• DeAara Lewis

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How do you forgive someone who is not sorry? My Journey of Letting Go…

Forgiveness is something I talk a lot about in my personal life and on my blog.  It’s something I have committed to completely mastering before I check out of here.  I must admit, it has definitely not been easy.  Some things, I thought I had made peace with, I later discovered that it was a false sense of humility.  I thought I had completely forgiven my Ex for everything that had happened between us until I had another “run in” with his now wife a couple of months ago (See An Email, An Ex-Lover and a Shorty Dumpdy Fat Girl for more on that).

That entire situation brought up a whole host of feelings that I thought were long gone and healed.  For a while, I felt like I was on this “get-over-it” schedule.  Six months was supposed to be the max, but when the seventh month hit, I was still hurting.  Granted, not as bad, but I still was.  Then a year hit and I was feeling better.  My life felt anew.  Things were picking up for me finally, I was back on track with my career goals, the weight was (and still is) coming off, I was meeting people and things just looked quite promising and I even thought I had completely forgiven my Ex.  True, certain memories no longer hold a charge for me, but I would be lying if I said there weren’t stains left.  Even with that, I just accepted that to completely recover from that trauma (and yes, it was very, very traumatizing) was going to take longer than I thought.  And I also knew what I dealing with ran much deeper than my problems with him (he was only in my life for 3.5 years), so this has been onion peeling for me, handing the issues one layer at a time. Furthermore, whose schedule was I  on anyway?  The people who seem to give me this arbitrary time line were way more fucked up than I was.

These were people who defined “getting over someone” as immediately jumping into another relationship with someone else.  I’ve never been that type of girl.  Sometimes, I’ve wished that I was because it seems like the norm.  Many people just don’t want to be alone, so they settle.  But I’ve chosen not to settle this time and the pickings so far have been sparse.  It doesn’t mean someone has to be perfect, but the things I dealt with in my past relationship, I will never tolerate again in another.  It didn’t get me anywhere, the more I put up with, the more disrespected I was and I still ended up fucked over in the end.  When I finally decided to set a firm boundary, my Ex completely turned on me.  Completely sold me out. Completely.  I don’t think betrayal is a strong enough word to describe how I felt.  He never once said he was sorry, never once showed any remorse, instantly transferred his loyalty to someone else and to add insult to injury, continued to call certain members of my family as if nothing happened.   I likened it to a bully asking you if you wanted to hang out after he just beat the shit out of your kid brother.   It would have been different if the split been done with some dignity, with some respect and with some honor, it wouldn’t have bothered me that he kept in touch with my family; but how foul he handled everything and then cowarded out of it was a bit too much.

It’s like he wanted to retain the benefits of being with me without me being in the picture.  I carried a lot of hostility about that for a long time.

For a while, I felt a little uncomfortable to admit that a part of me was still confused and raw, because I was supposed to be completely “over it.”   I guess I was supposed to do what so many people I know did – find distractions.  Being alone, especially in the south, is frowned upon.  I know people who literally have to be in a relationship, no matter how toxic it is.  That too, has never been me.  I don’t like breakups, but I don’t fear being alone.  What I do fear is wasting years on the wrong person, which is partially what I already did a couple of times.  When people, outside of ones whom I greatly respect, try to give me self-help or relationship “advice”, I look at their circumstances.  Usually, they are in no position to tell me anything.

I live my life out loud, I always have.  If I feel something, I will express it. If I feel angry at you, usually I will let you know.  There are only a couple of exceptions to this and only because the wound is so deep that it has taken me a number of years of emotional work to finally be able to face this person and let them know how I felt as result of their actions.

There have also been consequences to living out loud.  I’ve been labeled a drama queen, fake, manipulative, soft, weak, playing the victim, keeping shit up and whatever else.  It’s sad that we live in a society that frowns upon people expressing how they feel instead of holding it in and letting it build up and destroy them.   Oddly enough the people who don’t express themselves are usually the ones we hear about shooting up an office building or slaughtering their entire families in bursts of rage – is that enough courage for you?

Even my blog has caused me some discourse.  I ran into one of my Ex’s relatives a while ago, I was my usual chipper self and this person was quite subdued when in the past they have been equally chipper with me.  I could tell that they were forcing themselves to engage me, so I quickly wrapped up the conversation and went about my day.

I was disappointed by this because I began to wonder what on earth could this person have possibly been told about me and why on earth would they believe it when they knew how everything went down.  A good friend of mine reminded me that blood was thicker than water and no matter how wrong somebody else is, family will stick together.  Family is about forgiveness and acceptance and that I completely understand, but I didn’t like how the concept was applied here.

It has always amazed me how people flip things to make somebody look “less wrong” when the person was clearly in violation, simply because no one wanted to see this person in a bad light.  Rape victims go through that, especially when they are violated by someone who doesn’t have “that kind of reputation.”  Suddenly the victim gets attacked.  Her name and character are slandered, personal details about her life emerge and she is reduced to some floozy who was just “asking for it.”  This is essentially what happened to me  And when I fought back (because a victim is something I refuse to be), some people got angry because I stood up for myself so my name got slandered more.  Never mind I had (and still have) a paper trail of evidence to prove my “case.”   Never mind I went to hell and back for that person a few times.  My Ex didn’t have that kind of “reputation” so apparently I must have brought most of this on myself.

To me, wrong is wrong.  If my nephew ever disrespects his girlfriend, he will be held accountable.  It doesn’t matter that he is my nephew and she is not my family, what matters is him being able to see himself and being able to make wise choices.  What matters is him treating people the way he wants to be treated and him treating women the way he wants men to treat his mother, aunts and grandmothers.

So if anything bothers me the most, it’s the unjust slander to my name and the lies.  Some people will say I’ve slandered him by talking about this so openly.  My openness is also what played a part in him not reaching out to me because he was embarrassed and angry.  His philosophy is “what goes on in this house, stays in this house.”  That, I do not agree with for reasons I’ve illustrated numerous times on this blog.  What I wrote about on this blog is only a slither of what happened – a slither.  And all who know what happened, know this.

I hope that the stains of this will be completely gone in the months to come.  I’ve come a long way.  I never thought I would or could love again, but I’m finding myself being more receptive to people I meet.  I find myself thinking about dating with excitement and not gloom like I use to.  There is a part of me that is ready to love again, but this time, when it happens, I will take it slow.  There will be no ghosts of ex-lovers in my relationship and if I see a red flag I will immediately address it and be willing, ready and able to walk away.

It made me think of when I watched “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” the other night.  Benjamin said, “In the end, we all must let go.”  Perhaps that is what forgiveness really looks like.


7 Responses

  1. DeAara, I just read this (and your other posts) the other day and felt compelled to post. Not for you, but for those people who treated you so harshly and then pretended to not understand why you were so angry and why you retaliated so ferociously…they must not know that side of you, lol. I can only hope they read your blog. One thing I don’t think that guy realized about you is that you are one of the most honest people anybody could ever know. It’s actually been that, that has hurt you more. I remember when that mess happened in school and just how real you were about it. You ‘fessed up to your part in it when everybody else lied about it.

    If his family acts funny with you now, to hell with them too. Anybody who knows you, knows that you don’t let people shit on you for too long and you will fight back Mike Tyson style if provoked. I wish you would have filed charges against both of them when all that stuff happened. I know you said he wasn’t involved, but he was, because he allowed it to happen and then played dumb when you called him out on it. No matter what you did in the relationship, you didn’t deserve that. I’m also trippin’ about him telling your private life and downright lies about you, girl, I wish we were in contact when all of this went down. You know how I am. Lol! But everytime I bring it up, you always tell me to let it go. I know this blog is a healing tool of yours and I certainly don’t want to fuel the fire,it just angers me so much because my mother went through something similar.

    I despise punk behavior. And despise anybody who supports punk behavior. This shit will come back around full circle, I know you say you don’t focus on karma, but damnit I do. You are strikingly beautiful, always have been, very intelligent and have a heart of gold. You are one of the most honest and loyal people that I know and you will fight somebody’s enemy harder than them if you love them. So I hope you see all of this yourself, I see it in you, your family and other friends see it in you. The fact that he couldn’t and only focused on what you did wrong shows that you made the right choice by letting him go. You are so on another level, like you wrote, speaking another frequency. Sorry for this being long, but I just had to post. Lol. Namaste.

