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#453388 - 11/12/13 04:17 PM Re: If he apologized, would you forgive? Could you? [Re: Chase Eric]
jas4159 Offline


Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 278
This is such a difficult concept. Forgiveness that is. Some think if you forgive then you forget and pardon the person. Others believe you can forgive and it does not mean you pardon the perp. Others believe you can't reocvery unless forgive your abuser.

For me IF releasing myself from the torment and suffering of abuse means i must forgive my abuser then so be it. Becuase nothihng could stand in the way of my recovery. If forgiving my abuser allows me to heal, then that is the way it is. Will i ever forget what they did? no way. will i be friends with my abusers? never. will i ever like my abuser? Never. By forgiving have I given anything to my abusers? not a thing? Have i given up anything becuase i forgave? Not a thing? Have a I gained anything? many things including a clearer path toward healing, freedom from the suffering, detachment from my abusers, and much more. I have to wonder after reading peoples responses to forgiveness on this site if maybe we put to much enphasis as to meaning of forgiveness. Maybe when it comes to our abusers the word forgiveness should be forgotten and maybe it is better think in terms of how we can heal our wounds and be free of the suffering. Why is forgivness even important when it comes to our abusers. Why would i care if I forgave him or i didn't? It is not important to me anymore. All i cared about was my recovery and if that meant i forgave my abusers then i did so for myself and it had nothing to do with my abusers. There is nothing more empowering than showing up our abusers by showing them that in the end we won and we healed and we have beat them.

rich

justanothersurvivror.wordpress.com
_________________________
Thanks

rich

justanothersurvivror.wordpress.com

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#453418 - 11/12/13 06:31 PM Re: If he apologized, would you forgive? Could you? [Re: Chase Eric]
CafeMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/18/13
Posts: 149
Loc: Chicago
Would I accept his apology, absolutely. Would I let him drown, no. If I let him die or if I killed him due to my anger, I am worse than what he is. He is an abuser; I would be a murderer. To me that is far worse.

Does it mean we can now hang out and grab a beer? Absolutely not. I can forgive him, but I can move on. I had so much anger in me that it controlled my life. It delayed my healing. Anger, to me, is an accomplice of the abuser. Anger suits the abuser; it doesn't help the survivor. I am more than my abuse. I am a son, brother, uncle, friend, mentor, CafeMan . . . but most of all . . . I am Nick!

And Nick is one hell of a man!

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#453420 - 11/12/13 06:47 PM Re: If he apologized, would you forgive? Could you? [Re: Chase Eric]
don64 Online   content
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 609
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Eirik,

This is a very charged topic for everyone here. So, here's my take. Forgiveness has to do with me and no one else. I have forgiven my parents. I also chose to divorce my family of origin 11 years ago. That, for me, was the beginning of my healing process. The problem for me with wanting ANY apology or acknowledgement from my abusers is that it keeps me in a contingency relationship with them. I am not willing to do that. My parents are very disturbed and very damaged people. I choose to move on with my life and my healing process in ways that I have control over. My abusers never saw ME, never valued ME! I am not in any way invested in them being able to do so, and refuse to spend any of my energies on wanting that from them. That line, in my opinion, keeps me tied to them. I would hope someone would save them from drowning, but that would not be me because I don't intend to share the same air they do. Their energy is poisonous for me. My loving wish for them is that they are able to grow and heal themselves in this lifetime. Practically speaking, I feel it would be an incredible gift to creation. But, I am not responsible for them, and choose myself. I will not spend another moment with their energy in my life, either by their direct presence, or by their indirect presence.

Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#453423 - 11/12/13 07:07 PM Re: If he apologized, would you forgive? Could you? [Re: don64]
CafeMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/18/13
Posts: 149
Loc: Chicago
I agree with Don. I don't need my abuser's forgiveness. My abuser's involvement was that he actually abused me. That was it. Everything else I encountered in life . . . It only involved me and what I went through--period.

If my abuser apologized . . . OK. Is it necessary? No. I can move on with or without the apology. While I don't crave his apology, I only crave my forgiveness, which I have done. I forgive myself for thinking I had some blame with my abuse. I forgive myself for denying myself certain joys in life. I forgive myself for being insecure all these years and finally seeing my worth 28 years after my abuse happened. These allowances are far more important than giving my abuser his allowance. So that is how I can move on . . .

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#453459 - 11/13/13 03:02 AM Re: If he apologized, would you forgive? Could you? [Re: Chase Eric]
tbkkfile Offline


Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 154
Loc: Surrey, United Kingdom
I have to agree with Matt on this, I have no desire to forgive my perps
_________________________
Go back?" he thought. "No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!" So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter

J.R.R.Tolkien, The Hobbit

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#453499 - 11/13/13 01:41 PM Re: If he apologized, would you forgive? Could you? [Re: Chase Eric]
Onesimus75 Offline


Registered: 08/22/13
Posts: 158
Loc: Minnesota
Regarding my main perp, the only one who wasn't a relative stranger:
I went through the mental process of forgiving at about seven years ago, shortly after I realized he was the abuser (see previous posts I was really trapped in self-blame).
It was about six years later I put my admittedly radical beliefs on the topic and tried to reach out.
No response.

Would I have to do with him? Looking him up I found out that we still share many of the same interests still.

But i think it would look different. I'm not sure I'd be alone with him anywhere but a public place, though correspondence is more my style.

