I remember wondering what I did wrong or when I would next do something wrong.
I remember being scared that this would be my life forever.
I remember feeling constantly on edge.
I remember being disrespected.
I remember being yelled at. Sneered at. Verbally attacked.
I remember being corrected. And chastised. And shamed.
I remember it all.
It reminds me, but it does not define me.
And, so, I work on forgiving.
I remember what matters.
I remember to be grateful that it is all behind me.
I remember that pain does not define; rather, it strengthens, it teaches.
* * *
I have been learning a lot about forgiveness lately.
Sometimes, I seek it out, but more often than not, it finds me.
It is about letting go.
About choosing yourself.
About moving forward.
About taking what you need and leaving the rest behind.
But it is not about forgetting. In fact, it requires remembering.
I remember the words, the deeds, the disappointments, the fear.
They live in me.
They remind me.
…I do not forget.