My Step Father. Forgiving The Unforgivable.


Step Father, Forgiving violence.Forgiveness

Setting myself free with Forgiveness

I’ll never forget the day my father left. I’ll never forget it because it opened my life to a chapter of pain that I had never known before.

If I had known what my life was to become, I might have begged harder to go with him, when at 3 years of age he left, telling me it was now my job to protect my brother and my new baby sister that would be coming soon.

Had I known, I might not so willingly have sacrificed my safety to take on a job that’s not supposed to be given to a kid. I would have pleaded harder for him to stay. I would have clung to him with the ferocity that I would later use to defend my family.

There’s no polite way to say it. My step father was an asshole of the highest order. With him in our home, I learned that I was fat, ugly, stupid and a waste of space. I also learned a bunch of lessons that while un-necessary and evil, would go on to shape me.

I learned even before I was in primary school that I could take the punch of a grown man and despite my own pain, could get back up to make him hit me over and over again until his rage subsided enough that he wouldn’t hit my brother and then as years progressed, my sister.

I learned that there is no limit to the amount of punishment someone will put themselves through to show you how much they love you. I learned that a young boy can be dragged from his bath by the genitals and thrown into a brick wall and still ask that his perpetrator be allowed to return to the home so that his siblings can have a father figure and his mother a husband.

How do you go through Hell and survive to stand in your own power as the greatest version of yourself that you could hope to become.

Apparently, the answer is to forgive the person or people who sent you there in the first place. And then once you’ve done that, forgive yourself for holding onto the anger, resentment and bitterness that has becoming the shimmering cloud that seemingly keeps you warm at night.

This isn’t the first time you’ve heard the story that forgiveness will set you free but lets be honest. What a crock of shit. The people who are usually telling me to forgive are people who didn’t live my life and who didn’t spend their latter teens and early 20’s trying to drown their pain in whatever substance I could force into my body while blindly holding onto the feint dream that life would one day be better.

But eventually, Forgive I did. I’d been looking for the answer for years because I knew that I needed it. It was my beautiful friend Jennie Gorman that taught me how to forgive. She gave me a perspective that at first reduced me to tears, then drove me to anger and then back to tears again.

So, Thank You Laszlo. I, not only forgive you but love and thank you for the gift you have given me.

18 thoughts on “My Step Father. Forgiving The Unforgivable.

  1. Jennie

    My love and blessings are with you at this time as you experience a new way of living. Thank you for the honour of supporting you through your process.

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    1. rodneybukuya Post author

      No, Thank You Jennie. I am truly blessed to have you in my life. I have been trying to forgive for years but couldn’t until I saw and understood the gift I had been given to me by someone that must have loved me very much.

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  2. Madonna

    This must have been hard to write Rodney, and thank you for sharing it. I can relate to it because I experienced a similar story, not at the hands of a stepfather, but a father. And I would have told you the same as Jennie, to forgive, because the forgiveness is for you, not for him. When I first realised that my only salvation was forgiveness, I was horrified and shocked and even more angry. And it took me a long time, but it was a gift, because now I have compassion and understanding for others can help them move through ‘stuff.’

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    1. rodneybukuya Post author

      Thanks Madonna, I’ve always known that my inability to forgive this man has been holding me back. I always wanted to but I didn’t know how. Jennie was able to give me a frame of reference that worked for me. It might not work for everyone but it certainly helped me in a way that no religious view point has been able to.

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  3. Amanda

    Rod, you are an incredible man. Forgiveness is not for the person who did these horrible things, it is for you and to release you from the bounds that keeps you at the mercy of these arseholes through your anger and pain. You have done the work and you are free. Nice to have you on board my friend. Nice to have you on board.
    Much much much love
    Amanda

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    1. rodneybukuya Post author

      Thanks Amanda, Once I was able to forgive, It was then easy to move to a state of loving a man I hated vehemently.

      I know that for every person that that has learned to forgive there are a multitude that are still struggling.

      My hope that in time, more of us can learn to love, our perpetrators for the gifts they gave us.

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  4. Ann-Mhayra Aleckson

    Rodney, thank you for sharing your story. It touched my heart and I honour your strength and bravery to go ‘there’ into yourself to excavate the pain and bring yourself into your power. Well done.
    Ann-Mhayra x

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  5. Juli DuBois

    Forgiveness is the greatest gift we ever give to ourselves, Rodney. It comes wrapped in the most awful looking package, smelling the most horrendous of all smells, carrying the heaviest of weight with the yuckiest of bows. Yet, once opened, forgiveness shows us the most beautiful, freeing and beautiful of diamonds (the chuck of coal that handled stress so well, it becomes priceless) – clarity that what was needing to be forgiven was never “my problem”, but someone else’s; someone else’s pain, hate, lack of control, anger, violence, etc. And, once we realize that, our lives are forever transformed because their pain, hate, lack of control, anger, violence, etc., is able to be let go of and exited from our lives once and for all. Returning it to whence it came, we discover a freedom unlike any other.

