CN non descriptive mention of childhood sexual assault
I was raised Christian, with a firm belief in the importance of forgiveness. It wasn’t just what God commanded us to do; unforgiveness was a spiritual opening that a demon could exploit, a weakness in our spiritual armor we needed to fix.
The first person I couldn’t forgive was the man who molested me. No one told me it was okay to hate him if I needed to. Instead they told me that he was probably a molestation victim himself. I think the pervasive fear that I would therefore grow up one day to also molest a child was what set off my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which I wouldn’t have diagnosed for another thirteen years.
I got it into my head somehow that forgiving him was necessary to keep me from becoming like him. So I would try. Over and I over I prayed that God would soften my heart, and make me capable of forgiveness. I wrote his sin on scraps of paper, buried them under crosses and burned them in fires, tried to pretend what he did was forgivable.
This spiritual burden plagued me until I lost my faith, and now I have no fear of it. I know that I would never hurt a child, and that I have no desire to. I know that intrusive thoughts of horrible things I would never do is a symptom of faulty brain chemistry, not an accurate prediction of the future. And I never forgave him. I didn’t have to. The narrative that my forgiveness was required or healthy was a lie.