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Forgive vs. Forget

December 18, 2009

Dear Ex-stepfather,

This letter will never get to you because I am doing this for personal therapy rather than anything else. In fact, none of these words will ever reach your ears as I have said everything I need to say to you and although I hope that our paths never cross again, life probably will throw us together once or twice more before you finally bite the dust. Your daughter and son are my half-sister and brother, after all, and there are still weddings and such to think about. Besides the fact that the rest of the family is dreaming about future Christmases together. Makes me want to bark personally, but so be it. I will try my best to ake sure those Christmases are not the ones that my small family chooses to spend in the States, but if we happen to have to share them, just know that we will spend as little time together as possible. And you will have no contact with my children. My husband and I will make sure of that.

You, along with many others, probably think that these words are written in bitterness but you are wrong. They aren’t written in bitterness. As I have told you before, I forgive you. It took me a long time to get to that point of forgiving you, but I did it. Not without pain, not without stepping forward and back on it many times, but I finally did it. By the Grace of God I forgave you and I stepped into a life without you. Remember that email I wrote to you about seven years ago? The one that told you to forget about the money you said you would pay, forget about contacting me and forget about me. I told you that I no longer wanted contact with you and I told you why. It wasn’t until Jake was sick that you admitted there might be some truth to what my reasons were. And even then when you apologized you still tried to blow the reasons off like I should forget and allow us to start over.

And now you have apparently changed. And while everyone else in the family believes you and is charmed by the way in which you have changed, paid back money you owed and are actually spending time with them. And that’s great. I think it’s about time, at almost age 60, for you to clean up your relationship with your children and apologize to your ex-wife. That’s great. But I am not charmed by you or your change. I don’t want your money, not that you have offered, and I haven’t changed my mind about you or our relationship.

So stop trying to get the rest of the family involved in bringing us back together. Stop playing stupid and asking everyone else why I still hold a grudge. Because I told you that I hold no grudge against you. I haven’t the time nor the energy nor the will to harbor any feeling towards you, much less hate. I have forgiven you. And God’s grace has taken away the need for me to hold a grudge and has instead allowed me to move on and have a normal life.

Unfortunately for myself, God is not able to make me forget. He can make it so that my life doesn’t revolve around those terrible memores, he can make it so that I no longer have break downs about them, but he can’t make me actually forget.

And I don’t want to forget because I don’t want my daughters around you.

This is what you must understand: your actions have consequences. Losing me, any possibility of a normal father-daughter relationship with me along with any normal relationship with my small family, are all part of the consequences. There should be more consequences for you, honestly, truelly, you should have had to suffer for these terrible actions that you took against me, but you haven’t had any and you should be grateful for it. I am not here to threaten you. I am here to tell you: this is your consequence and this is the only one, so take it and leave me alone. Leave me out of your plans. Leave the rest of the family alone about me. Just let it go.

Be grateful that you are forgiven, but understand that you cannot be forgotten.

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