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  #1  
Old 01-19-18, 05:05 PM
Drogheda Drogheda is online now
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the key to forgiveness.

Whenever I come to a milestone, I feel it's important to share the information.

to give the gift, so to speak.

of course this feeling has been bubbling up for a while but today therapy was a real game changer.

the key to forgiveness or paranoid type behavior is all in the phrase "forgive but don't forget". the phrase either unlocks personal forgiveness and rekindles lost emotion or puts one on edge.

at one time I thought the term meant, forgive but don't forget what they did because .....fear. like, forgive but don't forget because you never know when they will strike. that isn't forgiveness. truth be told this is about deep seeded anxiety and locked emotion, typically with, heh, your tribe.

it's a warning to not forget. that happened to me, for a long time I couldn't deal with the pain so I tried to bury the pain and forget the past, not speaking this guys name, editing his name from my list of friends.... in essence I forgot a portion of myself when I did this.

to forgive someone close is to know everyone makes mistakes, to own those mistakes you make, to forgive the mistakes of other's (especially when overblown) and to remember the person who was.

on both ends. that is where compassion lies, sleeping, behind vigilance. that is where trust lies, sleeping, behind deceit.

I also realize why I'm saying this here and how strange and wonderful human behavior is. that, is difficult to put into words. but I hope the message resonates with some.
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  #2  
Old 01-19-18, 09:00 PM
ToneTone ToneTone is offline
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Re: the key to forgiveness.

Really thoughtful.

I just have one thing ...

When people wound us badly, there's no such thing as "forgive and forget"--except for really minor stuff.

There is lots of "forgive and PRETEND to forget"

Or ... "forgive and try to act like I forget."

I agree with you. Forgetting or pretending to forget is to discount our experience ... and if we forgive someone that requires work ... lots of work ... and growth ... forgetting seems like it would discount all the work we've done, all the healing we've done ... all the forgiving we've done.

Just two cents.

Tone
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Old 01-20-18, 05:02 AM
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sarahsweets sarahsweets is offline
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Re: the key to forgiveness.

I look at forgiveness like this: You have work through the trauma of whatever the other person did-whether its something totally horrific or something so hurtful you cant see straight. Once worked through( with therapy) there comes a time where you decide to either let it control you with negativity and mistrust and suck up your energy OR- you acknowledge the circumstances of the person and where they were at when the offense occurred and using that information sort of develop a...sympathetic or empathetic way of seeing them? I dont know if that makes sense.

An example- Abuse from my father. When I got old enough to address it on my own through therapy I had to work through it. I didnt invite him to my wedding because he wanted me to give up my unborn baby or have an abortion and my husband and I were already engaged so we moved the wedding up. I regret that now because he died 5 years after that. I had to feel the anger and fear and all the bad stuff. I had to work through poor self esteem and alcoholism. We got back into a relationship 2 years before he died. I worked for him while pregnant with my second child. He came to see her in the hospital and then dropped dead at age 47 when she was two weeks old on his birthday.

For his birthday gift I wrote him a letter-forgiving him for all of it, acknowledging the unsaid pain and thanking him for the last couple of years. He opened the letter at 1am on his birthday ( I found it open in his office) and died that morning at 7am. He was able to know that I knew his defects had a lot to do with drugs and alcohol and his own abusive childhood. I forgave him for me,not him. I was tired of suffering.If I hadnt written that letter I would still be wracked with guilt.

Ever since then I dont feel any anger or pain from the experiences. When they come up during deep discussions I can talk about them objectively because I am at peace.
I hope this makes sense somehow.

-sweets
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Old 01-20-18, 05:42 PM
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Re: the key to forgiveness.

That's a very moving post, Sarah. Your father read your letter, but he never got the chance to express whatever reaction or emotions he may have had on that. Life can be bittersweet and ruthless like that. Sometimes we don't get to say the things that need to be said before saying goodbye, and that can haunt us for a long time...

I some cases things that were done to us are just unforgiveable, there is no way that we ever deserved to be treated like that.

