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to think you can forget without forgiving?

(42 Posts)
MitchiestInge Mon 12-Sep-11 11:26:25

more or less forget anyway

do you think it's an absolute sort of state, where a person either forgives or is eaten up with carcinogenic bitterness, or a bit more spectrumy where you might resolutely refuse to to forgive but are not particularly damaging yourself?

Icelollycraving Mon 12-Sep-11 11:28:34

I can forgive (occasionally) but very rarely forget.

Fatshionista Mon 12-Sep-11 11:31:45

I think you can too. I have forgotten (for the most part) something someone did to me but I can never ever forgive him.

I think you haven't really forgotten if you haven't forgiven. I think doing it the other way is more satisfying. Forgive whatever evil has been done to you, but never forget. By not forgetting, you make sure it never happens again, and by forgiving you stop it having the power to hurt you. IMO anyway.

Fatshionista Mon 12-Sep-11 11:35:57

I can't forgive him for this. What happens then? Is it something that just comes with time and understanding? It's been four years and every time I see him I still reel with hate and bitterness. He is truly the one person I can honestly say I hate and wish no well upon at all. Bitter? Yes.

borderslass Mon 12-Sep-11 11:38:01

Some things you can't forgive or forget, but can learn to live with or it destroys you.

ViviPru Mon 12-Sep-11 11:39:44

I can't help but forget, even if I've been really wronged, and keen to cling onto the resentment, things just seem to slip out of my memory. I'm always agog when my SIL people can remember the minutiae of arguments staged years before.

Birdsgottafly Mon 12-Sep-11 11:40:55

We learn by experience, so i don't think that some things should be forgotten.

I am thinking in terms of major things, i have read a lot of war and concentration survivers stories, whilst they have rationalised it out and forgiven, because they have understood how it built up, but they actively look out for oppressive practices, if they 'forgot' they couldn't do that.

On a smaller scale there are some very dangerous/damaging people that you can put down to personality problems and forgive them as they were not totally responsible for their actions, but you shouldn't forget so you can protect yourself, in the future.

It is not only damaging to yourself, but can be to others as well.

Mind you, i am aware that my job and training makes me overly keen on safeguarding everything and everyone, so i don't know how the 'ordinary' population thinks.

Birdsgottafly Mon 12-Sep-11 11:42:53

Fashonista-you aren't obliged to forgive.

missnevermind Mon 12-Sep-11 11:43:06

I have 'overcome' something in my relationship. It is neither forgiven or forgotten, but it is dealt
with an I have moved on.

rockinhippy Mon 12-Sep-11 11:43:27

Totally agree with Chickens

I can/have forgiven an ex "friend" not because she deserved it , but because it means I no longer am eaten up by what she did to me.

I don't forget though, as that could mean letting her back into my life & as she hasn't changed, theres no place for her in my life & it's unlikely there ever will be again.

Not because it eats me up, bar times like this it rarely comes to mind any more, but because she is a very bitter & devious individual who just can't be trusted, hence why IMHO its best to Forgive but not to Forget

borderslass Mon 12-Sep-11 11:45:21

I once fell out with my dad because I had told him at 16 I could forgive his PFB son for what he did to me as a child but realised when expecting DD2 at 24 that I couldn't.

ViviPru Mon 12-Sep-11 11:51:45

Thinking about your original question OP I think it takes a special sort of person to forgive a serious wrongdoing if the wrongdoer is unrepentant.

I think the repentance (or lack thereof) of the wrongdoer and the likelihood of reoccurrence of the wrongdoing is often crucial when thinking about any potential damage to the forgiver.

Not so much forget but move on..........yes def possible!

piprabbit Mon 12-Sep-11 11:53:32

To carry on feeling bitter, or hurt about something which you can no longer remember sounds quite damaging.

If you don't know why you feel hurt but carry on holding onto the hurt, surely you would be at risk of allowing those feelings to spill out into the rest of your life.

