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AIBU?

To think forgiveness is not always necessary in order to fully heal?

108 replies

CoachGary · 16/10/2022 20:33

I'm getting a litte tired of seeing this narrative that you have to forgive in order to move on and heal.

Some things can't be forgiven, and that's OK too IMO.

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daisychain01 · 17/10/2022 09:48

@Fromthedarkside unfortunately religion fails to adequately address the unpalatable perspective of the perpetrator not being willing to be the seeker of forgiveness from the victim of their crime. Very often they have "done a runner" and left their victim high and dry. The chances of them seeking forgiveness is zilch and often they refuse to even recognise they've done anything wrong.

instead it is left to the victim to be the "bigger person" and forgive the perpetrator. That's a bitter pill to swallow, and to your point, if trust is broken, it's madness to be the one to make efforts to repair the damage. It can give the perpetrator even more power that they don't deserve .

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Fromthedarkside · 17/10/2022 09:51

@magma32 Forgiveness isn’t some magic bullet that heals everything.
True

It’s a religious concept which is very triggering for me as it puts the onus on the victim to fix their shit,

Not true

which often means somehow trying to minimise it to allow the forgiveness to happen and the perpetrator getting treated better because of it

Certainly not true.

If someone is a terrorist or a child molester then—no matter how penitent he may be—he simply cannot be treated as if he had never committed his crimes.
Forgiveness does not mean treating someone as if they had never wronged us. That would require us to let go of our reason as well as our anger.

Anger is righteous—in keeping with justice—if it is still fundamentally directed toward the good. So you may wish that a person experience the consequences of his offenses to sufficiently understand how he has hurt others, and teach him to not commit them in the future.

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therubbiliser · 17/10/2022 09:57

Yep @Fromthedarkside that is very true. Forgiveness does not require us not to understand or learn from past experiences in fact it requires the opposite from us. To absolutely know the other person and how they have failed but to have compassion for their weaknesses.

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daisychain01 · 17/10/2022 09:59

Anger is righteous—in keeping with justice—if it is still fundamentally directed toward the good. So you may wish that a person experience the consequences of his offenses to sufficiently understand how he has hurt others, and teach him to not commit them in the future.

Realistically, why should @magma32 have the onus of teaching some lowlife they shouldn't be an AH to others. That's why I said in my post that religion doesn't adequately address the reality of the perpetrator's role and the fact they aren't going to have some Road to Damascus moment. If only!

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Fromthedarkside · 17/10/2022 10:03

@daisychain01 unfortunately religion fails to adequately address the unpalatable perspective of the perpetrator not being willing to be the seeker of forgiveness from the victim of their crime. Very often they have "done a runner" and left their victim high and dry. The chances of them seeking forgiveness is zilch and often they refuse to even recognise they've done anything wrong.
instead it is left to the victim to be the "bigger person" and forgive the perpetrator. That's a bitter pill to swallow, and to your point, if trust is broken, it's madness to be the one to make efforts to repair the damage. It can give the perpetrator even more power that they don't deserve .

So what if a person doesn’t repent when all is said and done?
At some point we need to let our feeling of anger fade, not for their sake but for ours. It isn’t good for us to stay angry, and it spoils us. Ultimately, we have to let go of the feeling of anger and move on with life.

With regret, for the person himself we recognize that it is appropriate that they get what they chose, even if that was Hell. This is, after all, the attitude taken by God.

instead it is left to the victim to be the "bigger person" and forgive the perpetrator.
**
That's not correct - if someone chooses not to take responsibility and apologise, then we are not required to forgive them.

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therubbiliser · 17/10/2022 10:10

So what if a person doesn’t repent when all is said and done?
At some point we need to let our feeling of anger fade, not for their sake but for ours. It isn’t good for us to stay angry, and it spoils us. Ultimately, we have to let go of the feeling of anger and move on with life.

With regret, for the person himself we recognize that it is appropriate that they get what they chose, even if that was Hell. This is, after all, the attitude taken by God


I completely agree with the above. Forgiveness is an internal process. It doesn’t say that what happened is right, it doesn’t suggest we don’t learn from the experience, it doesn’t suggest inappropriate reconciliation. It is about returning to your own state of a peaceful compassionate mind knowing what you know and understanding that another persons failings are for them to deal with and for you to just accept.

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Fromthedarkside · 17/10/2022 10:12

@daisychain01 Realistically, why should @magma32 have the onus of teaching some lowlife they shouldn't be an AH to others.

I don't see that it's anyone's responsibility to teach any adult how they should behave. What we should do is just not tolerate their sh!££y behaviour.

I would say that people who have been AH's to @magma32 have been AH's to other people as well. And these other people, if they have any sense, will have also removed them from their life.

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SnoozyLucy7 · 17/10/2022 10:15

Fromthedarkside · 17/10/2022 08:55

@FayeGovan Forgiveness is a load of shite. Where did that notion come from, the bible?
Some people misunderstand Christian forgiveness.

