Poll - Forgiveness

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Have you forgiven your abuser(s)?

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starshinesometimes
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by starshinesometimes »

Im not sure.
I have gone from being angry and despising him to having very little feeling towards him at all, but im not sure if this is a further sense of denial.
I'm not religious, however my mums friend said she would pray for me. One day I woke up feeling so enlightened and I realised that I had learned to understand the true meaning of forgiveness, it was something that I'd struggled with for so long, it seemed unobtainable. It felt like a weight had lifted. I dont believe it was an act of god but perhaps the energy from the intention of prayer.

I resent the fact that I can never confront my abuser or ask him how and why he did what he did as he is dead, but do I resent him? I'm not sure.. I also came to accept that I must've loved him, he was family so despite his flaws and terrible actions, I have to allow myself to feel that I loved him and that's ok to do so.
The thing I have realised about forgiveness is that you cannot forgive what they have done but you can forgive the person. (Think along the same vein as "Love the sinner hate the sin") By that I mean you can accept that they acted terribly but you can allow them to be a vulnerable, confused human being who made teriible mistakes.
Some days I feel sad that I was robbed of my relative, that he didnt fulfil his role as a grandparent and I hate how his actions have tampered with my development and health. But I dont feel angry anymore. I don't allow him to consume my energy anymore. I have also come to the stage of forgiving my family and the adults who didnt protect me or take severe action against him (Im now sure that wouldve been more traumatic)
So I guess Im at the stage of acceptance, but wavering somewhat as I have depression and its hard to take responsibility for myself, its been easier to blame him for so long, sort of like a coping mechanism...
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hunny
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by hunny »

I think forgivness, is difficult in what are you hoping to achieve, by forgiving ......People ask for forgivness to absolve the guilt they feel , they want to know that their own guilt is relieved.....and generally are not really sorry or showing remorse.......I think forgiving someone because they have asked for it ....is not always effective to healing , in terms of an accident or if the person did not realise the pain they were causing,can be forgiven .....
But forgiveness is completly different to accepting what happened , .....YOU can accept it happened and forgive yourself, and possibly your abuser if there was a genuine reason and attempts to resolve and rectify the abuse .....have been made , but it is not essential , it is more important to forgive yourselves, as a surviver than allowing the abusers to be happier ....
Nothing can take away the abuse, but again allowing negative feelings to fester can leave people very bitter, as long as a surviver is healing , they should have the choice always .........
I will never forgive my abusers but .....I choose not to hold onto the evil feelings and thoughts ........I want to have nothing to do with them .....and I believe the only person who can ever provide forgivness is the person asking for it they need to accept themselves , and their own guilt , my saying I forgive , would never work .......and would not relinquish the abusers guilt ......
But I know none of my abusers will ever ask for my forgiveness......so its futile
Hunny xx
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starshinesometimes
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by starshinesometimes »

I found your response interesting to read Hunny, food for thought..
For me, forgiveness is about acceptance of what happened.
My abuser is dead and I never got the chance to forgive him nor did he ask for forgiveness (my mother refused to visit his deathbed as she knew he would ask hers and she could not give it) My case is a little confusing as I told my parents what happened when it happened, I then had repressed memories for many years and they only came out after he had died, so there never really was an opportunity for him or I to talk about it.

So he has not asked for forgiveness in any way. It doesnt serve him in any way for me to forgive him. The fact that he never asked for forgiveness doesnt mean he could or would justify his actions in any way. It just helps me to find a sense of peace and closure. Otherwise I will never feel the sense of closure I need, it has to come from within me. I have to take back the power.
I relate to what you said about forgiving yourself. I think that has been a greater hurdle, perhaps one that im not quite over yet..
DJ

Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by DJ »

I know that forgiveness comes before healing. I know that holding on to the anger and hurt only hurts me. Knowing and accepting are poles apart! My abusers are dead (I had nothing to do with it!). I think it is easier to deal with the emotional baggage, without the risk of every running into them- but it would be great to get to a place where I could stand up and tell them how I feel. The downside to confronting them would be their total denial. . . "you took it all wrong, you've always been a drama queen, you're too sensitive, that's not the way it happened." If siblings brought up in the same situation can't talk to each other about it, or even aknowledge the power it has over them, then how do you grow or move past it.
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effie2
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by effie2 »

It took a long time but in the end I was able to forgive my father, he was truly sorry and ashamed and did everything he could to make amends. I do not believe he ever abused any one else. Having said this I could never like him let alone love him. By forgiving him I was able to forgive myself and move on. effie2
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Stez
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by Stez »

Some abuse I've forgiven. A couple of the people involved I forgive.
The rest, no feckin way in a million years. I don't think not forgiving certain people impedes my healing in any way,I think it gives me a healthy perspective. By acknowledging that certain acts are reprehensible to the nth degree, I've been able to forgive myself and lose the guilt that so tore me apart.
Then I could grieve.
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by Togger »

I have been told that I will not be able to move on until I learn to forgive the abuser.
Why should I?????? I am never going to forgive him.. Ever. Full stop.
I couldn't give a s**t if he died tomorow, except for the fact that he is my sisters father.
The road to my happiness is understanding why it happened for so many years (or at all), and learning to deal with the memories and the IBS, stress, depression and other medical problems because of it...

