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Old 05-11-2012, 12:33 PM
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Forgiveness

Four months ago today, my AXGF emotionally assaulted me at work. And one of the things I've been struggling with is the idea of forgiveness. I use the word "struggle" because as I process where I'm at, there's a part of me that wonders if I'm living by a double standard.

There have been times in my life when, after I've been hurt badly, I've let my anger get the better of me and I hurt the person who hurt me. And then, after I calm down and realize what I've done, I apologize and ask for forgiveness.

In the case of my AXGF, not only did she hurt me badly, she took pleasure it in. I did nothing to deserve it. She, in her typical Borderline Personality/Drug Addict mindset, decided to rip me up and down. If it were just an issue of being hurt, I could forgive her. But she intentionally, maliciously, and sadistically went after me and did her best to hurt me, and took enormous pleasure in it. I don't think I can forgive that...

...and that bothers me. It bothers me because I have, too, intentionally tried to hurt people, but in response to being badly hurt myself. If I ask for forgiveness myself when I've done wrong, is it then wrong to deny forgiveness to a person who's wronged me?
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:55 PM
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I do understand your dilemma.

First of all, I have learned that 'forgiving' another person is NOT for that person but for myself. It does not mean that I will forget. It does mean that I ACCEPT that the person is very sick. 'Forgiveness' allows me to drop the 'resentment' and continue my own healing process.

There is a 'line' in "The Lord's Prayer":

"Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."

Now I am not a 'religious' person, but I do try to live a 'spiritual' way of life. That line is ME asking HP, the universe, The Great Spirit, whatever I do believe in to please 'forgive' me my trespasses/sins as I forgive those who trespass/sin against me.

Boy was that a 'heavy' one for me to digest. I had to ACCEPT that my continued 'resentment' against the person was only HURTING ME and KEEPING ME in a dark place.

So ............................ forgiveness is not about what your AXGF did to you, it is about the 'resentment' that has and is forming, which puts you in a dark place and covers up the sunlight getting to your inner self.

If need be, do some journalling about this to work on your own ACCEPTANCE that she is a very 'ill/sick' person. Give that 'acceptance' to your own HP, the Universe, or whatever you believe in.

It does work honest. When the 'acceptance' comes, the resentment leaves.

Hope that helps a little bit.

Love and hugs,
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by laurie6781 View Post
First of all, I have learned that 'forgiving' another person is NOT for that person but for myself.
Same here. I've learned to approach it from two different angles, depending on the situation. Sometimes they overlap:

a) Forgiveness is me letting go of the right to seek revenge.
b) Forgiveness is me letting go of the past that can't be changed.

Acceptance, not condoning, is the foundation for both of them.
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:08 PM
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I'm sorry to hear that you were hurt by her behaviors. My AM is also borderline, so I have an idea of the pain that she has created for you. The forgiveness is to help you let go. It is not for her, but for you. You don't have to let her know that you have forgiven her. It can be something that is personal and in your heart.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:45 PM
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Resentments will eat you alive if you let them. The antidote to resentments is forgiveness.

To me, forgiveness does not make light of what happened, nor does it open me to having it done again. What forgiveness means, to me, is that I let go of the pain attached to the deed and move forward with my life.

That sets me free and the person who wronged me no longer has any power over me through my own resentments. So it sets them free too, even if they don't know it.

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Old 05-11-2012, 03:49 PM
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Time is a huge factor for me in the process of forgiveness. Particularly when the hurt goes very deep. It is not a process I can rush.

If you think of a physical hurt....like scrapping a knee, you can't rush the healing of that wound. I think our emotional wounds are like that too. With the knee, if you try to pick the scab off before it has healed, it simply opens the wound again and it bleeds. If you're patient and allow the scab to fall off in its own time, there is fresh new skin that has healed beneath it.

Perhaps the emotional and psychological wound is still too fresh. I think you'll find that the time will present itself at some point in the future and you'll realize that you have forgiven her. Not for her, but for yourself. It's hard to say how long that will take.

You deserve to be free from the trauma her mean spirited actions caused.....and I do believe you will be when the time is right.

gentle hugs
ke
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:52 PM
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Wow...thank you for this thread. It speaks volumes to me.
(((Zoso))) While I totally agree with what has been posted, which is very healthy, in the interim I have found that "not caring to feel anything" has helped me to get to the forgiveness stage.

Forgiveness, to me, is the final step of letting go.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:22 PM
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Everyone...

Thank you for the feedback. It's nice to read the thoughts of others that can relate to what you're talking about, especially on this board where people have wisdom in spades.

I'm not quite sure if I'm carrying resentment. Every night, I say a prayer for my AXGF, asking God to keep her safe. It's my form of compassion, recognizing that she's sick and giving her over to a Higher Power. But forgiveness has been a tougher issue because of the reasons I gave. If I judge her unworthy of forgiveness, do I judge myself the same way?

I guess the answer is we're all human. None of us have a perfect resume, and we're all guilty of behaving poorly towards others from time to time. I think what we all work towards is reducing how often we go off on others. For me, I think I can show compassion towards my AXGF, recognizing her illness for what it is. Forgiveness, I hope, will come in time.

Thanks, everyone...

ZoSo
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:19 PM
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hi, i agree with all the others, unforgiveness will hurt you more. maybe its time for you to forgive yourself too. keep praying and keep it moving. i'll keep you in my prayers
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:27 PM
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This one is a tough call, Zoso. She exercised forethought, planning, and execution to bring you down. It was calculated. Her intent was to emotionally blow you to pieces.

