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Author Topic: 7.02 | Forgiveness  (Read 28315 times)
Susan Peabody
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« on: May 24, 2007, 11:21:40 PM »

There is no doubt that a spiritual path for me includes learning to love others unconditionaly. Sometimes this means I have to forgive them first. It would be nice if this could happen quickly and simply, but this is not usually the case. Sometimes forgiveness is a slow process.

It would also be nice if forgiveness would just happen on its own. We can just give it some time. But usually some intervention must take place. In other words, we must work on it, sort of like tending a garden.

The process begins with a desire to forgive. Many factors may motivate this desire—none of them natural. Our natural inclination is to stay angry and hold a grudge. But, eventually, either misery gets the best of us and/or a deeply held belief system shakes loose the anger and gives way to a desire to forgive.

After the willingness comes, we then need some fancy footwork. One might begin by getting inside the head of the person or persons with whom we are angry. Was the transgression intentional or an accident? Was the transgressor suffering in some way for which we can be sympathetic? If the person with whom we are angry tells his side of the story what would he say?

It is important, at this point, to begin a discussion of the matter. The trick here is to listen to the people we discuss this with. We may not really want to hear an objective opinion, but it is important that we do. And even if our friends and/or pastor agrees with us that we are the injured party, it feels good to loosen that knot of anger chocking us to death by talking it out with someone we trust.

It can also be very helpful to write about all this emotional chaos. Writing can lead to some interesting “Freudian Slips” about the true nature of what happened and how we feel about it.

For the sake of argument, however, what if we are truly a victim and the person we are angry with has no leg to stand on? How then do we forgive? Well in this case we must simply try to look at the bright side. For instance, our perpetrator has to bear the weight of his transgression against us and we do not. (It might help, at this point, to mention that you do not have to like someone to forgive them or even associate with them. The dictionary definition of forgiveness is simply to let go of our anger. No hugs and kisses are required.)

The hardest part of forgiveness comes when we have to feel the “real” feelings behind what happened. Our anger is just a coverup for the pain brought on by the slight. The pain of rejection, the wound to our ego, the utter disappointment in this person, the fear that this will happen again.

The hardest part of forgiveness for me is to let go of the anger when the person who wounded me is in total denial about the whole thing. Recently my mother died. My sister who has BPD was angry at me for hovering over my mother on her deathbed. She said that my mother would not want me there because she did not like me. I was so wounded by this that I vowed never to speak to my sister again until she apologized.

But a year later I felt the pain of estrangement more than the pain of what she had said. So I was stuck between my anger and my loneliness for my sister. I also felt the tugging of my spiritual belief system which asks me to love others unconditionally?

So, eventually, I went through the process I describe above and came to the conclusion that forgiveness was important to my mental health and my salvation as a believer in love. So I swallowed my pride. I sent of a stiff email telling her that I was ready to move on without an apology. Immediately I felt as if a great burden had been lifted. I also felt like a better servant of my personal diety, which is no small matter to me.

I have yet to hear from my sister but I feel better because I have surrendered the toxic feelings I was holding on to for dear life. And I think this is exactly why we should forgive each other. Not only is world peace at stake, it is important for our personal well being. I see everything spiritual as serving this dual purpose—personal fulfillment and our contribution to a better world.

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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2007, 11:50:19 PM »

Ms. Peabody,

What you've expressed is beautifully written. Forgiveness is most important to our spiritual survival. Forgiving and loving unconditionally has been what keeps me afloat. If I wasn't able to do this, I think of the anger and hurt that I would harbour in my heart.  It would eat me from the inside out. Forgiveness, has been especially important in dealing with my SO.  He has hurt me so many times. The scars cut deep. I have had to realize that much of the hurt he inflicts on me is a result of his mental disorder. I have learned to detatch with love. He is a pitiful soul that needs unconditional love. It is only by God's grace that I am able to give this to him. My human nature tells me to retaliate and hurt him back. I have had to learn to rise above it. I have also taken my relationship with my SO to God and turned it over to him. I've asked him to give me the strength to love my SO in spite of himself. If given a choice, I don't think he would like to be this way. Thank you for your post.

Ave
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2007, 06:46:34 AM »

And then, of course,,there is the Everest of Forgiveness... .that for ourselves... .

Well written piece Susan... .and truely the key to a light heart and gentle touch... .

Lenny
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bianda
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2007, 08:53:37 PM »

Great post Susan... .but shouldn't the offending party want forgiveness in order for forgiveness to be given?

