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#164707 - 07/04/07 05:10 AM A new 'take' on forgiveness (maybe trigger)
VN Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 723
The other online support group I belong to, it send out daily questions, to help us focus on aspects of our grief, our healing, to help us to release some pain and emotion, and also to learn more about ourself and each other.

There was this one that come through, about forgiveness. It tell a story of a Holocaust survivor who forgive Dr. Mengele for the abuses toward her in her time there. I thought it was rather powerful, and it was something that I write much more in response to then I usually do. I know that forgiveness discussions can sometime become difficult here, with people sometime taking it on themself to tell others what they must or must not do. But in this way, the manner of responding to this, everyone respond individual, of how they feel on it, and all the other members respect their differences. I thought I would share it here, along with mine own answers of it, because I am still searching in my mind and heart of what I feel to do, in forgiveness, and to who.

So, I do not post it here to cause debate, or argument between people who are of different thoughts on the issue. But, to see what it is people think for themselfs on it, and why. It is meant to be respectful sharing, and I am hoping I can learn from it, and see other peoples thoughts and points of view and opinions, things perhaps I have not thought of before myself.

VN

_________________________________________________________________
Dear Friends,

Someone posted a message about a documentary called Forgiving Dr. Mengele on
the Suicide Grief Discussion Board. For some reason, I knew I needed to watch
it, so I ordered it, received it yesterday, and I watched it today.

The video was about a woman named Eva Kor. She and her twin sister were two
of the children that Dr. Mengela, the notorious Nazi doctor, experimented on
during the Holocaust. He treated the children in his 'research' as if they were
animals, rats to test things on, and he answered to no one.

Anyway, Eva managed to survive, and later on, she married a man and raised
her children. Then, she decided that she needed to go back to Auchschwiz to see
the place she'd been.

While she was there, saw things that brought flashbacks to her and relived
painful memories, But in the end, she made the decision that she needed to
forgive Dr. Mengela and all of the others who had murdered the Jews and her family.

Her view was that as long as she did not forgive them, she was held hostage.
In forgiving them, she liberated herself.

Needless to say, this is not a view shared by everyone. Most of the other
Holocaust survivors disagreed with her, and they seemed to resent her attitude
that forgiveness was important. They could not forgive Dr. Mengele or any of the
Nazis.

We've talked about forgiveness here in the group from time to time, because
it is an important issue. The truth is, though, that there is no
one-size-fits- all when it comes to forgiveness.

This time, rather than discussing whether you should or have or will ever
forgive anyone who may have hurt your child and/or contributed to his/her death,
I thought it would be good to consider times we have forgiven others in the
past. So that's what the questions are about.

QUESTIONS

1. (not necessary at this forum)

2. How do you define forgiveness?

3. Have you ever forgiven anyone who has done something terrible to you, or
to your children or someone you dearly love? If so, who was it?

4. If you have forgiven someone who has done something terrible, can you tell
us all about what the person did that was wrong or hurtful?

5. What made you decide to forgive the person? How did you reach that point?
How long did it take to reach that point?

6. How did you forgive him/her? How do you know that you truly did forgive?

7. Did you communicate your forgiveness to the other person, or not? Explain.

8. How did YOU change after you forgave the person?

9. Do you agree with Eva Kor, that forgiving liberated you?

10. Do you have any other comments about forgiveness?
_________________________________________________________________
I have had to pass this one, and return to it. At the other online group I belong to, this is an issue that come up often, and is almost always a very much argued debate, on whether forgiveness is necessary for healing, and if the forgiveness is for the one forgiven or the one doing the forgiving, such things as that. This is a group for abuse survivors, specificially of male sexual abuse survivors. So you can imagine that there is quite much the emotional debate there on this issue.

Both my roommates, they also are survivors of childhood sexual abuses, both of them have one of same abusers, which is crazy coincidence, but I suppose not so much (it was a well known and respected sport coach in our country, and it is not such large coincidence that elite athletes would train with him). One of them, he have abuse at home also, and he do not forgive no one. Nothing. And he say it do not bother him, that it is justified that some things do not deserve forgiveness, and as he do not see it is to help him to forgive, he do not. He have no problems of that. The other one, he is rather softer personality in general, and of the several persons who have done abuses at him growing up, he have forgived 2 of them. He make the point of how it is more for him then them, that he feel it give back to him the power of his emotions, and take away the fear of these men for him. So it is issue that is been personally discussed at times among us also, as we are quite good friends. I just say all this because, forgive me, I had to think much on these questions and answers, and they will perhaps be quite long, as I am still in deciding for myself of the issue, of what is best for myself.

