Poll - Forgiveness

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Have you forgiven your abuser(s)?

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TrishG
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by TrishG »

There's a big difference between forgive and forget.

I choose to forgive enough to keep the anger from eating me alive but the rest has to come from changes on their side.

One therapist years ago had me make a list of tangible things that would measure changes. A checklist to keep on the fridge. Like showing up on time, selling drugs, holding a job, taking any sort of responsibility for the shit they put on everyone else.

I feel harsh but I have to protect myself.

Trish
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Jessica90
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by Jessica90 »

All I could think was... No. Never.
Always be yourself.
Unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a unicorn.
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PHWAORx
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by PHWAORx »

I'm not religious but I did seek out a priest to talk to about forgiveness and told her I couldn't forgive my abuser or forgive the god I used to pray to for help. Her reply has still stayed with me.

"It's not your job to forgive. If it's anyone's job to forgive, it's God's."

These words have helped me to be more accepting of my own anger, and allowed me not to beat myself up over allowing to feel the hatred for my abuser I never got to explore and express as a child.

At present I could never forgive and I'm well over pity. Even if I thought I could forgive him, I get comfort from knowing that due to my disclosure his work colleagues recieved letters from cps about him, alerted his girlfriend with young children (she didn't really care from what the detective told me, but their father heard and immediately tried to get full custody of the girls), and from what I've observed it's chasing him and the allegation is on his on his record for life. And on dark days knowing that is what gets me through, and on good days even makes me smile.

And that's okay.
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brad44
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by brad44 »

Only partly agree though.

Forgiveness is a two way street, if they actually truly apologise, show it mean it etc and they genuinely earn it, then if we hold onto the forgiveness, we are wrong. If they do all that first, then and only then can forgiveness be given.

You cant forgive anything that does not apologise or deserve it. That is not how its done. Nothing to do with god, just right and wrong

Just my thoughts
Brad
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PHWAORx
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by PHWAORx »

I totally agree with you Brad. The fact is he has admitted it to no one and has never asked for forgiveness. If anything he has done the complete opposite, was even married at one point to a cps officer who backed him up, tried to fight his way into the unit I was at and still messes with my brothers head by sending him birthday and Christmas cards every year.

Until he can even allow himself to contemplate what he has done, I think I can allow myself to detest the man.
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brad44
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by brad44 »

Absolutely with you there! That's exactly what I'm doing to the one who isn't sorry at all, and still a bit with the others to be fair, as they still don't get there part!
They think as someone else did worse, that it lessens their abuse of me, thinking I'll forgive them easier than my brother.

Thing is their is no difference on my part between one abuser or the other three. Forgiveness is bloody down to them! That's the irony they just don't get!

Take care
Brad
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TrishG
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by TrishG »

I prefer to dismiss than hate or detest. The negative feelings affect my daily life, my relationships with healthy people. Forgive and say it's ok? NO! Dismiss, reject, judge and let go. YES!

I want nothing from them. Ok. Nothing but love - however that's another story!

Trish
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by Rosie-the-Riveter »

brad44 wrote:Forgiveness is a two way street, if they actually truly apologise, show it mean it etc and they genuinely earn it, then if we hold onto the forgiveness, we are wrong. If they do all that first, then and only then can forgiveness be given.

You cant forgive anything that does not apologise or deserve it. That is not how its done. Nothing to do with god, just right and wrong
Totally agree with you, Brad! If people want forgiveness, they have to apologize first. The only exception I would add is people who genuinely don't know or understand that what they did was wrong. I can forgive people who don't apologize if they genuinely don't understand that they've caused any harm (although, I still might not want to have them in my life). I'm thinking about people with certain mental conditions, etc.

I'll never be able to forgive my mother and her henchmen unless they apologize. I have been able to reach an understanding of why they did what they did, but none of those explanations justify their actions.

And, sometimes, apologies just aren't enough. "Um, I'm sorry I shot your brother in the head. Can you please forgive me." Um, no? Sometimes, when people apologize for something that was truly horrible and something that they really should've known was very very wrong, an apology isn't enough to earn forgiveness. An apology is a request for forgiveness, but I don't think we owe forgiveness to everyone who apologizes.

Sometimes I think, hypothetically, if my mother and her henchmen ever apologized, could I forgive them? Well, if my mother ever did apologize, I wouldn't believe her anyway. As for the others, I don't know, but I'm at the point where an apology seems too little too late.
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by Rosie-the-Riveter »

PHWAORx wrote: and on good days even makes me smile.

