I was abused as a child by two different male family members. I was able to forgive one only after he had died. The other perpetrator I struggled with forgiving. I was afraid to. Afraid I would let down walls and let him too close or let him into my life. I love this relative but didn't want him close. I started to pray, "God, make me want to forgive him." I thought if I didn't forgive him I could make him pay for all those years of pain. I was the one paying for all the years of pain. I kept being a victim as long as I didn't forgive him. I didn't want him to think that because I forgave him that I was ok with what he did. So many crazy things were going on in my head. So God gave me the desire to forgive him and God set up the time and place. I didn't ask God to have me do it in person! God had His plan. I ended up forgiving this person face to face just he and I. He shared with me a couple of things that put some puzzle pieces together and told me one thing that I had wished I'd been sitting down for. Our relationship hasn't changed as far as us being closer but now we are both free. I'm closer to God because now there is nothing in the way. I enjoy my bible reading and get so much more out of it because the anger, mistrust all of it is gone. I am no longer a victim but a victor thanks to God's perfect plan. Remember the forgiveness is for the victim not the perpetrator. They don't even have to know you have forgiven them.