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#238472 - 07/16/08 09:05 AM Forgiveness Crap - May Be Triggering
LW1527 Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 408
Loc: Salt Lake City Ut
I live with enough shame and guilt. Don't tell me to forgive my dad. Don't tell me to forgive anyone. I hate this sort of spiritual guilt that I lived with all my life. Yeah, my parents belived in God. My sister really pushed God down my throat along with all the guilt and shame that goes with it. Believe in God and he will take away all of the pain and shit. Like hell he will. I guess I should have turned the other cheek when dad was beating on me so he could get both sides, right? I guess I should just rollover and forgive when he was getting his kicks in my bed. I hate him and I won't forgive him. I hate them all for what they did and didn't do and you're right, I don't and won't forgive them.

- Lance



Edited by LW1527 (07/16/08 10:31 AM)

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#238479 - 07/16/08 10:04 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: LW1527]
BJK Offline
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Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
LW,

You're entitled to your anger, but can I ask a favor? Can you put a trigger warning on this thread?

The topics of revenge and forgiveness are highly triggering to a lot of members on this site, myself included.

I forgave my mother because it makes it easier to live my life without holding all of the anger. I will never, ever forget, though.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#238485 - 07/16/08 10:21 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: BJK]
Still Offline
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Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6602
Loc: FEMA Region 1
Lance,

IMO: You are not compelled to forgive anyone for anything. I am a Christian and do not forgive my perps for what they did. I WILL however forgive them one at a time IF THEY COME TO ME AND ASK FOR IT. As far as I'm concerned, they don't get any forgiveness from me till they ask (on their knees BTW). They can ask Jesus for forgiveness if they wish.

I use to fantasize about making 3 of them beg for their lives or limbs. Now I pay them little attention. I don't honestly believe I'll ever see or hear from them again anyway.

Bryan is right though. You ARE entitled to your anger.


_________________________
I'm "that guy."

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#238486 - 07/16/08 10:29 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: Still]
LW1527 Offline
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Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 408
Loc: Salt Lake City Ut
I don't know what you mean about a trigger warning. I'll see what I can do. I can't see how this is triggering. Maybe I'm blind here.


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#238487 - 07/16/08 10:32 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: Still]
BJK Offline
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Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
I recommend that people attempt to forgive those who wrong them. My life has gotten much, much easier since I let go.

But Rob is right. You are not compelled to forgive. You're in control now.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#238488 - 07/16/08 10:34 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: LW1527]
BJK Offline
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Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Originally Posted By: LW1527
I don't know what you mean about a trigger warning. I'll see what I can do. I can't see how this is triggering. Maybe I'm blind here.


That's perfect, LW. Thank you.

My point is that when people say how they can never forgive someone, it reminds me of my mother....and it hurts. I'm not saying you are anything like my mother. That's just one particular trait of her conditional love that I'm still fighting to get over. She never forgave anyone for anything.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#238489 - 07/16/08 10:41 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: BJK]
AndyJB2005 Offline
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Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 1245
Loc: Saint Paul, Minnesota
One can only forgive on their schedule, it's true. \:\)

I know for me, I can never forget what my dad did, but I had to forgive -- let go at least, like Bryan said -- because the hate, anger and resentment was killing me from the inside.

What I thought I was doing to pay my dad back was actually hurting me more than him. He never came crawling back on his hands and knees with apologies. He never felt anything from my anger other than selfish self-pity. "Oh, I'm so sad, my own son hates me."

The only thing hate and anger ever got me was failing grades in school, several addictions, a low paying job, living paycheck to paycheck, a lack of social skills, and a lot of depression -- and not surprisingly, a lot of anger inside me.

"Before you can throw any cow-dung at another, you must first dirty yourself with cow-dung."

_________________________
Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words. -- Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)

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#238490 - 07/16/08 10:43 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: LW1527]
hogan_dawg Offline
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Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
Forgiveness?

I don't forgive my Father. I am not there yet.

The way I figure it, forgiveness is an ideal state of being, that we're told Christ achieved, and is perfect.

I make no pretenses towards perfection.

Think of the perpetrator as an animal. Like a cockroach or a tick or a flea. Once you understand him as an animal, things might become a little more comprehensible. It's hard to hold a grudge towards an animal for being an animal. But I admit it's a feeble attempt to get a hold on this thing and forgive, but it's a start.

----------------------------------

God's Forsaking Us?

Regarding God there's an oft quoted line in the King James Bible that says "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" and Christ says this in Matthew as he's on his way to his death.

The quote is typically given untranslated, and the original text appears thus - I believe it's the only untranslated piece in the King James because it is problemmatic between Hebrew and Greek meanings:

Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?

Most translate this to mean "Why has thou forsaken me?". The implication is that God is imperfect for 'forsaking' his only Son. And the Son imperfect because he questions a God that forsook him.

Yet there is another interpretation "For this I was kept?" meaning "Walking down the road with this cross, towards my death, my fate, is my purpose? This is why I'm here?" The quote, if true, would represent Christ realizing that his death on the cross is part of God's divine purpose for him.

