People will call me crazy. They will say I’ve lost it. Perhaps you will be among them calling me; certifiably crazy. But here is my latest in my forgiveness process.
Recently I wrote to the first man I forgave. That conversation is found here: https://aghostdancer.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/forgiveness-is-______/
I have forgive four of the men but I’ve struggled with the one who stole my face. When I say this I mean stole my face. I’ve talked about my cheek bone being plastic and hollow. I’ve never let you in full to the damage he did to me.
I wrote about some of that here. https://aghostdancer.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/inside-me-deeply-part-5-inside-my-rape/ He was the ring leader and the one directly responsible for the monster in the mirror.
I wrote of him stealing my face. “The older one grabs you by the neck and drags you to a large table before slamming you face down on a table with such force as to break your nose and shatter your cheek bone. Stars fill your vision with the force and you can feel your face cave in. You pray for death only to have your prayers ignored. At this moment you would sell your soul to have it end.”
I’m still not ready to share all the pain but I will share this. Each morning I rise from bed I am forced to remember because my face is disfigured. I am forced to spend an hour each day and sometimes more covering it’s sight so I won’t have to endure the states of strangers and the awkward questions. I am ready to share no more.
Oh how I have prayed for him to never be free. How I have prayed for him to die a horrible death in prison, in a cage like an animal. I’ve prayed for this because of all he did to me. It seems; my prayers were answered and that caused me many mixed emotions.
This is what I’ve learned.
He was diagnosed with brain cancer about six months ago and recently was told he had 2 to 8 weeks left and they could do no more for him. I learned he’s had a dozen painful surgeries and Chemotherapy.
I have shame in what he did to me. I feel shame when I see my reflection. I’ve also endured many surgeries to my face. New cheek plates as I grew. I know what it’s like waiting for the next painful surgery, the next bad news.
I have been conflicted on this since hearing the news.
I have come to relive Milan Kundera was right when he said; “The basis of shame is not some personal mistake of ours, but the ignominy, the humiliation we feel that we must be what we are without any choice in the matter, and that this humiliation is seen by everyone.”
Having come to this point where I understand I bear no shame or guilt in my rape. I have written a letter. Some call me certifiable for writing it. Some don’t understand. I don’t have to explain, and I think I won’t.
Here is the letter I wrote on behalf of…we’ll call him faceman.
Dear parole board,
I am writing on behalf of faceman. A man who personally wronged me in such a vile manner and it remains inexcusable. But here I am with a plea and a favor.
You know me, and you’ve seen me demand this monster gets his full sentence. If what I have been told is true I have a favor to ask of you. First is it true that he has terminal brain cancer with little precious time left on this earth? Second is it true he has but weeks or perhaps days to live?
If these are true I’d like for you to consider releasing him to a hospice house were he can spend his final days with family at his side.
You see I know what it’s like to die alone. I died alone that fateful day. That is a fate I can’t wish even upon him. Please consider allowing him enough freedoms that he can see the sun without bars and his family can see him anytime of the day.
Perhaps in his freedom he will gaze upon the sun and moon and perhaps repent for his sins. Perhaps he may find some measure of peace with his family close at hand as he draws his last breaths.
Perhaps the monster inside him will die so the man may live again. That is my sincerest wish for him.
While this letter has been hard for me to write. I write it in full control of myself and my mind at peace. I do not yet forgive him and I’m not sure if I will ever be strong enough to forgive him. But my wish for him is peace.
Please tell him I can’t yet forgive him because I am not strong enough to do so. But tell him of my desire for him to not die alone and perhaps find peace. Tell him I desire of him nothing but wish for him grace, peace and love in his final hours.
I wish him to know some measure of freedom, the touch of family and the comfort of the heavenly father. He will still face judgment for his crimes but he will face it knowing a moment of freedom.
With all due respect I ask this of you.
The letter is certified and signed by my physician attesting my soundness of mind.
I will not explain my reasons, call me crazy that’s fine too. It’s hard to explain but this is the latest chapter in my desire to be past this with forgiveness.