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#336324 - 07/19/10 12:56 AM What is forgiveness?
brokenheart Offline


Registered: 07/14/10
Posts: 12
I am recalling so many past memories and the pain is all coming to the surface again. I was lucky in my day because I started working with psychologists when I was 13 and had thearpy until I was 23. I was given all sort of coping tools to work with. I buried most of the issues of childhood when I turned 18 with hypnosis that induced a form of controlled psychogenic amnesia. It was highly experimental and no proven guarantees it was going to work. I lost my old identiy in a blink of an eye and had to create a 'new persona' in it's place.

I used to pray and get directions from a 'spirit' that came to me in dreams. I worked with runaways for many years and helped them get off the streets. (1978-84) I listened to their 'war stories' and was horrified they had so much trauma hidden away in their childhood. Everyone of them had a 'perp' hidden away and that was what they were running from.

I can't remember all of the 1000's of stories I listened to back then but it was always reduced down to them finding forgiveness in their hearts to help them heal their minds.

I am curious how others would define 'forgiveness' through their own recovery process? I know how I used to define it to those teens when I was involved in a one on one conversation with them.

Strange that with the latest recall of my own childhood - I am struggling to define that again for myself.

brokenheart






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#336364 - 07/19/10 07:19 PM Re: What is forgiveness? [Re: brokenheart]
fhorns Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/10/02
Posts: 613
This a very honest and probing question. I don't feel like I've got courage to forgive others myself right now. (Maybe I'm wrong???)

But I'm writing to let you know I will be watching this post. You said it so simply.

Alfred


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#336390 - 07/20/10 03:32 AM Re: What is forgiveness? [Re: fhorns]
SirVivor Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/08/10
Posts: 23
Loc: CA
Great post. I am struggling with the same. My birth family just won't accept my truth and sometimes will actually use my victimization as a weapon against me. It's weird, I still love them and can forgive them but they can't accept the truth and being near them is injurious to me. I want to forgive them but they won't give me that opportunity. I just went through hell with them recently and I just had to cut the relationship off!


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#336659 - 07/23/10 08:30 PM Re: What is forgiveness? [Re: SirVivor]
brokenheart Offline


Registered: 07/14/10
Posts: 12
Originally Posted By: SirVivor
My birth family just won't accept my truth and sometimes will actually use my victimization as a weapon against me.


I had 10 years of therapy from the age of 13 to the age of 23 so I was in the middle of my own treatment when my mind flipped with the dissociative amnesia. My therapists were the ones who recommended I reach out to 'street kid's' because they felt that a big percentage of them were dealing with 'abuse issues.' He felt those in the same battle together were the ones I need to turn.

All those conversations are coming back to mind and this was a common theme among those who spoke to me about their own victimization. It was an 'ugly truth' and no one wanted to deal with it directly. I shocked me how many victims were actually punished for speaking the truth and how that was used against them in many different ways.

My own pscyologists were trained to deal with the 'ugly truth' and look it in the eye but they told me (warned me actually) that if I tried to talk to normal minds - it was going to be to shocking for those without that experience to deal with. It was offensive to them because they had lived a sheltered life and would not allow their minds to have apathy toward the victim in the case because it required them putting their selves in the situation in a way.

Strange as it may seem - my psychologist said that on a mental level - if I forced my 'truth and reality' on a mind who wasn't prepared to deal with the ugly nature of it - it would be a form of abuse toward them and their minds. They would defend their own minds from that 'shocking element' and react to it to defend themselves from the horror of the topic.

That is why I am so grateful for this forum that allows us a chance to support one another and being to speak with those who are prepared to deal with the 'dark nature' so we can find the light we need to heal from it.

Thanks for sharing your own story.

We are not alone.

DK


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#336679 - 07/24/10 02:00 AM Re: What is forgiveness? [Re: fhorns]
brokenheart Offline


Registered: 07/14/10
Posts: 12
Originally Posted By: fhorns
I don't feel like I've got courage to forgive others myself right now. (Maybe I'm wrong???)


Hi Alfred,
This was actually my point. I found some quotes that support the theme I followed back in the early 80's. In Aramaic forgive means to restore love by canceling the cause of its loss.

