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By | February 22, 2012 82 Comments

What is forgiveness? Does it condone evil or conquer it? (Part I)

Editor’s note: The following article refers to spiritual concepts. Please read Lovefraud’s statement on Spiritual Recovery.

Forgive, as a word, and as an ideal, is very misunderstood in our world. Not only is the idea misunderstood, but the word itself is often intensely disliked.

The act of Forgiveness does not release the perpetrator from responsibility for their crimes, nor condone the behavior. Forgiveness is about letting go, a process that releases us from another’s destructive hold over our lives. It is not about accepting, trusting, or increasing future suffering. To the contrary, Forgiveness is simply releasing pain from the past in order to end future suffering.

Ultimately, forgiveness is not about someone, or something else. The idea that we must forgive someone else is only a step in learning the real Truth about letting go. This step helps to teach us where the real suffering of unforgiveness is experienced”¦in us. It is ourselves that is released through forgiveness, and until we forgive, we are likely to repeat the past.

Forgiveness is how we let go of the resentment that is harming us, and I speak from experience.  In fact, the only way to I know how to help others is by sharing my understanding through my experience.  Personally, I receive very little benefit from people that offer advice and opinions from a perspective that does not include actual personal experience.  All of the healing that I have experienced in my life has come from God, and those that have personal experience with overcoming difficulties through faith and forgiveness.

Most people have their own understanding of forgiveness based on where they are in life and this article is in no way meant to criticize another’s perspective.  I do not ask others to do, or believe what I write.  That is up to the reader.

I am not sure how to say what I need to say without sounding like I am taking credit for something that I had very little to with, but feel the need to use my own personal experience to show an example of what Forgiveness in action looks like.

It is God’s Grace, faith, and forgiveness that changed my perspective, and with it, my life from hell, to heaven.

My dad is a serial killer.  He abused my mom, used me to help him destroy evidence so I would not go to police and has threatened to kill me.  I know what evil looks like.  I’ve been to hell.

I also know what unforgiveness looks like because I have experienced that as well.  Unforgiveness looks a lot like hell to me.  It causes physical and emotional illnesses, including migraine headaches, chronic back pain, nightmares, sleep apnea, drug addiction and many others”¦all of which I have personally experienced.

Holding on to resentment is like drinking poison, and hoping the other person dies.  It is toxic both physically and mentally. This is a medical fact as well.  Many studies have been done on what resentment (or unforgiveness) does to our bodies, including raising one’s blood pressure when simply discussing someone they have not forgiven.

Forgiveness is not a lack of responsibility or action.  It does not mean that we are to be passive and perpetual victims.  To the contrary.  Forgiveness requires great courage, faith, and action.

Yes, forgiveness does require action and the results may surprise you”¦it did me.  I thought forgiveness was for sissys, but I was wrong!

Next week, in part II,  I will write about how forgiveness gave me the courage to face my fears, my father, break the cycle of abuse, right the wrongs of the past, and what it looks like in action.


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Ox Drover

Great Article, travis and I think you and I think alike on this aspect.

I use the story of Joseph (of the coat of many colors) in the old Testament as an example of forgiveness.

Joseph was the “golden child” favorite son, his 10 older brothers were from a wife their father did not love, so Joseph was given a coat of many colors which was rare. The older brothers were sent to work in the fields with the sheep and Joseph mostly lounged around the camp. Joseph was also a very self-centered youth and had dreams where his older brothers were subservient to him and told these dreams to his brothers. The brothers came to resent joseph so much that they actually planned to kill him. They caught him and put him into a pit to keep him there until they got around to killing him.

One of the older brothers was going to secretly release him, but he had an errand to run and when he came back the pit was empty.

While the good brother was gone a caravan of traders came through and the 9 brothers decided to sell Joseph as a slave and they took his coat and smeared it with blood and took it home to their father to make him think Joseph had been eaten by a lion. Their father grieved for decades with a grief that knew no boounds.

In the meantime, Joseph had a hard time in Egypt as a slave, though he was a good slave, he was thrown into prison for several years and while he was there, he “GREW UP” as it were and realized that he had to let go of the anger he felt toward his brothers for putting him in this situation. HE FORGAVE THEM.

Fast forward a decade or two and through various ways, he is now except for the king, RULER of the country. During a famine, his brothers come there to buy grain, and HE RECOGNIZES THEM but they don’t recognize him. Since he speaks through an interpreter they don’t know he understands their language.

Joseph has forgiven his brothers, but HE DOES NOT TRUST THEM, so he decides to TEST THEM to see what kind of men they have become in the meantime. So he puts “stolen” merchandise in their sacks of grain and then sends soldiers out to search them, and Low and behold, there is theh “stolen” silver….so as a consequence he makes one brother stay in prison until the others go back and bring the “baby brother” Benjamin back to Egypt to prove to Joseph that they are not “lying.”

Well, they eventually bring Benjamin back but then the “stolen” gold is put in HIS sack, so when the soldiers search Benjamin (his only full brother) is taken to be the slave for robbery

Now, what will these older brothers do? What kind of men have they become in the decades since they sold Joseph into slavery, sending their elderly father to his grave thinking joseph is dead, now with Benjamin a Salve the old man will surely die of his grief. The brothers step up—they offer to replace Benjamin as slaves if Joseph willl allow Benjamin to go free and return home to their father.

Joseph at that time embraces them as his brothers because he can see that his TEST proved they had changed, they had grown a conscience and they would put their father’s needs and Benjamin’s welfare above their own.

It was ONLY after the TESTS when Joseph saw ACTION that these men had changed that he reestablished a relationship with them. But he had FORGIVEN THEM, gotten the bitterness at them out of his heart, many years before. He had let go of that bitterness.

Reading that story again with NEW EYES I realized that my egg donor’s DEMAND that I “forgive” by PRETENDING IT DIDN’T HAPPEN AND WOULDN’T HAPPEN AGAIN” was NOT what the Bible taught. Forgiveness and trust are NOT the same thing, and forgiving does NOT mean I have to restore trust with someone.

Thank you for this article, Travis…I realize that “forgiveness” is an emotionally charged word for some people…it was for me until I saw the REAL meaning of the word. I have also found that carrying around a load of bitterness rubs off on my spirit.

skylar

To forgive a spath is to give him another thought. That is what he wants: your attention. As long as he has your attention you are enabling him.

The only correct response to a spath is to dismiss him from your life.

Vision

I agree this is a wonderful article….