Both my mother and stephfather raised me in ways that were severely neglectfull, either emotionally or just in terms of providing stability and safety. And while i was aware of this when i was a kid, i had the intuitive reflection that they had their problems too, my mother was depressed and an ex-alcoholic, my stepfather probably the same, although he could hide it a lot better. They both died young, many years ago.

I spend my youth forgiving them from the get go, understanding it, seeing their weakness and deciding to be the stronger one, i can take it. I thought i had accepted it all, i had overcome it. And in a way i had, but only on a rational level.

I spend the last 3 years coming to terms with it all - emotionally - going through the sadness, the loneliness, the anger that i should have felt decades ago, meanwhile stumbling
into overcompensated self-esteem issues, how ruthlessly hard i have been to myself for most of my life because of it all, and how i denied myself any empathy over it....

Emotionally, i can't forgive them totally, especially my mom, it's like a pebble in my stomach, probably all the anger that i surpressed for so many years, hardened up into a marble.

For 40 years i had managed to refuse to see me as a victim, until i couldn't run from it anymore. Forgiving them completely would not be fair, so instead, i just decided to let it go... to move beyond it, by forgiving myself mostly for ever believing that i had deserved it after all.
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Old 01-20-18, 10:10 PM
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Re: the key to forgiveness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToneTone View Post
Really thoughtful.

I just have one thing ...

When people wound us badly, there's no such thing as "forgive and forget"--except for really minor stuff.

There is lots of "forgive and PRETEND to forget"

Or ... "forgive and try to act like I forget."

I agree with you. Forgetting or pretending to forget is to discount our experience ... and if we forgive someone that requires work ... lots of work ... and growth ... forgetting seems like it would discount all the work we've done, all the healing we've done ... all the forgiving we've done.

Just two cents.

Tone
the process is complex I'll give you that.

the past is nothing but mental notes in our filing system of memory.

we can remember one thing one way forever, but forget who we are in the process.

I'll be frank, the guy who *wronged* me threatened to kill me. he was also one of my closest friends growing up. we are all naturally empathetic creatures without really realizing it most of the time. the reason why we can come to not *feel* anything is precisely because we bury those empathetic connections behind the connection. "who cares about friendship, no one does" for instance is someone who has a deep wound. the seat of no one is the imposter(IS), depression or just general anxiety. in other words, if you ever say "no one likes this, no one loves me, no one is listening" that is an echo of a wound. no one in this sense represents the feeling you buried behind the pain of a past interaction.

behavior (feelings) are reciprocal. the person who caused me trauma said he was going to kill me "you", a projection. he was trying to kill the empathetic bond and I let him. at the same time I have to own up to the mistake I made to reciprocate that response (and ya it was overblown on his end, but that doesn't matter).

Memory is nothing more than that, memory. we can't change the other persons decision but we can re-frame the entire event.

two things have to enter your mind for this to happen though. 1 is no one is perfect (no one is the seat of IS, depression and anxiety in these serious types of things). I made a mistake, he made a mistake because the only one that doesn't make a mistake is no one, and I'm someone therefore I can make mistakes.

2 is general knowledge (and I have to say, this is for trauma about people close to oneself) of the person. He had brain cancer and he was starting to show unusual behavior.

that however isn't where forgiveness comes from and the reclamation of emotion and empathetic ties. so far that is just blame. there is a why.

Because I loved that guy, he was one of my best friends and I was concerned for him regardless the mistake. I remember staying up with him talking about his concerns, I remember all the fun we had together despite the mistake. I remember trips to the mall where we would act like asses and have the best of times together. I remember the dreams we would share about the future. I remember crying and laughing with him. he was one of the 4 people (besides family) that had the biggest impact on me. he was a true friend and will always be that.
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Old 01-21-18, 02:16 AM
ToneTone ToneTone is offline
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Re: the key to forgiveness.

Really loved the story Drogheda ... it fleshes out in a real way the broad points you made in the first post.

Wonderful story ... love reading about your kindness and generosity and openness ... and forgiveness.

Tone
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