Newest Members
JayNL, Robert Barrett, lostsoul824, beatcook, MassGuy
12279 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
Daniel McKinney (35), Framery (44), JohanDoug (70), ltlkty (55)
Who's Online
1 registered (1 invisible), 24 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12279 Members
73 Forums
63178 Topics
441782 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#157292 - 05/21/07 11:42 AM Forgiving but not forgetting
Chain Breaker Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/21/07
Posts: 376
Loc: Michigan
I think we hear the phrase, "forgive and forget" so often that we don't realize that forgiveness does not require forgetting. I can give a more in-depth explanation, but, for the moment, suffice it to say that forgiveness means giving up one's emotional burden associated with a past wrong -- choosing not to seek an accounting. It is, in one sense, very irrational, but it is also very rational. I believe that we don't have to forget what someone else did to us or say we condone it or that it did not matter. In our cases, what was done to us was not our fault, we must never condone it, and we must never say it didn't matter. It mattered a great deal in our lives, and it always will. But I think we can give up the pain by seeking understanding, by accepting the fact that we can never change what happened to us, and by choosing not to let it control our future decisions or our future happiness.

I do not, believe, however, that we should ever forget. We need to remember so that we can know where we have been and protect other children from suffering the same crimes and horrors we knew in our past. We need to remember it so that we can learn of our own resilience and what we have come back from. We also need to keep in mind that forgiveness does not equal trust. Sometimes there may be a complete reconciliation. At other times, we will choose never to speak to our abuser again. At still other times, we may not have the opportunity to confront our abusers and speak our minds about what they did to us. In many cases, though, we will have the opportunity to engage with our abusers again. If this happens, there is no reason for us to trust them. They have already violated our trust. But we can let go of the pain they caused us and still avoid them if we choose to. We must never forget, but we can forgive.

_________________________
My name is Joe. I am a survivor and a good man. You can count on me.

CB

"[Insert your name here], I am [Chain Breaker]. Do you see that I am your friend? Can you see that you will always be my friend?"
--Wind In His Hair, Dances With Wolves

Top
#157294 - 05/21/07 11:58 AM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: Chain Breaker]
pain4ever Offline


Registered: 04/05/01
Posts: 1032
Amen Brother!!!

Will I ever forget...hell no...but I can come to terms with it. I don't call it forgiveness but "coming to terms" with it.

_________________________
Peace and Tranquility all depends on your frame of reference.

Top
#157295 - 05/21/07 12:14 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: pain4ever]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6367
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
Well...I'd love to forget...but I know I won't. I'd love to come to terms with it...and I'm really trying for that.

But to forgive? I won't, I can't and I will not even try until they come to me begging for my forgiveness.

_________________________
Jesus Loves The Hell Outta Me!

Still's Globs

New Video

Top
#157296 - 05/21/07 12:28 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: Still]
Lantern Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 55
Loc: UK
I kind of have the problem of remembering a lot in the first place!

But yeah I think the forgiving / forgetting idea you have is absolutely right, what my therapist said about the goal of our work is accurate: To assimilate what happened into what my experience of what life is, and proceed from there. It's just all dissociated at the moment, when I'm able to actually deal with it I can move on to forgiveness at some point (if possible), but no we should never forget because if we try to do that then that means it still has a hold on us.

_________________________
It's not what you've lost, but it's what you've found

Top
#157299 - 05/21/07 01:11 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: Lantern]
Chain Breaker Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/21/07
Posts: 376
Loc: Michigan
Rob, I appreciate your position, especially given the violence you went through. I think that forgiveness is an emotion-laden word for most of us. That's why I wrote this. Most people in our positions also feel that they can and will never forgive their perpetrators. But that's because our society has taken the concept of forgiveness a step beyond the meaning of the word. It does not mean wiping the slate clean for the perpetrator(s). It just means letting go, giving away the worst of the pain. This takes our abusers' power over us away from them. Forgiving is not for them . . . it's for us.

BTW, I think "coming to terms" is really synonymous with forgiving.

One of the worst things we can do, though, is forgive without first having faced our emotions, acknowledged them, and given them voice. Their voice is really the voice of the little boy we were. He's angry, and rightfully so. He's also frightened and feels untrusting and worthless. But it is up to our adult selves to befriend, earn the trust of, and heal that child within. I believe that part of this process is making sure that little boy feels safe. You must keep validating the idea that what was done to him was very wrong, but at some point, we need to convince him that he is safe now -- that we can move on together, giving up the hatred and the rage . . . but not the memory or the lessons learned. That's all I'm trying to say.