I prefer the latter though the latter is purely a speculative interpretation. I take it that although my life sucks, it is what it is, I can't change it, and there is purpose to it. Maybe I have to make this purpose, and become purposeful. And maybe that's what God has in mind for me.

I don't know God's intention. I just know that whatever I'm dealt here I'm going to do some good.



Edited by hogan_dawg (07/16/08 10:57 AM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

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#238491 - 07/16/08 10:45 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: AndyJB2005]
LW1527 Offline
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Registered: 05/14/08
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Loc: Salt Lake City Ut
BUT THEY MADE ME A FREAK! I HATE THIS!!!!!


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#238492 - 07/16/08 10:51 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: LW1527]
hogan_dawg Offline
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Registered: 03/26/08
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Yeah they messed you up. But you can't make the world spin backwards and undo it all. So you're stuck with it.

LW one thing you do have coming out of all of this is now you have a unique take on the world. You have a history that is full of tragedy and you're making some triumphs out of that tragedy. That growth gives you a very unique perspective. I encourage you to find and construct that new perspective.

You're already replying to people here and helping others. That's a wonderful start. You're a decent man with a good heart who didn't turn into an abuser. Remember that please.



Edited by hogan_dawg (07/16/08 10:53 AM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

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#238493 - 07/16/08 10:51 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: LW1527]
LW1527 Offline
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Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 408
Loc: Salt Lake City Ut
I've got these strange feelings jumping in at me about men around me. Everything is so distorted. I look fine on the outside. People always tell me I have it together and they assume I have no problems. I keep up this pretense because I can't afford to fall apart and let people see me for the mess that I am. It isn't that I am blaming others for what I am now, but today, I feel like a piece of clay dad and others crafted into some sideshow freak.


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#238494 - 07/16/08 10:52 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap - May Be Triggering [Re: LW1527]
LN3(SS) Offline
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Registered: 06/20/08
Posts: 486
Loc: MD
I agree with you, Lance. I had several friends that told me that I needed to do exactly all of that. But the system of abuse I endured, and contine to fight against, because of him cannot be forgiven, nor should it. It is a pleasure to finally see someone that agrees with my side of things and can understand the rage that I live with because forgiveness is not an option for me right now. Keep posting because I need to see that someone else here can give voice to that side of me.
Right on bro,
Brian

_________________________
"When we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off, and I will leave no one behind. Dead, or alive, we will all come home together." LTG Hal Moore, Jr., USA (Ret.)

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#238496 - 07/16/08 10:59 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap - May Be Triggering [Re: LN3(SS)]
LW1527 Offline
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Registered: 05/14/08
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Loc: Salt Lake City Ut
I'm mad as hell right down through the center of my soul, I even shake I'm so angry. I just want the SOBs to rot in hell and if they go to heaven, then send me to hell and let me rot there as long as I am not with them. This goes beyond hate. What is beyond hate? I don't know.

-Lance


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#238497 - 07/16/08 11:06 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap - May Be Triggering [Re: LN3(SS)]
hogan_dawg Offline
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You mention a piece of clay that your Father moulded.

I used to have a recurring nightmare of myself being an automaton that my Father created, waving and smiling, sitting on the same couch he abused me on. Waving back and forth like the Queen of England - back and forth, back and forth. Smiling for the family.

What that image represents for me is the front that was required to keep appearances within the family. A 'facade'.

You mention a piece of clay, sideshow freak, and 'looking fine on the outside'.

I think when we go through something as dangerous as incest, we have to construct facades - like narcissists - we have to make sure that we don't look different from expectations to people on the outside of the family. In a sense, we've had to become like narcissists and attend to the outer characteristics of our 'selves' just to keep our place in the social world without falling apart.

Now that you are recognizing these things about yourself, you're starting work on the inside of yourself. It's hard but you're doing it. You are not a clay piece and I'm not an automaton. Inside we're discovering there's a whole lot in there of value.

I think this malaize and confusion and anger you're experiencing makes sense.

You're rational.



Edited by hogan_dawg (07/16/08 11:11 AM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

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#238498 - 07/16/08 11:09 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap - May Be Triggering [Re: LW1527]
pufferfish Offline
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Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Lance,

I think that considering what you've been through, you would be mentally ill NOT to be angry. But that doesn't mean that its helpful to you in the long run.

Puffer


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#238499 - 07/16/08 11:11 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap - May Be Triggering [Re: hogan_dawg]
LW1527 Offline
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Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 408
Loc: Salt Lake City Ut
I never wanted to kill anyone before, no matter what they did to me. It just wasn't in me. But all I can see is shooting my dad and enjoying it. Good for him, he's dead. Can't kill a dead man. I just hope he suffers. I never wanted anyone to suffer before - ever. But I want him to suffer big time as much as he made me suffer then and still now. God will hate me for this, but I just want vengence. I never wanted to feel that either.


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#238500 - 07/16/08 11:12 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap - May Be Triggering [Re: LW1527]
BJK Offline
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Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
No one will hold it against you if you can't forgive your perps. That's your right.

