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Forgiveness. What's the 1st step?
October 14, 2008
6:02 pm
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Mr. Anonymous
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I'm writing this post because I have a hard time with forgiving people who have wronged me. I have been abused in the worst ways possible and have been hurt beyond belief by so many people. Now, it seems as if it's destroying my life.

Example:

I was at the barber shop about a month back waiting for a haircut. I ran into my childhood bully. I just kinda looked at the ground and away from him, everything to keep from looking at him. He just walked over and hugged me tightly and began talking to me. Even after that, when I left, I couldn't help still feeling disdain toward him. He hurt that child that was me and because of that, I am now still suffering.

But, it goes deeper than that. My mom's friend had a birthday party for her son when he was turning 9, I was 10. She had some older nephews, who molested me when she was asleep. I can't tell you the hatred I feel for that family & I still think of it often. I can't even go in that house. Her son is now 34 and I am 35. He tells everyone that my sister and I are his siblings and how we grew up real close. Yet, he knows what his cousins did to me. He simply walked away and laughed while they held me down & did it. Now, he has forgotten about it and I am still carrying the hurt.

Will this ever end? I have so many hurts & am trying to forgive. I just don't know where the strength will come from.

October 14, 2008
6:16 pm
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Giggles_29
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((((Mr. Anonymous)))))~ I am truly sorry for the hurt you are carrying around!!!

Although our situations are completely different, I can tell you from my personal experience that once I was finally able to let go and forgive those who have hurt me, I was able to forgive myself also and move on !!! It was as if a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.

All I can say is that it takes time, you have to be ready to forgive. I remember when I was finally able to forgive my xbf for not being there when our daughter was born and not helping and/or supporting me what so ever. I had to come to the realization that what I was holding onto was the past, it had NOTHING to do with what was presently going on in my life. My counselor told me that the present day was the only thing worth living for. The past is dead and gone, the future hasn't happened yet, so just to live for today. He also asked me who I was hurting by holding onto it all. My xbf was going on about life as if everything was just fine and dandy, meanwhile I was astonished that he could even wake up, look himself in the mirror and be happy with who he was. I finally came to the realization that the only person I was hurting was myself!

I know it's so much easier said than done alot of times, but once I worked through it all and realized that there was so much more to life, and learned what was really important to me, I knew by forgiving and letting go I could finally become the kind of person I used to be, the one I was made to be, and I could find myself again.

I did do counseling and Coda to get through it all. I had to take a real hard look at myself in order to start the process though. I hope this helps you a little and please keep your head up! You are WORTH it and you can do this !!!!!! Just take a deep breath, and remember little steps. Don't overwhelm yourself all at once.

October 14, 2008
8:48 pm
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atalose
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The most loving form of detachment I have found has been forgiveness. Don’t think of it as wiping another person’s slate clean but as a scissor to cut the strings of resentment that bind you to a past hurt or problem.

I find that by releasing resentment I set myself free. I free myself from all that negativity that consumes me with other people’s past behavior.

We have no way to go back and un-change things all we are left with is bitterness, resentment, self-pity and dreams of revenge, we leave very little room for love or that quiet voice of guidance inside

We live in the past holding onto resentments while the here today and now passes us by.

When I try and tighten the noose of resentment around someone’s neck all I am doing is choking myself. I try and practice forgiveness by using scissors.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

October 15, 2008
8:23 am
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pilot_tress
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Mr. Anonymous,

Truly, my heart goes out to you, as I am all too familiar with feelings such as these. They are heavy, like a thick fleece coat for the worst of winter, and someone is making you wear it in the middle of summer. It smothers you, you cant breath sometimes.

But hang in there. It CAN get better, but it involves hard work. You have taken a big step already and that is to acknowledge you are holding onto some very negative events in your past, ( understandably so ) and it effects your ability to function today. Do you know how many refuse to see their situation for what it is? It is often times too painful to deal with, and continue on as they are. So pat your self on the back for the step you have taken.

As you read through this wonderful site ( no, its not perfect, as you will see, but we all do our best! ) You will read how many mention their trips to the counselor, ' what their therapist said', etc., and thats what a huge part of your date with normalcy will involve...therapy. It is not always easy, some days you will feel like saying ' screw this ', But I have found that when I come to that feeling, I am about to hit on some very hurtful, but pain releasing memories.