Peace
Joe

_________________________
My name is Joe. I am a survivor and a good man. You can count on me.

CB

"[Insert your name here], I am [Chain Breaker]. Do you see that I am your friend? Can you see that you will always be my friend?"
--Wind In His Hair, Dances With Wolves

Top
#157303 - 05/21/07 01:35 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: Chain Breaker]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6367
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
oh...my def of "coming to terms" is SO much different. In this mode, I guess I am forgiving ME in order to "come to terms."

I have to accept my role in all of it, the why's and how's...the blame...the self-loathing. That's MY "coming to terms."

_________________________
Jesus Loves The Hell Outta Me!

Still's Globs

New Video

Top
#157304 - 05/21/07 01:44 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: Still]
Chain Breaker Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/21/07
Posts: 376
Loc: Michigan
Oh, I see what you mean. That's so tough, isn't it! It's important, though. We can hear other people repeat ad nauseum that we were not to blame, but that won't make us believe it. I think we have to see it for yourselves. But what I see when I look at you is a strong man getting stronger and learning to parent his inner child, and an inner child who is so precious, so innocent, and so badly injured. Obviously, you will need to choose your own path to healing, but I would like to add something if I might: You have done nothing that requires forgiveness. You were innocent the whole time. Hard to believe, I know, but still true.

_________________________
My name is Joe. I am a survivor and a good man. You can count on me.

CB

"[Insert your name here], I am [Chain Breaker]. Do you see that I am your friend? Can you see that you will always be my friend?"
--Wind In His Hair, Dances With Wolves

Top
#157307 - 05/21/07 01:51 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: Still]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11025
Loc: Denver, CO
CB,

"Forgiving is not for them . . . it's for us."

I agree. I have a book called The Art of Forgiving by Lewis Smedes, a great book on forgiveness. He stresses that point in the book. Forgiveness is more for me, than it is them. He has a quote in his book regarding revenge that I love: "We would rather have the satisfaction of watching them turn and burn in hellish leisure over the rotisserie of their remorse!"

I'm going to more or less quote a friend on here when I say that forgiveness does not mean "You, perp(s), are wiped clean of all the wrongs you have done to me even though you are not sorry, and don't care."

I like the phrase "coming to terms" too. I was able to do that with someone from my past only because I got through the hurt and realizations about them. And getting through it really sucked.

_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

Top
#157310 - 05/21/07 02:01 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: FormerTexan]
Chain Breaker Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/21/07
Posts: 376
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: FormerTexan
[F]orgiveness does not mean, "You, perp(s), are wiped clean of all the wrongs you have done to me even though you are not sorry, and don't care."

I couldn't agree more. It may, however, mean, "I leave you, perp(s) to the judgment of a just God" or "I have carried the burden of your wrongs long enough, and I leave you alone with them; from today on, you have no power over me; I choose not to press charges."

_________________________
My name is Joe. I am a survivor and a good man. You can count on me.

CB

"[Insert your name here], I am [Chain Breaker]. Do you see that I am your friend? Can you see that you will always be my friend?"
--Wind In His Hair, Dances With Wolves

Top
#157311 - 05/21/07 02:07 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: Chain Breaker]
pain4ever Offline


Registered: 04/05/01
Posts: 1032
Let them all burn in hell!

"BTW, I think "coming to terms" is really synonymous with forgiving."

No not really...to me...it means I accept what happenned but has nothing to do with forgiveness.

_________________________
Peace and Tranquility all depends on your frame of reference.

Top
#157312 - 05/21/07 02:28 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: pain4ever]
Chain Breaker Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/21/07
Posts: 376
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: pain4ever
"BTW, I think "coming to terms" is really synonymous with forgiving."

No not really...to me...it means I accept what happenned but has nothing to do with forgiveness.

Fair enough. But what about coming to terms with my emotions? Is there really a point to holding on to the pain and the rage? I think we can remember the trauma and the abuse without having to relive the actual pain and rage. As long as I hold on to pain and rage and bitterness, I am allowing my abuser(s) to continue to have power and control over me. Denying my perp that privilege is what allows me to go on. The only way I know to do that is by actually forgiving, or voluntarily giving up my right to seek an accounting.