However, I think this is where I have to bow out of the discussion. The idea of revenge tears me apart.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

Top
#238501 - 07/16/08 11:14 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap - May Be Triggering [Re: LW1527]
LN3(SS) Offline
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Registered: 06/20/08
Posts: 486
Loc: MD
FURY...I get there a lot, so I know it well. It burns away at the center of the soul and slowly eats its way out from there.
The sad part is we're not going to get our wish about their departure from this life, because it's full of morons.
-Brian

_________________________
"When we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off, and I will leave no one behind. Dead, or alive, we will all come home together." LTG Hal Moore, Jr., USA (Ret.)

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#238503 - 07/16/08 11:22 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap - May Be Triggering [Re: LN3(SS)]
ak Offline
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Registered: 01/10/04
Posts: 1491
No one should be telling you what you must or must not do. That is not helpful, because all us are different, and what work for some people, it do not work for others.

No one have 'make' you a freak. You feel as a freak because of how you feel about the past right now. You are still the good person you were before the abuse, and it is my hope that you will again find that good person, and realize that he can not be so corrupted by other people, unless you allow it. You could not prevent the abuse, but you are in control now of whether you continue to abuse yourself with your thoughts on it. You are not a freak. Anyone who actually tell you that you are, they are not worth listening to. And if it is you telling it to yourself, well, try to better listen to other people who tell you you are not, because it is often we are not our good friends when we are starting to heal of things.

For some of us, forgiveness is not 'crap', it actually is something that give back to us. I am not going to tell you that you should do it, ever. But please do, as I respect where you are right now, please do respect the choices of those who make that choice also.

Andrei


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#238508 - 07/16/08 11:50 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap - May Be Triggering [Re: ak]
LW1527 Offline
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Registered: 05/14/08
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Loc: Salt Lake City Ut
I am in awe of people who can forgive freely and quickly. I am not attempting to take away from their gift of forgiving any more than they are trying to take away from me my gift of rage. Sorry, I didn't know this was so triggering. I should have known better.


- Lance.


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#238510 - 07/16/08 12:09 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap - May Be Triggering [Re: LW1527]
Sans Logos Offline
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Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
lance, just keep reminding yourself that anger can become a permanent point of arrival, or it could function as a temporary stage in the healing process.

it is very important that you honor your angry feelings right now. if i may suggest that, as difficult as it may be, try to keep these visceral feelings in the gut where they belong, and not permit them to rise to the level of your head where they generate whole new universes of dis-ease.

seems you are in a very triggered state at the moment, and so please maybe get away from the computer for a while and go do some exercise to work off some of this stress energy that seems to be looping for you.

you are making miraculous strides in your recovery......it is breath taking to witness. i can only begin to imagine all the overwhelming feelings that are being released for you at this moment in time.

i have experienced my own in the past, so i can say i do relate to your tension, but also want to remind you that outside this moment that is now holding you captive is a much greener pasture of peace and quietude.

all i can do for you is hold out the hope that i know to be a silver lining in this dark cloud.

stick with it, but don't let it get the best of you. taking a bit of a break might be good right now.

your brother in recovery,

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#238515 - 07/16/08 12:45 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap - May Be Triggering [Re: Sans Logos]
hogan_dawg Offline
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Lance don't you worry one second about feeling thoughts of anger and revenge.

I emphatically do not agree with folks that believe anger or feelings of revenge are unhealthy in themselves. I believe these emotions are far healthier than sucking up the pain and falling into depression, where there is the feeling that nothing can be done and things are hopeless. Far better, in my mind, to be pissed off because at least being pissed off means you are ready to take action and do something about it. Revenge is just one idea about how to do something about it.

Revenge is what people do to try to right injustice. Our whole legal system is based, in part, on punishment. Since punishment only rarely modifies behavior, it is reasonable to say that the remaining benefit is akin to the emotional satisfaction people feel when 'revenge' is given out.

In your case, revenge would give you a power you didn't have when the abuse was given to you. You'd effectively 'reverse' the situation so he would be powerless to stop your revenge.

Relax. It's ok to want some kind of 'power' over the abuser. Hell, if I were in your shoes, I'd want that power too.

Your emotions make sense. The trick now is deciding what to do with them.



Edited by hogan_dawg (07/16/08 12:54 PM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

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#238526 - 07/16/08 02:02 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap - May Be Triggering [Re: hogan_dawg]
AndyJB2005 Offline
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Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 1245
Loc: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Individual results may very. One person's way may not be another person's way....

For me, anger and hate ate me up and did not "release" anything, only built it up like a volcano.

Sure, revenge and anger gives you (gave me) power. But not healing power, in my experience. It's like Darth Vader in Star Wars. He was super powerful, but it was controlled by hate -- the dark side of the force -- and eventually did him in.

Just my two cents.

