I went to my mother and stepfather’s over the Christmas holiday, to bring my mother to my oldest brother’s house to spend Christmas with our family – sans my abusive brother, Kevin. While visiting with my parents, Kevin called to wish them Merry Christmas. As he spoke with my mother, I heard him ask how I was doing. She handed the phone to me (she has Alzheimer’s Disease and doesn’t remember the abuse or the fact that I haven’t spoken with him in twenty-seven years).
I felt ready, after communicating with him several times via email, communication which he initiated. I didn’t feel anxious or triggered. Kevin was stunned when he realized it was me on the phone. He told me that he was grateful to have the chance to apologize to me over the phone for all of the horrible things he did to me, and that he looks forward to the day when he can tell me how sorry he is in person. He told me how proud he is of me for having written my book about my abuse history and that I am helping survivors with their own healing journeys.
We chatted for about five minutes. As we said our goodbyes, he again told me how grateful he was that I was willing to speak with him. He told me that he will work hard to earn my forgiveness, though he doesn’t feel that he deserves it; I told him that I forgave him many years ago. We ended on a positive note, agreeing to keep communication open.
Our conversation was incredibly healing for me. I feel like a weight has been lifted from my soul. The fact that I am now in a place – emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually – where I am able to speak to him – and hear him – with an open heart is a testament to me as to how far I have come in my healing journey. It gives me hope that other survivors might also be able to experience this profound gift.
Thank you for being a part of my journey. Many blessings to you all for the coming new year. May it be a time of joy and a time of healing.
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash.com