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Mother’s Day recently passed and I received a phone call from my oldest sister trying to repair our relationship. I told her I wasn’t interested. On New Year’s Eve, my middle sister sent me a text proclaiming how much she loved me. I asked her to cease and desist from contacting me. In fact, I’ve told my mother the same and I don’t regret it. Not every conflict ends with a hug, sometimes it takes you removing yourself from the chaos to find your peace. That is what I have done. Here is my open letter in regards to why I can move on without forgiving anyone who has intentional sought to hurt me.

But you didn’t even have the decency to say sorry. After you hurt me, because I allowed you to see me at my most vulnerable point, you dare try to regain access to my life? You dare expect me to forgive you of your repeated transgressions. You dare try to manipulate me by saying that if I don’t forgive you then I will end up alone and bitter and unable to love. Don’t you wish.

See, I’m stronger than that. I found my strength the day I walked away from your toxic spirit. I found my strength when I decided that no longer would I allow my feelings for you override my good sense. You thought I’d be back. I understand why you thought that. You had become accustomed to me returning with an olive branch trying to work it out again. Trying to find a love that never truly existed in any meaningful way. You preyed on my naivety. Now, you’re attempting to do it again.

You say you take responsibility for what you’ve done to hurt me. But I only hear words, I see no action. You say that you will always love me. I ask when was it that you started? I was not aware that verbal, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse equated to love. Matter of fact, once I realized it didn’t I was able to walk away from you for good.

No, I don’t forgive you. Nor do I want you back in my life. I am a better woman without you. I am a wiser woman now that I’ve opened my eyes. Sorry may be what you want to say, but that doesn’t mean that I have to accept your half-hearted apologies that are only meant to serve your ego. You can even say you promise never to hurt me again. Well, I’ve heard that before and the lesson you taught me is that a promise is a comfort to a fool.

So sorry, I’m not sorry. You are not forgiven. You won’t ever be forgiven. Your treatment of me wasn’t a mistake. You intentionally sought to tear me down. Don’t apologize for your intentions. Reflect and figure out why you would intend to hurt someone who always loved you. Once you figure that out you can move on and try again, with someone else. Just leave me out of it. I am at peace.

To my fans, thanks for allowing me to be vulnerable with you for a minute. This is one of the most personal pieces I’ve ever written and boy did it feel good to write it. I hope you understand that you don’t have to forgive anyone who has intentionally hurt you to be able to move on, happily with your life. Although this was written as an open letter to my family, it goes for lovers and friends as well.

The take away? Don’t allow anyone to tell you what you need to do in order for you to heal. Especially not the ones who caused you the pain.

Written by Dena Reid, Esq., Founder of Code Red Flag and Amazon bestselling author of Flag On The Play. Ms. Reid is also a legally trained Conflict Mediator/Coach who specializes in family and domestic disputes. Ms. Reid writes an advice column, hosts events, facilitates workshops, and speaks nationwide on a variety of topics. For more information email

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