The power of forgiveness


It was Monday. 5PM. February 13th, 2012. I was sick of homework and needed to clear my mind with a walk outside to fill my body with some fresh air.

It was almost dark outside, so the fact that I was wearing sweatpants and no make-up wasn’t a problem. I grabbed my military-green winter jacket, putted on my sneakers, and searched for my keys. Missing keys are always a problem with me. Why can’t I just put them in the same spot every time so I don’t have to look for them? I felt myself getting more and more upset, while my body screamed for some fresh air. Finally outside, I decided to walk the route I always ended up. It was perfect for when I just needed to be outside for about 20 minutes. The cold, crisp air filled my lungs, I could see frost-smoke coming out of my mouth. It was silent. So peaceful.

Monday. 5:30PM. It was dark and cold.

It was a cold and dark Monday night.

After walking 5 minutes I headed down to the road by the river. I was always told not to walk there by myself because of all the hobos and junkies. But as the fearless person I am – I never listen to stuff like that. Besides, I only intended to walk down there for a few minutes. What could possibly happen on a Monday night?

Within seconds of walking under a bridge someone hit me in the back and knocked me into the ground. My first reaction was to turn around to see who it was. Was this a joke? A really bad joke? In an instant, I understood that this wasn’t a joke. Two guys, one short and one tall, were having tons of fun punching and kicking me from side to side. They where both dark skinned and dressed in black. The short one was wearing an orange hat that made his skin-color look even darker. Focused on getting out alive, I remained silent. I used all of my power and energy to kick the monsters back, starting with the one closet to me. The taller guy suddenly stopped his attack, and for one millisecond I thought I won this battle – until he pulled a knife out of his inside pocket. The last thing I remember seeing was the huge knife with tags. Like a large bread-knife. I didn’t want to watch this. I closed my eyes and tried to cover my heart and my brain.

The taller guy suddenly stopped his attack, and for one millisecond I thought I won this battle – until he pulled a knife out of his pocket.

I got stabbed 29 times.

I got stabbed 29 times.

I can’t remember what I was thinking at this moment. I can’t remember hearing anything. I just felt everything. I could feel the knife ripped through my skin. First it burned. Then it scorched. The more he stabbed me, the less pain I could feel. Was my body in shock? I do remember thinking of my little sister. How much I would miss her. She’s my everything. I said goodbye to her and pictured giving her the biggest hug ever.

The short guy with the orange hat stopped kicking me. I sneaked a peak between my fingers. The short guy was smiling while he was communicating in a foreign language that I didn’t understand. The one who was stabbing me also stopped. They looked at each other, turned around and disappeared. What happened? Were they on their way to bring more gang members? What was their goal? To kill me? To play with me? If they where looking for money, they picked the wrong girl. I only had my phone and the stupid keys on me. I laid there and waited for them to come back. I was supposed to be dead right now. I even said goodbye to my dearest.

After several moments, I realized that this was my chance to get away. I had to hide. Had to get help. Didn’t know how deep the wounds where, but I could see my white sweater was turning read. My feet were hurting, my face felt swollen. But I didn’t care. I just wanted to get away, be safe and hold my sister tight and tell her that I love her.

I will never be ashamed of my scars. it simply just means that I was stronger than the guys who tried to kill me.

I will never be ashamed of my scars. it simply just means that I was stronger than the guys who tried to kill me.

This was four years ago. As far as I know, the guys who tried to kill me are still out there living the life. They never had pay for what they did to me. They can still go around in the city, drink coffee, enjoy the sun. Yet, I still forgive. I forgive them both. I forgive them for trying to kill me, for trying to take me away from my family and friend. I forgive them for trying to cause depression on my family. I know if they killed me, my family would have never be the same. Their lives would have been turned up-side-down. Yet, I still forgive. I’ve been so depressed that I tried to end my life, but I still forgive them. Why? Because I want to move on. I don’t forgive these two guys for them, I do it for myself. Only.


“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” -Gandhi

It wouldn’t be possible for me to move on if I didn’t forgive them. – Anniken Tronstad

Forgiveness is the most powerful thing that you can do for your physiology and your spirituality. To forgive is often associated with saying that it’s alright, that we accept the evil deed. But, this is not forgiveness. Forgiveness means that you fill yourself with love and you radiate that love outward and refuse to hang onto the venom or hatred that was engendered by the behaviors that caused the wounds. I was filled with so much anger and resentment after I got stabbed.  When people told me to forgive it, didn’t make any sense to me. But I gave it a chance and I forgave them. And as the time went by and the pain dismissed I came to the conclusion that you actually have to be strong enough to forgive.

I would say forgiveness is a gift we can give to ourselves. Because when you do, you will find peace of mind and you give yourself permission to live life fully.


About Author

Anniken Tronstad

Anniken Gaka Tronstad is from Norway and taking her Bachelor in Media and communications at Antioch University in Santa Barbara. Educated actress, love being creative and explore the world. She has a healthy lifestyle and extreme sport is something she adores.

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