According to the Oxford Dictionary: forgive means to “stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense or mistake.”
What if the offense caused a lifetime of pain? What if the trauma was so horrible you are left suffering with PTSD and depression for the rest of your life? Do you still forgive the offender?
I spent most of my life refusing to forgive a pedophile that tormented me and my brother. I wanted revenge. I used to daydream about finding this man, so I could hurt him as much as he hurt me. To be honest, I even thought about killing him from time to time.
Even though my mind was constantly dwelling on what happened to us, I refused to talk about it. Two years ago, I was finally able to tell my story to a therapist. I told the therapist everything that happened to us and was able to deal with the emotions that were festering (like a nasty infection) all those years.
I still think about that sadistic SOB that abused us, and I just can’t bring myself to say I forgive him. He caused so much pain that our lives would forever be affected by his actions. However, I am willing to let go of my anger (which is basically the same thing, but it’s easier to say). I am ready to move on with my life.