Forgiving doesn't mean forgetting, nor does it mean that you've given the message that what someone did was okay. It just means that you've let go of the anger or guilt towards someone, or towards yourself. But that can be easier said than done. If forgiveness was easy, everyone would be doing it. 

A grudge is a heavy thing to carry and I believe I’ve been carrying it for the longest time. For the most part I tell myself I’ve let it go and I’m just fine….. That, as an adult I can totally understand the situation and the cards that were dealt to me, plus bad stuff (this, and way worse) has happened to so many people in the world so… Kellz, you’re good. You’ve beaten all the odds…. You didn’t end up like some people said you would…. Or like the enemy intended… so all is well. Or, not so much. It’s amazing what happens to big traumas that we pack away into teeny tiny little compartments of your soul and they show up and bubble over when you least expect it. 

Now, my first inclination that something was amiss with me should have been that since the untimely tragic death of my mother I was unable to speak her boyfriend/fiance’s name. I would refer to him as just that…. “my mom’s fiancé, my mom’s boyfriend…. The devil in the flesh… the man that killed my mom, himself, and someone else….etc” but never his name. I felt like uttering his name would somehow bring his essence around me or reincarnate him or give him WAAAAAAAYYYY more respect than he deserved, and if anyone knows me they know for me to give someone outward respect is huge because I can be completely and overly dismissive to people but that also comes from my upbringing and my experiences….. hey hey…. I am working on myself… one thing at a time… sheesh!

I’ve always said I forgive my mom for everything. For all of the circumstances we were put in and for all of the mistakes she made. It was her job to keep us safe, but she didn’t, she couldn’t. There was just something that she couldn’t shake about this man…. He was her captor, her weakness, her addiction she never got rehab for. It was definitely perplexing to watch her undyingly love someone, while wholeheartedly loathing them at the same damn time. She knew the things that were happening around her, to us, was completely wrong and avoidable but he was a problem she couldn’t solve….. like I’ve always said…. Addictions happen to everyone, the best of the best, and hers wasn’t a substance, it was a person and it ended up being the death of her. Me forgiving her was never very difficult because she was a victim as well, so in telling my story I’ve never wanted anyone to disrespect her name because we were all caught in a vicious cycle.

Now onto he’s whose name shall not be spoken, and I’m not talking about Voldemort! Is there a word deeper than hate? Detest, loathe, despise…. Yeah I’ve felt all of that for him since I can remember. I felt like if I totally forgave him, that would be making what he did to me, my family, and the family of the other passengers, OK and acceptable and I also believed that if I extinguished that fire that I kept hidden in a secret compartment, that I would lose my fight all together. In some twisted way, I believed the cards that were dealt to me made me the scrappy yet person I am and I absolutely love that aspect of me. BUT, I never realized that me not forgiving him and releasing him from my subconscious was actually letting his demonic spirit live on inside of me and that was certainly not OK. 

Now, let’s rewind back to the beginning of January when Surviving R. Kelly came on and as I was laying on the floor eating popcorn and watching the madness unfold and I sat up and said 4 words to myself. I. AM. NOT. OK. Watching those women talk about their experiences and the little pin pricks that morphed into knife stabs that tuned into gunshot wounds and my bitterness and unwillingness to forgive was oozing out of these invisible wounds that I’ve had for 20 years. 

So I made the executive decision to do what my mom couldn’t and shake him…. Rehab myself so his presence would no longer be housed inside of a place that he was never meant to enter or dwell (ME). I marched myself right into therapy and I’ve had two sessions so far. I am proud to say that I can say Richard “Rick” Gomes’ name withoutfear of the boogie man. I am working on forgiving his actions and fully releasing him into whatever fate he has to deal with. I want to be free and happy and I don’t want to pass unhealthy ways onto my son, so I will continue with therapy to work through whatever lingering issues I may have from past violations to continue to forgive whatever and whoever is renting space inside of my head. I know this isn’t instant and through a long and painful process I’m learning that happiness is an inside job not based on anyone or anything in this physical world. I am becoming a stronger and healthier me so I’m looking forward to getting to know this revamped me.