How can I forgive, forget, and move forward with my life?
by Reina Perez
(Palm Coast, FL, USA)
I am fighting the most difficult battle of my life. I have just filed for divorce on an 18-year old marriage. I have been married to an abuser and it took me years to realize that he was abusing me in so many different ways. My abuser is the most manipulative person I have ever known. He is like a chameleon, constantly changing his true colors. This man stripped me of absolutely everything except my faith in God and my children. Not only did he stripped me of all material things, but my self-esteem, personality, self-respect, and integrity. He abused me mentally, verbally, and physically. He would abuse me and make me feel that I was the cause of the abuse. I was the guilty party. I made him do it. I thought I was doing the right thing in staying in the relationship because of my young daughter, thinking I did not want her to be without a father. Funny thing is my daughter (now 16) tells me she wished I had taken this step a long time ago. He is now using his last tool of control, "Economic abuse." My daughter and I have decided that anything we are to face in the future is better than what we have been through the last couple of years. I am fortunate and blessed to be working and even though financially struggling, I am still able to make a living. I am not dealing with the pain very well. I am constantly crying and I feel this enormous anger and frustration in my heart. I have never felt so much anger and pain within me. This pain is so intense it is almost palpable. I pray to God he gives me the strength and wisdom to forgive and forget. I know that not until I have accomplished this goal, will I be able to move forward. I must meet this goal for my children, specially my young daughter. How can I put aside this pain, forgive, forget, and move forward?