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Discussion - forgiveness and forgiving

LovelyChantel

Fort Resident
Joined
Sep 27, 2013
Messages
1,234
#2
My Thoughts - Feel Free To Disagree (Welcome By The Way)

No one says you have to. It is not to make them unaccountable anyway. It is not for them at all in the least bit actually. Al lit is is saying that you are not going to let them rule you. Forgiveness id for the survivor. But it is done in its own time. There is no set date or time frame when it comes to healing and recovery. Everyone heals at their own pace and there is no right or wrong when it comes to healing. There is no specific way of doing it. I am not sure what your beliefs are, but I am personally a Chr*stian and I pray to G*d to help me. I respect that others don't believe as I do though. But if you have beliefs maybe prayer could help you? It's a thought. But anyway, the whole recovery process is in stages and it is a long course to be taken unfortunately. I am still working on forgiveness actually. When I think I am there and close to the end I realize I am not anyway near the end. But each step forward is one step closer to healing and that is better than where I am currently. Each day in stride. By the way, Welcome to The Fort! :w2f :gw
All the support to you.

Much love, Chantel ♥
 

Suzanne

Known To All
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
450
#3
Even though it almost 2 years since that horrible night how can I ever forgive my abuser?
I'm not sure I can answer that because I haven't forgiven my abusers. I think I'm more concerned with forgiving myself right now and not blaming myself for anything and trying to recover from what they did to me. Maybe one day I'll be able to forgive them. But I don't think that will happen anytime soon. I'm sorry if I wasn't much help to you.
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2009
Messages
2,446
#4
there are definitely stages of healing. many of us try to push forward to an end, forgiveness, without really dealing with wherever we are. forgiveness takes time. it doesn't mean accepting what happened was ok, that the abuser is no longer accountable, it's more about releasing the baggage we carry. holding onto resentment, deep seated anger can paralyze us from any personal growth. that said, it's necessary to go through those stages fully. anger can be hard to find for some of us, for others we can't seem get through a day without it.

for me, I found, and still find, forgiveness at times but not others. i seem to have to revisit my feelings surrounding my past. i will be faced with some current issue and realize that my reaction is stemming from the past. that makes me sad, angry and then i need to deal with the healing process again. grief is also a part of that healing process, grief for all that we missed, deserved but never got.

i guess, for me forgiveness is more fluid. it's not like an ok, i'm over that now situation. it ebbs and flows but it seems a bit easier each time around.
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
#5
Forgivness

So sorry to hear that you've been through this. I don't know how it is for other people, but I have no desire whatsoever to forgive my abuser, also my father. I would be perfectly happy never seeing, talking to, or hearing about him for the rest of my life. He made my life hell and drove me into depression, thoughts of suicide and self harm. Its really hard; my mom doesn't know all of what he did or ho much it affected me. She keeps suggesting that I should talk to him, start seeing him again. One of my Grandmothers is the same way, but right now I just cant do it. Good luck with whatever you decide to do, know that we're all here for you.
Ava
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
#6
Stuck in recovery

Growing up, i cannot remember NOT being terrified of my older brother. I thought our relationship was normal because i never knew any different, because my parents didnt react accordingly to my repeated cries for help and my begging for them to never leave me alone with him. I only learned it was abuse when my school counselor found out about my self harm and forced my parents to bring me to a therapist. I was not raped, but my mind was so raped by him that everything had me terrified and on high alert, like everything and anything in the world could snap and come after me at any moment. My parents "found out" about the abuse after my therapist confronted them. They still did nothing to separate my brother and I. Long story short, the abuse stopped because he moved out, and later i moved out. I am in process of working through everything, but i just feel so STUCK. Like im in limbo and cant accept anything because my parents never did. They dont think anything should be remembered, they want me to forgive and forget and take my ABUSER in with open arms and let him around my family and infant son. I dont know how to move forward when they wont let me heal. My chest feels like its permanently ready to have a panic attack.
 

