word, yet such a tough concept when you are faced with reality. For about 24 hours I was frozen in time. I was that little girl again, desperately wanting my daddy to love me. Time was running out. The sad truth was and is, he never loved me. I have written that sentence over and over again and each time it just stares me in the face. How do you forgive your own dad for never loving you? How is it possible? He hurt all of us through sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. He neglected us terribly. We were never nurtured. How do you forgive that?

The forgiveness I give to my dad is a gift. He does not deserve it, because of what he has done to me. He does not deserve my love, my time, or my respect. But, I am much more than my feelings and emotions. What I know is far greater than what I feel. What I know is that all the abuse me and my siblings were given did not happen in a vacuum. There is a reason my dad is who he is. He didn't wake up one morning and say, "I am going to get married, have children, abuse other people's children, terrorize my family, become a pathological liar and become a homosexual" Something happened when he was a child to make him who he is. All of this evil came from somewhere. Again, it did not happen in a vacuum.

Forgiveness is a choice. I believe we all have free will. I can chose to believe the lies my dad screamed at me. I can chose to believe the lie that I would never be good for anything but a prostitute. Oh the lies that swirled in my head all those years ago. I chose then and I chose now not to believe them because I know that I have great value. I have great value not because of who I am but because of whose I am. Even though I have an earthy dad that hated everything I was and am, I have a heavenly father who truly loves me. I chose to be a daughter of the King of Kings.

So when I was faced with the prospect of my dad leaving this world recently, I was faced with a choice once again. Can I be alright with never hearing those words every little girl wants to hear from her daddy? Can I truly forgive this man for all he has done to me and countless other children? Can I walk away knowing there is nothing left for me to do? Do I allow anger and bitterness to rob me of who I am? Each time I will chose freedom. Freedom from anger and bitterness. I will not allow my circumstances to define who I am. I chose to forgive.
Till tomorrow.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

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