Quote:
"Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from the inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves."
Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Quote:
To forgive is to let go. In Aramaic the word is 'shbag.' It means to cancel, to let go, to untie. This roughly translates to a tool for changing a reality in your mind. The meaning is much richer in Aramaic. If I take full responsibility for what is in my mind and heart, I then have the opportunity to clear my mind of resentments, hurts, grudges, and wrongs. It has been said that forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different. If I forgive, I have the opportunity to let go of disruptive thoughts and feelings. No easy task for most of us. But we can practice.
Source: Forgive

Quote:
Once you understand True Forgiveness as taught in Aramaic you will never 'forgive' another again! You can't forgive anyone else— True Forgiveness has to do with changing the reality triggered in your mind by another, not letting them off the hook for doing it. It is this dynamic and this dynamic ALONE that frees the mind of its hostility and allows us to follow the First Law of human existence—the maintenance of the condition of Love."
Source: Ancient Wisdom

Quote:
"In Aramaic , Forgive means to cancel. The minute you loosened your grip on your need for them to be perfect, in effect, you canceled your need for that perfection. The result of that action is your 'parent' file opened and the abuse, pain and resentment it contained began to release. This is True Forgiveness in Aramaic , certainly a radically different action than letting them off the hook . As the cloud over your perception of them lifted, a painful reality was in process of being forgiven and you can now see them more realistically."

"Your Forgiveness did not change the past , but it changed a reality in your mind about the past . There is no reason why the pain of old realities should be carried inside of us.
Source Ancient Wisdom


Restore - Recovery.

Maybe this is a concept my therapist set me up to understand, or maybe it was coming to me in dreams for the sake of my own prayers. I can't recall exactly. But to me - it wasn't something we could give to someone else and not something that was meant for us to wrestle with to give our 'abusers.' It was designed to be something we give ourselves. To me - it was accepting that we couldn't turn back time and undo the past. We had to live with it and give ourselves back what we are owed from it.

Love.

Hate, anger, resentments, torment and all the rest was just us allowing the 'abuse' to continue in our own minds. To me, forgiveness was about staking the claim in my own mind and retaking territory that was taken from me in a brutal and hostile attack. It was about me reclaiming my own mind and filling it back up with loving thoughts for myself, life, others and my future.

Curious to other thoughts on this ancient concept of forgivness and how it isn't something we give the 'wrongdoer' as much as it is something we give ourselves.

brokenheart


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#336702 - 07/24/10 10:27 AM Re: What is forgiveness? [Re: brokenheart]
fhorns Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/10/02
Posts: 613
You've processed a lot over time. I'm not exactly in the same spot,...but I appreciate your focus, your intent, in writing this. Not Forgiving, I know now, is only hurting me. It's a lifetime habit from thinking and believing "it's my fault".

In writing this, you made me think, and I'm thinking now. Thank you for being so objective in it. It's easier to handle (much easier) than from the perspective of guilt, shame, or fear. Thank you for sharing all your knowledge.

Again, thank you.

Alfred


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#336703 - 07/24/10 10:45 AM Re: What is forgiveness? [Re: fhorns]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
I hate this topic. For obvious reasons but one of the things I have learned is that forgiveness is not a one time boom and done thing. It is continuous. 70x7. Each time it/he comes up in my mind I must make the choice to do it right then again. It does get easier over time and maybe that is the point. We think because God accepted the sacrifice of Christ one time in history that is all we must do but that is not correct. He had been doing that thousands of years each time a bull or goat was offered.

We too, each time the memory is offered to us we must forgive again and as we do it changes not only us but I think the memory also taking the teeth out of it some.

That is my take anyway.

r


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#336724 - 07/24/10 04:17 PM Re: What is forgiveness? [Re: Freedom49]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Forgiveness is a gift for myself.... a reprieve from the anger and hate that I felt toward my perp which hurt no one but myself....

Mike

_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#336780 - 07/25/10 10:05 AM Re: What is forgiveness? [Re: michael banks]
michael Joseph Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 2719
Loc: Virginia
forgivness has nothing to do with the perp at all

they do not even need to know you did it

it has to do with what is in your heart

what you are holding on to or letting go of

sometimes people think you are letting them get away

with what was done, they know what they did, they have to live

with that. What forgiveness allows is your freedom for the

hate you hold against them. You can be stubborn and hang on,

but that may do evem more damage to you and those around you.

And that allows the perp to hurt you more and more each day

forward. It is more important to live life more fully and love

those around you even more.

