The names, details, and genders of the two people referenced in this story are unimportant. This essay is about forgiveness, not the things that needed to be forgiven.
Over the course of the last few months — and as recently as the last few days — I’ve taken the opportunity to forgive a few key people in my life. While my relationships with these two people are very, very different, they both hurt me in some strangely similar ways. Both betrayed my trust, both became strangers to me, and both made me extremely angry. The kind of anger that, even when you don’t have the person in your life for a long period of time, still grips your heart and claws at your skin every single day. The kind of anger that makes you forget the person is still a human being — the kind of anger that’s poisonous. My anger at both of these people was strangely intertwined. There was already strife in my relationship with Person #1, but an advancement in my relationship with Person #2 led me to make some decisions that further harmed my relationship with Person #1. They stopped talking to me. A few months later, my relationship with Person #2 ended and I was devastated. Suddenly I didn’t have two very important people in my life anymore. It was awful.
As I started to deal with the repercussions of losing Person #2, Person #1 came back into my life. After the horrible pain of losing Person #2, I found myself too, well, exhausted to be so angry with Person #1. As time went on, the strides I had made emotionally to work through the heartbreak caused by Person #2 made me also open my mind and heart to the opportunity to start over with Person #1. Without either of us even agreeing to it verbally, it was as if Person #1 forgave me for the things I did and I forgave them. We both put up our white flags of surrender at the same time and all of the mistrust and anger that stood in our way before stepped aside.
To witness that happening — to see that I could forgive and move past something I never thought I would — made my anger at Person #2 even more obvious and painful. I didn’t want that awful feeling of hating someone I once loved standing in my way anymore, but I wasn’t sure what I could do to rid myself of it, short of a lobotomy. But maybe subconsciously I did have an idea of what to do. In a moment of depressed drunken stupor, when usually utterly regrettable decisions are made, I got in touch with Person #2 and did what I needed to in order to let go of my rage. I asked questions, I got answers. I cried. A lot. I found out what trust was actually broken and what wasn’t. I finally let go of my anger and just forgave. It was the best depressed drunken decision I ever made. My heart is tired, my emotions are drained, but I finally feel … free.