status-imageThe mother of Gina De Jesus, one of the kidnapping victims in the horrific case in Cleveland, has said she “forgives” Ariel Castro – alleged kidnapper, rapist, and torturer of her child. As a mother, I can’t wrap my head around this.

In an interview with 20/20, mother Nancy Ruiz said:

“I would hug him and I would say, ‘God bless you.’ I would say, ‘God bless you,’ and I’d hug him. I did not hate him. I forgave him years ago. I said it: I forgive whoever done it, just let her go.”

“Because you know what?” Ruiz added. “When you start to hate a person, that eats you up. I don’t have time for that. I have to be, you know, I want to be happy, like I am now.”

Am I judging her? No. I think she is doing something amazing for herself by making this declaration – essentially freeing herself of the agony she has had to endure for all of these years. This kind of disgust and hate only eats you up inside. I know, because I feel it. I feel it for what happened to her child. And I can’t let it go.

I am against the death penalty. Not for the reasons you probably think – I’m not some super-Christian humanitarian. I just think that our justice system is flawed and racist – and I don’t think the death penalty is something that could possible be fairly executed in this country. That doesn’t mean I don’t want a man like Castro to die if he is found guilty of his crimes. In fact, I’d like him to die an awful, painful, miserable death for the years that he stole from these women – and the torture they allegedly had to endure.

I feel the same way when I read about horrific rapes and children being abused. The hatred that I have for those that allegedly have victimized others is so deep and consuming it scares me sometimes. When the stories of the men who brutalized that young woman on a bus in India came forward, I actually said, “I wish they would just gather these men up and set them on fire.” And I meant it.

There’s nothing noble or healing about my reactions to these crimes. My first thought when I hear De Jesus’ mother say should would hug Castro is “how could you?” My second is, “Why couldn’t I?” I just don’t have it in me to forgive these monsters. I don’t think I ever could.

(photo: FBI.gov)