Niecie Mon 12-Sep-11 11:56:01

I can't imagine being able to forget something you can't forgive, but I can understand forgiving without forgetting. I presume we are talking major things here not forgetting to put the bin out or something trivial?

And yes it is a spectrum imo. Just like wrongdoing has degrees of badness -for want of a better made-up word.

fit2drop Mon 12-Sep-11 12:05:51

I have not forgotten (as such) but definitely will never forgive.
Forgotten it in as much as I refuse to let what this person did impact or have any part in my present.I will not allow him to have that sort of control on my life or my lifes choices. He is not worth the space in my head.
Forgive? never! forgiving him would mean me understanding why and there is no understanding and never will be, it would mean saying it was ok and it will never be ok.

I am not bitter nor cynical just totally indifferent .

AfternoonsandCoffeespoons Mon 12-Sep-11 12:14:55

I think it depends on your personla definition of forgivesness. I need to forgive as I know howdangerous it is for me to hold on to resentments. I do it to free myself, not the other person! But forgetting is different - if that woud mean letting said person back into my life to do it again?? No chance.

MitchiestInge Mon 12-Sep-11 21:32:19

Yeah, things that are more major than forgetting to put the bins out

don't think I really know what I mean by forgiveness, but there must be some neutral place between completely releasing someone from blame and being a seething mass of injured feelings for the rest of your natural life

you are all much better at putting these things into words

troisgarcons Mon 12-Sep-11 21:51:04

carcinogenic bitterness

cancer causing?


It's just a bit of a wanky Op isn't it? meaningless load of words you've strung together.

MitchiestInge Mon 12-Sep-11 21:55:53

ha yes, probably

was thinking, insofar as can think at all, about a sermon I heard yesterday in which I'm pretty sure the message was 'forgive or get cancer' - which seemed harsh all round, especially on September 11th

BatsUpMeNightie Mon 12-Sep-11 21:59:25

You can't let regret and bitterness eat you up - and you have to let go of hate BUT forgive? That takes an exceptional person. IMO obviously.

slavetofilofax Mon 12-Sep-11 22:02:06

I think you can forget without forgiving.

I choose to forget that exdp left me in hospital until 1.30 pm when I gave birth to ds2 in an ambulance at 2.00am , so had literally nothing with me. Not even any money to phone him or my Mum, who had ds1. I was paranoid because I had read that when the older sibling comes to see you and the new baby in hospital you should put the baby down and have your arms free to greet them, so while I now realise that it's not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things, hours after giving birth it was a Huge Big Deal! As ds2 had practically been born outside, he either had to be in skin to skin contact or under a heat lamp for his first few hours, and I really can't bring myself to forgive ex dp for making me feel so abandoned and stressed about holding my newborn when all the other Mum's had had their families around them for hours. He was getting some shopping in and phoning his relatives with the good news apparantly hmm And then he had the cheek to have a go at me for ruining his first chance to properly see the baby!

That was quite a rant - perhaps I haven't forgotten as much as I thought! grin

However, we mostly get on very very well nowadays.

warthog Mon 12-Sep-11 22:04:01

i def forget without forgiving. but i really think it depends on how bad the thing you're forgetting / forgiving was!

cutting my arm off - i probably wouldn't forget that. but a friend slighting me i would forget.

i find life is infinitely more pleasant if you forget or forgive.

cottonreels Mon 12-Sep-11 22:05:10

Blimey, heard a v similar sermon yesterday (maybe its all out of a book?). Just curious - did the sermon include an anecdote about two brothers who'd not spoke for a long time??
Any hoo, I prefer to say that I understand rather than I forgive. I don't forget (as there were important lesons to learn) but I dont hold the memory of it as a heavy weight in my heart iyswim.
Being anything other than calm and reasonable about it would make me feel like a victim, and I dont want to feel like that. I suppose it all depends on the nature of the 'it'.

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