I am currently estranged from my younger brother due to his interference with my BPDd when she was a teenager (she triangulated and he and his wife fell for it ---BPDd lived with them during college vacations for 4 years when she moved out after high school---it was during this time that they got a taste of what our life was like with BPDd which ended with BPDd getting kicked out of their house--which is when she returned to our home after 4 years of NC).  Neither my brother or his wife have apologized for their interference.  My brother's wife did acknowledge to me that I was right about my BPDd and her issues but that is as far as it went.  I haven't forgiven my brother because he hasn't asked for forgiveness== to him that would be admitting that he did something wrong and he is NEVER wrong.  In addition trust is big for me---I can never trust him again ---I'll be darned if I let he and has wife near my younger 2 daughters.  I intend to continue NC with him and his family therefore there is no need to forgive and forget... .it is now going on 6 years that I have not spoken to him and I don't miss him or feel a need to have him be part of our lives... .I guess what I learned from the whole situation is that no one is indispensible==sadly life does go on.

With my BPDd it is different I have forgiven her for everything she's done because I understand she is mentally ill and an addict. 

My brother and his wife made a choice to intefere with the parenting of our daughter when we began having problems with BPDd at age 16.  BPDd's therapist called him and asked him to step out of the triangle but he refused and continued going behind our back "supporting" BPDd which only made the situation in our home worse.  It got to the point that we sold our home and moved 35 miles away in order to try to salvage relationship with BPDd her senior year in high school as this was going to be that last chance for us to help her (even then my brother and his wife would drive to our new city and see BPDd at her job -- but we did have some peace at home as they couldn't see her as frequently).  I no longer hold a grudge or feel anger towards my brother only sadness and a desire not to give him another opportunity to hurt me again. 

I never would have interfered in his home or with his children so for him do have done it to me hurt tremendously... .

Bianda

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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2007, 02:00:13 PM »

Just finished a class on this, so here's my thoughts if anybody's interested; they're not fully rationalized, but they did get some "aha" reactions in class, so I'm sharing them here.

What is the purpose of forgiveness?  Why is it so hard?

For me, it's hard because the person who did the hurting just took a huge chunk out of my midsection with razor-sharp teeth, and I couldn't do a darn thing to stop it.  I want my missing piece back!  I liked it where it was! It had a lot of good stuff in it!  And now it's gone!

But if I continue to nurse my grudge, if I continue to try to re-create what was there before, if I try to stuff the few dangling entrails back and patch them over with a bandage of resentment I never change, what can I expect?

I can expect rot; and gangrene. 

It's a death of the old self I'm mourning and resisting when I refuse to forgive.  It's a refusal to let anything grow back except exactly what I had before.  Sure, fine, I'll "get over it" - so long as I get everything back exactly the way it was.

Reality:  this is not going to happen.

Now I'm thinking perhaps before sepsis sets in that maybe it's a good idea to let some air get to the wound and take a look at what's happening.

And when I work up the faith to give that a shot, here's what I find:

those razor-sharp teeth took out what looks to be a cancerous growth.  It needed to go.

OK.  OK, maybe I can accept that.  In my particular case, it eviscerated a substantial part of the support system for my own codependent behaviour.

Now, if I can leave the wound alone, quit picking at the scab, what happens next?

What I'm finding is that something even better is growing back to replace what was lost.  More abilities, better functioning... .I just had to take a leap of faith to see it happening.  (Ability to define boundaries and enforce them; ability to overcome shame; ability to face my own character defects.)

Reader's Digest version:  Undertaking the process of forgiveness gives us an opportunity to transform ourselves into more than we were before.  It is NOT, as it looks on the face of it, an admission of powerlessness.  It is instead an invitation to empowerment.  It has nothing to do really with the person who hurt us; they are merely catalysts.  Tools for growth, if you will.

If what I'm pondering is valid, it makes the whole process of forgiveness a whole lot more palatable. 

Thoughts?



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lennic
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2007, 02:19:04 PM »

Reader's Digest version:  Undertaking the process of forgiveness gives us an opportunity to transform ourselves into more than we were before.  It is NOT, as it looks on the face of it, an admission of powerlessness.  It is instead an invitation to empowerment.  It has nothing to do really with the person who hurt us; they are merely catalysts.  Tools for growth, if you will.

Yep. I agree.

And it is the very rare individual that never forgives... Oh they are out there and they are easily spotted... just look into the eyes or watch their walk... deep shadows and a bent spine... .anger is a heavy emotion and when it is your primary force,,,you never rest.

So,,for the rest of us,,sooner or later we forgive... .something else takes our minds and hearts and we let go because, as you say,,the chunk we lost,,just doesn't seem to be as big anymore... .because it isn't,,,never was... it was really a much bigger expectation than the lesser empty space left behind... .Pride comes in here and hurt pride goes a much longer way... .

In the end the sooner we let go the better,,but we do need to do the preliminaries... .letting go to easlily does negate the benefit of the expereince in some ways... and none of our experiences are arbitrary...

But forgiveness is love,,,if for no other entity but ourselves... .

IMHO.