Peace and love. \:\)

_________________________
Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words. -- Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)

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#238534 - 07/16/08 02:52 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap - May Be Triggering [Re: AndyJB2005]
hogan_dawg Offline
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Posts: 492
Just spitballing here Lance, and forgive the verbose.

Andy and all the other guys are correct, you don't want to become Darth Vader. It would slow down your healing. Or stunt it.

I have always been convinced that catharsis is not an answer - overexpression of a feeling, or self indulgence, doesn't make a feeling go away. When I read Andy's reply it seemed he was alluding to support of some unpleasant feelings as some kind of "pro catharsis" perspective. For the record I too don't think catharsis is an answer. There's a fine line between indulging an emotion and just experiencing it. I think you're just riding the wave of this feeling and trying it on for size.

That said, no amount of 'self restraint', or 'repression' of anger is going to help one understand what one feels and make it meaningful, and I hope that's not on the table for you either. Your feelings are value neutral, as far as I'm concerned. I don't see why saying "I'm an anger free guy" is any 'better' than "I'd like to shoot my Father". One is more socially acceptable and pleasant to feel, but the other is far more authentically 'YOU' today.

Look, consider this reasoning and see if it makes sense or if it's bull:

You can't acknowledge what you do not feel. In feeling, you are able to fully acknowledge in an experiential way. And you're there right now experiencing it fully. Once acknowledged, it can be understood, as you have memory for the experience to draw upon. And when you understand it, you can make meaning of it. When you make meaning of things, you are powerful.

Once it's meaningful to you, feelings of anger and revenge won't be a threat to your healing at all. And as other guys have said, they probably won't be experienced so sharply.

If you make this shit meaningful, and understood, your (true) need for power will be accomplished, and your (transient) need for revenge will seem much less relevant to your true need.

Empowerment.

Which is what you're doing.



Edited by hogan_dawg (07/16/08 03:31 PM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

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#238538 - 07/16/08 03:39 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap - May Be Triggering [Re: hogan_dawg]
LW1527 Offline
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Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 408
Loc: Salt Lake City Ut
I owned what was there and still is there, although it is not to the highest extent it was this morning. I don't know why others are shocked over what I said about vengence. I think it is natural and honest. I spent my younger days denying and telling myself my dad was the greatest and this sort of thing didn't happen or if it did, it was normal.

Yeah, if I had a gun, which I do not, and if he were alive, which he is not, I would calmly shoot him and enjoy going to jail for it. But this whole issue is meaningless since the man is dead. I mean, I can't kill a dead man. In this case, where I obviously cannot kill my father, I think the feelings are healthy and healing as long as my feelings do not find a living target, then it's okay.

It took me this long to feel the horrable betrayal, but I feel there are some who would like me to toss it away. It is what it is. I feel what I feel. I am what I am. Nothing more or less and stuffing it back down and being afraid of the feelings are not productive either. I sensed that there were those that left because it became too intense. Hell, the situation I lived in was intense! I think we need to be here for each other even if say what is going on inside that might be too intense for some.


Lance


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#238540 - 07/16/08 04:13 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap - May Be Triggering [Re: LW1527]
LW1527 Offline
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Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 408
Loc: Salt Lake City Ut
Please forgive me here. I'm intense and outspoken, but it I am not mad or angry at anyone here, especially the kind brothers who have been taking time with me today. I am a fighter and I feel like I am fighting here for something that for some reason pressed too many buttons. I don't know how to prevent that from happening. Please, please, do not think I am angry at anyone here. This is my life-line to sanity. I guess I'm just going through a tough time again. I'll keep low.

Lance


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#238543 - 07/16/08 04:54 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: hogan_dawg]
KENKEN Offline
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Registered: 09/25/07
Posts: 762
Loc: NOTHERN COLORADO
I am angry and I am not in the correct state of mind to forgive my perp. brother at this time. I can only state for myself and how I feel about my CSA. At this time in my healing, I have lost some of the anger toward him and most of the guilt and shame I had. I blamed myself for the abuse, not anymore. I was a kid and he was the adult. It was not my fault.

I do hear you and you are entitled to your anger and hate. I do not forgive my brother either. I don't know if I ever will. It boils my insides to see him living his "grand life". Am I out for revenge? I don't think so, I just think I want him to pay his dues. It won't change my life, but it will certainly make me feel better.

Ken

_________________________
I AM A GOOD PERSON, I AM A GOOD MAN

From the Movie: Antwone Fisher

***WOR ALUMNI SEQUOIA MARCH 2008***

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#238544 - 07/16/08 05:06 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: KENKEN]
LW1527 Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 408
Loc: Salt Lake City Ut
Ken - I look at your avatar. Who could do this to that cute kid? I am enraged to my gutthat someone could and did that to you. I feel such pain for you and for all of us who are scratching to get to the light. Thank you for your post and encouragement.


Lance


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#238548 - 07/16/08 06:28 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: hogan_dawg]
CDavid Offline


Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 184
For the sake of those who find forgiveness triggering, I would offer that this is a quote from Richard Hoffman.

It may be triggering...