    It’s a tough gig, but those that take the gig on go on to live in amazing ways they never dreamt of before!

    Kudos to YOU for doing the hard stuff, Rod! Going through the “fire” to come out the other side “purified in the flames”. Cauterized in forgiveness. That, right there, makes YOU one in a million (which we’ve always known you are!).

    Here’s to YOU! *raising glass high in salute* Here’s to your journey. Here’s to you having the courage, strength, fortitude and vulnerability to share it with others! Thank YOU!

    Big Muahs,
    Juli

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    1. rodneybukuya Post author

      Juli, thanks for sharing your love. The amazing clarity that came to me from understanding the gift that this man has given me is incredible. I will admit that today, i’m a little rough around the edges after digging this article up last night and the emotions that trailed into my sleep. So I’m being very gentle with myself and will finish work early to spend the afternoon hugging my kids.

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  6. Caitlin Grace

    I understand some of what you have been through. My father is a violent and angry man, perhaps not to the extremes that you endured but enough to scar me mentally for life. I was never a victim of his abuse but witness and so I have lived my lif in a state of tension always waiting and watching for the other shoe to drop, for the unexpected explosive rage to descend from seemingly nowhere.
    I have also realised that in amongst all this shit is a brtight shining nugget of gold that has made me the person that i am. It all came to a head about three years ago when my sister came to my home and commited an act of violence against me and my parents chose to take her side without ever asking me what took place. It was then that I decided to stand up for my inner child and spoke to them for the first time ever about living in a home of anger and violence. For this I have been rejected completely by most of my family as they denied that any such thing took place and that I was delusional and I was the one that was full of anger.
    I went through a complete breakthrough ( I refuse to call it a break down) all the while feeling grateful for the experience and for the courage that I finally found to face my demons. I love my parnets deeply and am saddened that they chose not to face their own demons. I can rest easy knowing that I did my part by holdin up the mirror for them to see what they couldn’t face.
    I am grateful for all the life experiences that I have had and for the ability to hold my head high and know that I am who I am because of it.
    Forgiveness of others and ourselves is the hardest and most rewarding work we will evr do. I am proud of you for the choices that you made and for sharing your story with us. Namaste Rod.
    xx

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    1. rodneybukuya Post author

      Thank you for sharing your story Caitlin. There are usually 2 responses to abuse in a home. You either choose to become abusive as your sister has done or you can look for ways to become softer and share your love more readily.

      I know that there are lots of stories out there that people need to write, not just for it’s cathartic nature but because maybe we can all learn that each of us have demons that we are dealing with on a daily basis. That we don’t necessarily hear all the words that you share with us when you speak to me but that some of your intentions may get trapped in the filter through which I view the world.

      I think it’s important to note that it is only many years after my step father died was I able to take this step. My beautiful wife, Ana, asked me the most poignant question of the day yesterday. “If he were alive today, could you face him and forgive him and more importantly love him in the same manner?”. It would be harder and I think it would be a real struggle not to show him a physical retribution but I think I’m at a point where I could stand up and hug him, even if he doesn’t understand what he’s given me.

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      1. Caitlin Grace

        My father is still alive and while i forgive him and the choices he made as I now have a deeper understanding of why he is the way he is, I choose not to have him as part of my life.
        words can be used as weapons too and my father has ( and sister) made it an art form to cut you to the quick while smiling and making you seem ike an idiot for taking it the wrong way. This is not energy I choose to have around me and
        so most of m family are no longer part of my life.
        After the incident with my sister they disowned me anyway and I choose nto to put myself back in that stuation.
        It took a long time for me to realise that there was a part of me that was like my father. I had been pushing it down and denying that I was anything like him for the longest time. But once I did the work and saw how I ws like him BUT chose to
        react differently theanger no longer had power over me and I could settle into beigng the loving person that I am.

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      2. rodneybukuya Post author

        Your family may never learn that the real damage they’re doing with their tongues is to themselves.

        It took the efforts of my beautiful wife to show me how much I was hurting myself when I lashed out.

        I hope, for all of you, that they one day find a way to deal with the pain they’re so busy trying to run away from.

        much love Caitlin, rod

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  7. Pauline

    Thank you for your courage to share your story, it’s a great way to purge the past and move through it. Now you can rewrite your story and not have the past hold you to what is no more. Well done x

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    1. rodneybukuya Post author

      Thanks Pauline, It was only Saturday that I released myself from this prison of hate but already I feel like it was in the distant past. An amazing release for sure.

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  8. Pauline

    You’re a brave man, Rod, even braver for coming through this as the beautiful and wonderful person you are. Sensitive Masculine, indeed!! 🙂 Good for you. I applaud your courage and willingness to forgive.

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