And that's okay.
You go right ahead and smile! :biggrin: :mrgreen: :happy8: :toothy4: :toothy10: :sunny: :flower: I'd be smiling in fiendish glee myself if my abuser had to deal with that!
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Polly
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by Polly »

Three months ago, I might have said "yes" or more likely "I don't know." Today I know the answer is "no." I'm angry... again. This time I will use the energy of my anger to make positive strides and not identify as his victim, but as a warrior in the hush - hush world of sibling abuse!
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by BabyDeepBlue »

I have forgiven my abusers all across the board. The first one, I don't remember his name or remember what he looks like. The one incident with the stranger, I forgave more quickly. I think he thought I was an adult and he came to his senses as time went on that I was not ready and I was a child because he let me go with my life. He did try to rape me, but I think it was more on a prostitute type deal then what it was to actually hurt me. My last abuser was very hard to forgive, but I managed to do it. At one point and time he was family. My aunt and him got divorced before I was born. My mother was a little hard to forgive, but it was before she died that I realized she was in denial. She had alot of problems raising two girls on her own. I found out it happened to her as well. I don't know to what extent. I also found out that she tried to hang herself back when she was a teenager and she was also anorexic. I don't know why.

In the end, I realized that by not forgiving the people who have wronged you, hurts you. It does not hurt them because they could care less how you feel about them. By not forgiving them, you allow yourself to be abused by them even though they have stopped abusing you whether it was just a month ago since the last time or 20 years from the last incident.

I chose to forgive, not because they deserve to be forgiven, but I did it for me. I don't want it to eat me alive anymore like it has done for years. My sexual abuse also interfered with my marriage that it eventually led to divorce in the end. My ex-husband also abused me, but it was never sexually, but in other ways. He did say that he was sorry for what he put me through. I chose to forgive him, too. I done it more for my children's sake and for my sanity (what is left of it. :lol: ).
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by Kylie72 »

I'm not sure I have. I guess in a sense I have allowed myself to forgive because I've had to move on with my life. I am still very angry at times, and I hate them both for what they did to me and others, but I have let go of the personal vengeance I feel, so if that's forgiveness, then I have. But it doesn't excuse them.

I can't really give up my faith because it's my faith in justice that will be done, in some way or form, that keeps me from being controlled by those that abused me.
“Don't wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel, stride down there and light the bloody thing yourself.”


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Big Bear
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by Big Bear »

No my abuser is Satan! Not a f****** chance! Should have killed him years ago, would have been easier doing 10 years inside with psychological support of some kind than what I put myself through for decades trying to live a normal life with him still around pressing my buttons. DIE MONSTER DIE!!!! Now, back to work... Big Bear
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by Rosie-the-Riveter »

Polly wrote:Three months ago, I might have said "yes" or more likely "I don't know." Today I know the answer is "no."
Hi Polly,

I feel like I went through a similar journey. After the denial phase, a lot of us go through a bargaining phase, where we make excuses for our abusers' bad behaviour and we jump right to a pseudo-forgiveness without going through the process of grief.

Then, one day, it hits us and we realize that what we experienced was truly sickeningly wrong. And then we slowly begin to heal.
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Re: Poll - Forgiveness

Post by SilenceNoMore »

This has been exactly the type of comments and conversation I have been looking for. I have felt so torn on the subject of forgiveness for so long now...and when people have so frequently said to me "why cant you forgive, and see the good in people not only the bad" I have felt like shit time and time again...feeling, again, like something is wrong with me. So many times I have felt like there is some empathy, softness missing from me and I have searched and questioned and felt conflicted for so long because of it! I was sexually abused by my stepfather from aged 5 until I was 13. I told my mother when I was 15 and she married him anyways 6 months later. We never, ever spoke about it again until I told my husband and began going to therapy 5 years ago. I was made to stew in my childhood sadness, my loneliness and my self loathing from then until I spoke about it. My mother's first response when she knew I had spoken about it was that I was selfish for ex[posing her and him for something done so long ago...and that I was only filled with hate which was a defect in my character. The topic of forgiveness sits so unsettled with me. How can I forgive someone who stole so much from me? I have deep resentment and deep anger towards such selfish, self centred, hurtful and shameful acts. My mother now seems to think that since it was 30 years ago it should be easy to get over...and this feeds my anger and resentment. I don't know if I will ever forgive such terrible things...and I appreciate everyone's honesty about this because it seems to me that all of the people who question why I can't have no idea the darkness and shame I have lived with for so long!

Thanks for sharing!
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