1
2
3
4
5

"Does anyone remember in our New Age, no-fault moral universe, that to forgive is a transitive verb? That forgiveness is a transaction? That it involves penitence, not pity? Not to mention "the firm purpose of amendment?" What is forgiveness if no one has acknowledged wrongdoing, nor asked for it, nor changed his conduct? What is forgiveness in the case of a serial offender preying upon the helpless? What if turning the other cheek is, in fact, offering up the next child?"


Thank you


CD


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#238555 - 07/16/08 07:24 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: CDavid]
BJK Offline
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Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Dave,

I can't see how forgiveness means turning the other cheek. One can still offer protection, and I believe even more effectively, while forgiving the perps who have wronged us.

Forgiveness isn't triggering to me. The refusal to even attempt to forgive is triggering to me.

Forgiveness is a one sided contract. It involves letting go. It involves giving up that which we cannot control. It involves no action whatsoever on our perps' part, and it creates no benefit whatsoever for our perps. It involves locking up our perps not because we want to get back at them but because we want to protect others who may be hurt by them.

Forgiveness is all about us. It's about our state of mind. It's about not wasting energy on the bastards who don't deserve our energy to be wasted on them.

It's about me and my desire to move on. I forgive for myself and myself only.

And I'll be completely honest when I say that forgiving my mother was the one step in the recovery process that made all of the other steps possible. She's a bitch, and I hate her. But I wish her no ill will. She can have her life now that she is exposed for who she is. All I want from her is to let me have mine.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#238559 - 07/16/08 08:05 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: BJK]
CDavid Offline


Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 184
I'm not yet convinced that the honest expression of any emotion is necessarily wasting energy.

Rage and vengence, most certainly, are distortions of the healthy emotion, anger. But are they inappropriate given the circumstances? In my view, no.

If I tell you that I put my father's ashes on a log and shot them full of holes after he killed himself when I disclosed...does that make me a dangerous character? No. No one was harmed, no one was hurt in the process.

Have I forgiven him? No...because in my heart, I know, if he were alive, he would still do what he always did...hurt people.

I am more suspiscious of people that are too quick to forgive than those who say they cannot or will not.

But, seriously, I am, I got to admit, really curious about the, "The refusal to even attempt to forgive is triggering to me."

Care to talk more about that?


CD


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#238560 - 07/16/08 08:10 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: CDavid]
hogan_dawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
Yes but Bryan, he doesn't feel forgiveness. When you say "The refusal to even attempt to forgive is triggering to me" those words force LW into a very tight corner, such that if he doesn't do as you want, and 'try' to forgive, you're going to be triggered.

Now that's not fair, ok?

It's all about LW and what he feels. And right now he doesn't feel forgiveness. I am hoping he feels some measure of validation from those of us who have been there too.

Here's a bad joke that makes a good point:

Question: What did the incestuous Father say to the abused child?
Answer: "You shouldn't feel that way."

See my point?



Edited by hogan_dawg (07/16/08 08:15 PM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

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#238562 - 07/16/08 08:15 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: hogan_dawg]
CDavid Offline


Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 184
Which, is what we come dangerously close to in all of this.

It is manipulative to suggest that I have triggered you, or for anyone to suggest that I have triggered them...if I am simply offering my point of view or opinion in a constructive manner.

CD


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#238563 - 07/16/08 08:17 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: CDavid]
AndyJB2005 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 1245
Loc: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Fine...live in anger. Have fun.

Arghhhhh.....

Why do I try to help some people...just get crapped on for your efforts...

All we're trying to do is spare you an ulcer, but if you want one so bad...have at it...

_________________________
Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words. -- Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)

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#238564 - 07/16/08 08:21 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: AndyJB2005]
CDavid Offline


Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 184
Andy, with all due respect I am seriously trying to understand this line of thinking, truly.

I am not advocating living in anger...I am suggesting expressing the anger that is apropriate to the situation.

Certainly, it is not all or nothing...is it?


CD


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#238567 - 07/16/08 08:26 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: AndyJB2005]
hogan_dawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
You know, Andy, lol I remember when I told my Father I had cancer and was dying, and I relayed some of how I felt to him, he remarked:

"Oh if you feel that way you're crazy"

And then he went on to explain to me essentially how I should handle dying.

The issue, Andy, is not in handing someone a solution on a platter and 'right fighting' as if you or I possess the 'right' answer. Also, you will find forcing someone to feel forgiveness won't work for very long. Eventually their real feelings will bubble to the surface.

The issue is whether our answers invalidate the deeply personal feelings of another person and cast their feelings in a negative light, or shadow. One way to work with another person's feelings is to listen to them, not prejudge their feelings, and talk about them in an open and accepting way. In so doing, we show our trust for their best judgment and as good people, allow them to express their humanity.

I trust LW is going to do just fine with his feelings. If he's like me and others though it's going to take time and some effort. But he's ok. Sensible dude.



Edited by hogan_dawg (07/16/08 08:29 PM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

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#238569 - 07/16/08 08:30 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: CDavid]
AndyJB2005 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 1245
Loc: Saint Paul, Minnesota
I'm sorry for my frustration...but it seems like all you ever hear on this board is anger and hatred....I don't remember the last healing post I've seen....honestly....

