Many pieces of our American society — especially through the arm of Western religion — make you think that forgiveness (releasing another from the harm they’ve done you) is required for your peace and well-being.
My hot take is that forgiveness toward the one who abused you is not necessary for proper healing and happiness.
Because wrestling yourself toward that end only keeps them top of mind and maintains their hold on you. That’s not healthy, nor is it productive.
Not to mention, peace comes from educating yourself about what you went through and why,
learning red flags,
identifying your triggers then mastering control of your reactions to them (more often than not),
and determining what healing looks and feels like for you. You and no one else.
Happiness comes when you’re able to define it for yourself. Authentically.
None of this requires releasing your abuser.
Honestly, forgiveness of self may be where it’s at, anyway.
You don’t have to carry the weight, regret, guilt, anger, sorrow any longer. Let it go.
And let go of this expectation impressed by others that you can’t move on or begin again until you forgive someone else.
Your conscious removal of the negativity and trauma can be self-motivated and self-propelled, with no stipulation connected to your abuser.