I do a lot of forgiving of other people. A lot. Under my veneer of self-assured and secure, I'm actually emotionally sensitive and a little insecure (which is something that took a lot of work from going from "extremely insecure" to just a "little insecure"). Most people treat me like a robot; my one function for them is all that matters and when it comes time for me to put some tears on their shoulder, all of a sudden they have places to be. Such is my lot in life.
One of the people who mean the most to me in this world is my daddy. We lived a military life, so growing up I wouldn't see him as often as I'd have liked, but he was always there writing letters, sending cards, and on the end of a phone line. Once he and my mother divorced I saw less of him than before, especially given his job and how far we were from each other.
I never realize how much anger I harbored towards him for leaving me so much with my mother. She's not a bad mother, quite the contrary she's very strong and is always pushing forwards. However, given the type of person I am, my mother's brand of parenting was hard on me. I would shut down and not speak, and just do everything quietly. I wouldn't walk or breathe too loudly when she was upset for fear of bringing her ire onto me. I think when I was younger I learned to just be there for people and not expect them to be there for me, partially because of the way my mother was with people, and partially given the fact that my father had left.
My father though, is nurturing and reassuring. He always tells me he's proud of me, even if I'm not sure there's much to be proud of. He sends me Hallmark cards for daughters (the really ornate ones) and he calls me to make sure that I'm okay. I always thought that if I grew up with him I wouldn't be so fearful of life, nor as held back as I am in my actions. I never did forgive him though, for leaving although I knew it hurt him and mother just as much as it hurt me.
So I forgive my daddy, because it really wasn't his fault. He did what he thought was best and it just didn't work out exactly that way for me, but I can't fault him for the lesson it taught me; if you're unhappy, you have to do something to change it.
I wonder if forgiveness is valid if the person you're forgiving doesn't know they're being forgiven?