1. It takes time to let go of what hurt you, what became a life-changer for you but hardly touched the person responsible. In order to do that, at least for me, I need to understand the why of all of it. Im like that.
2. It isn't enough to just say "I forgive you" and walk away. Partly, I think, because when someone has pulled your own rug out from under you for their own reasons, they tend to see nothing wrong in what they did. Justify, justify. They feel better, and that's all that mattered.
3. The fact that the innocent victims have been laid waste by those actions would have surprised them.
4. You might say it's a lot like an arsonist setting fire to the house across the street, his reasoning being, it blocked his view of the sunrise. Never mind that he displaced an entire family, cost the town a bloody fortune to put the fire out, and sent two firemen to the hospital. He could now see the sunrise.
5. It's a very selfish, narcissistic POV, and a true narcissist has learned from birth how to justify almost anything (at least internally) by placing blame in all directions.
6. My mother gave it away inadvertently, one day, when she said "grampa always told me my mouth would get me in trouble." and she looked a bit puzzled by that, and rueful.
7. Obviously she had no idea what he meant. Grampa was a smart, observant dude.
8. I wish I'd known him. I think he could see how she always manipulated people, playing one against the other in a manic game of 'she said/he said" and then backing away while the two of them duked it out verbally.
9. and to be fair, it's been a good life. Not easy, not simple, but fulfilling. I feel like I've made a difference in ways that will matter for a few generations to come.
10. But (and this is important) it was not my choice. When you remove the possiblity of choice from someone's list of things to do, it's no longer their choice, is it. It's yours.
11. Terry Pratchett has a phrase to describe it, he calls it the pantlegs of Time. Once you start down one you can't change your mind and try out the other one.
12. All you can do is wonder at the kind of life you would have had if you had chosen differently.
13, And since my choosing will always impact someone else's choices, in an ever spreading ripple, no matter which pantleg I picked, the ripples would have been (and are) eternal and endless.