Forgive him? No way

I still often see him when out drinking, once he followed me into a pub toilet and said "nice arse"... I duley punche him in the throat and left him for the ambulance to deal with him.
(I do Taekwondo so I knew where to hit him safely)

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Stez
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by Stez »

Togger wrote: once he followed me into a pub toilet and said "nice arse"... I duley punche him in the throat and left him for the ambulance to deal with him.
Orright orright, I know its not the "aspirational way" in a zen stylee, but I actually *air punched* a "Yesssss" when I read this.

It is of course a very great thing to be able to "acknowledge" and "accept" things that happened and forgive ourselves for things that occurred... and obviously some degree of understanding of how fucked up someone is to do something in the first place is an extremely desirable point to reach in the letting go of old patterns.
It also goes without saying that a lot of abuse cases are very complex and intertwined with familial underpinnings and that causes incredible pain that undoubtedly needs some degree of forgiveness to occurr to facilitate the healing of oursleves...

An eye for an eye ain;t never the way forward in the grander scheme.
But sometimes, it just be what it be.
Not advocating...but in this instance, I can't help but feel some vicarious satisfaction and I don't mind admitting it.
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by Togger »

I don't go out of my way to cause pain to anyone, even him.
But the point is, I'm not that scared little boy anymore.
I can stand up for myself, I even spent years in very strict classes learning to do so.
He often approaches me in a pub when he is pissed and starts trying to make me feel like I did when I was defenseless.
I am not defenseless anymore, and each time I defend myself, and always get the better of him.
I don't feel any satisfaction out of it, except that I know I am not going to be hurt anymore.

Now I just have the guilt to deal with.
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by Not Yet Broken »

No. I have only just been able to allow my feelings about them to come to the forefront of my mind so I am angrier now than I ever was. They don't deserve and will never deserve forgiveness because what they took from me is unforgivable. I just hope in the future for them to be unimportant enough that I don't have to bother thinking about whether I need to forgive them or not.
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by Jamie »

Togger wrote:I have been told that I will not be able to move on until I learn to forgive the abuser.

Togger
I don't know who told you that Togs, but that's made me very angry! To suggest you NEED to forgive your abuser is preposterous!

I've said this many times but I never tire of the message. I hope others are able to listen and understand too. Having the power TO forgive is just as healing as the act itself. Choosing when, how and if to forgive an abuser gives a degree of control back to the victim. Holding that control in your hands allows your anger to be channelled and your path to healing clearly visible.

On a deeper note, perhaps as victims/survivors there are things we do NEED to forgive in order to move forward. This forgiveness may need to be directed at third parties (perhaps a guardian who failed to guard you) or forgiving yourself for using coping strategies that aren't healthy or appropriate.

Either way, forgiveness does play a part in recovery. It is up to the survivor to dictate what forgiveness means to them and how they choose to wield that power.

J
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by Togger »

Jamie wrote:
Togger wrote:I have been told that I will not be able to move on until I learn to forgive the abuser.

Togger
I don't know who told you that Togs, but that's made me very angry! To suggest you NEED to forgive your abuser is preposterous!

I've said this many times but I never tire of the message. I hope others are able to listen and understand too. Having the power TO forgive is just as healing as the act itself. Choosing when, how and if to forgive an abuser gives a degree of control back to the victim. Holding that control in your hands allows your anger to be channelled and your path to healing clearly visible.

On a deeper note, perhaps as victims/survivors there are things we do NEED to forgive in order to move forward. This forgiveness may need to be directed at third parties (perhaps a guardian who failed to guard you) or forgiving yourself for using coping strategies that aren't healthy or appropriate.

Either way, forgiveness does play a part in recovery. It is up to the survivor to dictate what forgiveness means to them and how they choose to wield that power.

J

ooops... Why do I read this at work?
Am under a lot of stress recently but that just made me burst into tears..
There's so much I need to forgive, that I can forgive.. And you have really made me think.

But forgive HIM... never.

Thank you Jamie
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by claudine »

Right there with you J. You were the first person to define it in a way that made sense. It took me awhile to figure out what forgiveness meant for me. When I heard that I will not be able to move on until I learn to forgive the abuser I immediately thought about how other people, the 'normal' ones would go about it. I felt even more alone in my reaction. There was (and is) no forgiveness for him but the even bigger challenge was trying to forgive myself. I'm still working on that...baby steps!

Good for you Togger
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by jml »

I think forgiveness is a very difficult thing indeed - learning how to forgive myself was the biggest thing I ever did.

I know that I will never ever be able to forgive the 30 plus men that abused me over the years - assuming that I could ever identify them

The sheer number hurts me - but the fact that I was able to say to myself I am a survivor and I forgive myself I can move on from this - No more blaming myself for all that has happened in my past - I am not to blame. I never was to blame.

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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by onde »

My forgiveness all got used up at the time it was happening. He'd been knocked about by his dad, been suicidal before, been through a shitty divorce etc., etc. so I was very understanding the whole time and would put up with the manky shit he was telling me because I've always been a very loving and caring little girl who could see he was someone in masses of pain. After it stopped, I had a nervous breakdown and started to put my life back in order and most importantly, became a grownup and fully appreciated the responsibility, maturity and autonomy that entails, I lost my ability to be forgiving. Fuck him for doing it to me, fuck him for not handling himself and for not getting help to stop and fuck her for not divorcing him and keeping him in my life.
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