I just discovered that the man who molested me when I was around 13 years old was arrested at the age of 71 and indicted on charges of viewing and distributing child pornography.
There was a time many years ago when hearing news of this would probably have made me quite ecstatic and resulted in me saying some strong expletives along with the words, “Serves him right!” But ironically, that’s not how I reacted when I discovered this news the other day. Rather, I only felt sadness and compassion for a man who obviously has lived with a sexual illness that completely controlled him for the past three decades.
Facing 5 to 20 years now in prison, this man will probably see most of his final days here on Earth from the confines of a jail cell. While karma really does have a way of eventually catching up to people’s past toxic actions, I’m definitely glad I didn’t hold on to all that anger and rage and resentment I once held towards him. I worked extremely hard to forgive him once I found recovery from a life of addictions, because all that negativity I was harboring towards him was only hurting me in the long run.
I’ve had plenty of friends and acquaintances though, who too were molested as kids, that have instead chosen to hold onto all that anger, rage, and resentment towards their perpetrator for their entire adulthood. They claim its served them well and helped them navigate through life. But, I beg to differ.
For all the years I did the same, I only pushed people away because I refused to allow anyone to get close to my heart, especially someone who was male. Instead, I kept pretty much everyone at arm’s length and lived a very lonely and angry life inside because of it. This only led to failed friendships and relationships and entire days consumed with negativity and hatred.
While it was enormously challenging to find forgiveness in my heart for a man who robbed me of my youth and sexual development, it was worth it in the end because the freedom I gained from it allowed me to be in the healthiest partnership I’ve ever been in, as well as draw far closer to my sister and friends too.
But, there’s also something even more important I realized as I pondered the recent arrest of my childhood molester. Even if I had never forgiven this man and still harbored all that anger, rage, and resentment, his arrest wouldn’t have fixed anything within me. It wouldn’t have taken away any of that pain I once felt so deeply within. Ultimately, it wouldn’t have done a single thing other than bring someone to justice who had needed to be brought to justice long ago.
The fact is, I had to be the one to free myself of the prison I placed myself in after I got molested by this man. And I had to be the one to free myself of all the negativity I held towards him for years. Thankfully, I did just that, a long time ago, and have never looked back with anything but sadness and compassion for a man, which is exactly how I believe Jesus would look upon this sick man as well.
So, if you are someone who was molested as a kid like I was, hopefully you have forgiven that person or persons long ago. But, if you haven’t, and are still harboring anger, rage, or resentment towards them, please know it’s not serving your Highest Good in any way, shape, or form. Rather, it’s stunting your spiritual growth and only causing you to become more and more sick as time goes on. Please forgive, let go, and realize in doing so, that freedom will come. And when it does, you too will be left with only sadness and compassion for the one(s) who violated you, and at least with only those feelings remaining, you can move on in your life with far healthier connections that are based and grounded in unconditional love and light.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson