This prompt coincides well with a post I’ve been working at all day – an open Letter to Ina Bonnette:
I don’t really know where to start. I guess there is no better way than to say “Thank You”.
What you have been through is an ordeal none of us can begin to imagine. We can sit back and think about all the horrible stuff we have had to endure. We can sit back and think about all the pain that was enforced on us by animals who call themselves “human beings”. I can sit here and say “I am sorry for what you have had to endure” or “I know what you are going through”, but we don’t ever really know do we? Your experiences, your ability to process it all and your life makes your situation unique. As does mine and that of millions of other women across the planet who have had to suffer at the hand of someone they once loved or trusted or perhaps even someone they did not even know.
Yet, despite everything, you stood firm in your faith and you sat there during the trial. In the presence of that monster. You sat there and watched him squirm, making up the story as he goes along. You bravely sat there every day and faced the monster head on.
Thank you for your bravery. Thank you for making a stance. Thank you for sending the message that women will no longer stand back and allow the life to be stolen from us. Thank you for not disappearing. Thank you for being strong.
You are a huge inspiration to women across the world. Your actions throughout the trial, no matter how small they may seem to you now, spoke volumes. You gave women back their power.
I listened to your quick radio interview this morning and tears came to my eyes. Then you said “I don’t think I will ever be able to forgive him” and I felt compelled to write to you.
Ina, I know that right now it is incredibly hard to even fathom the idea, but you are going to have to forgive him.
I once knew such an animal. I hated him and I swore that I would never forgive or forget. I tried to just blend into the background. I wanted to be invisible. I wanted to disappear. I didn’t want anyone to know of my existence. I ran away from home and left behind everyone else who loved me.
About a year later I found myself walking in a shopping center. I felt hollow and dead inside. I looked at my reflection in the shop window and it dawned on me “He is still controlling your life. He is still in charge.” I made the realization that as long as I am not living the full life God intended me to live, I am still giving the monster power over my life. Worst part of all? I am doing it willingly and he does not even know about it!
I’m not saying that you should forget about what happened. I’m not saying you should not mourn about it. You will never forget, but you can heal. Forgiving him does not mean that you have to allow him into your life ever again! Forgiving him only means that you give yourself the power to heal. Forgiving him means that you give yourself the power, which you have given to so many women when you attended the trial.
I am not a councilor or psychologist. I don’t have any degree which gives me the right to tell you what to do. All I can do is tell you my story. Once I made the realization that I am giving him power over my life, I was able to forgive and move on. Once I managed to forgive him, I was able to heal. Once healed, I was able to blossom into the woman God wanted me to be.
Your faith in God gave you the strength to get through this ordeal. Trust in Him to help you forgive. Trust in Him to heal.
Ina, you are a beautiful and magnificently strong woman, you are worthy of more.
You are worthy.