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#26653 - 12/08/02 11:03 AM "Forgive & You Will Be Forgiven"?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Never have I pondered these word of Jesus Christ like I have since recall of my abuse memories began last year, and especially since getting involved in several recent discussion here & on some other sites, and particularly in the last week or so.

How am I to take such words, as a survivor of sexual abuse? What do they mean to & for me?

How about what they don't mean?

"Forgive & you will be forgiven" does not mean I must forgive people, such as my perps, in order to in turn be forgiven by them (for what?!), by other people (what would they have to do with it?), or by God (His forgiveness is unconditional!).

"Forgive & you will be forgiven" does not mean I must forgive things that were done to me (only things done by me that were wrong, and being abused is not among those!).

Perps must forgive themselves for perpetration, and seek God for forgiveness, if they can. I do not have the power to absolve them of sin. They sure don't have the power to withhold forgiveness from me based on whether or not they receive any forgiveness I may or may not offer (suppose they're dead? or unreachable?).

My forgiveness does not depend on them, becuz my forgiveness is not for them.

So what does "forgive & you will be forgiven" mean to me? It means my forgiveness is for me!

"Forgive & you will be forgiven" means that if I forgive I will be forgiven becuz I am the one doing the forgiving. Not necessarily of myself, but for myself, beyond considerations of anyone else or anything else.

I forgive becuz I choose to, not becuz my perps do or don't receive it, nor becuz what they did to me has now somehow become excusable or ok, nor becuz people say I should or shouldn't forgive.

I forgive becuz it is the right thing for me to do for me. That means I do it in my time, my way.

I forgive becuz it is right & best for me not to carry around hatred toward people I can't change or bitterness toward things I can't change.

I forgive becuz I it is best for me not to let other people, or circumstances, control me, by their responses or lack thereof, according to whether or not they change.

I forgive becuz its about me changing, being in control of my own life.

I forgive becuz this brings out my true feelings & true self, as God made me to be in His image, the best I can be.

Which is all Jesus Christ is asking of me. Which is why I forgive becuz He asks me to. This is why I forgive, for me.

"Forgive & you will be forgiven"--that's what it means to me!

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#26654 - 12/08/02 06:04 PM Re: "Forgive & You Will Be Forgiven"?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Wuame
that's taken from the Bible I presume, I don't know - I'm an atheist. But it still makes a lot of sense.

Quote:
I forgive becuz it is right & best for me not to carry around hatred toward people I can't change or bitterness toward things I can't change.
Especially that one, why the hell should we continue to carry all that crap around ?

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#26655 - 12/08/02 07:56 PM Re: "Forgive & You Will Be Forgiven"?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Lloydy:

Right on all counts!

That is from the Bible.

Of course it would make a lot of sense even if it weren't.

As far as carrying all that crap around goes, the hell with it indeed! It was a burden that was pushing & dragging me thru hell. Now it can make the trip without me! :p

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#26656 - 12/09/02 03:47 AM Re: "Forgive & You Will Be Forgiven"?
Les_Angry Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 195
Hey Wuamei,
I just wanted to share what I knew about forgiveness. I dont want to seem like I am arguing with you in the public forum, I just want to voice my oppinion. Forgiving my perp came for me at a time when I believe I was going through some kind of spiritual clensing. I felt tormented day and night as if by the Devil. I know that this kind of experience is written about in the book "dark night of the soul" by St John of the cross, so Im not the only one to go through it. Also Padre Pio went through it.

Every day I felt tormented and I kept being convicted by every bad thing I had ever done. So I thought "what am I doing wrong" because I thought I was being punished or something. What it resulted in was clinging to the>

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#26657 - 12/09/02 01:54 PM Re: "Forgive & You Will Be Forgiven"?
Chey-Wy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/01/02
Posts: 241
Loc: Cheyenne, WY
Quote:
"Forgive us our tresspasses as we forgive those who tresspass against us"
I'm had/am having a very hard time writing this

I want to forgive. I need to forgive. But, there is something in me that can't frogive.

What I can't forgive is that When I went to Dr. Laughlin ( perp # 2 ) about Ted ( Perp #1) ten days after Ted raped me instead of getting me to a rape crisis center, Dr. Laughlin ( Presbyterian minister) sexually assaulted me again. I had placed so much trust in Dr. Laughlin and the church .... and they violated that trust.

Now .... coming to today ..... when I approached the church about the situation .... seeking help dealing with the S A's .... the church tells me " that it is my problem .... and I need to deal with it." I thought that the church was supposed to show love and compassion. To be a comfort in times of trouble.

I feel that Dr. Laughlin could have stopped the cycle. But instead he allowed the cycle to continue. I wonder if Dr. L had ... instead of raping me again ..... gotten me to the police to file charges against Ted if the cycle would have continued.

Oh the police. When I went to them about Dr. Laughlin ..... they mocked me, They mimicked me, They gay bashed me .... called me a faggot and told me that I was crazy and needed to see a shrink. They made up a mock therapy session of me talking to a shrink and the shrink telling me that Faggots deserve to be raped. .... and I am supposed to forgive these people?