This may not be for everyone. I know some people would rather hold on to the anger because it just feels too hard or feels wrong to let it go. If you currently feel that way, I would just say, never say never.

_________________________
My name is Joe. I am a survivor and a good man. You can count on me.

CB

"[Insert your name here], I am [Chain Breaker]. Do you see that I am your friend? Can you see that you will always be my friend?"
--Wind In His Hair, Dances With Wolves

Top
#157316 - 05/21/07 02:45 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: Chain Breaker]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11025
Loc: Denver, CO
"I know some people would rather hold on to the anger because it just feels too hard or feels wrong to let it go."

Personally, I'd rather let it go if at all possible. Being pissed all the time takes energy I would rather redirect to other things. Plus, I fear pushing people away if they see me getting pissed all the time, which used to happen a lot more often in the past.

_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

Top
#157318 - 05/21/07 02:54 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: Chain Breaker]
pain4ever Offline


Registered: 04/05/01
Posts: 1032
I have let go of the anger but I will never "forgive" them for whats happenned to me. I am good with myself but not with my perps.

_________________________
Peace and Tranquility all depends on your frame of reference.

Top
#157319 - 05/21/07 02:57 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: FormerTexan]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
I think foregiveness gave me a way to strike back as well, I'm above your hurt and violence. You can hurt me but I won't retaliate. Kind of a what does that say about you slap in the head. You may not care, but know that I think you will care. Just by me letting go tells you that I think you will be punished enough without any violence or hurtful behavior from me. A non-violent protest if you will.

Mike

_________________________
Thriving

Top
#157320 - 05/21/07 02:58 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: FormerTexan]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6367
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
I cry from it...the anger that is...I feel as if I let it go, I am forgiving by proxy.

I wont let that happen to Robbie.

I will not let what they did be accepted...even though I accepted those bastards later on in some sick ways.

_________________________
Jesus Loves The Hell Outta Me!

Still's Globs

New Video

Top
#157321 - 05/21/07 02:59 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: mogigo]
pain4ever Offline


Registered: 04/05/01
Posts: 1032
I have let go and stare in the face of one of my perps weekly, smile and think in the back of my head....YOU DID NOT GET TO ME!!! Screw you...I am fine!

Sorry...its what I think.

_________________________
Peace and Tranquility all depends on your frame of reference.

Top
#157325 - 05/21/07 03:34 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: Chain Breaker]
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Quote:
suffice it to say that forgiveness means giving up one's emotional burden associated with a past wrong -- choosing not to seek an accounting. It is, in one sense, very irrational, but it is also very rational.


The only reason I forgave a beast that took away my life was because I did not want to dissolve in anger and hate.
I think its more an act of forgiving ourselves, they will be
judged ultimately for their heinous deeds,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

Top
#157330 - 05/21/07 04:01 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: reality2k4]
Chain Breaker Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/21/07
Posts: 376
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: RobbieBrown
I cry from it...the anger that is...I feel as if I let it go, I am forgiving by proxy.

I wont let that happen to Robbie.

I agree that you shouldn't let that happen to Robbie. Let him be the one to release the anger. Let him be the one to "forgive". Then it's not "happening to him". It's his choice. And let it happen on his timeline . . . but never say never. Parenting is more than just protecting. It is also giving good counsel and teaching. If Robbie is the one who says "never", then you can teach him to be open to the possibility, but make sure he knows you will not force it on him.

_________________________
My name is Joe. I am a survivor and a good man. You can count on me.

CB

"[Insert your name here], I am [Chain Breaker]. Do you see that I am your friend? Can you see that you will always be my friend?"
--Wind In His Hair, Dances With Wolves

Top
#157333 - 05/21/07 04:46 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: pain4ever]
GWsurvives Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/10/07
Posts: 251
Loc: Atlanta, and here, among othe...
It may, however, mean, "I leave you, perp(s) to the judgment of a just God" or "I have carried the burden of your wrongs long enough, and I leave you alone with them; from today on, you have no power over me; I choose not to press charges."


I love this defintion....
GW

_________________________
"Some times there just aren't enough rocks" Forrest Gump

Top
#157337 - 05/21/07 05:13 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: GWsurvives]
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
We've had this discussion several times, and those that have been here a while know exactly where I stand on this topic.

