@Luna I think everyone can relate to the question of how to know if you’ve truly forgiven someone. And I’m so sorry that you experienced abuse.
Sean and Andi have provided some great feedback, a lot of wisdom in those responses.
It seems to me that your post is about three relationships–first, your relationship with God; second, your relationship with the abuser; and third, because abuse can do a great deal of damage to a person’s feeling of worth and their identity, your relationship with yourself.
Like many things in our Christian walk, things can be both a forever and a everyday choice. For example when we accept Christ and become His, in Him we are a new creation–our old self is gone. But we also find ourselves having to put our “self” to death continually with the choices we make. I think forgiveness is a bit like this. We can forgive an offender, and mean it with all our hearts, but because of pain and consequences of what the offense did to your life the memory is still there and ill feelings can keep surfacing. It seems natural to wonder have I really forgiven? I think the important thing was your choice to forgive, but it may be that throughout the process of healing and restoration you will have to continually choose to forgive. And I don’t mean this to say that you haven’t fully forgiven your abuser, but that because ill feelings may surface you may need the process of forgiving over and over as a reminder and affirmation of your choice to forgive. (I know what I’m trying to say, I’m just not sure if I’m doing it very well.)
Concerning your relationship with God. Everything about your post confirms this relationship is an important priority for you and the one you put first. I think this is an opportunity to allow God to do the “heavy lifting.” Since He knows you better than you know yourself, ask Him to bring you the peace of knowing you’ve forgiven to the depths of your being. Trust that He will bring you to this place, for we have His promise that He will complete His work in us.
Concerning your relationship with yourself. Healing from abuse is a long process, as Andi said, layers. Abuse creates a lot of survival/coping mechanisms in our person that may not be consistent with the wholeness in Christ we should all strive to attain, but it can take years to identify them and heal them. So extend yourself a lot of grace and a lot of time. Make yourself a priority in that process. Be safe. Set boundaries. Seek counseling. God is on your side. God is with you. God wants you to be FULLY restored.
Concerning your relationship with the abuser. You are obviously in a situation where this person cannot be entirely avoided. If this person’s behavior has not changed, then they have obviously not repented. And while God’s goal is also the full restoration of your abuser, that process can’t begin until they also reach out to God. Once at a revival I heard a pastor preach on forgiveness. He said if a dog bites you you can forgive the dog, but it doesn’t mean you have to put your hand out for the dog to bite you again. Protecting yourself from abuse does not mean you have not fully forgiven. If they repent and change and seek their own healing and restoration it may be possible for there to one day be a full reconciliation where your don’t feel a lack of trust with this person.
Another aspect of full restoration for you both, if your abuser takes the route of repentance and restoration, is forgetting. Another pastor said this biblical ‘forgetting’ is not erasing the memory but releasing the offender and the offense. It means that you let God’s grace be greater than the offense—in God’s forgiveness toward you and in your forgiveness toward another person. Grace and forgiveness shape the relationship, not past offenses.
My prayer for you, Luna, is that God reminds you everyday how special you are and how vital you are to the Kingdom. That step-by-step He will show you His fingerprints on your life in this healing process so you can know that if He was faithful to bring you through the last step He will be faithful to bring you through the next step. God’s peace in you and through you, Luna. You ARE in His grip.