If we wrong a person, or commit a Sin against God the first thing we must do is own that. We put our hand up and take responsibility for our less-than-perfect behaviour. Then we try and make amends.
If we are genuinely remorseful then God will certainly forgive us. The person may or may not and that is their choice.

Consider Luke 17:3–4, where Jesus tells us, “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him; and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
Notice that Jesus says to forgive him if he repents, not regardless of whether he does so. Jesus also envisions the person coming back to you and admitting his wrong.
The upshot? If someone isn’t repentant, you don’t have to forgive them.

Hang on a moment. If a person has wronged me they first seek “forgiveness” from god, and not from me? And if this god says that person is forgiven, even though I was the person who was badly wronged, then all is good because god said so? Can you see how this leads to abuse, especially among religious people, because if they repent and are forgiven by god, through a priest say,? It’s a complete cop out and great big slap in the face of the victim.

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Fromthedarkside · 17/10/2022 10:34

@SnoozyLucy7 I'm sorry if I wasn't clear.

If we sin against God, then we apologise to God and ask for forgiveness.
If we hurt, wrong or treat another human being badly, we apologise to them and ask forgiveness.
We need to do both.

And if this god says that person is forgiven, even though I was the person who was badly wronged, then all is good because god said so?

No. Forgiveness does not mean treating someone as if they had never behaved badly. That would require us to let go of our reason as well as our anger

Can you see how this leads to abuse, especially among religious people, because if they repent and are forgiven by god, through a priest say,?

Priests are trained counsellors. Before they give a Penitent absolution they will have to satisfy themselves that the Penitent is truly remorseful. If they doubt the Penitent is genuine then they will suggest a course of action the Penitent can take, and to come back when they have time to learn greater understanding.

It’s a complete cop out and great big slap in the face of the victim.

No. Because forgiveness isn't automatic either via a priest or by God.

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therubbiliser · 17/10/2022 10:41

Fromthedarkside · 17/10/2022 10:34

@SnoozyLucy7 I'm sorry if I wasn't clear.

If we sin against God, then we apologise to God and ask for forgiveness.
If we hurt, wrong or treat another human being badly, we apologise to them and ask forgiveness.
We need to do both.

And if this god says that person is forgiven, even though I was the person who was badly wronged, then all is good because god said so?

No. Forgiveness does not mean treating someone as if they had never behaved badly. That would require us to let go of our reason as well as our anger

Can you see how this leads to abuse, especially among religious people, because if they repent and are forgiven by god, through a priest say,?

Priests are trained counsellors. Before they give a Penitent absolution they will have to satisfy themselves that the Penitent is truly remorseful. If they doubt the Penitent is genuine then they will suggest a course of action the Penitent can take, and to come back when they have time to learn greater understanding.

It’s a complete cop out and great big slap in the face of the victim.

No. Because forgiveness isn't automatic either via a priest or by God.

I don’t think I’d necessarily be looking to religious people to address some of this with regards to forgiveness.

My uncle, a priest, has chosen to be part of the problem in our family around the incestuous abuse in the family. The advice he has given to others who sought his counsel has amounted to sweeping sexual abuse of children under the rug so my own parents (his sister) won’t have to address their own emotionally and psychologically abusive behaviours towards their daughters. Priests are still humans, they will still have the same human frailties as everyone else when it comes down to it.

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CoachGary · 17/10/2022 10:47

@Fromthedarkside I take issue with religion in general, because IMO it has made the world a worse place to be overall. For example it teaches that no matter what, as long as you're really sorry, God will forgive you.

That doesn't fly with me.

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Kennykenkencat · 17/10/2022 10:48

To me forgiving someone is easing their conscience and giving them permission to do the same again.

I won’t forgive someone and I never forget and I always curse them. Then I will move on and it doesn’t eat away at me. I probably won’t ever think of that person again if I never saw them again.

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WizardOfUK · 17/10/2022 10:53

I think you can move on without forgiving. My ex was a selfish and abusive tear. We're now divorced and co parent pretty well. I've moved on, feel little animosity towards him, but will never forgive him for the things he put me through.

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Whiskeypowers · 17/10/2022 11:05

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Whiskeypowers · 17/10/2022 11:06

CoachGary · 17/10/2022 10:47

@Fromthedarkside I take issue with religion in general, because IMO it has made the world a worse place to be overall. For example it teaches that no matter what, as long as you're really sorry, God will forgive you.

That doesn't fly with me.

Completely agree

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magma32 · 17/10/2022 11:08

daisychain01 · 17/10/2022 09:59

Anger is righteous—in keeping with justice—if it is still fundamentally directed toward the good. So you may wish that a person experience the consequences of his offenses to sufficiently understand how he has hurt others, and teach him to not commit them in the future.

Realistically, why should @magma32 have the onus of teaching some lowlife they shouldn't be an AH to others. That's why I said in my post that religion doesn't adequately address the reality of the perpetrator's role and the fact they aren't going to have some Road to Damascus moment. If only!