Tasha1701D

Fort Security Chief & Stargazer
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Jul 19, 2013
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#7
:hey . Sorry to read how your experiences as a child are still affecting you. I grew up in a very abusive environment, and my brother did things that could be considered abusive--shot me, held a knife to my throat, tried to r*pe me, beat me up, etc. In my situation, he did those things cuz that was what he saw, didn't know any other way to act. My brother and I got separated at one point, when his custody got changed, so for years we had no contact. I cut off contact with the adults who had abused us, but when my brother came back into my life, and I had to make the decision about him, I tried to treat my relationship with him as separate from the adults who had abused us. That really helped me--keeping my relationships separate. My relationship with my brother was one relationship, and what others thought about it was irrelevant, cuz it was between me and him. My brother still has contact with one of the people who abused us as children, while I don't. That doesn't interfere with the relationship we have as siblings, though, cuz we keep it separate. Just thought I'd share what has helped me--especially in situations that seem complicated like this. Hope that you can sort out your situation, and find the support in 3D as well. That really helped me with my aftermath, finding a support network, including my therapist. :rs for you.
 

Jane

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Jun 19, 2013
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#8
:ws to the Fort...

Imho the decision on whether to forgive and move on with your life is one that only you can make...what you decide needs to sit ok with you...not add to your pain or make your healing harder. Same applies to deciding to re-establish a relationship with your brother. It is not your parents place to pressure you to comply with their wishes...in fact I believe they are incidental...that what matters is what is best for you.

For you. :rs:rs
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2016
Messages
1
#9
Forgiving Abuser

Is it a universal idea that if your abuser seeks forgiveness, it's wrong to not give it to them and let them back in your life? I'm not talking about just truly forgiving someone. I'm talking about that if they are sorry and put on a sad face that suddenly you're the bad guy for wanting nothing to do with them. I just saw this on a tv show and I was thinking this person has no reason to let her abuser back in her life. However the music they were playing, her abuser's pathetic sad face, and the other characters encouraging her to accept it made me worry that way more people than I thought think that way.

It upsets me that the few people in my "family" that know encourage this from me. My abuser changed his personality and now that he wines about how I don't like him I've become the bad guy for not wanting to see him. I don't get it?
 

Manya

here an there
Admin
Joined
Jul 30, 2009
Messages
17,893
#10
hey lost94 :hi

idk, i think tv shows are made for entertainment, and i guess the tension is whats entertaining: will she "forgive" him or not. nothing to do with reality imho.

i think forgiving and reuniting are two entirely separate concepts. they dont intercept. i can forgive but not reunite, or i can reunite but not forgive. happens all the time. i was in supermarket the other day, had lotsa bags, and the person ahead of me lifted one of my bags, along with theirs. i know it wasnt a mistake cuz security caught them and they were trying to argue that this stuff is theirs, register person had to pull up their receipt. obviously i forgave that person lol, i dont spend sleepless nights hating them and wishing ten plagues on them, whatever, life happens. but if we bump into each other again in the same supermarket (since obviously they live somewhere near) - i am gonna watch my bags. not gonna follow them and offer them my groceries lol.

i also think that my choices about my relationships are none of anyone else's business. i can break up, reunite, not reunite, etc - all i want. i dont have to justify my decisions to anyone. romantic relationships are voluntary by definition, i can refuse to have one just cuz i feel like it. even if the other person is an angel and never gave me any reason to dislike them. i dont need a reason to like or dislike someone.

if im totally honest, i think such tv shows just foster lack of responsibility for personal choices. when i start relying on other peoples opinions on whom i should or shouldnt let into my life - i stop holding myself responsible for making these decisions. and when such a decision turns out to be a mistake - i run back to those people who made it for me and blame it on them. while its my life, i have the freedom of choice, and responsibility for choices i make.

if i keep going back to some jerk cuz he keeps making a sad face - its my decision to do it. maybe he cooks amazing lasagna and its worth it for me to stay with him, who knows. if i notice i keep making bad choices and wanna change it - i seek help: therapy, support groups like fort, etc. and if im happy with my choices - its none of anyones business really, why im making them the way i do.

just my two cents :bf
 

Leafy

Part Of The Crowd
Joined
May 25, 2016
Messages
162
#11
Forgive and reunite are not the same thing

Thumbs up for Manya.
Also- forgiveness is a complex idea.
Sometimes a person needs to recognize the harm he caused others and than he can be forgiven.
Sometimes he needs to face a harsh sentence and than he can be forgiven
but pay attention- forgiveness is a sword with two edges-
sometimes if you forgive your abuser- you end up not forgiving yourself!
There is no right or wrong in forgiveness
but imho-
forgiveness starts from within, forgiving yourself for being abused and for surviving.
 
