More notes on forgiveness.

It is a process.
I have no idea how long it takes.
It could take years.
It could take forever.
I can forgive today and regress tomorrow.
How do you go about forgiving someone who hasn’t changed?
How do you go about forgiving someone who doesn’t think they need to change?

Watching the verdict of the Holtzclaw Trial tonight filled me with so many mixed emotions. I am glad that justice was served for some of the women who were sexually assaulted by this officer who abused his power. I hope that the survivors who received “guilty” verdicts are feeling a sense of justice and that it helps them heal, and I hope that this verdict deters men with power and privilege (and anyone) from preying on vulnerable women of color (and anyone). I am disappointed by the lack of media coverage on this trial. I am confused about why some survivors received “not guilty” verdicts, and I maintain my doubts about the criminal legal system. I am still not convinced that prison is the solution, but what is the solution then? If he hadn’t been sentenced, he may be free to continue preying on women. And then what?

I don’t really have answers, just lots of questions.
I don’t know how to reconcile my desire to see the humanity in each person with my frustration and sadness about the things that some people do, particularly the repeat offenders, and the culture and systems that support and allow the behavior.

We’re all good people. But it’s so so hard to see you as a good person when you do so many bad person things. It’s so so hard to forgive you when you always lay the blame on me, on anyone outside of yourself. It’s so hard to believe you when I know you too well to think that you don’t know better.

There’s a difference between forgiveness and not caring anymore. I think that I’ve confused the two. The memory of the things you did still upsets me; I just sometimes choose not to remember.

I don’t know how to make things better; I always thought that fixing you would make me heal. But changing you is beyond my control, and my healing is not your responsibility.

Every day, through service, through giving, through volunteering my time, through my work to end gender-based violence, what I’m really doing is trying to help you and trying to heal. I think that’s why it’s so important to me.


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