QUESTIONS

1. What is your name and the name of your son or daughter?

V; O

2. How do you define forgiveness?

I do not truly know. I think it is to grant grace to someone, and to release anger toward them for what wrong they done to you. But for other persons, like my friend I mention above, it is something more of to take back emotional power for yourself. So I am not full sure of it right now.

3. Have you ever forgiven anyone who has done something terrible to you, or
to your children or someone you dearly love? If so, who was it?

First, I do not know that I would been able to ever forgive anyone who harmed my child. I just do not know if that would be possible for me. But, for forgiving others, I have not, but am considering it, toward my mother (my father is now dead, so I do not know it is such an issue with him).

4. If you have forgiven someone who has done something terrible, can you tell
us all about what the person did that was wrong or hurtful?

Growing up, our family was one of much abuses. My father was very physically violent man, and I think for so long, I held so much fear of him, I did not even hate him. Even after he died, for some months, I still would have fear of him, bad dreams and such. As I have think more on forgiveness of issues, I have thought of whether I feel I could ever forgive him, although, as I say, he is now dead. I think, because he abuse also my sister and mother, I would have difficulty to say 'oh, it is all all right now, that you harm us so much'. I am not sure if that is something that would be something good to me. My mother was abusive sexually, all my time growing up at home. And I have before tried to talk with her of it, and she would not admit to doing wrong, or accept that it is not proper, what things she done. I do not know full why I wish to forgive her, because she do not have regret that she done wrong. But I think, there is always to be some connection with their parent, more specially to their mother. She create me, she give birth to me, and I feel just I must release the anger and hate to her. I just do not know full well if I feel I must do that because I want to, or because I feel it is what is expected I do toward mine own mother.

5. What made you decide to forgive the person? How did you reach that point?
How long did it take to reach that point?

I have had considering of this for several years now, and as I say before, I have talk with her of the issues growing up before. I am not sure if I can do it, to forgive her or not, I guess I am still not at the point of knowing if I can or not.

6. How did you forgive him/her? How do you know that you truly did forgive?

7. Did you communicate your forgiveness to the other person, or not? Explain.

I am not sure if this is necessary. It depends on whether the forgiveness is for you or for the other persons mercy. I think it depend on the individual person to decide if this is a step they feel they must do or not.

8. How did YOU change after you forgave the person?

9. Do you agree with Eva Kor, that forgiving liberated you?

I think it is possible, and I have great respect for people who are able to..., however...

10. Do you have any other comments about forgiveness?

I am very strong in believing that forgiveness is NOT necessary. If a person is not trapped in anger and hatred. If their emotions of events are not affecting negatively their life. If they do not lose time and life opportunities by dwelling on their feelings toward that person. Then I think forgiveness is not necessary. I do believe that there is some things that can not be forgiven, and I would think Mr. Mengele's actions would be as that. That this woman choose forgiveness, that is her grace. It is not a command that all other survivors of those traumas must do the same to be whole and decent people. There is 'person' who almost kill me once, when I had run away of home when I was teenager. To say that there was torture from this man, it is to make it less then what it was. He is now forever in prison for killing at least 3 other boys off the street, and torturing them before he done so. Is he insane, yes, probably, and as someone who is crazy and mentally not competent, I suppose he deserve some sympathy and mercy for such. But forgiveness of what things he done to me and who knows how many other boys, no, he will never receive that from me, either to speak it to him or just to do it myself. I do not feel at all that it is necessary, and I do not hold in myself anger and negative feelings of it. I just feel that I am importent enough, my experience and pains, they are importent enough to be respected. And to respect myself, and my survival of it, to forgive him, to me, would be to minimize it, and I will not do that.


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#165047 - 07/06/07 01:32 AM Re: A new 'take' on forgiveness (maybe trigger) [Re: VN]
VN Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 723
So, no one have anything here to say on it?

VN


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#165060 - 07/06/07 04:58 AM Re: A new 'take' on forgiveness (maybe trigger) [Re: VN]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Did you see the replies to your thread on this subject in the Family and Friends Forum? It looks like most of the discussion has gone there. This often happens in cases where a subject is being discussed in multiple threads. The replies you have received in the other forum have been very helpful to me, by the way. Thanks for starting this topic.

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)

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#165476 - 07/08/07 11:51 PM Re: A new 'take' on forgiveness (maybe trigger) [Re: roadrunner]
lostcowboy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 797
Loc: North Texas
Hi Visha, Right now I am just trying to forgive myself. I never knew, or saw again the older boy who raped me, so forgiving him is not bothering me right now.

Take care,
Clifford

_________________________
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus
Pretty much my life as I have posted so far. Triggers!

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