Thinking more on the subject of forgiveness has made me think about my forgiving myself and the part that plays in it.
When it comes right down to it, I am a perp. When I was eight or nine I helped a friend pull a little girls pants down against her will so we could look at her. I can make the excuse that I was acting out bullying behavior that I had endured myself. I can make the excuse that I was a child myself. The teen who raped me when I was 12 could say the same thing. I can say that I have suffered long and hard over that act of abuse of power by feeling that part of my being raped repeatedly and once gang raped was my getting what I deserved and still carrying that guilt even after getting what I saw as what I deserved.
To tell the truth, it has even crossed my mind in the five years since someone broke into the house and raped me at gun point with a flashlight I kept in the room that that too
was punishment somehow. And still, I continue to punish myself.
I realize now that part of my getting in to BDSM and letting over sadistic doms hurt me well beyond the point where it is no longer pleasurable is part of my guilt and needing punishment.
To forgive anyone for what they did to me I have to get through the anger, but first I have to get through the guilt. I have suffered for what I did, yes. But so has that little girl, no doubt, and she probably still suffers.
I would not ask her to forgive me, but I MUST forgive myself because the guilt, far from making me try to be a better person, only makes me feel that I am bad no matter what I do so there is simply no point
in trying to be a better person.
But I still struggle with thoughts like wondering if that girl at some later point may have killed herself and how much would my abuse have had to do with it, and that's probably a factor in my own history of suicidal impulses.
So where does it end for me, this guilt? After roasting for eons in the fundamentalist Christian hell? No, because in that scenario I have forgone redemption so the infinite suffering is an infinite waste of suffering. It serves no purpose--other perhaps than to eternally satisfy the need of the victim for revenge (assuming that need to be also eternal).
Right now I feel as though I am in a kind of state of psudo-forgiveness born out of feeling that I MUST forgive my perps if I am to feel like I have any right at all to forgive myself. It's like forgiving because don't deserve to be angry. That isn't real forgiveness. It's more just guilt driven self denial or something like that.
Guilt seems like it has become a fixture in my psyche. It's long past being a feeling. It has become part of who I am. Is there any hope of changing that?