Joined
May 25, 2016
Messages
2
#12
Hi...

This is an interesting discussion. I had the same one with others. I told them I have forgiven my abuser, but won't forget. Some can't forgive...they have hatred towards their abusers...and I certainly understand, but I figure they still have control if they can illicit an emotion from me. I guess to each their own.
 

Jane

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#13
Imo forgiving is not like excusing someone for a misdemanor or minor slip up...have no probs with that. Forgiveness is an altogether personally confronting thing. For me the topic of forgiveness only arises when someone does something that really impacts on my life and sense of self. Sits best with me if I think of it as not minimising or downplaying the original harm and hurt, sanitising the behaviour (indeed sometimes the focus needed to forgive makes the behaviour sting a bit more) it is about accepting that we are all human, are all worthy of love (took me a while to get there on this one) and until I acheive some exalted never gonna happen level of perfection am standing in judgement of myself when I judge others. Generally takes me a bit to process and get to the stage of forgiving...sometimes do not tell the involved person I have done so depends on whether I see any good coming out of contacting them. Suppose my main motive to forgive is based on my belief that life and people are neither all good nor all bad (including me) that by accepting this (in my eyes) truth forgiveness makes sense...clears my path to move forward.

Does that make sense? Hope so. :bf
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
1
#14
How to forgive?

As a child, I was abused at the hands of my father, his jealous ex, and his weird friends. I don't think I'll ever be able to forgive them but now, years later, I'm being told by multiple people that I need to forgive or I'll never be able to move on. I don't know how! I have a deep seated anger and hatred of all them, especially my father who introduced my to my other abusers. How do I forgive him and move on with my life?
 

Tasha1701D

Fort Security Chief & Stargazer
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#15
I was abused as a child and once I got out, I was a pretty angry person. I had been angry at everyone, everything, with no real aim at anyone in particular. While I was still trapped in the abuse, I was pretty brutal to myself with that anger, and once I got out, little cracks appeared and the anger just randomly affected the ppl around me. At one point, completely accidentally, I physically hurt someone with whom I had become friends. I was devastated, cuz I had promised myself that I'd never hurt anyone the way I had been hurt. I realized that my anger wasn't just affecting me, it was affecting others--but I couldn't make it go away. It was there constantly.

I had been going to a therapist and mentioned all this to her, and she mentioned that maybe the anger was cuz I hadn't forgiven anyone. I balked at her suggestion because I felt angry, and I felt that if I forgave those who had hurt me, they'd have power over me, it'd mean that what they had done wasn't really all that bad, that by forgiving them I was giving them a free pass. It took me a while, after exploring forgiveness with other people and other things, for me to come to the conclusion that forgiveness was for me, for my health--that those who hurt me weren't really gonna know whether I forgave them or not, and prolly didn't care.

For me, forgiving meant that I was able to work through the anger that I still had, but it didn't mean that I said that what they did to me was ok. It didn't mean that I forgot all the things that had happened to me, but those memories were no longer the foremost in my mind. I struggled with forgiving them because I thought it really did give them a free pass, but it didn't. I still know that they've done bad things, but those bad things aren't the primary reason for my existence now. The main thing that I found helpful was that I wasn't angry 100% of the time any more, after I was able to forgive those who hurt me. I also thought that forgiving meant that I didn't mention what had happened to me ever again if I really forgave someone, but then I discovered that I could mention it, and that has really helped as I work through the effects the abuse left with me.