That keeps me safe from him, him safe from me (I'm a lot tougher than I was at 16). And gives me a quick out to walk away any moment I need to. It would maybe be easier to see him if he were behind bars, because i'd have more control, but I think there would be a lot less drive for him to be a better man where he doesn't have a future one way or the other.

But there hasn't been an apology or admission of guilt, so I'm not under any further obligations. I pray for him when I have flashbacks of the abuse... usually after it takes me an hour or to to get my head back on straight.
_________________________
We are not defined by our faults, or our wounds, but by the truth within us, which nothing can take away.

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#453504 - 11/13/13 02:12 PM Re: If he apologized, would you forgive? Could you? [Re: jas4159]
Moreorless Offline


Registered: 10/07/13
Posts: 20
Loc: Pittsburgh
Originally Posted By: jas4159
This is such a difficult concept. Forgiveness that is. Some think if you forgive then you forget and pardon the person. Others believe you can forgive and it does not mean you pardon the perp. Others believe you can't recover unless forgive your abuser.


Forgiveness is a difficult concept; it will also have a varied meaning and definition to each of us.

Is there a scale of severity that says when we should not forgive? Is there any objective standard by which we can judge a person's level of responsibility? These questions too have a multitude of answers.

My personal life perspective is one of responsibility assumption. I believe that nothing happens for a reason and that the overall meaning of life is to give life meaning.

That being said - I also believe in the concept of neutral props. In short, nothing has any inherent value to it. All experiences, foods, stimuli, movies, etc. no-thing is neither inherently good nor bad.

It's taken over a decade for me to understand that concept.

But where this ties into this thread is; I was able to discover what was good about the consequences of my abuse. Once I was able to view this in a positive manner then, and only then, was I able to forgive my father.

My experience with my father left me in a physically painful state. Growing into my body as a teenager and then adult resulted in disc herniation, arthritis in my lower spine, patches of skin numbness (after the surgery to put my collar bone back together - several nerves got, I suppose, screwed up), and overall desensitization on the right side of my body.

My choices, as it is my body and my life, as an adult were, essentially, hold a grudge, remain spiteful, grow angry at my father or learn pain management to the best of my abilities and get on with my life. I chose the latter. I found PT, I found Yoga, I found meditation, I dated a masseuse, I learned ways to calm my nerves and muscles, on several occasions I got to try some pretty neat drugs from my doctor - at one point I was given morphine in the hospital... WOW - I totally understood why/how people getting addicted to that crap... Anyway...

The journey led me to an extremely flexible and highly functional physical body that, when it experienced pain, was able to manage its stress quickly and effectively.

From my father's end; that night he put me in the hospital was his rock bottom. He had the nurse on hand call the police so that they would come arrest him.

Between our social worker, my father's mandatory anger management classes and his therapist - my father had one of those enlightening breakthroughs that seem to cinematically illuminate a person's inner being. He moved out, got a small apartment and, as he later recounted to me, cried his weight in tears nightly for years.

Years later, around the time my mother, his ex-wife, had committed suicide - we reconvened as adults and discussed, openly, maturely, safely and vulnerably our past together.

We both saw something terribly wrong with our lives and we both fixed it.

It took a few years of us talking for me and him to find a common ground with each other. Many apologies were given, many mornings were spent over coffee. And then we started to share what we had learned...

I'm rabbling again, sorry, this is not the post to do so...

To make this long story slightly less long - it is now 16 years after that night in the hospital and though, when I have painful flare ups, I still feel some pulses of anger towards him, we are closer than we've ever been.

I suppose forgiveness came because I went and stole my abuse from my abuser and didn't let him take any responsibility for the effect it had on me. I took responsibility for the effect it would have - and I became a good man because of it. I was able to let go this way.
_________________________
"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in." - Leonard Cohen

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#453526 - 11/13/13 05:40 PM Re: If he apologized, would you forgive? Could you? [Re: Chase Eric]
Moreorless Offline


Registered: 10/07/13
Posts: 20
Loc: Pittsburgh


Forgiveness is knowing we are a just balls in a Newton's Cradle. Forgiveness is the chain breaker.
_________________________
"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in." - Leonard Cohen

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#453543 - 11/13/13 08:01 PM Re: If he apologized, would you forgive? Could you? [Re: Chase Eric]
ForeverFighting Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/09/05
Posts: 1058
Loc: New Mexico, USA
I waited for a confession, hoped for an apology--anything that would validate my experience in front of my family and let me know that I wasn't crazy. But then I realized that if he apologized--if everyone apologize--it wouldn't change anything inside. I would still have this soul that felt broken. The decades of training would still have to be unlearned. I kept waiting for something in the hopes that it would fix me. It took time and work before I could see that it wasn't me who needed fixed. I am OK. As long as I feel that inside, love the boy who is now a man, I know I don't need anything from the people who abused me. That includes the "need" to forgive or not to forgive them. I will never forgive someone who doesn't want forgiveness. Instead, I will do what they knowingly or unknowingly conspired to prevent me from doing. I will live.
_________________________
ForeverFighting

"This search for the truth--it's not for the faint of heart."--Goren on 'Law & Order: CI'
"The former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart."--Isaiah 65:17

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#453821 - 11/15/13 05:08 PM Re: If he apologized, would you forgive? Could you? [Re: ForeverFighting]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1293
...


Edited by Chase Eric (11/21/13 11:00 AM)
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