Lenny
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2007, 06:23:57 PM »

Great post! I am at a stage for reconciliation and letting go. It's funny. I've been gone almost 7 months. Some days it still feels like yesterday. On those days when it feels like it just happened I feel like crap! However, today is another day and I am practically bouncing off the walls. It feels good.

If I look at it intellectually and see it for what it was, I can forgive. Sometimes my emotions get in the way and anger and frusteration come to the surface. I'd say it's a bit more frusteration than anger. That's my intellect telling me," how can I be angry at someone with BPD." It was not their fault.

In addition, when I see it in that light I don't really want to participate in the jovial BPD fun poking threads. Call it a semblance of compassion even though I was directly affected. It was not her fault. She was just operating with the cards she was dealt. Typing this makes me sad for her.


Tom
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2007, 10:49:39 AM »

I dunno, Tom, if it wasn't her fault, whose fault was it

I'd like to think it was her parents. She used to tell me she had OCD and difficult as a child. I wonder what they did in order to create such a horrible disfunction in one of gods beautiful creations. At what point in her youth did something so terrbile and disjointed happen that may have caused her so much pain and anguish that she resorted to some defense mechanism which finally triggered BPD? I don't know and never will. Afterall, they don't even see it in themselves. How can they possibly get help for something they don't even think they have?

Additionally, maybe one of the parents may have had it themselves and the cycle repeaats itself through generations. I visited my BDPwife's mothers side of the family in Tennesse. They were quite a crew! 

I also think it was our fault as was well for allowing ourselves to become deluded into thinking we could fix them with our love and kindness. I always knew something was amiss but ignored the little red flags for my own selfish needs and wants. Call it my cancerous tumor.

Like you, I also felt the sting of those razor sharp jaws rip something from my soul. It's a piece of me that I think is lost forever and can totally relate to what you said about it being a cancerous growth. The festering wound is being aired out and currently mending. Hopefully, for the better.

Why do we need to forgive ourselves? I feel as though I did nothing wrong. Or, did I?

I wounded my ex-wife to be her "her." Maybe I need to forgive myself for that.

Tom

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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2007, 07:12:40 PM »

Coming at this from a child of a BPD mother, I found myself asking what do I need to forgive myself for? I did what I did as a kid in order to survive.I had no control on my environment. I take no responsibility for being a child who knew right from wrong, told my mother that what she did to me was wrong, and got one of her ragefests.I have had people tell me "if you could have shut up you wouldn't have gotten it so bad." Yea right... .

I like what Gam wrote about having a piece of us taken out... .yet I'll never know what that piece could have been.

In order to find out what that piece was, I had to forgive. I went thru the anger, the acceptance of her illness, and the fact that she made her choice time and again to walk away from help. I have asked G-d many times "Why did she do that?" I don't ask for me (good non that I am) I ask for her. How can a person keep swimming away from the life raft. I trust a plan is in place for me and I will know the answers when I need to know to them. Cliched but so true for me.

I will never know why she did what she did. What I do know is that I can love my mom and not want her in my life. I can forgive her because I wanted to move on. Selfish me, I wanted a life without the misery and tears she brought into it.

I think forgiveness is a type of selfishness-positive selfishness, if you will. I did it all for me and she will never know, nor do I beleive she needs to know.
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« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2007, 10:00:09 PM »

I think sometimes we have to forgive ourselves for what we told ourselves as a result of the abuse:  "I deserved it/ It was my fault/ etc."
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« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2007, 03:32:57 PM »

A word about witch hunting... .also known as "whose fault is it anyway".

In my opinion, this is a moot point.

And fault finding, finger pointing and what Caroline Myss calls "woundology" (living in your wounds) are counter productive to healing.
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2007, 02:25:48 PM »

The inner feeling of forgiveness can be freeing... .to truly forgive requires nothing on the part of the offending party.  That leads to a neverending game of "not enough."  There is never enough "sorry" for those who need one.
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2007, 06:37:35 PM »

I think sometimes we have to forgive ourselves for what we told ourselves as a result of the abuse:  "I deserved it/ It was my fault/ etc."

Very good point.How did I get myself in this mess?Children once they were born i wasn't going to leave them.I think i tried reasoning,ok you're right and arguing back.In xBPD left after the affair was open she handed out a 12 page letter to all in my life no year or dates given ,With her excellent writing skills it read like it was all as of late some going back 26 years most over twelve the last time I argued back.!/3 was bull,1/3 relevant information omitted and 1/3 true, she did bring out the worst in me.frustration over her over spending.refusal to allow family visits.it was churn and burn.with many as they went from white to black in her eyes.forgiveness is a goal but its still the dance
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2007, 11:34:59 PM »