Until I let go and forgave, understanding what forgiveness meant, I wasn’t able to move away from the bitterness and anger…

Even with some of the therapy moves…like re-enacting the situation and demonstrating how and what you would say if given a change to do it again…..or writing out how I felt and then ripping it up or tossing it into a ceremonial fire….etc….none of it worked….

Forgiveness did….letting go of the resentment….letting go of what I felt inside…my burden…..

And thanks Oxy for the story of Joseph….I know it well but I loved how you teach us about the difference between trust and forgiveness….AMEN….

Vision

Hi Sky,

Do you think that to dismiss the spath from our lives is to forgive? Because until I let go of the resentment, or forgave, I thought of him. After the forgiving, I don’t think of him…I didn’t verbally tell him this as he would have laughed at me…..it was personal to me….

I think it is harder to try to dismiss them at least for me….I am the type that needs to forgive I guess in order to feel peace….

I know of a woman who constantly puts up sayings about men that are losers on her FB….is shows she is still thinking of her sp 4 years later…..wow….I am so glad to move on…

skylar

Vision,
that’s a good question. It seems like forgiveness has so many meanings now that it’s hard to use the word and know what it will convey to others. That’s why I prefer just to use the dictionary for it’s meaning

for·give (fr-gv, fôr-)
v. for·gave (-gv), for·giv·en (-gvn), for·giv·ing, for·gives
v.tr.
1. To excuse for a fault or an offense; pardon.
2. To renounce anger or resentment against.
3. To absolve from payment of (a debt, for example).

On the other hand, the word we are looking at is not forgive, but forgiveness which implies the state of being that WE feel when we have forgiven. Can we enter that state without wiping the slate of obligation clean? Can we feel forgiveness without actually forgiving a debt? In other words can we feel forgiveness and still hold the spath responsible for his debt?

It gets even more complicated. Are we forgiving the spath or his actions? Or both?

Spaths want nothing more than to rent space in our heads. Well actually, they do want something more, they want to turn us into them. And spaths always keep a score board as to who owes what to whom. They keep tabs. It’s what gives the game meaning – and life is a game to them.

For me, the only way to deal with a spath is to opt out of the game. Just say no to spath games and keeping score.

Yet, I don’t want to absolve them from their debts because that is enabling them.

So, I guess for me, letting go of resentment is to acknowledge that they owe a great debt for their actions but I let the universe collect that debt because I’ve walked away from the game the spath wants to play.

Forgiveness is much too personal a thing. It requires my involvement, my thoughts toward the spath, and a continued relationship (the forgiver and the forgiven) even if there is no contact, the relationship is circumscribed in the process of being the forgiver.

Walking away and going on to better things is what I want.

Vision

Sky,

Very thoughtfully put….it is personal….I get what you are saying….I suppose letting go of resentment but knowing that they will pay according to the Law of The Universe…moving on…as long as NC applies….all sounds like “forgiveness” in the sense of the word….to me that is….

To others, it means involvement etc….thoughts….

I “forgive” by not pardoning the sp or his actions, but my own feelings about it, my resentment, not even thinking about him or his actions. Some might not call that forgiveness but more of a letting go…hmmmm

As long as we can move on and even the thought of them, doesn’t effect us one way or another…we heal…

I think of my sp because my daughter tells me about their conversations etc. I can without feelings listen to her…I don’t feel anymore pain etc so I feel good….wiser….like an old wizardly woman….ha ha…..(not that old) but inside….

skylar

Vision,
that’s a good model for letting go. when we become wiser, we grow up and move on. Spaths never grow up and they never move on.

Vision

Amen to that, Sky! Thanks…

callmeathena

That’s another series of posts worth flagging for future reference, Vision and Sky. Thank you. Athena

clair

The word “forgive” can be such a loaded word.

darwinsmom

Clair,

For me the word is “let go”: let go of the anger, the bitterness, of the desire, of the addiction, of wanting justice, of the memories, the hurt,… but it had to be done, piece by piece…

Ox Drover

Clair,

I too believe that “praying for those who persecute you” is a concept that is meant to HELP US, not necessarily them.

In praying for my egg donor and my P son Patrick I was so angry I had to write the words out on paper and then read them, but I DID NOT MEAN ONE WORD OF IT….I just verbalized it…I know that God knew I didn’t mean it, but eventually I came to mean it, if that makes sense. My own heart was softened and it helped me to let go of the anger and bitterness I felt….getting that out of my soul is like vomiting out poison…it isn’t pleasant while you do it, but it saves your life. (excuse the vile example!)

20years

I agree that it is a very individual thing, individual process.

For me, I spent years and years with a certain idea of forgiveness (kind of like Oxy’s putting it as “pretend it didn’t happen and wouldn’t happen again”) and that only got me into more trouble.

A few years ago I saw it in a new way, and this works for me much better: whenever I become aware that I’m holding resentment or blame, or anger, or condemnation (any of those things that are projected outwards onto another because of “something they did to me” or some other type of injustice in the world)… if I remember to do this, I ask God to help me see things differently, to learn lessons from it, to view the entire big picture with compassion, to help me get to a place of peace.

And that is generally what happens.

Over the past few years, I’m getting less a sense that it is my job to condemn (myself or others), and more of a sense that there are lessons to be learned and growth to be had, through going through all of the experiences that occur in our lives.

I look around, there is plenty of suffering to be had, and I’m realizing more and more that it is less about the things that seem to happen to us, and more about how we think or feel about them.

But it had to take me a lot of work and a shift in thinking, to get to this viewpoint. It did not happen overnight for me. I suppose some people can have these dawning realizations, but that’s not how it seems to be happening, for me. Just a long, slow journey.

clair

letting go piece by piece

slimone

for·give (fr-gv, fôr-)
v. for·gave (-gv), for·giv·en (-gvn), for·giv·ing, for·gives
v.tr.
1. To excuse for a fault or an offense; pardon.
2. To renounce anger or resentment against.
3. To absolve from payment of (a debt, for example).

As for #1: No way. I won’t excuse the fault or offense. There will be NO pardon from me. No pardon for breaking agreements, cheating, lying, exposing me to disease, conning, and intentionally hurting.

#2. In process. I am not angry or resentful to any degree that causes me undue suffering. Of course this is something that is a process, not an event. And it really is a matter of time, and placing my focus OFF the faults and offenses, and BACK onto my own life and dreams and happiness. Takes time.

#3. Did that. He ‘really’ owes me about 10,000.00 dollars. I have absolved him from that debt. I don’t want anything to do with him, and if that is the ‘price’ I pay, so be it. I don’t want to play anymore pathological games to get this money back, so I ‘forgive’ the debt.

skylar

Slimone,
yep, #2 is key because any resentment we harbor is further investment into the debt that the spath owes.