Exactly not my job, have enough to deal with than to sort out the perpetrator. I go nc with people like that so I’d rather not think about them but they definitely are not ‘forgiven’ in my books. And who decides what forgiveness really is, different religions have different versions of it and they seem to add little bits to it. Forgiveness is just another job for a victim to do, adds to a mental load, great if it comes naturally but all the bs people in religious communities spout is you’re a bigger person if you’re forgiving, nope I’m a bigger person already. That forgiveness makes you closer to god etc. non forgiving people become bitter etc nah I’m the same caring and loving person, just not towards those who wronged and no I’m not out to seek revenge etc. I’m quite happy just having cut these people out, I don’t need to forgive them, I don’t need to do them any favours but people will tell me I’m hurting myself by not forgiving. Gimme a break.

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therubbiliser · 17/10/2022 11:12

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@Whiskeypowers i genuinely actually do get what you are saying but yes I have found that coping with my incestuous abuse and my family betrayal after that abuse coming out I have definitely found that making peace with the fact that my family have failed in being good people and having compassion for their failure has helped me to walk the balance for being able to hold very strong permanent boundaries against my family members while trying to be a good compassionate person at the same time and not getting eaten alive by how their failings affected me. I don’t expect it to make sense to everyone. God fucking knows I struggle with it myself sometimes.

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BackOnTheBandWagon · 17/10/2022 11:17

Yep, I will never forgive my ex for the abusive shit he put me through. But I also don't allow him any power in my life any more. Thankfully, I never have to see the wanker, so he doesn't impede my life now. I forgive myself for what happened, that's more important.

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Fluckle · 17/10/2022 11:20

RudsyFarmer · 17/10/2022 09:27

I think acceptance of a situation is a better way of describing it. Forgiveness suggests there is no longer blame, for some that’s impossible to ascribe to.

I now accept many situations that hurt me because enough time has passed and it’s not as painful as it once was. I know I can’t change the past. I can forgive myself once I understand the part I had to play and I can accept the behaviour of the other party.

I was going to say exactly this, but @RudsyFarmer beat me to it.

Forgiveness isn't always possible, let alone healthy, especially when the other party continues to act without remorse. But acceptance is a huge, massive, healing step forward that leaves you in a better, wiser place that centres upon compassion for yourself and what you experienced. It doesn't mean you've forgotten, it means that it no longer affects your behaviour and thoughts in a negative way. That's a worthwhile goal to try and achieve, but it's fucking hard and grueling work, as I know only too well.

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RudsyFarmer · 17/10/2022 11:24

I’ve put in so much work to get to the point of acceptance so I’m so pleased it’s resonated with a few people ♥️

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Whiskeypowers · 17/10/2022 11:28

therubbiliser · 17/10/2022 11:12

@Whiskeypowers i genuinely actually do get what you are saying but yes I have found that coping with my incestuous abuse and my family betrayal after that abuse coming out I have definitely found that making peace with the fact that my family have failed in being good people and having compassion for their failure has helped me to walk the balance for being able to hold very strong permanent boundaries against my family members while trying to be a good compassionate person at the same time and not getting eaten alive by how their failings affected me. I don’t expect it to make sense to everyone. God fucking knows I struggle with it myself sometimes.

I’m sorry
I was unintentionally hostile but as you can see it this is a huge trigger for me. I forgave someone so many times and tried so hard it was all for nothing but more abuse in the end.

it is interesting though how we individually process and break down these things or not as the case may be. I cannot fall down any more rabbit holes with the person who did what they did to me. I have to adopt a dearth policy That’s how I survive. In every other aspect and relationship in my life I am not that person it it is like night and day.

I am sorry for what you have had to navigate your way through.

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therubbiliser · 17/10/2022 11:53

Whiskeypowers · 17/10/2022 11:28

I’m sorry
I was unintentionally hostile but as you can see it this is a huge trigger for me. I forgave someone so many times and tried so hard it was all for nothing but more abuse in the end.

it is interesting though how we individually process and break down these things or not as the case may be. I cannot fall down any more rabbit holes with the person who did what they did to me. I have to adopt a dearth policy That’s how I survive. In every other aspect and relationship in my life I am not that person it it is like night and day.

I am sorry for what you have had to navigate your way through.

I 100% get you and I’m so sorry for what you have experienced and Fwiw I completely agree with the original premise of the thread you definitely don’t have to forgive to heal.

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Mommabear20 · 17/10/2022 11:56

100% agree! I can't forgive a sibling for something they did, but they will never be sorry or even apologise, but it doesn't mean I have to stop living my life

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Fromthedarkside · 17/10/2022 12:45

@therubbiliser Priests are still humans, they will still have the same human frailties as everyone else when it comes down to it.

Absolutely, and they will have to account for their actions the same as anyone else, either by man's laws or God's laws or both

@CoachGary For example it teaches that no matter what, as long as you're really sorry, God will forgive you.
But not if you keep on doing whatever it was.
That doesn't fly with me.
OK, you're free to have your view.

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CoachGary · 17/10/2022 13:06

@Fromthedarkside It doesn't matter if you keep doing it or not. Someone who molested a child could still technically get into heaven by being sorry and asking God for forgiveness. I personally think that's a sick thing to be taught.

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