I like the idea of letting it go and moving on. I like the idea of experiencing a sense of freedom and relief within me upon truly forgiving, but I haven’t a clue as to how to genuinely and truly forgive.
It’s important that we remember, as we learn in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), that ACCEPTING is not the same thing as APPROVING. So, if we forgive people who abused, neglected, or mistreated us, we are accepting that these things happened and that they are in the past. We are choosing to leave it behind and move on. We are NOT saying that the person/people have been given a free pass or that what they did is now acceptable or excusable or okay in our eyes. It just means we are accepting reality. Someone on the show said that by forgiving, we are no longer allowing the abuser to take away joy in our present and future moments.
I just don’t seem to have it within me to forgive. This saddens me. Maybe I’m just not ready.
It’s been quite a while since I was a child, but I still – almost daily – deal with the repercussions and scars of my parents’ behavior toward me. I have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) in addition to BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) as a result from the abuse and neglect. To this day, I have flashbacks.
My father passed away when I was 16. He apologized to me before he passed away. He is gone now, and it is almost certainly not tormented by the past any longer. I still carry such anger and hurt as a result of his behaviors toward me when I was a little girl. I don’t know what good it does, as he is gone.
My mother is still living, and when I turned 18 years ago, I moved all the way across the country to be as far away as possible from the memories and drama. She has apologized up and down and written me heartfelt letters of apology. I just still do not trust her with my heart.
A little bit more history: from 13-18 I was in a number of foster homes and group homes.
On Oprah, it was said that the only “good” things that come out of terrible experiences are that we learn a certain lesson about living that we couldn’t have learned any other way.
The only good thing I can see, right now, is that living in the group homes changed my life for the better. I learned to begin to love myself and to live with and care about people from all backgrounds. I learned what it felt like to live in a safe environment. I had the opportunity to experience some normality, regular meals, and bonding that I didn’t have at home.
I can acknowledge that and feel peace in it, but I am unfortunately not finding it within me to really forgive my parents. Can you relate? If you have let go/forgiven, please also share.
For comic relief, I love this tweet one of my twitter connections sent me on this topic:
Thank you for reading.