There are many parallels to an accounting process. When you do bookkeeping, you reconcile the accounts to get them to balance. The word reconcile reminds me of reconciliation. and I just can’t go there. That’s why forgiveness is hard to apply to a spath. If we forgive a debt we reconcile the books and call it even. reconciliation is about relationships.

I guess I’ll have to think about it more. so far it seems like the best solution is to drop the bookkeeping process and let God take care of it.

slimone

Skylar,

In book keeping we have credits and debits. And the spath-experience will ALWAYS be heavy in our debit column. I guess in that way you are correct that true reconciling cannot happen. And for a time, after we disconnect from them, the debit column is piled high and the credit column is thin.

I guess, maybe, if we use the book keeping and reconciling analogy what we are left with is that WE have to add to our credit column. Because we will never get ‘directly’ reimbursed (there will be no reciprocal ‘closure’ and understanding) for the debts incurred as a result of the Bad People. Bad People never make good on their debts.

Our solution then has nothing to do ‘with’ the Bad One’s, it has only to do with us. Lots of my initial suffering had to do with not being able to accept that I was left ‘alone’ to reconcile my books! It really pissed me off. Still does, though not much.

We need to find other streams of credit, or revenue: new REAL friends, hobbies that fulfill us, books to read, pets to love, views to relish, movements that heal….thoughts and actions that nourish our minds and hearts.

Just me thinking out loud……

Slim

Ox Drover

29 YEARS SAID

“Over the past few years, I’m getting less a sense that it is my job to condemn (myself or others), and more of a sense that there are lessons to be learned and growth to be had, through going through all of the experiences that occur in our lives.

I look around, there is plenty of suffering to be had, and I’m realizing more and more that it is less about the things that seem to happen to us, and more about how we think or feel about them.

But it had to take me a lot of work and a shift in thinking, to get to this viewpoint. It did not happen overnight for me. I suppose some people can have these dawning realizations, but that’s not how it seems to be happening, for me. Just a long, slow journey.”

THAT is some great wisdom 20 years!!!! Thank you for those wise words and counsel.

SLIMONE SAID:

“Our solution then has nothing to do ’with’ the Bad One’s, it has only to do with us. Lots of my initial suffering had to do with not being able to accept that I was left ’alone’ to reconcile my books! It really pissed me off. Still does, though not much.

We need to find other streams of credit, or revenue: new REAL friends, hobbies that fulfill us, books to read, pets to love, views to relish, movements that heal”.thoughts and actions that nourish our minds and hearts. ”

AMEN!!! SISTA!!!! RIGHT ON!!!

Very very veryyyyy true words. We need to ADD to the credits of our lives and stop the “red ink” of suffering by the way we look at things.

sharing the journey

To forgive a spath is a pointless task for me. There is no repentance on their part and they don’t even care if you do or not.

I am finding that acceptance is my path to healing and peace of mind. Forgiving evil is like forgiving Hitler.

I can’t do it. I just can’t see how it would benefit me at all.

Acceptance and indifference is the way for me.

STJ
xxx

tobehappy

I totally agree Sharing.

Why forgive anyone who hurts you intentionally and isn’t truly sorry or remorseful for how they hurt you? Spaths are NEVER remorseful. Thats why they are SPATHS..no conscience…no remorse.

Jesus said…”Forgive them for they know not what they do”
Spaths KNOW what they are doing! And they don’t care. They are defects of nature and are evil and they are here to stay.

Just forgive yourself for not being educated and wise enough to spot when you are being conned. And even so…they are really good at what they do…..so, its not your fault for being trustful and loving.

I agree. Acceptance that you got conned by an evil person.

Another lesson learned in life to make you stronger and wiser.

Sparklehorse

Thank you for your comments, STJ. I have similar thoughts about “my” spath. I have reached the point where I can feel sad that he is such a damaged person and accept that there is no repairing his damage. I am grateful that I have no reason to have any more ties with him (beyond my “tuition” to the School of Hard Knocks) so disengaging is just a matter of getting him out of my head. I am working my way to neutrality and indifference.

For me, the forgiveness has to be towards myself because I still haven’t (emotionally) forgiven myself for being sucked into the con.

sharing the journey

When I think about forgiving myself-I have to think of my crime.

I am loving and giving and trusting Who wouldn’t want a trustworthy partner. Is this a crime? What do I need to forgive?.

Yes I was conned-he pulled the wool over my eyes and I believed he was like me and adored me as I him. Mirrored. Is that a crime?

I just refuse to even consider that I need forgiveness for the crime of loving and trusting. I want to get back to the self that was proud to own these traits.

But also to a new self that is discerning enough to realise that getting involved on any level with someone who is unable to reciprocate my qualities would be a crime. A crime that I would then need to forgive myself for because NOW I know better.

Take care
STJ
xxx

Sparklehorse

My crime was that I saw some red flags and then decided to carry on and keep observing for more information.

My spath was unemployed and job hunting when we met so I accepted that excuse and lent him money for necessities like prescription medications. I paid for all of the food we ate. He asked to move in together after only a few months of knowing each other. It was enough of a red flag that I didn’t tell my family until it was about to happen. I rationalized it because I was still hoping he would get a job offer and then wouldn’t move in with me.

During this period, I discovered he was visiting sex sites online. I had seen some suspicious things on his computer/email when I used it for work but didn’t think I could confront him. Then I used my laptop (which he used at my place) and links to his message box on a sex site came up on my computer. I confronted him about it and told him I wouldn’t tolerate these things. I said you are obviously free to do these things but I won’t continue in a relationship with you. He rationalized it and said even though he was sending women his cell phone number “they will never call.” He also said he visited the sites because he was bored, being unemployed. I accepted this to the extent that I decided it was something to watch but I didn’t take any further action. Then I let him move in with me. We were together constantly and slept in the same place every night so I dismissed my concerns.

I didn’t know that the pity ploy, infidelity, the substance abuse and money borrowing were a cluster of personality problems. I didn’t know what I didn’t know so that’s why I say I can forgive myself intellectually. But I still blame myself on an emotional level. I have learned from this experience that I am very self-critical.