_________________________
Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words. -- Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)

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#238571 - 07/16/08 08:30 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: CDavid]
ak Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/10/04
Posts: 1491
Even if 'forgive' is a transitive verb (I am assuming from the context it mean there must be the interaction between two people), 'forgiveness' is a noun, and can be done with whatever I want.

I am sorry that the fact that I have given grace to two of the four men who abused me makes me less trustworthy to you. But as Andy says, what work for one person do not work for another. There is other qualitys of some people, even some people here, who make me feel less trusting to them as well, so certainly I can not find fault with you for that. I just find it sad, as I think myself, and some other people who you may very quickly dismiss, are quite worth getting to know.

Anger and hate can give to some people, and take from others. And expressing anger may not be a bad thing. But to prefer to not engage in anger is not a bad thing either. We all must do what work best for us.

Andrei


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#238574 - 07/16/08 08:41 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: ak]
CDavid Offline


Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 184
I agree with Andrei...anger directed at someone without being responsible certainly creates distance, not trust. An opportunity to connect is lost.

So...in these circumstances, where our boundaries have been so grievously violated...how do we express the anger necessary to work through it...to get to the other side?


CD


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#238576 - 07/16/08 08:54 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: CDavid]
hogan_dawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
Andy I get you - your words aren't lost - forgiveness is a great decision if you can get there and it feels right for you. I can appreciate how naturally felt forgiveness could be a nice step towards healing.

Paternal incest often means the person comes from a patriarchal home where the Father's feelings are paramount, and the child's feelings are wholly washed away, invalidated or replaced by more socially appropriate feelings (i.e., ones that don't upset the family). Very often people go their whole lives feeling what was good for the family, but not true for themselves, as people.

Anger upsets the family. Most of us who had paternal incest happen just weren't permitted to feel emotions that challenged the patriarch. So I'm sure you can see how reasonable it is for someone from this situation to feel anger and rage at this stage in their journey.



Edited by hogan_dawg (07/16/08 08:57 PM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

Top
#238582 - 07/16/08 09:43 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: hogan_dawg]
AndyJB2005 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 1245
Loc: Saint Paul, Minnesota
My dad raped me for my 10 years...so yeah, I get the paternal incest part...

And don't get me wrong...I spent years and years and years angry....I hated him and everyone around me...and all that nearly killed me...literally.

I hated myself most of all though, but I couldn't admit that...so I got into several addictions and nearly flunked out of school because all I cared about was hating my dad...

Soon the hate turned INTO me...became my persona...that's who I was...and it really reflected itself to others...

When I came to the real source of my problem, the rest seemed to fall easier into place....

_________________________
Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words. -- Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)

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#238591 - 07/16/08 10:43 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: AndyJB2005]
CDavid Offline


Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 184
Thank you, Andy.

I am an incest survivor, also. The way it manifested itself with me was that I could not say no. Oddly, if you can not say no, all too often you can not say yes to what you need.

I wasn't outwardly angry...but as you point out, anger turned inward manifests itself into any number of addictions and I drank, a lot.

But, in order for me to find my way through recovery I had to consciously push myself to connect to the anger. I did not want to...I hated anger and angry people.

Thanks


CD


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#238595 - 07/16/08 11:07 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: CDavid]
hogan_dawg Offline
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Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
I hear you Andy. You needed to get past your anger. And it took a long time. It sounds 'all consuming'. Before coming to terms with my denial I felt a lot of anger too. Even once I acknowledged my abuse I've felt anger. But strangely, I don't feel any need to wallow in it. But when probed, I'll still say I feel angry about being forced sex against my will. I can say nothing else and be me.

I think how people take back their power is going to vary a lot from person to person. Maybe with paternal incest it's even more important that we all have to chart our own course to achieve the empowerment that was denied us by our parent.

One way LW, that you can take your power back and feel whatever you feel with 100% validation for what you feel, is an UNSENT LETTER.

It's like expressing in words all of your feelings (plus reasons good enough for you) for any of the members of your family that need(ed) a good reminder of how you were made to feel. Make a list of people who need an unsent letter. It can be one sentence long, a paragraph, or a book. Say whatever you want to say to them. Dead or alive. If you write one, do it on paper. Do it by hand because it is more visceral and less 'detached' than on a computer. It doesn't even have to be legible. Then, if you decide to forgive some day, you can toss the letter away. Say what you want to say, and say exactly why you feel what you do, with all the details you think are important. It can further validate your experience to yourself. That's empowering to know exactly why you feel what you feel towards each person involved. It brings some clarity to the haze of, say, rage. The clarity you'll feel is you integrating your emotions with your rationality.

No need to actually send the letter.

That's just one way. I'm sure there are other ways to constructively work through your feelings.