We've had dictionary definitions of the word and some quite intense discussion on the topic.

This time though, I'll leave it to those of you who may not have been in on the discussion before (unless someone comes on telling us that we must forgive).

Best wishes ...Rik

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

Top
#157338 - 05/21/07 05:44 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: RICK57]
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
This goes on all the time, the blame and lack of
punishment to those who abuse us.
Is it not time to really see who YOU are.
Little ste. Robbie, or little any of us.

How do we ever forgive? We dont, we leave it to
God, or take the abuser to Court.
But!

How many times did you feel like a dirty little boy?
How many times did you feel like you wanted to tell?
How many times did you feel like you caught a disease?


Lots more but Im tired now, but that is a small percentage of why we never forgive, but we must nurture the man as the boy he was.

And STILL is,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

Top
#157364 - 05/21/07 08:50 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: reality2k4]
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
how can i even think about forgivness when im dealing with what they did everyday?,maybe when my mind is healed ,maybe when my body is healed, i placed my trust in god to protect me,i wont make that mistake again by placing my faith in him to punish the bastards. for me and only me forgivness equals surrender,it means that somehow i understand why ,but i dont understand why,that there is a reasonable explaintion for what was done to me. there is no reasonable explaintion. even if it dont mean its ok forgiving is still saying i understand why you did it. forgvness should be begged for not just given and i wouldnt do it even if he begged.

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

Top
#157367 - 05/21/07 09:10 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: shadowkid]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Great post, CB. I am at the tipping point with forgiveness for some that have wronged me, but I will not forget. I just won't fill my head and heart with them on a daily basis any more once that forgiveness comes. Some of the others, though, still have a ways to go in me.

_________________________
Eddie

Top
#157372 - 05/21/07 09:16 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: shadowkid]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Shadow,

I thought I had posted here, but I now see I didn't. So I wanted to offer a thought to all you guys, but especially to you personally. My radar tells me you are in a rough spot right now.

Anger is a strange beast. Sometimes we get tempted to rage at the whole world for the terrible things that have happened to us. We say, "I have a right to be angry", and of course that's true. So we fly off the handle a lot and strike out at a lot of different targets. But nothing changes. Why? Because we are angry at the wrong target. We can continue like this, but we will just be spinning our wheels in the mud forever. We will never move forward because we are not using our anger in a useful way.

Rather different is the anger we aim directly at those who abused us, or who neglected their duties toward us and set us up for abuse. As we rage at these targets we find we are benefitting somehow. We find it easier to stop blaming ourselves and thinking the abuse was our own fault, for example. We learn that we can put the old facts in their correct order and meaning and see what really happened. That is, this kind of anger empowers us.

But after a time we discover that even this healthy anger isn't producing any results any longer. It isn't helping us, and in fact it's taking up resources we could use for other tasks.

Shadow, remember some of the times you have walked away from an argument because you felt it was a waste of time? That's what I'm talking about here. We don't have to call it "forgiveness", and we don't have to think of it as that. I sure don't. I will never forgive that fucking bastard.

But Shadow, what I discovered was that anger and hate take a lot of energy, and I needed all of mine for myself and those I care about in the world. So once I was sure the past had little new to teach me, I let it go. I let the abuser go too. I wrote a letter to his dead ass and told him I wasn't going to waste another atom of myself on hating him or raging at him. Instead, I will do the things he most dreaded. I will tell the world about him, and I will lay claim to the strength, confidence and happiness that he tried for so long to deny me. I will show him that he failed.

I hope at some point you will consider this, bro. Not now, okay. But you have already come so far and in time I think you will embrace this idea as you have taken up so many others.

Let's talk sometime. And not necessarily about this, as it isn't the biggest item on your plate at the moment.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#157380 - 05/21/07 10:00 PM Re: Forgiving but not forgetting [Re: mogigo]
Morning Star Offline
Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1124
Loc: Home
Mike,

Something quite radical struck me in your approach amongst all above. Taking our power back and choosing to keep it with us, quite an inspiring stance.

Thank you for sharing it with us...

\:\)

Love n Light
Morning Star

_________________________
~ It's over!...Let go of Thy Past, Remember Thy Self ~

Why Don't People Heal, by Caroline Myss; 30 days to clean up your vibrations - Abraham-Hicks

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >


Moderator:  ModTeam, TJ jeff 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.