I grew up in a loving family for the most part. We grew up without really knowing my father’s family and he never talked much about his childhood. Knowing what I know now, I can see they were toxic people and he practiced NC/limited contact, probably as instinctive self-preservation. His mother manipulated him for money and stole money from him. When he was dying, he was afraid his sister was going to visit and try to get money from him. One striking comment he made to me was when he read the book Angela’s Ashes. He said it reminded him of his childhood. At first I thought he was exaggerating. He certainly wasn’t perfect. He had a temper and he drank too much alcohol for many years. Another mistake I made in assessing my spath was thinking his drinking was like my father’s drinking. My father was at his core a good and loving person. My spath is a spath.

My mother has many narcissistic traits but is not a full-blown N. When I was struggling with my spath and how our relationship not going well, my family’s attention was focused on his problem with alcohol. My mother decided that I was somehow angry at her and blaming her. Everything is about her, apparently!

I understand myself and how I was shaped by my family better than before. But I still *feel* I should have known better than to get pulled into a Spath world. I don’t really know how to find forgiveness for myself besides saying these things “out loud” here and in therapy.

tobehappy

Sparkle…

I was blaming myself for being so weak to let my xspath con me too. I know I am intelligent and saw things.
However…I allowed it for a reason. He was filling SOME need at the time…whether it was loneliness, need for a companion…or whatever. If he didn’t fill SOME need….I would have ended it.
For me, it was just wanting to have a companion after many years of being alone. He made me feel “wanted” and “loved” at the time. I also NEEDED to love someone and felt good too.

When I started to feel badly about myself…for turning a blind eye on things I knew he was doing behind my back…then it was time to leave.

So, don’t feel so badly. He must have filled some NEED you had at THAT time in your life. And people live life like a business…trying to get the most of what you have in life. Its like economy….we try to get the most of our dollar….with the least amount of investment….
We are here trying to feel comfortable and joyful. So, when an opportunity arises…we try it. When it isn’t working anymore…we move on.

Thats how I look at the past mistakes I made. Its healthier than having regrets and beating myself up.

Hope this helps.

Truthspeak

This is a VERY insightful article and concept….I’m drinking in the responses and attempting to apply them to myself.

For myself, personally, I believe that “forgiveness” is a moral imperative for ME – not the sociopath. Is he a selfish, abusive, greedy, lying jerk? You bet he is! But, will my carrying that around FOR him do anything to change what he is and what he’s done? Heck no – and, I cannot imagine what it must be like to live in such an empty emotional environment. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting – it just means letting go and giving up that desire to be judge and jury – I don’t have control over whether or not he (or, any other sociopath) ever is held accountable.

I’ve been struggling, lately, with genuine anger at myself, and at the sociopath. It may be morally “wrong” to live a double life and entertain the types of sexual interests that he does, but it isn’t illegal. Courts aren’t at all interested in morality no matter whom is harmed by someone’s choices, or to what degree. I think that is precisely why I’m so angry. And, I’m angry that I trusted him to the degree that I did – that’s where I’m having difficulties, lately.

A year from now, I expect to be in a different emotional space. And, to be honest, I am not looking forward to the work it’s going to take to get there. Ugh!

Brightest blessings!

agreenbean

i wish that i COULD forgive in the true form of its meaning.
for me, it is not holding a persons mistakes against them. it is a form of accepting. and it continually gets me in trouble. not only with my ex spath who i repeatedly pitied, but with other people in my life who i dont believe have personality disorders, but have circumstances that have taught them how to manipulate to get what they want.
one of them has done many things that tell me i should not trust them, that they do not respect me, that they do not value my feelings. yet in my mind i “forgive” them, i accept what they did and continue to care for them, but i can’t let go of the pain. and each incident compounds upon the others and my “forgiveness” tells them its ok, and they do it again, and again, for years and years breaking my heart each time, never having to be accountable for taking advantage of me, or screwing up things for anyone. and they’re doing it again, crushing me at a time i’m already vulnerable. i definitely feel that my repeated “forgiveness” of their transgressions, they’re taking advantage of me, their using me and deceiving me, has enabled them to do it more, it has told them they are right and gives them the green light to do it again.
i dont know how to accept not being able to hold them accountable i dont know how to let go of the pain without that sign of guilt from that person. i know i dont deserve it, i know that in the depths of my soul. but i also am terrified to lose this person because they were my only support system so many times i’ve needed them, including while with my spath.
while i love them unconditionally, and i’m sure foolishly, they love me as needed, and forget about me when other things go well in their life. this time, i know if has to be the last time, i can’t allow it again, but i terribly fear a life without that friend. i terribly fear that this time i truly break down .

how do i learn to forgive WITHOUT losing someone so dear to me but at the same time stopping the cycle?

sharing the journey

Sparklehorse

The thing about red flags is that they are glaringly obvious in hindsight. Even when they are in front of you a normal person allows for human imperfection.

I thought at one time that I was smart at spotting abusive men. I had had 15 years of experience with it. I was and still am-but I wasn’t prepared for the blindsiding of a spath attack.

Experience is a great teacher. Perhaps next time you will not only enforce your bounderies but will take stock of what kind of boundery you are enforcing and decide if you want to continue the relationship or not.

I know in my case that I never want to go through an experience like that again.

As I tell my kids-beating yourself up is a losers game. There are plenty of people out there that will do it to you–why on earth would you want to join them. Crazy thinking.

Like 2b said. We are normal with normal needs-that is not a crime. The crime belongs to the spath who abuses them.

Take care and be gentle with yourself.

STJ
xxx

Truthspeak

Agreenbean,

What makes someone “so dear” that treating another human being with utter disregard is acceptable? Is it their frienship? Is it their honesty? Is it their unbridled support and encouragement?

“The Shame That Binds Us” is a superb book that may address some of the reasons that we accept, allow, and even encourage other people to misuse us. I know that it explained a great deal to me, and I still refer to it whenever I am feeling responsible for another person’s deliberate actions….

{Hugs}

agreenbean

unbridled support and encouragement is the one thing i DO get from that person. for every illness, injury, or trouble in my life, they have been there. thats part of the dearness.
i also get lies told to me, truths omitted about me, and lovebombs when i confront them, etc., all so they can keep me where they want me.
i guess what makes them dear in my mind is the years of ups and downs we’ve made it through, and the love that i can’t really control for them.
the only time i really get angry or fed up with them is when they are hurting someone else! i only get angry when i find out i’m being treated like a dirty secret, and someone else is being lied to as a result, without even knowing. as if i expect it from them but am outraged that they’d do it to someone else. how ridiculous is that? i know its crazy and i know i’ve enabled it in a lot of ways. i try to hold them accountable, but i can’t really. if they lost me, it would just make their life easier bc i wouldn’t be lurking in the background knowing all the awful things they’ve done. i carry their shame for them, and by doing so, they are ashamed OF me. i dont know how to live with the shame of knowing that.

i will have to read that book, thank you for the suggestion. i have read the betrayal bond, but i definitely don’t think this person is spath-y enough for it to apply really, i don’t live in fear or them like i did my spath, i live in fear of being without them.
its funny in a way, i dont feel near the SHAME about my spath as i do about letting someone do this over and over and over, but the amount if HURT i feel about the spath is so much more intense.

