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The “Impossibility” of Forgiving Myself

I am my own worst enemy.

Forgiving myself is by far the hardest thing I have ever attempted. I know that I am not unique in this; I know that many of us struggle desperately to cease the destructive cycle of merciless self-criticism and self-hatred that comes from making mistakes. The old cliche rings more true to me than any other. But then, just as powerful to me is the following quote (and don’t you dare look up the source):

I am mine own redeemer.

Despite the insanity and horrible decision-making of the past 3 – 4 weeks of my life, I have still somehow managed to feel a rare and special peace that only comes from true forgiveness and love. The source of this feeling of overwhelming benevolence and unconditional forgiveness is highly unlikely and frankly, quite odd.

I felt this forgiveness from a woman I wronged in a thoughtless, disgusting and inexcusable way. It seems too good to be true, but strangely enough, I felt this forgiveness from a woman who I only knew because I fucked her boyfriend last summer.


No, this is not the setup for another Dr. Phil episode where wives come face to face with their husband’s mistress for the first time. This is far deeper and more beautiful than two women bonding over their hatred and heartache caused by the same man.

The limitless capacity to forgive that I have seen in the woman who inspired me to write this is something that has truly restored a bit of my faith in humanity and in the innate goodness of human beings.

Despite my perpetual anger at the world for all the hurt everyone has caused me, despite my long-standing and deeply-rooted cynical belief that most people will fuck you over and hurt you every chance they get, despite my constant fuck-ups, embarrassing mistakes and the horrible and thoughtless ways I have hurt people and myself… This woman not only forgave me, she actually became a close friend.

After hearing that her ex and my ex-fling? ex-friend? was spending months in jail for domestic violence against her (not the first time), on a random whim I sent her a message (rather drunkenly, to be fair). The message was a characteristically long-winded, probably overdramatic ramble that was my attempt at a sincere apology for hurting her like I did, by sneaking around to talk to him on his cell phone that she paid for. For picking him up at her home where she took care of him like the overgrown, spoiled, psychotic man-baby that I now realize he has been all along. For totally disregarding her feelings by letting him stay with me in a hotel for an entire week in a grotesque, drug-fueled display of bullshit.

Through an hours-long exchange, she was a bit angry at first but never said an unkind word. She quickly admitted to the fact that she was more hurt than anything, but still apparently saw something good and genuine in me enough so that she could forgive me, befriend me, and even care about how the whole ordeal affected my own feelings.


Just one of those random, undeserved acts of human kindness and love that can really make a person see the good in this world (even one as stuck on being miserable as me). I still have yet to completely forgive myself for this, but her love and compassion for me regardless of the mistakes I made – it’s really helping me heal. It’s helping me in ways she probably will never know.

Thank you, Tonya.

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