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.