forgiveness begins with ourselves--we need to forgive ourselves for what happened. I blamed myself and held myself responsible for what happened. But only with time and healing did I learn I was not and I then could forgive myself.
I do not believe we have to forgive the abuser for what he has done--we only need to accept it as part of who we are. I believe with acceptance we do achieve some of the elements of forgiveness--we release anger and the need for revenge, we can begin to fully reengage in life and living, we forgive ourselves for what happened--these are emotions from the heart or internal thoughts.
I don't think it's possible forgive on your own. You have to turn it over to God (or whatever supreme being is at the center of your life). I couldn't possibly add anything to Victor-Victim's earlier post.
If you take all the hate, anger, rage and any other unhealthy toxic part of life that you feel toward your abuser, and turn it over to God, and let Him work it out, then forgiveness is possible. Before that I think's it's just a feeble attempt to try to get some relief from feeling so down on yourself and your life.
Rich, what are your thoughts?
Never, never, never, never give up...Winston Churchill
i have to admit that i still struggle with my forgiveness feelings. i often wish for perpetrators to suffer some form of punishment or consequence for the damage caused and lives ruined... especially when force, premeditation, violence, injury, torture, murder or sadism are involved. when i pray for divine justice and vengeance, that feels unsatisfactory and inadequate and presumptuous and unclean. i prefer to pray for peace, wisdom, love and tolerance.
Offered JUST as a perspective. That's all. Offered in answer to the thread's subject. That's all.
something this guy said is stuck in my mind. the more i think about it, the more it sticks.
there must be degrees of forgiveness, i found it healthy to forgive my abusers, but i do not believe it necessary to wish them well, as this speaker implies.
i prefer to leave that in god's hands. i believe they will get whatever they deserve. (one way or another)
i have forgiven my abusers... yes. do i pardon them... no. do i wish them well... no. do i want god to forgive them... yes. do i want them to earn it... yes. do i want god to prevent and punish them... yes. would i prevent or punish a perp if possible... yes. do i want them to fully comprehend and realize the impact of their selfish action and seek redemption... yes. would i like the abusers to feel guilt, empathy and remorse... yes. would i like the abusers to confess, apologize, repent and atone... yes. do i dwell (obsess or ruminate) on it anymore... no. i think those apparently contradictory points of view are not entirely incompatible. they seem to make emotional sense to me.
For me FORGIVENESS is a new concept. I can not forgive what I haven't fully dealt with inside. It gives me a personal, calm power as I move into this phase of my recovery because this time around I know I make the choice. It is not forced on me, beguilingly taken from me, but something I will freely give when the time is right for me. I will forgive each when the time is right for me.
For now we see through a glass, darkly.
Forgive and forget puts all the burden on the forgiver, I struggled for years with the forget part. I was willing to try but how does one forget something that has so effected us that our own actions are a daily reminder of what happened to us.
Working with my T the real eye opener for me was, where was my anger? I was more than willing to forgive my perp and move on without every admitting how much he hurt me. Forgiveness was my way of not dealing with my brokenness, having forgiven him I had not need to confront him. My T helped me to see I had a right to my pain, I was justified in my anger, but where was my anger? My anger was directed back at me, it was fueling a run away sexual addiction and it was ragging against me, when I finally sought help I had decided things were going to get better or I was getting out (suicide). You either own your pain or it will own you, so I say remember your pain own it and then forgive. .
Every since I was molested I never felt alone, he was always there somewhere in the shadows, somewhere in my subconscious lurking in my dreams. There was no place to hide, somehow he always knew where to find me. We had this pact, he sinned and in my silence I paid for it.
Owning my pain gave me power, I will never forget the day I finally figured out what was wrong with me, I was a victim, I could finally put a label on it, I was a victim and I was relieved, some how it brought order to the kaos. This next part my be a little self serving but so be it, it is the letting go part, freedom. One day we went to church, my perp and I, feeling gutsy I went all the way to the front of the church, up the steps past the alter and put both hands on the tabernacle and prayed. I asked God to forgive me and I asked God to forgive my perp. I remember saying, Lord he is in your hands now, only one of us left church that day, me the survivor.
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