Stargazer

I haven’t read all the responses to this post. But I wanted to interject that the most powerful thing I’ve read from Travis was when he asked that now that the spath is out of our lives, WHO IS CAUSING US TO SUFFER NOW?

I am the first person to be quick to anger when someone says something like “get over it.” I know from firsthand experience how deep the suffering goes when we have been abused. I was abused and abandoned from the time I was born. The abandonment issues I deal with from growing up with narcissistic/borderline parents seem to be taking me a lifetime to heal. So I don’t say this lightly at all: We are the ones responsible for making ourselves feel better and no one else. It SEEMS like at times if only justice would be served, if only the offending person would just listen, accept responsibility, apologize…………we could move on with our lives. And until then, we will retain that last bit of anger and resentment out of respect for ourselves and how much we have suffered. We never want to forget that. And so, therefore, we don’t.

For me, the point of contention was that my parents were never held accountable. They never went to prison; they never made amends………how could I ever forgive them? At least with the spath, I was able to turn him in and make sure he got punished for his evil deeds. So much easier to walk away when the scales are balanced. But what if they are not?

I was not able to answer this question by myself. I tried and tried, but I kept coming up against a brick wall. Justice needed to be served in my mind. And since it wasn’t, my resentment was ALL I had to hold onto to make sure that at least they would never get MY blessing again. The catch 22 about this was that the anger and resentment was making me miserable. It got in the way of my enjoyment of life. Every time a friend would mention their family, my own resentment toward my family would rear its ugly head. Not only were they responsible for hurting me for the first 16 years of my life, but I made them responsible for my suffering long into my mid-40’s, for every bad thing that happened to me. If I didn’t have a successful career, it was because I didn’t have the self-esteem to go after it, and that was their fault. My relationship issues were all their fault. It got to feeling hopeless because I couldn’t figure out a way out of the trap. They would never change. They would never accept responsibility. Some of them are not even still alive!

So I did the only thing I knew. I prayed (and I’m not a religious person). I prayed very sincerely for help letting go of my bitterness and resentment toward my parents. What would it take? The answer came to me. I had to write one clear letter to my mother stating everything I was upset about, everything I held her accountable for, and how it affected me still, and give her the opportunity to make amends. I wrote this letter and sent it, knowing the response I received would not be good. And sure enough, she was very a jerk. But in the process of just getting it all off my chest, I was able to let go of it and not think about those things anymore. It really helped along the way of forgiveness. But there was still more work to do. Forgiveness is not an easy process.

3 or 4 years have gone by since I wrote that letter. As I progress with my healing, I have come to realize the extent of my mother’s narcissism, which comes from her unresolved needs for attention that she never got as a child. With understanding comes acceptance. I don’t like how she treated me. But I see that she treated me like that because she didn’t know any better, based on her unresolved issues. It doesn’t make it right or good. It’s just the way it is. She couldn’t have responded well to my letter, because she herself had never gotten to that level of healing. And she never will.

It is now up to ME to resolve my issues which are very similar to hers. It is not easy, and there are few resources outside of my own inner resources. I can see why my mother is so unconscious. I think that there are not many people who are strong enough and conscious enough to heal borderline/narcissistic issues in themselves. I intend to be one of them. It’s not an easy path, and if I said I don’t sometimes feel hopeless and suicidal, I’d be lying. Today is a good day, and I take it as a challenge – it is a test of my consciousness and awareness, a test of my compassion for myself – to see if I can develop a relationship with my inner child, who is about 2, to see if she can let her pain out. When I see how extremely hard it is, it helps me to have compassion for my mother. She never learned how to meditate. She didn’t have access to the internet, to marriage counselors, to healers back in her day. She wasn’t capable of loving me, because she didn’t love herself. It is what it is.

Sorry for the ridiculously long post. What I am trying to say is that each one of us has SO MUCH POWER to direct our own lives and make ourselves happy. Don’t give your power away to a spath or an abusive parent. Just don’t. It’s not worth it because it’s your own life you are wasting when you do that.

agreenbean

“It SEEMS like at times if only justice would be served, if only the offending person would just listen, accept responsibility, apologize——we could move on with our lives”

indeed it does seem so. i do believe that, even though i know there was nothing genuine about it, hearing my spath apologize, and repeat back to me the things he did wrong, it helped me in some way. at least he knew the words to say even if he didn’t understand what they meant, at least he knew what to feign guilt about. there was a tieeeeeeeny tiny comfort in that.
but my friend plays dumb. i get a sheepish apology, but i see no guilt ever, no change in behavior which is just further disrespect to me and others. (and themselves, of course) i always feel if i could only make them see this time, everything would be ok, there’d be a happy ending, i wouldn’t carry the guilt for 2 anymore. but i can’t make that happening without being a meddlesome person, and for all the pain they have caused me, i still do not want to intentionally hurt them even if earned.
i can’t reconcile these sets of feelings, i feel in complete upheavel.

Stargazer

Greenbean,
So, what if you’ve pursued every avenue you know to get an apology or justice out of your spath, and you just can’t? What do you do to get some peace for yourself?

Personally, I think when we try to figure this out with our minds, we cannot solve the problem because our minds want justice. It’s really the time to turn to some sort of higher power for help letting go of it. I do believe that on the spiritual level, justice is served, due to the simple laws of cause and effect. And so we don’t have to try to and right the wrongs ourselves. In my belief system, you cannot always see karma working because it sometimes takes more than one lifetime. I believe whatever higher spiritual powers there are in the universe, they have the whole justice thing covered.

In the case of a spath, if you look objectively, they do cause their own suffering in this lifetime alone. Imagine what kind of inner peace a person can have who lies and cons people? Mine couldn’t sleep at night. Literally. And if you keep that person and their wrongdoings in your mind, it may give you some sort of security that you are doing the “right thing” by never forgiving. But really you are keeping the suffering and chaos in your own life, too. Is he really worth that?

Ox Drover

Stargazer,

Your above post shows that you are RECOGNIZING what is making you miserable…and that is your attitude toward what happened in the past.

We cannot change that past. It is what it is.

What we CAN change is our attitude toward it.