Edited by hogan_dawg (07/17/08 12:15 AM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

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#238625 - 07/17/08 06:58 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: hogan_dawg]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Originally Posted By: hogan_dawg
Yes but Bryan, he doesn't feel forgiveness. When you say "The refusal to even attempt to forgive is triggering to me" those words force LW into a very tight corner, such that if he doesn't do as you want, and 'try' to forgive, you're going to be triggered.


I don't think this is true at all.

LW and I have exchanged some private messages regarding this thread. It must absolutely be emphasized that anger and rage are healthy emotions that need to be dealt with accordingly. I've emphasized to him that posting about his anger and rage here, even if it involves wanting to enact revenge and refusing to forgive, is absolutely appropriate as long as it is accompanied by a trigger warning. However, when those emotions start to bleed over into the category of wanting to hurt someone, even if it is someone who wronged us, we need to be careful. That is an unhealthy manisfestation of a healthy emotion, and the temporary relief it gives us to imagine the suffering of those we hate tends to be quite addictive.

I've seen numerous people on this forum for the past year who get angry when the topic of forgiveness is brought up. "I'll never forgive my perp" is what they tend to say. That's fine. Each person is responsible for their own healing, but the fact of the matter is, if we refuse to forgive those who hurt us, then those who hurt us will always control some aspect of our lives. Recovery is all about shedding that control, and whether we like it or not, forgiveness is an absolutely vital part of recovery.

I refuse to let my mother control my life anymore. The only way to accomplish that was to forgive her for the horrible torment she wrought upon my life. I will freely admit that forgiveness is a process. We can't just wake up one morning and say "I forgive so and so because I choose to". We can, however, wake up one morning and say "I'm going to work on forgiving so and so because I owe it to myself". Holding on to grudges, no matter how right we are to hold those grudges, does nothing more than keep the people against whom we hold those grudges as focal points in our lives.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

Top
#238628 - 07/17/08 07:50 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: BJK]
CDavid Offline


Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 184
Hmmm?

I don't know, Bryan?

I certainly understand what you are saying. It is easy to see that rage is a distortion of anger, a little more difficult, or, I will say, it was for me, to see that sarcasm is anger, frustration is anger, addictions, too.

Some of us become fierce protectors, others, unfortunately lash out indiscriminately, still, others and many fall somewhere in-between.

It is easier to see that guy that lashes out indiscriminately as angry, less obvious, I think, or, it seems like...to see the guy that needs someone or, something to protect. A philosophy, a way of life, a belief, to defend it as though his life depended on it. When, it is much easier to just walk away.

When we say, "The honest expression of anger" when it is expressed in a supportive environment...when we are heard, what we are saying and expressing is validated...then, doesn't the anger become less? Not unlike say, the need to cry...when we are hurt.

Anger is an interesting topic, that's for sure.


CD


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#238637 - 07/17/08 09:30 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: CDavid]
hogan_dawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
LW know that from where I sit, you're doing fine, your feelings about forgiveness are valid, and if it matters, your feelings of anger and fantasies of revenge make perfect sense to me.

I'm in a support group with a dozen guys, none of whom forgives their abuser, and all of whom are pretty decent chaps without any serious anger issues. We hug at the beginning and end of meetings, there is humour, love and acceptance throughout the group. Maybe some will forgive some day, but none of us sees any need to forgive what we concur are pretty horrific crimes against us. We're not rage filled lunatics. We're normal guys and some of us are damned easy to get along with and enjoy.

I'm not a clinical psychologist. My formal training focused on children's understanding and experience of emotion, and was experimental - so I'm no expert clinician nor am I an expert on you. But I understand the basics of dissociation and emotional distress in children. I've attended enough talks by clinicians to be pretty confident that you can heal up just fine without any requirement to forgive. Just know the forgiveness requirement has mixed appeal, at best, across clinical circles. And I don't know of a properly controlled empirical study that shows forgiveness works best. Maybe I just don't know the literature well enough. But my guess is that if forgiveness were so effective, it would become standard practice, and it is by no means standard practice. It is one approach among many many approaches.

So I phoned a registered psychologist friend of mine last night just to see if you were off base or on track by feeling what you felt, and she assures me, without knowing you as a person, that generally speaking such acknowledgment of your feelings is a huge step, especially as it pertains to dissociation, and speaking generally she notes that recovery isn't dependent on a victim forgiving anyone, in her view, and prematurely forgiving, she noted in an afterthought, can be a sign that the person hasn't really, in her view, 'come to terms' with one's own feelings.

Anyway, you have your own therapist and you have to work with that therapist. Bounce forgiveness off the therapist. Ask if you 'must' forgive to heal. After all, you have to work with that person for the next X months. Best to be on the same page.

Just do whatever you do knowing that this is your timetable and your recovery. I urge you to continue to do whatever it takes to recover the power that was taken away from you.

Your empowerment, right now, is primary. So have at it! \:\)



Edited by hogan_dawg (07/17/08 10:38 AM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

Top
#238641 - 07/17/08 10:29 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: CDavid]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Originally Posted By: CDavid
Hmmm?

I don't know, Bryan?