Instead of the cycle STOPPING with Ted it continued. I continued to a third perp Tom. And again ..... I got victimized. The police didn't do anything. The Dept. of Labor didn't do anything. The Lawyer that I hired .... F***ed me. (He took the case contingency and then ... at some point in time ... went from contingency to hourly ... and never informed me of the change) Contingency means that the attorney gets paid when he wins the case. He let my case sit on a desk at the department of labor for 7 months while the person assigned to the case was out on PAID administrative leave while the case worker dealt with his divorce. ( I wish I could get a paid leave while I get the detail of my S A straightened out) And I should forgive these people.

There is one person that I need to forgive and I am working on forgiving him. That person is myself. I have felt that there was something that I did to allow the events that happened to happen. I know it was not my fault. I can forgive John. But, and yes I need to, can't seem to be able to forgive others. If they showed some remorse for their sins maybe I would be able to, however, I saw Ted Friday night at the theater .... and given the chance Ted would rape me again. The same goes for Tom. given the chance he would rape me.

Maybe someday I will be able to forgive them. I am going to talk to my T about it.

" and until we meet again. May the God that loves us all .... hold you in the palm of his hand." from the "Irish Blessing"


John

_________________________
From the Song MOUNTAINS by Lonestar.

Yeah, the good Lord gave us mountains,
So we could learn how to climb

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#26658 - 12/09/02 04:12 PM Re: "Forgive & You Will Be Forgiven"?
Cement Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
I don't know if I am tired, or hungry, or triggered, or what, I prob'ly shouldn't even post except that...

I think you make a great point, Wuame, which is:

Quote:
So what does "forgive & you will be forgiven" mean to me? It means my forgiveness is for me!
and I just want to say how true those words are.

I have just realized, just now that I was perped by at least two neighbor boys, (my best friends!) and my sister. I am shaking but I do not know if it is because of the hunger or the uncovering of this abuse. They were my age, but I was coerced, aw, what do I know? They weren't in a position of power over me, though...

_________________________
And let the darkness fear our light.

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#26659 - 12/09/02 04:13 PM Re: "Forgive & You Will Be Forgiven"?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Les:

Thank you. Your two cents worth was worth a lot more than two cents, believe me. When it comes to forgiveness (and most everything else, come to think of it) I've got a lot more questions than answers.

So I appreciate you sharing your experiences & insights with me, including the Bible verses. No I don't at all take it as if you were trying to argue with me in the public forum. Becuz of the sensitive & thotful way in which you share--which says a lot about you as a person.

Besides, I very much agree with what you say & find it very affirming; also I share much of your experience, I think.

Most of my life was spent in great bitterness, fantasizing & seeking revenge of all kinds on all who had abused me in any way, then finally with about anyone who crossed me in any way.

For me, a great dark night of the soul came late last year & early this year, as I struggled with recovery, flashbacks, withdrawal, depression & chronic pain, to the point I was twice in ER with high blood pressure within a week, and my body & mind would shut down for hours & in a couple of instances nearly a whole day at a time.

A few months ago I had a major breakthrough in therapy in which I forgave my mother, my primary perp. Forgiving the others, who were all in some way encouraged by her, at least by neglect & usually by coercion, seemed either part of that or incidental; it may not be.

And it may be that I'm still in forgiveness, which I see as a process (re: my recent thread. Note also Matthew 18:21&22, where Peter asks Jesus how many times he must forgive someone who has sinned against him, and Jesus said 70 x 7, meaning as many as it takes. Doesn't say the person ever sinned against Peter beyond the 1st time, only that he should keep forgiving for it as long as it takes--ie, a process).

But I could only forgive when I came to realize that forgiving would be a process not an all at once & done deal, that forgiving did not mean in any way excusing any abuse, that forgiving need not be given personally to a perp, much less have any response, favorable or not, from them.

In other words I had to realize my forgiving was something I was to do for me, irregardless of the expectations of others or the responses (or lack thereof) of my possibly dead, possibly unreachable, & possibly just plain hardened in denial perps.

So I don't forgive people in order to get any response, including gaining my own forgiveness for whatever I might need forgiveness for.

Doing this is a process, just as whatever was done to me was a process. This no more means I'm not really forgiving than it means they didn't really do anything to me. And its my process, to do in my time & my way. Neither they nor experts nor anyone else has any rights to make any demands on me concerning this. And all God "demands" IMHO is that I be in the process. For my own sake.

When I say I forgive others for me, I am of course still forgiving them. Not what they do. Forgiveness is relational, for people not things.
But as I said the forgiveness need not be offered to them or received in any way.

My mother is my only perp that is alive & whereabouts known, but I've not told her I know she abused me, much less that I've forgiven her. It's almost certain she would deny it or worse deny that it was wrong, as she has habitually done with far lesser things. But that's not the point. I feel no need to tell her any more than I feel the need to hunt down other perps so I can tell them, or dig others out of thier graves & tell them.

I forgive--for me. For my growth, peace of mind, health, well-being & wholeness.

