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Relationships & Social Issues This forum is for adults with AD/HD to discuss how AD/HD affects personal relationships.

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Old 05-19-18, 10:51 PM
ToneTone ToneTone is offline
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Re: What is forgiving?

Peri, you are definitely right: we have all had to be forgiven to stay in close relationship with others--many times forgiven. And we also have to forgive others many times to stay in close relationships.

Psychopathetic, here's my understanding of what's going on when the mother of a child who has been killed stands up in court and announces to the perpetrator, "I forgive you." The mother is NOT saying she is happy and OK with her child being killed. That would be full-out insanity and humanly impossible except for a psychopath or sociopath.

Indeed, that mother is quite pleased and relieved that the perpetrator has been arrested, convicted and is shackled by handcuffs. She is quite fine with that perpetrator spending his life in prison. That mother cries just about every day about the death of her child. Her life is full of emptiness and loss ... and she's not denying or minimizing this loss.

What that mother means by announcing forgiveness is something along the lines of Iím not going to spend active energy hating you, the perpetrator. Spending energy hating you ... waking up in the morning with a focus on wanting the worst for you ... will only exacerbate my pain and loss and emptiness. Sometimes that mother is simply saying something like despite the evil you committed, I choose to believe you, the perpetrator, have some goodness in you, however small, however now covered by the impact of your horrible crime.

That mother also might feel that a focus on the perpetrator actually takes her away from a focus on her good feelings and good memories she has of her child.

By forgiving your father, you would NOT be saying "It's all ok." Rather, you are saying despite everything you've done to hurt me, I'm going to extend love and acceptance to you ... And I think doing so will help me, though it doesn't change the original pain I felt.

Pretending that nothing happened is not forgiveness ... You might forgive and still commit to doing further work of healing from his behavior.

I sense people have to test out what feels right and healthy for them. If the forgiveness causes more pain than not, you back off ... But forgiveness does not take away the original wound ... forgiveness is about our ongoing attitude towards the wound or injustice we experienced.

Tone
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