Like you, I have hurt people in the past, in a variety of situations. The most common reason I did so was immaturity. I'll bet immaturity was the primary cause in your past failings, too.

I do not think your transgressions compare to the level of her expertise and her delight in soul destruction. I know mine certainly do not.

If we forgive everyone, will that mean that moral choice is ultimately of no real value? I choose not to calculate, plan, and execute another person's soul destruction. You choose that, too.

If we don't hold others accountable for their moral choices, then what does moral choice even matter? How is goodness made distinct from evil? We all carry the capacity for both. If someone chooses evil, how can we tell our children they have to forgive that person who made that choice?

Yes, she's a drug addict. And a borderline. But Hitler had some problems in those areas, too. Personality disorder, addictive compulsions.

The man who murdered the doctor's wife and two teenage daughters in Connecticut a few years ago, a murder too vile to describe here, he was a crack addict. He also calculated, planned well in advance, and carried out their executions. I think that man is unforgivable.

There is a level of vicious intent which I think needs not ever be forgiven. It is often carried out by extremely intelligent, extremely narcissistic individuals. They are in love with power and control.

I have been hurt by alcoholics and drug addicts, but honestly, I actually always understood it. It has been classic addict behavior, straight textbook, behaviors you hear about in AA and NA meetings all the time. And described on this forum time and again. It is rarely related to evil.

Your exagf, she carefully gathered her ammunition and her weapon, she set up her scope, she aimed precisely at you, and she fired.

I don't think forgiveness is necessary. I would say that what I would need, if I had had your experience, was the removal of anger. For my own physical health. I would need to work that anger out in a vigorous physical way, at the gym or on the track or renovating a house by myself. I would want to work to release the anger which I know I would feel for a long time.

I don't really trust people who don't believe in evil. I think those people can be as dangerous in their own way as the evil ones. I want to know there are people well aware of the dark capacities of mankind, and are prepared to fight against that.

To deny righteous anger is to deny a vital part of ourselves. It's what helps us survive. I know many disagree with me and think that love is the only solution. But I would rather they not be the ones walking with me down a dark path in Central Park at midnight.

Glad you are still on SR, Zoso. I enjoy your posts very much. Maybe you weren't needing any more responses. But I thought about this a couple of days and decided to post.
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:42 PM
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Thank you EnglishGarden, I agree there is evil in the world.
Evil cannot be forgiven, someone who is ruthless and conniving, with no remorse it would not be possible to forgive (for me).

Now, like teke says, I think you can forgive yourself. For what? you ask?
For me, I had to forgive myself for being so blind to what was right in front of me, and being stupid enough to go along.
I knew better, but went ahead. I had to forgive my trespass of myself and my values.
Now that I know better, I do better.
I have forgiven myself for being weak, and became stronger for the experience.

Beth
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by EnglishGarden View Post
To deny righteous anger is to deny a vital part of ourselves.
Forgiveness is not denial of anger, not in my book. Forgiveness is what came after anger, hate, and a burning desire for revenge failed to bring peace of mind. I chose to forgive evil so I'd not become the very thing I despised.
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:12 AM
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I have always been too forgiving. I believed it was what God wanted and because it was best for me. I have hard time holding on to anger and always felt it was like a poison. In my confusion, forgiveness and acceptance had become very blurry lines.

Right now, I am very angry and I am not willing to forgive. I think forgiveness, for me, will come when I am healthier. I think I need to stay angry, it helps me stay strong - for now.

As I heal and grow, I know I will find forgiveness and peace. I am just not ready to yet. In time, I will forgive but I will never forget!
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:22 AM
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EnglishGarden,

Thank you for your post. It was very thoughtful and very, very helpful.

The one things I've learned about anger is there's nothing wrong with anger...until we give ourselves permission and act poorly because we're angry. That describes my past poor behavior, and it sounds like it describes yours, too. My temper can be ugly. Fortunately, I've learned how to dial it back quite a bit -- you can't fight anger with anger...you can't fight hate with hate...you can only fight those with love.

Yes, what my AXGF did was calculated. It was quintessential Borderline behavior. And the good news, for me, is I can recognize that she's about as severe a Borderline as you get. But that doesn't mean what she did was cool. Honestly, I don't think I can forgive her. Because, it's like you said, it was a premeditated assault to cause as much pain as she could. No one's ever done that to me before. I'll be honest: there are times I close my eyes and I can see her smirk, satisfied with what's she's done. That makes me want to puke.

So, I pray for her. I understand she's ill. And I pray that somehow she makes better decisions for herself down the road. I honestly don't wish her any ill will. But I can say without hyperbole that she's the most disgusting, vile, contemptable person I've ever met, and I'm glad she's out of my life. I'm almost back to the life I want to be living, and I'm happy. But there are times when something triggers a memory and it brings me back to January...and I feel the anger.

In time, it will subside, and I've got plenty of time...

Thanks again...
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:54 AM
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Actually, Zoso, I was raised in the south and ladies there do not get angry, they just get even.

I haven't felt angry enough, in my past, when I was abused. I always minimized and re-framed the abuser's actions. Surely we humans must be the only creatures out there doing this. When someone steps on a lion's tail, he is pissed!

I wish I had felt more anger. I had a little boy, years ago in an alcoholic marriage, and I needed more power and anger to draw a line against the alcoholic's emotional abuse of my family.

Someone once told me that codependents "understand." That's what we do. We "understand." Ack! I don't want to be that person anymore!
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