So you're right Les, my forgiving definitely helps me far more than my perps. They can only help themselves, and ask God to help them, if they can.

Thanks for your valuable insights, sensitivity, & support. Take care.

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#26660 - 12/09/02 05:02 PM Re: "Forgive & You Will Be Forgiven"?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
John:

It's just my opinion, but for me, if I believe I need to forgive, and I want to forgive, then I'm already in the process of forgiving. One I've learned the hard way I cannot push, or be pushed into. Of course our processes of forgiveness, I think, are as unique as we & our situations are.

Possibly the "something inside you" that "can't forgive" is that part of you that rightly resists those who say you must forgive in a certain time or way. I know I resisted that, like the plague that it is; and I'm glad I did! Otherwise I would never have been able to truly enter the process of forgiveness, or find any peace.

IMHO you are right not to forgive Dr. Laughlin for what he did, nor those in the church who tried to covered it up & joined in the betrayal. The church is "supposed to show love & compassion...be a comfort in times of trouble."

That they failed to do so, that they failed to vigorously prosecute Laughlin by the law of the land & the discipline of the church, is their ultimate betrayal of you, and their betrayal of themselves as the Church, and the Christ Whom they are supposed to imitate & represent.

Just as the Rev. Dr. Perverted Perpetrator betrayed Christ, the church, his calling (if he ever had one?), and above all you when he did not end that terrible cycle as you had every reason to expect him to.

John, I am majorly PO'd (imagine how you feel!)! Becuz "people" like him & his partners in crime give all ministers, the entire church, and Christ Himself a bad name in the world.

But most of all, becuz they have given you a bad, meaning a severely pained & damaged,life!

John, what those policemen did is likewise inexcusable, & damages the whole police force above all it damaged you even further! What a tragic instance of of the stereotyping concerning men & sexual abuse you had to suffer thru! \:\( Not to mention our criminal injustice system!

No wonder you continued to go thru this horrible cycle. How deep your despair & darkness must have been; and I can only hope you're starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel, or the hole these b*stards have tried to bury you in!

My brother, I don't know what you're going thru. My SA was quite different, tho still SA & in some ways handled somewhat similarly; ie I too was victimized by the legal system. But I do hurt deeply for you; I am angry for you.

I'm glad you're in the process of forgiving yourself for whatever it is you think you need forgiveness for. Becuz it was not your fault, and I'm glad you know it!

The fault lies with your perps & with your perps alone--but including all who victimized you in this process, this horrible abuse & injustice, that I pray is coming swiftly to an end in your favor & on your behalf, tho nothing will undo or pay for what has been done to you.

I also hope & pray Ted & Tom can be gotten off the streets, into treatment & punishment, & out of your life--where they belong!

Forgiving them? If you say you need to then you do, & no one else can tell you that! John, just be gentle with yourself on this. Do it in your time, your way, as a work in progress & process, bound by no one's expectations or responses, for your benefit & healing. Yes, talk with your T about it, as you're able.

Maybe you can talk with God about it, if & as you're able, as well. Thanks for sharing the Irish blessing, its one of my favorites. Here's another one, for you, my friend:

"Christ be with us, Christ before us, Christ behind us, Christ in us, Christ beneath us, Christ above us...May your salvation, O Lord, be ever with us." (from the prayer of St Patrick).

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#26661 - 12/09/02 05:11 PM Re: "Forgive & You Will Be Forgiven"?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Cement, my fellow survivor brother, if you have just realized you went thru these sexual abuses, I hope you will be able to draw upon all the support & help from here & elsewhere that you can get. Including a good T as soon as you can.

If you have to think about forgiving them now, for your own sake, do so, with all that support you can get. Please remember, it is for you, your process, your time, your way.

Don't doubt what happened to you, or minimize it, or blame yourself. Don't let them continue to hold control over you. The truth can hurt, but not as bad as denial, minimizing, or self-blame. And the truth can make you free!

Take care Cement my friend

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#26662 - 12/09/02 08:27 PM Re: "Forgive & You Will Be Forgiven"?
Cement Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
Thanks Wuame.

I have a terrific "T" and this realization today was more of a reframing of events that I always remembered, in fact I remember these events more clearly than the original SA. I am bowled over and I appreciate every positive thought.

My framework is changing so rapidly that I hardly recognize anything I see. I know this means I must be getting 'better' but I find this world and this life so difficult to navigate right now.

That said, the issue is forgiveness.

"Pray you now, forget and forgive"
-William Shakespeare

"To err is human, to forgive divine."
-Alexander Pope

"...unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other..."
-Luke, apostle to Jesus Christ

"And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us."
-Lord's Prayer

Forgive! How many will say, “forgive,” and find
A sort of absolution in the sound
To hate a little longer!
-Alfred Tennyson

If you are not already dead, forgive. Rancor is heavy, it is worldly; leave it on earth: die light.
-Jean Paul Sartre

I thought perhaps such a ripe subject deserved some time-honored reflections.

_________________________
And let the darkness fear our light.

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