It is DIFFICULT to do, but we CAN do it. We MUST DO IT in order to heal.

If we allow what has happened in the past to CONTAMINATE our today we lose today, the bright wonderful today we COULD have had if we had but changed our attitude toward the past.

Yep, your N-mother and my egg donor did not nurture us, in fact, they emotionally at the very least abused us. That is a pity. For both us and them. What COULD have been a loving relationship was LOST. We can’t get that back and they are NOT going to see the hurt that they did to us, or to accept responsibility for it. They can’t see it and they can’t know it.

As Jesus said “they have eyes and see not, they have ears and hear not.” And I will add they have a brain but understand not.

To me getting that bitterness out of my heart toward what they are and what they did is the KEYSTONE of making today better. Call it indifference, forgiveness, or whatever word you want to assign to it, it means that I do not let that past contaminate today.

Sometimes I lose sight of that and will “revert” but when I do, I gather up my resolve and get that bitterness out AGAIN. It is a CONTINUING PROCESS, not a “ONE AND DONE” deal. Because if I let it, if I ruminate over it and throw a pity party for myself, I will again start to feel the past as my today.

A normal period of grieving is NORMAL. Like losing your beloved cat. But you will come to the ACCEPTANCE level with that, where you can think about her with happiness, and not feel the pain of the loss. It takes time to process all that, but you will do so. Sometimes there will stll be sentimental tears but they will not be the great wracking sobs of the initial loss.

I think it is work to heal, and it is a continual process as we live life. Can’t remember who said the “unexamined life isn’t worth living” but it is true. We examine ourselves and work on improving ourselves, and it makes life worth living as we become better, stronger, more compassionate, and wiser. That’s what living is all about, actually.

Stargazer

Oxy et al, it is not possible to understand another person’s pain unless we really get to the bottom of our own. This is a lot of work, and it is a proactive process. At any time, we can choose to go unconscious and just stop looking. Sometimes you have to just be unconscious when you’re overwhelmed. A few weekends ago when my cat died and I got triggered into abandonment and self-esteem issues by my neighbor, it was all I could do to hang on to eat Pepperidge Farm cookies and not kill myself. But once you start on a spiritual path, there is really no turning back, and when you go unconscious, you know it and you can’t stay there for long. So for me, there is really no choice but to confront the demons one at a time when I’m ready to face them.

One of the challenges for me – and I am sharing this in case it can benefit anyone else – is thinking that it’s impossible to fix my problems because the roots are so deep. Or it will take many years and a lot of money to fix. These are just thoughts. The reality is that all I need to do is have a dialog with the part of myself that is repressed and hurting and let that side speak. Like I said it is a proactive process. But in our culture, we are encouraged to always be doing. So it’s “easier” to go to the gym, to talk on an internet forum, to clean the house, etc. How often do we really sit down and DO this kind of inner work? It takes effort and it takes focus and concentration. It’s like a meditation. But it really doesn’t have to be so impossible or hard. That’s just the mind judging – it’s not the reality.

The attitude shift is good. But also, we have to be willing to feel the pain we have inside. It is human nature to do anything to avoid it.

agreenbean

i dont see this person suffering. i see them moving about happily, falling in love while being disloyal, being successful, generally enjoying life, and getting everything that they want while i bear the burden of their mistakes and wrong doings. i dont know how to stop doing that. i believe he CAN they happy, i don’t believe they are a true spath, more so an addict who learned to manipulate and bottle away their feelings about what their means to an end. i see no guilt from this person, no sadness, no anger, no fear.

my spath, well him i truly do pity in a way because he DOES suffer, and i’ve seen it once, in its purest form that he couldn’t hide, i saw the emptiness. Even if a lot of it is an act, he is at least smart enough to know which emotions you are supposed to show in order to fake guilt or remorse, he knows the right script, he knows how to cry on command when a normal person would cry uncontrollably.

the addict, they show no remorse. they are the happiest clam i’ve ever met, and always know without being told when i need to be cheered up and know just how to do it. they smile, laugh and joke, surrounded by friends and family, so well liked and always perceived as so kind that they are able to get away with murder. i am one of very few people who have seen the dark side, and i did not waiver in my friendship or love of them. but i have not seen remorse for their actions, ever. i have only seen him cry over deaths. i feel privileged to know them so deeply. but because i do, i am cast off, i am hidden away. it is devastating and a crushing blow because though they are certainly not perfect, they are my main support system, my main cheerleader, the main believer in me. i do believe in some ways, that they love me so much they do not want to burden me by being with me. but by having them in my life, i have always felt everything will be “ok”. now i am losing that.
and i’m left wondering, was i wrong all along about who is the spath and who is just troubled??

Stargazer

My above post about not being able to turn away for long from my spiritual path made me think about something a meditation teacher said to us 26 years ago when I was on one of my early retreats. He said that doing mindfulness meditation is like putting money in the bank. It’s always there if you need it – it never goes away, even if you don’t do anything with it for years (which was the case with me). This is kind of how I feel. Since I’ve had my first spiritual awakening at 23, it’s been a rough, rocky road, and I’ve gone unconscious for months and maybe even years at a time. But it seems to always be there in the background as an alternative to living in craziness and chaos, a constant influence in my life pulling me to a different level. Without this perspective, I’m sure I would be dead by now.

Stargazer

Greenbean, I have a man like the one you described in my past, too. He was very selfish, but I wouldn’t say he was a spath. And he seems to get everything he wants out of life. Similarly, my rockstar neighbor who just chases after every new thing (woman) like high school is the happiest person. I do believe that they all have their suffering though you can’t see it. There are other kinds of suffering besides emotional suffering. There is a type of spiritual suffering of people who just chase after people/things without the pause for reflection of what they are doing. This is the type of suffering that I believe often takes more than one lifetime to fix.

For you, all you can do is really feel the pain they caused you and look at how it is that you were drawn to someone like that. I believe that when you get to the bottom of it and can pull back your energy and thoughts from them, you will be innoculated from their influence and from the influence of others like them. In other words, they are in your life to teach you something. And the biggest lessons seem to always be the most painful. Ugh.

agreenbean

yes, definitely selfish, very selfish. similar to a spath in the sense that everything they do is for themselves. but not a spath, not entirely uncapable of love or emotions. like a spath though also, his main emotion is anger. and he doesn’t believe he needs help even though he knows he’s not handling things well. i have always been a tool for him, be it financially, emotionally, physically, and so on and so on. i am kept for that, to get him a step closer to whatever he wants. after 5 yrs on and off together, and 10 yrs as inseprable friends, i guess i thought, as did everyone else, that we had a very special relationship. i thought we toughed it out and stuck through the bad times and i thought that meant something. but when i am not good enough, when something is more exciting, i am kept background, holding the secrets the new person would most likely not be willing to accept.
but, i still don’t believe he is a true spath. is certainly sounds very close though.

skylar

agreenbean,
I would never, ever have thought my spath was a spath because his mask was so good. Yes, he was selfish and didn’t care about my spiritual needs, but he professed love and devotion. He also was very protective – I didn’t realize that he was causing the “problems” that he had to “rescue” me from.

