It’s not about the apology or the acknowledgement of wrongdoing by the offender. It’s about you and me coming to grips with the pain, the guilt, the shame…whatever the feelings are.
We don’t need to hear “I’m sorry” from them to grow out of the past. We need to say “I’m sorry” to ourselves for holding onto it for so long, “for fondling the experience with your brain”. We need to know that it wasn’t our fault and we did what we had to do to survive it at the time. Our mental, emotional and physical resources that we had available most likely were compromised. Especially if the abuse happened in childhood, but adults also.
It’s about accepting what we can’t change. It happened, it’s over, let it go.
It will never be forgotten. It played a part in our lives and helped shape us into the person we have become, as all life experiences do. But don’t dwell on it, don’t give the abuse or the abuser that power to completely define who you are.
Forgiveness is a big part of the process. They don’t deserve forgiveness any more than we deserved to be abused. The forgiveness isn’t for them, it’s for us. It will put it to rest, give us closure and allow us to move on.