Was just wondering guys, do you see forgiving as a process or as an act? I know and i feel that i have forgiven the person, but somehow i seem to be missing the point of it altogether. It feels like i still have all the pain and sadness locked up inside my body (mainly the left side of my face actually).
As far as i can tell, i see it as a process in which you learn to dig deeper into the anger. Sometimes there is a hole through which you can see the deepest truth - underneath all the anger and fear lives the love which i need and cherish, but at the same time so many times i deny myself this love.
It's tough, but i know that it's my responsibility to take care of myself.
i think it is a process - and a continuously renewable DECISION.
i also see it as an ongoing disentanglement from the bondage to the abuser - or cutting myself free from the past and the acts and connection to the perps and becoming independently and personally responsible for myself and creating my own feelings and actions - not being programmed to RE-act and RE-spond and RE-enact the old scenarios and RE-play the old "tapes."
Thanks for sharing Lee! Recognize the part of being programmed. In my view it's being hijacked by the perpetrator and victim in your mind, which play out their endless game of blame and suffering.
In my case i struggle to set my brother aside from the abuser. I know rationally that i don't need to blame him for what happened long ago, but inside i still feel anger. It might very well be anger directed at something completely different, but for now it's easy to link everything back to the abuse. Really about all the RE's you mention.
More and more i realize i am the one who needs forgiveness the most. Cause nobody else will ever be able to get as close as i can be to myself. Therefore i'm really making an effort to work on myself now that i have the time to.
Thanks for your reply, much appreciated. Gives me another point of view to work on/work with!
came across this anonymous advice and i thought it was appropriate. i would like to share it.
[font:Century Gothic]There are two kinds of forgiveness; the kind when you forgive and you give them another chance, or the kind you forgive but you move on without them. Use them both wisely. [/font]
I was living on the street when that guy Clifford Robert Olsen was active. He lived and worked here for a while in my home town. I feel so fortunate he was not one of the men that picked me up. Your story sent a chill over me. I am glad you survive where several others didn't.
I did not know he had been in town until his court case revealed it. Oh I am so thank full you are still here.
Oprah Winfrey says "Forgiveness is giving up all hope that the past could have been any different."
It took me awhile to come to grips with that definition but I've discovered it's basic truth. If I do that then I'm able to move forward into a healthy place. If I don't I'm stuck in a mess of resentment, doubt, and self-hatred. Looking at it that way, the course I need to take becomes clear.
IT was, for me, an essential piece of my recovery walk that I learn to forgive. I would talk it over with my T and, as always, he would give me something to consider as I went through my week. That forgiveness is what will set me free. Yes, it does something for the offender, yet the most important one is YOU. I know what happened - at least parts of it since there are large pieces of 'blank' - and I know who did it. What I needed to do was evict the squatters in my head. They were renting space for free.
I am better for doing it. As WalkingSouth said - I'm in a better place.
your reply means a lot to me.
i am glad i can connect with others.
i have been feeling alone for far too long.
i, too, am sorry to hear what happened to you.
it should not happen to anyone.
what does not kill us, makes us stronger (and stranger).
stay strong, brother.
so happy to hear that i have inspired someone, anyone, even a little. i have come a long way in my recovery and it is my sincere desire to inspire others to overcome this dreadful disease we all share. TRAUMA is a thing of the past!
i am responsible for any problems i have in the future, and it is my own fault if i don't throw out the garbage. not once and for all, but every day, i have to clean house.
thanks for the inspiration.
but the truth hurts.
the desire to hold on to the memory and try to rewrite history is very tempting, but ultimately futile. i just wish it hadn't taken me a lifetime to learn that simple lesson. i desperately wish that my fellow survivors here will start purging as soon and as early as possible. however, i also know that it cannot be rushed. it has to come from within, naturally. the recipe for recovery may not be the same for every person, but i know what works for me.
i am happy to hear you are well on your way to a better place and a safer space. you are so right about evicting the abuser. that is exactly what i did. GET OUT OF MY MIND! GET OUT OF MY HEART! i have reclaimed my territory and established a secure border, but the fence requires constant supervision and repair. i almost feel well. some days i actually feel a deep joy. something i have missed up until recently. peace.
This is so true, it took me a while to understand this, but I work at this every day.
Thank you for pointing me in the right direction, I wrote this in my journal.
The Greek word for ‘forgive’ used in the New Testament normally means ‘to let go, to dispose of something’. This offers us insight for life. To not forgive another means to let what they have done affect who we are – this is a choice to our detriment, which not even God can change, nor can God relieve us of the consequences of our choice. And to not forgive leads us towards hatred and revenge which are discussed just before (Matt 5: 38-48; headlines 13 & 14)
By contrast, to ‘let go’ of the hurt others have caused us is to ‘let go’ of the grip they have gained, by their actions, over our mind and emotions. To ‘let it drop’ frees me to look at my own need for forgiveness, to be loved by God and to live freely with love for others, as God intended.
For some people forgiveness is part of the healing process, we give back those things that never belonged to us, things that were never ours to begin with, but were forced upon us. It does not mean that we absolve them of their crimes, nor does it mean that what they did was OK. Forgiving them releases us from our burden, they hold no power over us any more. We are free to heal ourselves.
By practicing this act, which only takes a moment, I become a peace-maker, rather than a peace-breaker (Matt 5:9)
It takes a lifetime. It was only a few moments in time to our perpetrators, it's a lifetime to us.
I've walked through the pain any number of times with my T, and worked at the forgiveness piece just as many times. It truly has left me feeling more whole, more of a man, more alive when I forgive those who have done evil to me. What they intended for evil, God used for good (that's out of Genesis chapter 50).
Yes, Victor, we do help each other heal.