I think forgiving was a big first step in my healing from the trauma that abuse left me with, cuz it took the control over my emotions away from those who had abused me. It was something I did in spite of what they had done to me. Maybe it was my first choice outside of their influence, I'm not sure. Never really talked about this process before. Hehe. Even if it wasn't my first choice, it was a major decision I made on my own. I'm not saying that poof, I forgave them, and suddenly things were all better. For me, forgiving was a process and it took me a while. It came down to the point of not hating those who had abused me and not having huge amounts of anger for what happened to me--I guess I'm just saying that what happened to me consumed me and how I felt before I forgave them, and afterwards it didn't. I still need therapy, cuz I have things that affect my daily life, but before forgiving, therapy was less effective, cuz the anger was kinda blocking any other progress. For me, forgiving them allowed me to make progress, they don't even know whether I'm holding anger towards them or not, cuz I don't have any contact with those who abused me. That's kinda why I think forgiving them is really for me, and that's the biggest thing that helped me to forgive them.
 

Jane

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#16
Hi MoRomori :ws

Was a process for me too...took a while for me to feel ready but I also forgave my attackers ...like for Tasha it was a thing I did for myself...a decision for my own good. Never told them I had forgiven them. Was an internal letting go process. Reality was that what they did was cruel...will never come to terms with that...will always send shivers up my spine. My forgiveness was nothing to do with accepting their bad behaviour...idk was more to do with accepting that like me they were more than their behaviour. In my case forgiveness did not mean that I wanted to re-establish a relationship with them...was more like I broke a strong bond forged by our shared history...released myself to move on - work to heal.

Is my forgiveness a 'done deal'? On a good day yes...other days I need to remember my decision to forgive and consciously let go.

My story - for what it is worth. :bf
 

Manya

here an there
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#17
might be a cold response, but sometimes helps me to look at things coldly, when im stuck:

to me forgiveness is basically refusal to continue beating at a dead horse. for example, someone molested me when i was 4yo - im not having urges to embrace him now or turn the other cheek or any such thing. nopes. however, its been decades ago, and i figure he kicked the bucket by now. so im not planning gory revenge scenarios when im having insomnia. screw him, whether hes dead or alive, i got my own life. some people i dont like are still alive for sure, and i could even find their current address i guess, if i put my mind to it. doubt i could press charges though, been a while ago, no evidence left, nobody would convict them just on my word alone. so i choose to move on. its not a choice actually, i have no choice, theres not a darn thing i can do. i can seethe with rage or i can say "screw them" and focus on something more productive/pleasant. thats what forgiveness is to me... :bf
 

Jane

Lark Ascending
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#19
:lol forgiving to me is a bit like not staying with your hand on a hot plate...moving away and doing something to salve the pain.

Think it is normal to get angry with who or whatever caused you pain...and be driven to release it. For me this releasing is an essential stage of my letting go process. Do not have to do anything monumentally big (under my breath expletive sometimes are enough)...sometimes feel I need to express my angst a lt (sometimes to anyone who will listen). What I invariably find is that at some point the being angry/sad/whatever stops making me feel better - does the opposite fuels my aggro - keeps me stuck and tied to the thing/person that/who traumatised me. At this point I have come to learn that for my own sake I need to let it go. When it is no longer a release...is keeping my pain alive...using up too much of my oxygen. :D
 

Reblisa

Fort Resident
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
1,300
#20
For myself I find the word Forgiveness too loaded to be of much use, especially as it a word that has some kind of moral imperative behind it that is often manipulated in my experience by people, myself included at times, who want to move quickly past or completely skip the taking responsibility for your actions stage of conflict resolutions. If someone wants me to forgive them for a hurt they have caused they have to convinced me that they have owned responsibility for their actions and understand why I was hurt, apologise, make recompense, prove themselves. I am pretty tolerant and accepting, I think, when I fall out with people it's usually for repeated disrespect or maybe a single act if it is way of line enough but mostly it's the end of a long line of being uncomfortable about our dynamic.

For me understanding is more helpful than forgiveness, I understand some the thought processes of why my cousin's friend thought it ok to rape a 10year old girl, I understand why my parents couldn't look after us and were so scared of all professional that we were never registered for health care, I understand that my sisters were triggered by my talking about my rape and so wanted to shout me down as selfish for dragging it up again when my cousin reappeared in our lives. Understanding their thoughts and motivations helps me. It's not really about me as a person, it's about them and their issues. I don't forgive them but I understand and forgive myself by saying I don't want to be around that any more.
 
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