Reimagine Forgiveness – TEDxDePaulUniversity

I still can’t believe I can call myself a “TEDx Speaker“. (Insert happy face emoji!) I still have moments of disbelief that I went before an audience of 200+ people and shared an idea that I felt was worth spreading by memory. And it will be on the Internet forever and ever, Amen! I am still struggling with imposter syndrome, but every day I feel more qualified and more deserving of my accolades and accomplishments as a survivor, advocate, social service provider, & inspirational speaker. This talk couldn’t have come at a better time for me. My journey of forgiveness has been long (12 years & counting) and complicated, but I’m here and I’m committed to the process. It’s not something that happened overnight. It started as a thought, then a feeling, and then I felt compelled to act on it. What people don’t realize is that it’s a process and forgiveness is very personal.  I was very intentional about focusing more on me than my attacker because my healing is for me. And in holding true to that, the universe was guiding me because I forgot an entire paragraph towards the end of my talk that I will share with you.

It’s been 3 action packed years and Nicole has not responded. And that’s okay. I went into this knowing that she might not write back. My actions don’t mean that I’ve forgotten what happened or that I’m okay with what she did. My extension of forgiveness means that with or without her apology or repentance I WILL be okay and I WILL move forward and I hope she will, too.

At first, I was a little disappointed that I forgot to share that piece, but the more I think about it, the more it aligns with my goal to keep my message focused more on my journey and less about her. Anyway, I hope you enjoy my message and take from it what you need. Be patient with yourself and do what you feel is right for you. Thank you!

 

Why did she assault me with acid?

“Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.” -Robert Brault

(but it doesn’t mean you won’t have questions)-KB

She’s been on my heart and mind lately. Sometimes I want answers, sometimes I don’t. Some days I think about her, some days I don’t. But today I can’t ignore this feeling. Have you ever been hurt by someone you don’t know and wonder why? I know that my destiny is not tied to her, and despite everything I wouldn’t change a thing, but I can’t help but want to know WHY. (She’s locked up, but in many ways I’m locked up, too).

And if you’re wondering whether or not I’ve forgiven her . . . Yes, long ago. The moment I chose to forgive her and the others involved in my attacks my life improved dramatically. However, I wonder how she’s faring in prison because I know she’s not being rehabilitated. For a while I didn’t need answers, but I’m at a point where I want to know why. Forgiving myself for my choices was harder, but when I say “locked up,” I’m referring to my scars and the ambiguity around what happened. I’m not searching for an apology, just answers.

Prison