He had an ego problem, that became clear in the end, but for most of the 25 years, he was VERY careful to show how humble he was. Dressed modestly, drove a geo metro – made me feel bad for being materialistic! The frame control was impressive. And yet, I found out that it was just for me. He didn’t use particular manipulation on his other friends. They were allowed to see MUCH more of his sleazy side. All I got was the saint.

My mother is also good with her mask. I thought she was a saint, but then everybody thinks that. She keeps the same mask on all the time for everyone. Only a few times has it slipped.

In the end, it’s very difficult to know what another person’s motivation is. Is the behavior part of a mask? or is it true? I think the only way to find out is to observe the person when he doesn’t know he is being observed by you. Just the fact that he keeps you compartmentalized tells me that you would be shocked at what you would see.

Stargazer

Greenbean, why have you allowed him to use you as a tool for so many years? Did he suddenly change after 10 years, or was he always selfish like this? If he’s always been like this, then it would be so beneficial for you to look at why/how you let him treat you badly. Maybe you had a hidden agenda that if you loved him so much, he must love you back.

The man I spoke of started behaving selfishly right away. I just accepted him the way he was because I loved him, or so I thought. And though his behaviors got more and more disrespectful, I stayed with him becuase deep down I thought he really loved me. Turned out to be not so.

So I had to look at why I stayed and allowed him to disrespect me. This is MY issue and not his.

anam cara

2b
I can relate to the tremendous stress your D’s behaviour has caused you and its toxic effect on you all. I wish you all the strength and support that you need to cope. Thank-God for this LF site and all the beautiful, good people on it. I just wish I had found it sooner, when I was in the middle of everything.
My older sister is spathzilla. What she put me through over the last 18months took me to the edge of insanity. The effects of the stress caused much of my hair to fall out, skin rash,black specs on my periphial vision, headaches(thought my head was going to explode) blue flashes in my eyes, blackouts, involuntary muscle spasms, high blood pressure, dizzy, chest pains, heart pains, laboured/rapid breathing, hyper sensitive to phone ringing and light switched on/off and doorbell. Paralysis in leg, clenched teeth and fists, wet myself with fear, total mental and physical exhaustion.
I resent the precious time I lost with my children in dealing with her antics. Vicious when challenged and in comes the control. She lives in Oz. Married to her 3rd husband(she controlled them all until they no longer were of any use to her) now retired on her inheritance in one of her 4 houses and living it up having caused havoc in her wake.
She creates the “problem” then “resolves” it.
I can see her smug face in my mind and I want to punch it!
Time for a cup of tea, I think!

Truthspeak

OxD & Skylar…..spot-on responses and ones that I really needed to read.

As I posted, I’m having a tough time with my anger, these days – I hope to get it all sorted out, soon enough. I think that the anger towards my SELF is more pronounced than what I should be directing towards the exspath – I didn’t ask for this, I didn’t expect this, and I never would have pegged the exspath for what he is! He always “seemed” so loving and concerned, but in retrospect, he was superficial. There was no tenderness, no genuine concern, and the affection was generalized. What he presents is quite different from what he truly is, and I’m really, REALLY being hard on myself for not having seen it until now.

Oh, well……life goes on, and so will I! 😀

hugs all around….

moveingon

On Wednesday I was in court with the spath to get his court ordered contribution for my daughter at university, someone he has not seen in years . His words to his daughter ‘I don’t want to see you, because you are too much hassle’. He insisted she was there in court on Wednesday, I didn’t take her in the court room, she was in a side room during the whole proceedings, she is 19.

A whole day with a judge has been scheduled, being a spath he decided to fold after 30 minutes because he is an absolute liar. He was told off by this judge, but hey what does spath care.

I was denied my Mckenzie friend (he had apparently contacted the schools), and then I listened for 40 minutes of abuse. Upshot my daughter got what she is entitled to and it should have never come to court as the spath was told off for wasting court time. A result she got £300/month backdated and for the next four years ..he earns 10k a month so not a hardship for him.

The judge told the spath ‘you have done irreversible damage to the relationship with your children’ ..the spaths next breath ‘I have filed an application to have my son removed from his school’. Judge to spath ‘where is your CT100, your son is in the middle of the most important years of his education, why are you doing this?’. Spath ‘she is a child abuser, a tax fraudster, a thief blah blah blah’.

This judge repeated twice ‘I should give him credit for doing the right thing’, I just looked at her with utter contempt ..she finally got what it was when he had apparently that day filed 2 applications to have my son kicked out of his school ..the judge couldn’t careless.

My daughter walked past the spath, he did not even recognise her, he cares nothing for her. She was in tears the night before because the spath had asked to cross examine her. Thankfully that did not happen because the spath would have been cross examined himself and found lacking.

There is no justice, and even worse I realised the game playing is because he will fill her bank account as an ‘in’, money to manipulate her. Thankfully we all went to lunch and she worked that out for herself ..they never stop. I was ordered to give him her bank details to pay his support ..it’s always there ..how is the spath going to use it.

I ‘won’ because the spath has a whole new agenda ..i
I can only say, he looked a complete mess, lies at every point A spath is at their most dangerous when they are clearly ‘not great’, and we wait for what happens next ..this weirdo isn’t going anywhere!

callmeathena

Moving on,

I am sorry to hear your stress. What is a McKenzie friend?

Your daughter got money, right? So is that what you wanted?

In the end, I believe there is Karma. Take a hot bath, relax, pamper yourself. You love your daughter and she knows it.

Athena

Back_from_the_edge

We have nobody to blame for our successes and our failures but ourselves.

