Mom and Grandma… I Forgive You

by GEM Magazine / May 18, 2015 / Comments

To My Mother and Grandmother,

I don’t know if either of you will ever read this and even if you do, I don’t know if you will fully understand or accept it but this is something I have to do… for me.

I forgive you.

Aside from 'I love you', they are the simplest three words in the English language and yet they carry so much weight. Please do not confuse my forgiveness with me condoning your behaviour because I don’t. I am forgiving you because quite frankly your problems are not mine to live with. I am done feeling embarrassed by what you have done and I am no longer allowing you any measure of power in my life. You can no longer drain my energy. You will no longer be the cause of my nightmares. By doing this I am setting myself free.


I forgive you for ignoring signs of sexual abuse and doing nothing about it. You grew up in a time where things like that weren’t openly discussed they way they are now.

I forgive you for talking to me disrespectfully and inappropriately about my father and step-father. You were worried that you’d lose me to one and used me as your confidant with the other because you felt alone.

I forgive you for the discomfort you imposed on me by conducting our family discussions while you bathed. Maybe talking about stressful things made you feel tense and the water relaxed you.

I forgive you for doubting my abilities as a mother and your subsequent attempt to surveil my home because of those doubts. You were only doing what you thought was right.

Most of all I forgive you for not being the mom I needed for the last 13 years. I am strong, I am healthy and I am doing it without you.


I forgive you for walking in on the abuse and ignoring it, hiding it and blaming me for it. You were likely never taught how to handle witnessing that or how to care for someone in that situation.

I forgive you for measuring my waist constantly in an effort to make me feel that there was something wrong with my body. It was perfectly normal for a growing child. Maybe you felt unattractive or nobody ever told you that you were beautiful… like I thought you were.

Mom and Grandma,

I forgive you both and in doing so, I let go.

By Debbie Stirling

Photo credit; Armando Tura

Debbie currently resides In Victoria BC, works for the provincial government and suffers what she refers to as “fitness A.D.D”. Debbie is constantly striving to challenge herself in new ways and crush her limits. She would like to help motivate those around her who are in need of their own changes to stay on track and be successful in their journey.

**Names of subjects withheld

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