Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past, and is therefore the means for correcting our misperceptions. – Unknown
I do not know if I blogged about it or not, but last week I wrote my Kindergarten teacher. Through therapy we have come to realize that many of my feelings of self worth were created as she practiced some very unethical teaching practices with me. As we have discussed it, I have come to terms with the abusive nature of her acts, and that her acts are not my fault.
I still have a hard time accepting or believing any compliment, and I feel like I am going to fail at anything given to me. Though my successes in life may outnumber my failures, my failures are magnified in my eyes and overtake any success I have.
So last week, I took courage and found out where my Kindergarten teacher was. I felt sickened to learn that she still teaching. I weighed the thoughts I had about writing her, the courage won. Initially I just emailed and asked if she taught Kindergarten in the early 80s. She emailed me back within the hour.
She stated that she had taught Kindergarten, and taught me. That year she had 31 students, stating she took off ten years after teaching us. She went on to tell me about her life. She ended her letter with “Good to hear from a former student.”
I felt sick. I was shaking.
How do you start a letter to an abuser? How to you start a letter to a teacher that seemed excited to her from you? It has been 34-5 years, I believe people can change. I also feel responsible for the child in me. I needed to do this. I needed to be her voice.
So I began just like that. Letting her know that I did not know how to start it. Then the rest of the letter I used the sandwhich method good-bad-good. As I write that I remember I did blog about it last week, so I do not need to go into more details about that here.
I still have not heard back from her. After much more thought, I decided to follow my gut. I am never going to be able to let go and move on if I did not let someone at the school know my story. I want her students to be protected. I do not want any other child to deal with the humiliation or the self loathing that she caused me. Children already deal with so much these days. They need to be protected. I emailed her principal and received a very kind and thoughtful response. I have no doubt that she will keep her eyes out.
I hope that by confonting this demon from my past, I will be able to forgive, not only her but myself. I want to erase all of the misperceptions and misconceptions formed so long ago and create a new and healthier way to view myself and the world.
I know have other demons to deal with too, but I must take it one step at a time.