~Anonymous

agreenbean

skylar, i understand waht you mean about observing him when he doesn’t know, that is exactly how this latest issue came to be. i did no wrong, i crossed no boundaries or anything like spying on him, but i happened to stumble upon some information he was hiding from me. it was not the first time this happened, and in the past it had been discussed and i expressed it was hurtful and i believed he understood that. so yes, i was shocked by what i saw, again. but at the same time i was not shocked, you see, when it comes tome, he is not the best liar, i know him too well for him to get away with it, but he is in denial about that and tries anyway.
like you said though, what he does and how he acts with me is only for me. no one else gets the same behavior from him. no one else sees the manipulation behind what hes doing because he is very good at keeping a mask with others. other people are shocked, too, by the things i see, both good and bad. i guess that makes me feel special too. i dont know.
what i doknow is i can’t make him be accountable, and that is very painful to me. i know he will only act to protect what he wants, and will hurt anyone in the process. except no one but me will know he is doing it, because he will keep his secret so well from everyone else.
it is a lot to live with, very stressful. but i fear living without good things, too! sigh.

G1S

I disagree that it is possible to forgive without genuine remorse being present. The action described by the author is release or letting go, but it is not forgiveness.

The author said that people can feel about as they wish on this subject. He and I are poles apart.

Forgiving somebody who has no insight into the harm he or she has inflicted on somebody, or has shown no sign of changing their behavior for the better, is re-victimizing the victim by shaming the victim (for not forgiving) and sets the victim up for further harm or humiliation. It permits the P to laugh at our stupidity – and we know that they do!

We should be entitled to use our critical judgment skills because we know that the Ps will harm again. To paraphrase Star Trek, forgiveness is futile.

We need to give ourselves permission to protect ourselves and not feel guilty for doing so. We do not have to explain or excuse our decisions. I don’t see anyone else stepping up to make my life safe. There is nothing wrong with saying that we matter. In fact, that is a very healthy attitude. We’re taking care of ourselves.

Forgiving a P will not benefit the victim. It benefits only the people around around the victim who want the whole ugly matter wrapped up in a neat package with a pretty bow on it so it will all go away.

We live in danger from the Ps, which the general public doesn’t want to admit; knowing that there are Ps who couldn’t care less about hurting others and will not change makes their world very unsafe. They have a personal agenda for wanting victims to forgive. It helps them believe that this sort of thing will never happen to them. That’s why many people pressure others to forgive their abusers, so they don’t have to be reminded what people are capable of doing.

Yes, there are some people do want our pain to stop and would like us to get over what happened. They are sincerely upset over the hurt we have suffered. THOSE people will understand our reasons to cut all ties with the Ps. But the others, they just want the victims to kiss and make up with the Ps so all is happy and hunky-dorey again. It isn’t about the victims; it’s their fantasy of how they want to see the world.

Two other things – I went through the Bible to see what it had to say on forgiveness since so many people like to throw around “it’s the Christian thing to do.” Except for Jesus saying, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do,” all other references to forgiveness require the perpetrator to first have insight and genuine remorse for harming another person. As for what Jesus said, I am human and do not have the ability to do either what Jesus said or what he asked God to do.

The second thing is that the only way that an abusive cycle can end is for the person being abused to get out of it. Remember, the abuser has no incentive to change. The abuser abuses, likes abusing, and is quite happy with the status quo.

Accepting that this is the way these Ps are and releasing any thought that a decent, caring relationship with them is possible helps you to stop wasting your time, protect yourself, and go on to have a happier life with people who are not Ps.

Thinking that we need to forgive them or can forgive them is revictimizing the victim. Honestly, I cringe whenever I hear anyone talking about forgiving the unrepentent. My reaction is, “Whoa! What else is going on here? What is the ulterior motive?”

I respect the effort to want to make sense out of the chaos and abuse, but forgiveness is not what is required in this instance.

Most definitely we need to get them out of our heads so they no longer live there rent-free, but that is accomplished through acceptance and letting go of any expectations, possibilities, or hope of a better relationship (or for better past.)

I also don’t think that the hell that the author described as “unforgiveness” had anything to do with unforgiveness. What I read was fear, confusion, terror, and guilt. All these emotions have causes and need to be processed and dealt with appropriately, but unforgiveness is not the cause and forgiveness is not the cure.

I recently went through the Bible to see if there was anything related to P behavior. Not only does it have plenty to say about psychopaths, but forgiveness is not associated with any of the recommended actions.

Forgiving the unrepentent is trying to force a square peg through a round hole. We need to give up on that one.

Our energies are better spent fully understanding what happened, who we have been dealing with, and what the Ps are capable of doing. I don’t forgive a mosquito for being a mosquito and doing what mosquitos do. It’s a pest, a nuisance, and capable of inflicting lethal harm. I deal with that accordingly, but there is nothing to forgive. It is what it is.

Released by knowledge and acceptance, we can then direct our energies towards healthy relationships composed of people who are capable of being genuinely loving as well as capable of regret and remorse.

I simply refuse to accept that any innocent person bears any responsibility to “forgive” harm inflicted on them by another for his or her perverse delight.

Stargazer

GIS, If your method works for you and you are happy and at peace, there is no need to change.

For me it has been possible to forgive someone without them having any remorse or understanding of the pain they caused. Here is a good example. I have a co-worker I’ve known for 10 years. A few years ago, she took the side of another co-worker who launched a smear campaign against me. It was horrible, and I felt terribly betrayed by both of them. The one who launched the smear campaign left. But I was resentful toward the other one for a long time. I never said anything because I didn’t think she would understand my side. This created a lot of strife for me because I dreaded going to work, knowing I’d have to see her and interact with her. I looked for another job for a long time but couldn’t find one. Then one day, maybe 6 months or so later, I decided that I have no choice but to work with this person. And I wanted it to be pleasant. So I decided to just forgive her. I never told her. I just did it. All the heaviness lifted after that, and work became fun again. Since then, our working relationship has been great. We kid around and goof around. I forgave the other one, too. But I would not be close personal friends with either of them, since they never took responsibility for what they did. So yes, I absolutely think it’s possible because I’ve done it many times. OMG, if I harbored resentment for every person who hurt me and didn’t show remorse, I’d be dead. There have been SO many.

sharing the journey

GIS

Thanks for your post. You stated very brilliantly what I feel is true for me also.

When I think of forgiveness related to him I get feelings of self betrayel. Like I don’t matter. That it is again-all about him.

Acceptance gives me a place where I know where I stand. I know what he is and it brings peace to my mind as it releases me to move forward.

Pondering forgiveness kept me stuck-now that I have found my way through acceptance I am moving again.

As far away as possible.

Movingon

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Take care
STJ
xxx

Truthspeak

Movingon,

Positive thoughts and healing energies for you and your children.

Sometimes, the only “justice” is knowing that they’re just as mortal as everyone else.

Brightest blessings to you…

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