While we do not have a specific 20-minute reflection for forgiveness, we do have exercises that can be done on a regular basis in the self-help book, Forgiveness Is a Choice, an Amazon.com best seller. There are further exercises in the two other self-help books, The Forgiving Life and 8 Keys to Forgiveness.
Additional information about all three books is available in the IFI Store.
When you forgive, you reduce resentment and therefore you reduce any tendency of wanting to get even or to seek revenge. Being fair is the right way to live, avoiding regret and guilt over acting unfairly toward others. If you start practicing forgiveness toward the one who hurt you (presuming that you do interact with one another), then this opens the door to greater inner peace for you. It opens the door for a genuine relationship of fairness if the other sees the great gift you are giving by offering forgiveness. If the other sees and appreciates your gift, then this could alter the person’s behavior toward greater fairness and reconciliation.
Forgiveness does not necessarily take away all of the sadness because you did have a rough time during childhood. It is part of your history and you cannot reverse what happened. Please keep in mind that some sadness is normal. Forgiving can help reduce the sadness, and can reduce the resentment that can accompany sadness. Living with some occasional sadness is very different than living with the constant mixture of deep sadness and anger.
It seems to me that you have begun the process of forgiving, because you state that forgiveness is part of you now. At the same time, I would recommend more forgiving work toward your boyfriend for those past events so that you can leave them in the past. Please keep in mind that still feeling some pain from past injustices is normal. It is the excessive anger from those incidents that you want to diminish and more forgiving should accomplish that in you.
Whether or not you try to become more compassionate, one thing still is likely to happen: You will change. Life is about developing and therefore we do not stay static. You have been hurt and your trust has been damaged. As you practice forgiving, you are correct, you likely will change. You likely will become more compassionate and more trusting in general (but not necessarily toward those whom you should not trust). If you notice, those characteristics of compassion and trust are positive developments. Forgiveness could help change you in very good ways. Try to enjoy the positive transformation.
There are two: Marietta Jaeger, who forgave the murderer of her young daughter. This is documented in a film, From Fury to Forgiveness, which appeared on television in the 1990’s. The other is Eva Moses Kor, who was part of the “twin experiments” at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II and who forgave the Nazis. This is documented in the film, Forgiving Dr. Mengele.
It has been estimated that about 30% of sex offenders have been sexually abused prior to their crimes. Thus, your point that some sex offenders might benefit from Forgiveness Therapy is valid. It is valid for about a third of this population. The other 70% may be suffering from narcissism, the failure to see the personhood in others, and other challenges. Forgiveness Therapy may not be effective in these other cases, but if such therapy could aid a third of this population, that would be significant assistance.