Freestyle Fridays: “My Power. My Choice. My Forgiveness.” by Mathair Fiona

Mathair Fiona is a blogger whose posts I never miss. I can’t exactly put her in a nutshell which is what I think I like best about her. Meghan is inspiring, thought-provoking, honest, curious, and very smart. I am particularly honored to be hosting this post as she shares very defining moments in her life.

When Kerry asked me to guest post, I wasn’t even remotely sure what I would write about. Luckily, she has a topic list for her Freestyle Fridays so that gave me a place to start.  I’ve landed on a defining moment in my life.

Typically, the posts on my blog are inspired by whatever is going on in my life at the moment, things I’m reading/studying, or current events. The topic I am going to share today has been one that I have been wanting to write about for quite some time, but I have never had the occasion to put the words to the page.  This topic often pops into my head, but I can never come up with a way to write about it that won’t make it seem completely abrupt and out-of-place.  Now I have a platform and a reason to share other than my own personal need to process.

Here goes (deep breath): I have been raped. Twice.  It is scary to share that with a group of people of unknown size also knowing that people in my personal life will be exposed to this information for the first time.  It’s good to get it out in the air though.  Each time I tell someone about these painful moments in my life, I am a little more free from the darkness.  In my experience, the time immediately after surviving sexual violence is like waking up in a room where all the window and doors have been boarded up.  When I share the pain with others, the boards fall off, one-by-one, and more and more light pierces the darkness.  Eventually, the whole room is filled with golden light and I walk out the door into our very beautiful world.

Neither event of rape is a defining moment in my life.  I don’t even view surviving rape as a defining moment.  What is truly defining for me is how I have been able to not become filled with anger.  You might even say that I have been able to forgive.  I know that some of you out there can feel your defenses going up when you read that: “How can you FORGIVE a rapist?”  I’ve been there, trust me.  I know a woman who has also been raped.  She was able to forgive more quickly than I, and I had a hard time with it.  Part of it may have been that I felt her forgiving her rapist meant that she didn’t think rape was a big deal, but my real issue with it was my lack of understanding of what forgiveness means.  Many of us think that forgiveness means giving the transgressor a “pass”.  By saying, “I forgive you,” we are indicating that it is OK that they have violated, defiled, and broken us.  This is a major misunderstanding.  The fourth definition of “forgive” according to Dictionary.com is: to cease to feel resentment against.  The confusion comes when forgiveness is thought of in the first definition: to grant pardon for or remission of; absolve.  For rapists to experience this first type of forgiveness, they will have to go to God.  It is not within my power to remove blame from them for their heinous actions.

I choose to “cease to feel resentment” against the men who tried to feel their own sense of power and control by taking mine.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a long, hard road and I am still not 100% recovered from these events, but by forgiving, I have taken the control back.  Time spent angry, is time wasted.

Life is too beautiful a gift to throw it away.

I hate being angry.  It puts me in a foul mood and can ruin an otherwise fantastic day.  I can’t imagine how devoid of joy my life would be if I were to hold on to anger at these two detestable people.  My anger can do absolutely nothing but destroy me from the inside out.  It will do nothing to change what has happened or to affect the lives of those rapists.  There is very little I can do to affect their lives, but it doesn’t really matter.  Their souls are blackened by their actions and I can only imagine what hell they were already living in which drove them to try to make me experience the same evil.  I am resolved that the memory of those two terrifying acts will never be honored by my own destructive anger, but rather their controlling power will be destroyed by forgiveness.

This is my defining moment, today, when I tell the whole world that two depraved souls, who dared to call themselves men and attempted to make me an object they could control, have been rendered powerless by my ability to forgive.

Meghan

Thank you for sharing your story, Meghan.

If you would like to guest post, please contact me here. March is  available and I would love to have you!!

30 thoughts on “Freestyle Fridays: “My Power. My Choice. My Forgiveness.” by Mathair Fiona

  1. I am trying to find the right words to say. I admire you for being so brave that you were able to forgive the people who have done such unforgivable act. But you are right, to hold on to the anger and resentment, you are giving them the power to still affect your life long. They do not deserve that that space in any victim’s life.

    • Thank you, Jhanis. Don’t worry about the right words. I’ve been a survivor for a long time and I’ve worked with many other survivors and their families over the years. People often worry about saying the right or wrong thing, but I know that anything you say to me comes from a place of kindheartedness.

  2. Reblogged this on Máthair Fiona and commented:
    I have a guest post over at Winding Road! This is possibly a triggering subject so please be aware of that and reach out if you need someone to talk to. I am so glad to have had the opportunity to share this part of me and hope that it is a blessing to you.

  3. Like the others, I’m just not sure what to say. I’m afraid I’ll blunder it, mess it up or just not communicate what I want to get out. The only thing that would seem to do my feelings justice would be to give you a big hug. Since I can’t… I’ll do my best. You’re brave for sharing this, and braver still for tapping into immense strength to forgive. What an inspiration.

    • Thank you for the hug…I am returning it. Don’t worry about the words, the ones you have shared with me are perfect 🙂 I have heard many words in regard to survivors of sexual violence, and any words meant in kindness are welcome words! Thank you.

  4. It is taking me a lot of time to process, it was both painful and beautiful to read. The strength you have to forgive, in a genuine and thoughtful way, is so humbling for me. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

  5. Moving and wise post…you were so strong to choose the path of forgiveness. Thank you for being the person you are and thank you for being brave enough to tell this story!

  6. I find your quest to find and gain forgivness truely remarkable knowing what dreadful heinous things have been inflicted on you. I, personally find forgiveness of others and myself probably the most difficult out of all the virtues that freshen and brighten our lives to achieve and exercise.

    I was involved a few years ago in a suicide situation which called for the need of forgiveness in so many different areas. That has been hard enough for me to find and I am still working on it every day, so I cant even begin to comprehend what strength it has taken for you to feel forgivness.

    You are an inspiration (not meaning to use a common term here, I mean it wholeheartedly). Thank you for sharing such an honest and difficult thing with us.

    I wish you all the happiness and freedom from anger for your future.xx

    • Thanks you so much. I hope that you are able to find forgiveness easier as time passes. I have found that being able to forgive in situations such as these has a lot to do with letting go, rather like a leap of faith. Its tough and scary, but so worth it. Many blessings to you!

  7. Thank you for sharing your story and your life. I have someone in my life who needs to read this (and I did, too). Thank you for showing such power and strength and ultimately the road to forgiveness.

    • I’m glad this could find someone who needed it 🙂 I always hope that the stories I share will be helpful to others. I hope that this story of mine is also a blessing to the other person you are speaking of.

  8. I am sitting here just stunned, and not for the reason you probably think. I had NO idea that THAT is what forgiveness means. Is that incredible?! I love this post and can’t believe what a wonderful lesson you’ve just taught me. XO

    • I think most people don’t think of forgiveness in that way. I would wager a bet that if more people really thought about this meaning, there would be a lot more forgiveness going around! I’m glad my post could teach you something…I am usually learning from you 🙂 XO

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