You want to learn how to forgive, and you will need to be guided to that point. Seek out someone in the professional community that you feel comfortable with, if not this one, try that one...but that is one helpful key...you must feel a certain amount of trust.

I have so much that I myself need to work on in this area. I felt I was doing okay, until something kicked my butt recently, and feelings of anger and resentment resurfaced. So I am going back to counseling.

I am so sorry that different ones took away your ability to trust and forgive and in many ways...love. But you can get there!!! And we will listen here, and help if possible. Many have been doing this for years, and there is a lot of wisdom penned on these threads. Some are new, and some have been here since the beginning. Glean what can help you, ignore the petty rambles ( you'll see them...some have anger issues, too, and it shows...) ask away, and know that this is safe, as no one knows who you are. You can receive support here, words of wisdom, a hug and a pat on the back, but seek out your own personal help locally. You owe it to the little boy in you who is still suffering the wounds of the childhood bullies...they were vicious to him.

We will hold your hand along the way, if you need us to.

October 15, 2008
8:13 pm
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Mr. Anonymous
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Thanks for your replies. Currently, I am in therapy and it seems to help. Also I am in my support group. What I learned from my therapist whom I spoke with today is that forgiveness is not condoning the actions but having the power to say I am not allowing it to destroy me. She also helped me see something about my childhood bully. Although he mistreated me and wounded that child within me, when he saw me he hugged me tightly. Obviously he does have some type of remorse for his actions. He knows that he has wounded me and obviously is sorry for what he did. That in and of itself can help me in the forgiveness process. While what she told me sounds good and it does help me some, I still can't help but to feel angry. I was spit on, hit, had thumb tacks placed in my chair while I wasnt looking, and even constantly humiliated in front of others. Now, because he decides to hug me in a feeble attempt to clear his conscience, I'm just supposed to let it be. One hug from the agressor is supposed to soothe that child who often cried himself to sleep because he couldn't understand why the other children were so cruel. I cried some yesterday, but today I feel like I refuse to continue to pity myself & feel sorry for myself. It's not healthy & somehow I'll find the strength to go on. I must! Enough is enough! Tomorrow, I will go see my counselor for a session & Tuesday I will go back to my support group.

October 16, 2008
10:54 am
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Giggles_29
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((((Mr. Anonymous))))~ Good for you for not letting it hold you back! Don't let what happened in your past dictate your future!!! I know that's easier said than done at times.
Sounds like you are taking the first steps to your freedom :o) Keep posting !!!! Have a good day. Giggles

October 16, 2008
11:26 am
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Longshot
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Mr Anonymous-I admire you so very much. Very quickly I want to share something my therapist helped me with on this subject of forgiveness. He suggested I speak the words, whether I feel them or not, and whether all the healing work was done or not. To just begin speaking the words as the journey of healing is taking place. It's been very very helpful to me and through the years has helped me release the people who've wronged me. It's not a quick process, and the forgiveness for the various people comes at such different lengths of time. What a wonderful journey you've started. I suggest being patient with yourself, and not expecting that this will be instant, or that you won't have a day that you feel you go backwards. It's all part of it.

I do admire you and want to encourage you as you walk this difficult, yet freeing path.

(((Mr Anonymous)))

October 16, 2008
2:33 pm
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Mr. Anonymous
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Again, thank all of you for your replies. I prayed today and each day, I am going to spend 30 minutes alone meditating on how good God is. My life and every step that I take is in His hands and even in times where we feel as though we cannot go on, he gives us comfort of knowing that with His guidance we can (I'm not preaching, simply sharing my views). You know, as I prayed and thought about the bully I ran into, I began to be filled with sympathy for him. I can't imagine what he was going through at home for him to do what he did to me. Then again, I'm not too sure that I care. He was victimized and in turn victimized me. There was no guilt in myself, I was a victim of my circumstances. Yet, in spite of it all, I am constantly praying that I can forgive. Eventaully, I'm sure that I will be able to.

October 18, 2008
10:42 am
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Giggles_29
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((((Mr. Anonymous)))))~ Unfortunately we cannot mention G** on this side, you can go to the Liberation Brew Threads and post about Him though :o)

You will one day be able to forgive him!! Just take it one day at a time and don't rush it. Healing is a process.

