Forgiveness Not Required

Thoughts Over Coffee with Shanon from Surviving Childhood Trauma. Join me for a cup of coffee and some real talk about complex PTSD and trauma healing and recovery.

I slept like shit last night. 

I wonder if I had a similar night’s sleep 28 years ago on the eve of the day I was scheduled to take the stand against my grandfather for molesting me. 

According to court records, it had been 9 months of investigation that culminated into the two-day trial that was cut short by my grandfather’s suicide. He knew what he had done.

The Betrayals

My father agreed to be a witness for the defense. I never spoke to him during the investigation, I never saw him at the courthouse during the short days of trial. 

We had been estranged for over a year at this point by his choice and our estrangement continued for another 6 years after the trial before a brief reconnection prior to his sudden death when I was 25.

My grandfather denied the allegations, claiming on a recorded phone call (from me at the police station) that he never hurt me. 

My father called me a liar and a vivid storyteller, claiming I was confused by Sex Ed in school. Nevermind I was speaking up about sexual abuse since the age of 5. I remember telling him on two separate occasions that I was being molested by his father. I don’t know why I bothered – I always got in trouble for speaking up.

The Crossroads of My Decision

These two men are long dead.

Neither of them took accountability for their actions against me. Neither felt or displayed a moment of remorse, empathy, or shame for how they abused and exploited me as a child. Neither ever muttered the words, I am sorry.

And so, I do not forgive them. 

Why would I? 

They absolutely DO NOT deserve my forgiveness.

My forgiveness is earned, not obliged.

The Empowerment of Healing

Realizing, accepting, and fully embracing this has been so empowering and so very healing as I journey through this chaos. I don’t feel weighed down by a societal obligation to reconcile forgiveness for someone who tried to destroy me – I feel liberated in my choice because it fits my healing journey and feels safe in my body.

Healing is about reclaiming my voice, my choice, and the sovereignty of my body. 

Choosing who I forgive in my life    is one of the most powerful choices I can make.

On goes the journey 💪🏻🔥

Looking for Ways to Connect With Other Survivors and/or Receive Support as You Heal?

Survivor’s Circle Peer Support Groups might be just what you need. 

These small groups meet on alternating days of the week via Zoom. In these groups, survivors connect, share, and support each other through the ebbs and flows of healing. Attend a session and experience the magical healing that happens when survivors connect and support each other through shit only we can understand.

You can also book individual 1:1 peer support sessions with Shanon for private support in a closed space. You deserve support as you heal, and I am here to help. You don’t have to heal alone.

On the Journey Peer Support Monthly Package

As a part of this monthly support program you will gain access to all Survivor’s Circle Peer Support group support sessions every month as well as individual 1:1 peer support sessions with Shanon each month. 

Hi, I am Shanon 

I am a trauma informed, trained, and Certified Peer Support Specialist in the state of Wisconsin. I am also a survivor with years committed to my own trauma healing after being diagnosed with (C) PTSD due to childhood abuse. Additionally, I have a professional and personal history of community facilitation and peer work.

I specialize in helping survivors like you make connections between real time experiences and past trauma wounds, identify and communicate boundaries, create self-care plans that work, navigate big emotions and trauma responses, reparent your inner child, and embody your own self-worth through the healing process with confidence and personal empowerment.

These support groups and 1:1 peer support sessions should not replace professional therapy; they will however provide additional support and information.

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