Michael Joseph

_________________________
Standing together is so much better than hiding in the dark.
***I am a three time WoR Retreat Alumni***
The Round Table, Men's CSA Group, Monday 7:30pm CST, MaleSurvivor Chat

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#336922 - 07/26/10 04:03 PM Re: What is forgiveness? [Re: Freedom49]
brokenheart Offline


Registered: 07/14/10
Posts: 12
Originally Posted By: Freedom49
We too, each time the memory is offered to us we must forgive again and as we do it changes not only us but I think the memory also taking the teeth out of it some.



We too, each time the memory is offered to us we must forgive again and as we do it changes not only us but I think the memory also taking the teeth out of it some.

Yes. This was the point of my original post. All these years later, the memories of my past hurts, pains and various assaults have came to the surface again – and even through I felt I forgave in the proper and true sense – and gave myself the healing I needed from that wound and injury – here is all over again and I steal have to heal myself again. I had other instances were I felt injured aside from it being a case of lust. My girlfriend was shot and murdered when I was 20. I had to learn to heal myself from that hurt, pain, anger and hate as well. I was able to bury that memory and go on with my life. It was easier to learn ‘forgiveness’ with a murderer than it is to forgive the ‘crime’ (sin) of lust that is forced upon us.

My own personal sexual assault may seem mild to some. It did back when it happened to me. I was 13 and was forced upon by a gang of older girls. (15-19) One was a married woman with a husband and a child. It was mild in the sense that they gave me hickeys and only touched my genitals. I was against my will and it put a dirty feeling inside of me that didn’t go away. They had held me down while I was crying and screaming with pain. (I had a cardiac condition and they didn’t realize that any pain inflicted on me would have a psychological effect – especially mixed with any sexual feelings.) It was very hard for others to accept it had been molestation because it involved 5 girls with a young teen. They felt that was every boy’s fantasy.

4 years ago – that old and painful memory resurfaced again after years of being hidden. It was like that knife was stuck inside my heart all over again. This time it was worse because I could look back and see how that one incident had such a dramatic effect on the rest of my life. (I am 50 now.)

When the girls found out that the attack led to a nervous breakdown – and word got around that I felt violated and hurt – they were in tears and begging me to forgive them. I couldn’t back then. They asked what they could do to make it up to me and I asked them to never look me in the eye again. If they did see me – they had to duck their head in shame and cross the street. I wanted them to bear the shame for what they did and they all complied. I just wanted them to know what they did to me was wrong and I got that. I wasn’t going to bear their shame and guilt inside of me. I felt they should wear that as a ‘badge’ of honor. I did forgive – not for the sake of their minds as much as for my own. I told the girls – they had to seek their own forgiveness from God – because it wasn’t for me to give them.

My healing was in knowing that they owned up to their own guilt, shame, pain and that did hurt them. For me – it is a matter of looking back now and knowing we all six had hard lessons to learn together.

That was an important part of my own recovery. Forgiveness wasn’t about ‘letting them off the hook’ and looking the other way about the wrong they did to me – as well as the wrong they did to themselves.

It was investigated by the authorities and they felt it wasn’t a case that needed to be brought into the court system. Instead – it was turned over to the ‘system of justice’ on the schoolyard. My peers stood with me and shunned them for a while. I was in charge of when they had been shunned enough. When I felt they had learned their lesson – I nodded my head and the rest of the class went back to normal but I told them that we couldn’t ever be friends but I promised them I would never harbor or hold ill-will feelings against them.

So – I got my ‘sense of justice’ and my forgiveness was for me. I knew enough at a young age that they too were in the same boat as me and where seeking their own forgiveness.

I was lucky in many ways. My case became a topic of discussion on the schoolyards at three schools. It brought awareness to many minds and I had many other guys come and speak to me about their own hurt, pain and some form of sexual activity forced upon them. So – I learned in 1974 that it was a silent epidemic that usually led many young males to suffer in silence. I had just been led to believe it was something that went on in silence in my own home.

So – even in the best case scenario – where we walked away with all the wounds healed and a fair system of justice was served – 30 years later when that memory came back – it was like a knife was used to open those old wounds again with salt being poured onto it and I had to learn to forgive again – to spare myself that pit of misery with that anger, hate, guilt, shame and hurt that comes with the memories.

I do like your parable. Forgiveness is like a dentist who takes the teeth out of the memory – and turns it into a ‘soft nibble’.

brokenheart


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