October 18, 2008
12:33 pm
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It No Longer Matters
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Mr. A I have been checking on your thread even those I haven't posted. Every time I read it the same thought comes to mind. The first step to forgiveness is deciding to forgive. You don't have to forgive overnight, but decide that eventually you will forgive. A very long time ago I heard someone say hate, bitterness, whatever was like cancer. It eats you up but it doesn't do anything to the other person. {{{{hugs}}}}}

Bitsy

October 18, 2008
12:56 pm
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MsGuided
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(((Mr. Anonymous))
I suppose you're Canadian or British? ( spelling)

Welcome!
When i read about the bully, and your recent experiance, I also thought he was trying to make amends and seek forgiveness, without bringing up the subject in a public place. He must've known you were avoiding him, yet came forward with a hug.
This still is invading your space, but the tactic is for postive gain.

Sometimes we have to put our past tramas into an adult perspective today. Healing is steeping away from the victim role.

With this i mean looking at all circumstances, taking the messages we get today ( if they are negative or positive from the guilty party) and allowing more details into our perceptions, besides just focusing on the painfull experience and staying "stuck".

The fact that these people gave you a loving response today, says they have moved on in a good manner. It may be a door for you to move beyond the past. You may be able to bring up your past tramas, in a calm manner, to see how they react. Take it a step further to get direct answers from them.

However you must be prepaired for rejection, or avoidance.

You can just accept things are not as they were, and at your own pace, heal without forcing the painful issues with them.
There are various choices to be made in turn taking your power back.

Bitterness is like a cancer, and I beleive, may contribute to the actual disease.
All the best in your therapy and recovery.
Be Well!

October 19, 2008
3:54 am
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Mr. Anonymous
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Once more, you have given me some important insights and things to think about. You're right, hatred is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die from it. It's funny that I am starting to see life from a whole new perspective. The more I think about it, we really have no control over what others do or think. Although I am not totally there yet, I am working daily to get closer to forgiving. I must say however, after all the hurts I have endured it is very difficult. I only listed 2 on this thread but there are many more.

Sometimes it feels as though I am hurt because I was victimized other times I feel a little stronger. My support group is helping me to move beyond the victim role to that of survivor.

I probably won't mention to my childhood bully what I feel at least not right now. I think from his actions, he knows how he treated me when we were children and he knows that what he did hurt me. Plus, I am still in touch with several friends that both of us went to school with & they all tell me that he says that he knows how wrong he was. Now, the problem is not his, it's my own as I struggle to make sense of senseless mistreatment.

October 19, 2008
6:12 am
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newton
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i am a student ,and ny background is english mid but my spiking skilles and writing skilles are not so good that u can also see.i am not geting any way that how whould i can make my writing and speking skilles god plz reply me sir

October 19, 2008
1:00 pm
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Mr Anonymous...I don't think giving out your email address is allowed. You may want to contact the site coordinator to find out and have your above post deleted. Take care.

Bitsy

October 20, 2008
5:02 pm
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caraway
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Mr. Anon,

What would (could) the bully, or your friends cousins have to do to make your feel better? I have experienced some of the same problems you describe and have often thought what would it take to put someting that happened so long ago behind me.

I have always considered myself a bit of a martyr. I hope you get some good suggestions for just letting things go. I could use them as well.

Cary

October 20, 2008
11:34 pm
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Mr. Anonymous
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Cary,

That's a good question. Honestly, it seems like I am getting a little stronger each day. When I get up in the morning I say the serenity prayer. I am coming to the conclusion that I just must accept what I cannot change. It still hurts like h*** though and I am stuck carrying pain.

But some ways you can let it go are to directly confront the agressor & let them know how you feel about what happened. This can help bring about forgiveness, which ultimately results in wholeness and healing. You should also try saying the serenity prayer everyday. It will remind you that some things we just cannot change.

I don't know if they could ever do anything to totally erase the pain. But I thought about it and it is easier to heal knowing that the bully feels some remorse. As for my mom's friend's son, I talk occasionally to him. I do recall one night I was over their house & I didn't cry but felt tears swell up in my eyes. He must have known because he put his hand on my shoulder and told me 'it's okay.'

But, like I said it is easier to get to forgiveness knowing that they at least care about what they did. It was wrong yes, but as I stated earlier, I refuse to keep feeling sorry for myself. I must forgive not for me, but for them.