I certainly understand what you are saying. It is easy to see that rage is a distortion of anger, a little more difficult, or, I will say, it was for me, to see that sarcasm is anger, frustration is anger, addictions, too.

Some of us become fierce protectors, others, unfortunately lash out indiscriminately, still, others and many fall somewhere in-between.

It is easier to see that guy that lashes out indiscriminately as angry, less obvious, I think, or, it seems like...to see the guy that needs someone or, something to protect. A philosophy, a way of life, a belief, to defend it as though his life depended on it. When, it is much easier to just walk away.

When we say, "The honest expression of anger" when it is expressed in a supportive environment...when we are heard, what we are saying and expressing is validated...then, doesn't the anger become less? Not unlike say, the need to cry...when we are hurt.

Anger is an interesting topic, that's for sure.


CD



I spent an hour long session with my T once discussion the three different manifestations of abuse in the pschology of the abused that were discussed in Mike Lew's book Victims No Longer. I know you are quite familiar with Lew, so I'm sure you're familiar with the manifestations: Aggressor, Victim, and Protector.

Naturally, most people would automatically assign positive and negative connotations to the above three manifestations. However, that could not be further from the truth. We spent that hour discussing the positive and negative qualities that are associated with each of these three labels.

Aggressors, for instance, tend to be quite successful in their pursuit of fulfilling careers. Victims tend to be very empathetic towards the difficulties of others once they get past their own difficulties. On the flip side of that coin, protectors oftentimes go overboard, letting their emotions control and dictate how they react to different stimuli.

In other words, the label of "protector" is not always a positive role to have.

This was almost a year ago when we had this discussion, and we spent a great amount of time talking about the element of revenge. It was emphasized repeatedly during this session, and I discussed all of the ways I wanted to hurt my mother, that those thoughts were not healthy. They didn't release anger. Instead, those thoughts harbored anger. There was only one way to rid myself of those thoughts, and that was to forgive my mother.

I have found a vast amount of peace and tranquility in doing so. I cannot begin to describe how wonderful it is to have worked through this anger and to not have those feelings of revenge permeating my very soul. It wasn't an easy process, but I'd still be stuck where I was a year ago had I not undertaken the task of acheiving this state of being.

I do not judge those who choose not to forgive, though I do have a hard time with those who wish revenge upon those who have wronged them. In my eyes, revenge is simply a way of acting out our abuse. It does nothing to help our abuse. It only holds us back.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#238644 - 07/17/08 10:34 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: BJK]
hogan_dawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
Bryan, the perpetrator is dead. The revenge point was moot 3 pages ago, for goodness sake.



Edited by hogan_dawg (07/17/08 10:36 AM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

Top
#238645 - 07/17/08 10:37 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: hogan_dawg]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Originally Posted By: hogan_dawg
Bryan, the perpetrator is dead. The revenge point was moot 3 pages ago, for goodness sake.


I'm not talking about the act of revenge. I'm talking about the desire to commit revenge, which is a point that is very relevant.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

Top
#238646 - 07/17/08 10:39 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: BJK]
hogan_dawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
Jeepers creepers. Let it go, man. He knows his Father is dead. I think he can handle this unfulfilled fantasy without falling to pieces. Besides, who in their right mind can't understand feeling doubly ripped off when someone can't get justice because the perpetrator has died? I'm sure there are thousands of people who feel exactly the same way after the perpetrator departs this world.

Stop nit picking at the guy. It won't help him.



Edited by hogan_dawg (07/17/08 10:50 AM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

Top
#238647 - 07/17/08 10:48 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: hogan_dawg]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
I have to put you on ignore, Hogan. You're conversations with me seem to be directed at confrontation rather than anything productive.

Bryan

_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

Top
#238648 - 07/17/08 11:01 AM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: BJK]
hogan_dawg Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/26/08
Posts: 492
Bryan my terse reply IS a confrontation. I'm sorry you feel my aim generally is to confront you, because it is not.

I confronted you here, in this instance, because everyone has little fantasies and desires that won't withstand public scrutiny. LW happened to speak one of these desires that wasn't socially acceptable. But we all know that he's sharp enough to put these trivial fantasies in their proper place.

I sometimes used to wish my boss would fall off his chair. It's just mental play.

I thought you needed to be confronted about fault finding more than he needed to be confronted about a fantasy desire that was going nowhere anyway. I see no value in critiquing desires that he himself knows may not be filled. These desires amount to no more than mental playthings.




Edited by hogan_dawg (07/17/08 12:10 PM)
_________________________
I can say unequivocally that the lie of "To truly heal you must first forgive" has derailed more victims than the abusers themselves.
Andrew Vachs, 2003

Top
#463151 - 03/25/14 03:05 PM Re: Forgiveness Crap [Re: AndyJB2005]
jas4159 Offline


Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 300
forgiveness is to complicated for anyone to have any one answer. it is a personal decision as to what it means to each of us and how we choose to deal with it. I can relate to your anger and frustration.
_________________________
Thanks

rich

justanothersurvivror.wordpress.com

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