    • Thank you Elle, for your words! Yeah, hindsight is a bitch. If I could go back in time, I would have had them arrested, but oh well. I kept all the evidence, even from this year. I didn’t know that, that was actual harassment with her emailing me back in April until I spoke to my lawyer. He told me the fact that she had threatened my life followed up with those emails, I could have had her arrested this time too, actually I still can right now if I wanted to, but I have to choose my battles and that is too unnecessary. I thought someone had to actually threaten you, but since she had already done that and I have the proof, he said it wouldn’t have been a tough go. All I know is that It won’t happen again. And if it does, this time I’m going to straight to the police. You know, that means I’m weak right? Lol. That’s how those folks think. I’m suppose to stalk folks and threaten people and shit like that. But my friend who is a cop told me, everybody is always big and bad until they see those ‘cuffs. And add on legal fees, jail time, the shit going on your record making it difficult to find a job, bail money, tarnished name and just plain ole’ stress, I don’t see why anybody would be willing to go to jail over some dumb shit.

      But it’s old now, in the past. I just have some “stains” left, that’s all. I really don’t know if his family member was acting funny with me or not, it just seemed that way. I try to be careful not to assume what I don’t know, but that’s sure how it seemed, but I could be wrong.

      I have a life coach who has been a Godsend and I have my family, plus I fight, so that helps a lot too.

      It’s been a long road, but a necessary one. This was bound to happen to show me how I show up in relationships and to force me to deal with certain issues in that area. Yeah, I don’t like the lies, I think that’s what bothers me the most. Because there is nothing I can do about that. It sucks to be faithful to someone for almost four years, just to have them believe and tell other people that you weren’t. I got accused of so much shit, I lost count. Lol. But, you live and you learn. And I just hope God keeps me on the planet long enough to actually really be able to enjoy being here. Namaste.

      • Girl, you’ll be fine. You know there’s a part of me that wants to tell you to still pursue the charges, even if just for the sake of justice. But I work security, so that’s that other side of me talking. Lol! But real talk, you did right by walking away. That’s doesn’t make you soft, it makes you a calculated thinker. You weighed the cost of that with your time and energy. Hell, even us talking about it right now is giving it unnecessary energy. So I’m going to quit instigating. I’m just playing catch up!

        Just keep writing and performing. That’s what you were born to do. Your life has always been so dang on animated, that it’s little you should have to come up with in terms of ideas. LOL! The shit that happens to you should be fucking movies. Real talk! LMAO!!!!!!

  2. Yes, you’ve always been the instigator. Lol! But you’ve always been a ride or die chick, and I’ve always loved that about you. That’s another reason I didn’t reach out to you during that time, I KNOW how crunk you are. LOL!

    And I did think long and hard about filing charges to be honest, but I did weigh what that would do to my psyche if I had pursued it this year. Then I went back and read the emails that she sent me again and she sounded more sad, scared and insecure than hostile. And she is pregnant and no matter how fucked up what either one of them did was, that child doesn’t deserve any undue stress. Yeah, that’s the softy in me. Lol.

    I’m just so ready for something better, so I’ve been in the incubator for a long time, still not quite ready to come out. I just want to make sure I’m ready. Most of my adult life, I’ve been dealing with some dude. This is the first time in a long time that I’m not dealing with ANYBODY! And it feels weird. It’s no chaos. I don’t know how to feel without chaos, so my psyche is still adjusting to it. But I like it! And I want “drama” to come in ways of excitement and adventure, not heart ache and pain. So I ask the men who have expressed interest to be patient with me, I’m still in the oven 🙂

  3. Elle, she did the right thing by walking away. I wanted her to press charges on both of them too because I was so shocked by his behavior, but that would have put too much stress on an already stressful situation.

    Forgiveness is tough sometimes, but not impossible. You are on the right track, by remaining honest with yourself at all times. And anybody who thinks you are a liar clearly does not know you. You will tell on yourself before giving anyone else the satisfaction of doing it for you. So fuck ’em all up the arse. Love, Big Sis.

  4. First of all I want to say wonderful blog! I had a quick question
    in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was interested
    to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to writing.
    I have had
    trouble clearing my mind in getting my ideas out. I do enjoy writing however it just seems like
    the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted just trying to figure out how to begin.
    Any ideas
    or tips? Thanks!

    • Hi Allen! I’m glad you enjoy the blog. Most times I write on my blog is when I feel inspired to share something, which is why I don’t post as often as I could. However, with that, I center myself by letting myself write whatever comes, even if it’s “bad” writing. You don’t have to publish it. Just write for the pleasure first and then go back with a critical eye to detail. Trying to do both at the same time makes the process grueling and counter-productive. Hope this helps!

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