When I was 18, my mother discovered that my stepfather had installed a small pinhole camera in my bathroom.
He was given several misdemeanors but I did *not* press charges despite the overwhelming pressure from everyone to do so. Actually, seven years later, I'm still in contact with him.
Very few people understand this decision. They think I should have sued him for all he's worth and destroyed his life. "Why do you still talk to that pervert?" they ask.
My answer is this: Because I understand what hate will do if I grab hold of it. It will lodge itself in every corner of my mind and soul and I will go through life believing I'm a victim and that things are happening TO me. I'll focus on what I don't have instead of what I do.
I must instead focus on the good and the love. My stepfather wasn't abusive, verbally or physically, in any way and, in fact, he was a damn good stepfather most of the time.
We are who we are not based solely on who we decide to be in any given moment but what society, people around us, and our environment TEACH us to be. Don't jump to conclusions about others. Rather, take the time and energy to understand why they do what they do and how they got to be who they are.
Look inward. Forgive yourself, forgive others, and put love out into the world.
Love to you all,