"Don't be an armchair quarterback. Don't you dare go back to your childhood with what you know now and judge that child. Don't you dare do that to her."
My T said this to me about Smoke (11) as I cried my self-pitying heart shaped tears and blamed myself for knowing better, I shouldn't have been there, I could have run, I could have screamed, I should have told...
T said this to me often and finally, one day, I heard. It takes practice, tho, to stop the coulda, woulda, shouldas.
"It's not about you. It's never been about you. Don't go back there and judge her with your adult knowledge of the situation." Mr.S has said that many times. Many, many times. After about 3 years, I finally heard him, I heard what he was trying to say.
It's actually so very difficult to understand that statement. It's even much more difficult to recognize when I'm sittin' in that big ol' armchair and callin' the shots. I'm not even aware I'm doin' it until I'm laying on the sideline, bruised and bleedin'.
I am my own worst enemy, as all of you probably already know about yourselves. It's easy for me to say, "But, I knew better, I could have made another choice." Or, "I should've told my Dad, or my Mom!"
Of all the blaming of myself and coulda woulda shoulda I've done, I finally realized one day that all those years ago, it wasn't the way I looked, or my child-like qualities, or having won some sick and twisted imaginary contest that made them "pick" me.
It has never been about me. I didn't do anything that caused them to want to use me as their sacrificial lamb; it wasn't anything I did that drew their attention to me - they were looking for someone. I didn't somehow convey ideas into their black minds, they were born of their own doing. It was all about the bad guys and their perverseness. I was only convenient. They would have taken any convenient, sad, and neglected child from a family often too busy to pay close attention to all of their children. I was in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
I think this is what forgiveness is. Forgiving myself for having snatched control and intent from the pedophiles and blamed myself for something I could never have done but have spend a lifetime taking credit/blame for.