Occasionally, I will have a trigger event that brings back the childhood memories I'd rather forget. The emotions I feel when those memories rise to my consciousness no longer draws out the anger I once knew. Nor do those memories compel me to play out the destructive roles I once pursued. For me, forgiveness was the final step in my path to healing and it was the act of forgiveness that became my bridge to sanity.

Forgiveness was not a moment for me. Rather, it was a process over time when I replaced my anger with fortitude. When anger no longer became my weapon of choice, I replaced it with thriving. The process of forgiveness gave me the willingness to live courageously and chose love despite life's pain. Learning to be a good man despite my abuser was my vow, knowing the curse for his actions laid only upon his shoulders, not mine. The act of forgiveness meant I was no longer willing to carry his burden at my peril. For me, forgiveness was the acknowledgment of accepting my life's painful experiences as one variable which molded me but did not define me. Although the act of forgiveness did not diminish my abusers accountability for his actions, it served to release me from being perpetually tortured by them.

Forgiveness is a twisted reality for a survivor, but when your ready, consider it as a possibility in your healing.

Were it not for forgiveness, I would not know the love I have for my wife, my children or my neighbors. Were it not for my abuser, I might not have learned the lesson of forgiveness.

- The pain of our past can have influence in molding a better person than we might have been otherwise.

- Sometimes boys with a thousand nightmares become men with a million blessings.