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I had a talk with someone and they said I had to “forgive” what happened to me. I’m not sure I want to? I work hard at turning the negative rage/anger/shame into something positive, the rage engine.
Without it, I doubt I would have gotten as far in my healing as I have. “Forgiveness” a la Christianity, strikes me as just stupid, if you don’t believe (and I don’t) that something outside of you will protect you and/or the world is not a hostile place.
I don’t believe the world is hostile anymore, but I do think of it as a big, dumb, uncaring sort of elephant you have to stay alert and stay out of its way. The anger helps keep me alert, helps by making me be a bit leery, and I use it, in as positive a manner as I can. I work hard at not holding anger tight anymore. I don’t think I’m cynical anymore. But I do think “forgiveness” is just an invitation to be abused, and I DON’T believe that there’s someone (even DH) who’ll look out for me, always. If it’s convenient? Yeah, sure. If it’s not too much work, yes, certainly.
But the great, wide universe looking out for me? No. So conceptual forgiveness isn’t something I’m trying for. My parents and siblings are victims as much as I was, as was my abuser. I see that, I have a lot of compassion for them in that way. But I won’t and don’t intend to forgive them for how they chose to act. Any or all of them could have done the work, processed their own stuff and grown up; they didn’t. What they did to me as a result isn’t forgivable. It’s understandable,but no, I won’t give them a “free pass.” It isn’t okay; it will NEVER be okay. We could move past it, but that will never happen. They’ll never do the work, and I will NOT set myself up for them to hurt me again, in the same old ways, because I should “forgive” them.
I realized, reading this, that forgiveness to me is conditional. If you’re hurting me, and you stop, I’ll forgive you OR If you’ve hurt me in the past and we can discuss it, and I can fundatmentally trust you won’t do it again? Yeah, I’ll forgive you. Neither of those are true with my family or the abuser. My parents/abuser are all dead. My siblings’ self-image requires them to see themselves as “fine,” and me as “not quite right.”