Atonement

Holding myself in contempt is how I lived most days.

Not understanding that the crimes I lived through were not about me — they were the deeds of my abusers.

Why is that so hard for my heart to receive? The penetrating message that I am the bad one conflicts with my healing. This journey of life carries daily battles. Scars of those battles remain as evidence.

Shame lurks behind the veil of a healed life.

What is shame? It is the unreasonable way that an abuse survivor owns the crime of the perpetrator.

You know who designed shame for us, don’t you? It certainly isn’t the one who is light but the one of the dark recesses of pain. The evil one — that’s who.

Atonement is reparation for a wrong or injury: “She wanted to make atonement for her husband’s behavior.”

I have learned that it is no longer my job to make payment for a wrong I did not commit. Looking at myself, I am welcome with grace to see the mistakes and wrongs I have committed.

I found my problem was not with owning my mistakes but with owning the mistakes of others.

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