Also, I look at the fact that my life was impacted by the abuse but so was theirs. Guilt is a terrible thing to have to live with. It haunts you & can be worse than any physical hurt. I know they're sorry for what they did, I am just working daily and so far I feel as though I have made some progress.

October 20, 2008
11:37 pm
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Mr. Anonymous
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*correction, it should say I must forgive for me not for them, I'm just exhausted!

October 21, 2008
6:07 pm
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Mr. Anonymous
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Well, I feel a little stronger today. Instead of me feeling like I can't forgive, I feel like I am able to begin my move toward acceptance. I am letting go of the hope that the past can be different. Instead, I am focusing on what is behind me, I must look forward at what lies ahead. Paul put it best when he said "Forgetting those things which are behind me and reaching forward unto those things which lie ahead, I press toward the mark for the prize." By this Paul meant that he was leaving the past just where it is behind and instead focusing on what is in front, the future.

Today I feel like Paul, I am ready to forget those things that are behind me and reach unto things which lie ahead. The fact that we were children when most of them did me wrong mitigates the circumstance greatly. Children think like children, not like the great adults that they are hopefully destined to become.

Another thing got me thinking. My sister was dating this man that I grew up with. He was someone else who bullied me (I was a short kid who was skinny, not very well dressed & quite simply an easy target.) He & my sister got to talking & he told her how he & I had become friends over the years (this was new news to me I hadn't spoken to him in years). Well, long story short, when my sister told him I hated him, his response was that he didn't blame me for feeling that way.

He then went further to tell me that he truly was sorry and that in time all things would heal. This got me to thinking how so much time has passed, I should be over this by now & I am getting past it each day. The fact that they were at least decent enough to apologize does make me feel some better.

October 21, 2008
10:42 pm
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October 22, 2008
2:38 pm
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caraway
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Mr. A,

I hope that I didn't convey that you aren't entitled to feel anyway that you do about this. I know that it takes as long as it takes to move past hurt.

I have been angry at a couple of folks that abused me sexually for so many years that sometimes I foget to be angry. I know that what they did was wrong, and not because of any physical hurt. I have been angry because they took away a certain childlike quality when they introduced me to sex at the age of 5. I have done more harm over the years to myself by holding on to what was lost.

I'll try your suggestion.

Cary

October 23, 2008
2:37 pm
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Mr. Anonymous
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Cary, thanks for your reply & glad that I could be of some help. Yesterday jus wasn't a good day 4 me. I'm not even sure why, I just felt really down and I couldn't stop myself from having the urge to break down and cry, although I repressed it enough to keep myself from crying. I just pray that in the future, these up and down episodes don't take me by surprise. Although I am diagnosed with Bipolar 1, and I take Lithium 450, which usually is a mood stabilizer, it seemes less effective. I took Lorazepam and laid down yesterday. Everyday I just keep note of what goes on with me and how I feel. Some days are better than others and I just have to deal with my occasional ups and downs I suppose.

Today seems like it is a whole lot better than yesterday was. Still, I am a little tired from the Lorazepam, but I took it this morning so I could make sure that I had no episodes. Well, I have to go back to work, will post more a little later.

October 23, 2008
8:16 pm
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Just sitting here in a room full of people. But inside I am boiling. I went to my car & just sat there & cried. I have been through soooooo much in my life & now, I will be going next Fri. to see my psychiatrist. I am not at all feeling too good right now. Mainly, I have been discussing with her what has gone on in my childhood. Here's the scenario:

My father was the type who was there for us. He made it a point to be at all of our events so we knew our father was rooting for us. He always gave his last dollar to make sure his children had what they needed. Knowing all this, I still can't get one thing out of my head. How he reacted when he was angry.

I remember one time my brother & sister were bothering me and because I asked them to stop, he taped my mouth up with duct tape. On another occasion, he was angry at me because I was trying to help my sister so he had everyone in the house treat me like an outcast. Then, there was a time where my brother and I got into a fight, which my brother started (we were kids, that's what kids do). My father went completely bolistic on me, and badly when I tried to explain what had happened. It always seemed like he never listened to what I had to say. Now that I am 35, and he is getting near 70, all of a sudden he wants to hear what I want to talk about. why now?

Looking at all he has done for us, I know I should be able to overlook these minor things. But something in me can't. I'm hurting bad. Am I wrong for feeling like this?

October 23, 2008
9:56 pm
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October 24, 2008
12:23 am
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October 24, 2008
7:34 am
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