forgiveness, nostalgia, and the things I loved about my abusers

I believed them.

I thought they knew better than myself, I was silly, stupid, and what did I know? I had no validation through credentials, awards, or any measurable success.

…I saw them as smart, efficient, capable. I admired their strength, their knowledge. I suppose a bit too much, as it blinded me to their weaknesses. I was too hard on them, but only because I had no idea they couldn’t take it. I saw them as so much stronger than myself.

…I appreciated their skill in the home. How well they managed theirs. Their artistry in the kitchen, their wealth of spices, quality ingredients, and expensive pots and pans.

…their success in the boardrooms, in the professional spheres. Beyond what I can imagine for myself. They are so far ahead of me, I feel I could never compete. They are so much better.

….my abusers are neither classic Disney villains, nor sinister mob bosses; but charming, attractive, seemingly trustworthy, well-spoken individuals. One spoke to me, flowery, gorgeous words that I was this ethereal creature whom she would love for eternity. Another told me if I was only different, perhaps she could care for me. She seemed so sincere.

I listened to them all.

Surely they could see my flaws better than myself, or the biased ones that told me I was already good enough.

When I realized, I leaned towards forgiveness, blaming myself instead of them.

…forgiveness comes more easily to me, because I still want to love and care for them. It saddens me that I cannot. I still want to like them. It’s stupid, but I do. There was a reason I saw them in the first place. But I had to look deeper.

Because an apple turns rotten, does not mean it wasn’t sweet before; and the core rots, but parts of the fruit remain as fresh and crisp as always.

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