I have come to the conclusion that fault in MOST cases is 50-50.  Last October my sister-in-law called and left a nasty voicemail about us not coming to my father-in-laws b-day brunch (we had seen & had dinner with father in law the previous weekend and when we called him on his b-day he informed us of the brunch plans- this was on aThursday: brunch was on Sunday) we told father-in-law that we would not attend because my husband-his son-needed to finish a project for work that was due Monday; my 17 year old was working; my 15 year old was invited to her best friends b-day party.  Frankly I wasn't going to drive 50 miles by myself for brunch when I have tonz of housework to do since I work 40+ hours per week so I bowed out as well.  Father-in-law "acted" like he hadn't heard a word we were saying and said we'll see you Sunday.  We didn't go on Sunday and that evening sister-in-law left a nasty scolding message on our voicemail about not showing up.  I was angry and called her right back (in hindsight I should have slept on it and called the next day when I was calmer).  I told her off basically telling her it wasn't her place to call and berate us for not coming and that if father-in-law had a problem with it he should have called and besides why did he expect us when we told him we weren't coming.  She said some nasty things about how spoiled by two daughters were and why didn't I force them to come to brunch and show their respect to their grandfather... .and back & forth it went... .The next day I get a call from father-in-law saying how disappointed he was that I didn't force the girls to come--I reminded him that we only had a 3 day notice and we are trying to teach our 17 year old that when you have a job you don't call in when something comes up out of the blue and the younger daughter had had this B-day invite for over a month.  I added that they are teenagers and don't give up their friends for us as their parents --they certainly wouldn't do it for grandparents... .developmentally that whole family bonding thing would come around in their mid 20's.  They are normal teenagers and he said they were spoiled unlike another grandson (who happens to be high functioning autisitc and his only friends are my in-laws). I said that his perception of normal teenagers was a bit skewed if he was using this grandson as his referrence point.  He got mad and hung up.  I continued to send B-day cards, mailed xmas prsesents, mother's day cards and not a word from them.  They didn't call my husband for his b-day in december -  not even a card - or my daughter's b-day when she turned 15.  In the spirit of forgiveness and decided to call and apologize (even though I take only 50% responsibility) since 17 year is graduating from high school and thought this would break the ice and they would want to be at the graduation (I sent the announcement and not a word).  Well the father-in-law pretended he couldn't hear me on the cell phone and told me to call the house phone and speak to mother-in-law.  I called and told her I wanted to speak to the father-in-law and apologize for what happend in October and she said no I would have to speak to her and then I told her what I had to say and she then proceeded to tell me that she accepted the apology but would not be coming to the graduation unless 17 year old daughter also apologized for insulting the cousin last summer in reference to how "he needed to get a life and stop hanging out with the grandparentals" she told him that if he went online he would be able to find a support group with kids his age (he's also 17) who have the same disability whom he could relate to.  Apparently when the b-day drama occured, the cousin proceeded to lay it on thick about how mean my 17 year old was to him etc... .  (another point is that this cousin will also be graduating but because he couldn't pass the high school exit exam he'll only get a Certificate of Completion not a High School Diploma and my daughter is graduating with honors).  I talked to my 17 year old who said that she was only trying to help him because of how sad it is that he doesn't have any friends and his only friends are the grandparents who do not do anything to help him out to meet kids like him (his parents are divorced --mom lives in another state and his dad-my brother-in-law- is not all there either).  Essentially she said that one drama queen in the family was enough (my 24 year old BPDd) and that she had nothing to apologize for and if they had to put conditions on coming to the graduation---she didn't want them there because they aren't sincere about being there.  I left it alone and told my husband who also said to leave it alone. 

Funny thing though, I don't feel bad nor do I regret apologizing --- I feel good because it is like something was lifted off my shoulders... .relationships with normal people (at least I think in-laws are normal---maybe just old) are Extremely Difficult---it is no surprised relationships with BPD's are nearly impossible. 

I will sleep even better than normal tonite... .

peace Smiling (click to insert in post)
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Ave Marina
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« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2007, 06:13:05 AM »

Bianda,

You did all you could. You bent over backward and more to be nice to them and at the same time not let them walk all over you and your family. With relatives like them who needs enemies.  They will never change. I've had similar situations in my family. It's all so immature. Who has time for such nonsense. I would keep my distance. Wait for them to make the next move. You have lost nothing. Enjoy your peace and your lovely immediate family.

Ave
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« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2007, 07:51:40 PM »

 My xBPD teaches early childhood development?When I look at what our sons have been through forgiveness? hurt me one thing hurt the kids another now her father also BPD wants to pay the youngest 500$ to come for a week its like being in jail there all interior doors locked.he will have momster BPD and grandpa BPD for a week we all dreaded trips there.she compares all three of us as alike.
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Susan Peabody
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« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2007, 12:25:05 AM »



Just a reminder lest we get off track here. You do not have to like someone to forgive them. You do not have to associate with someone to forgive them. I was told as a child to "love my enemy." But some people you have to love from a distance.You do not have to forgive them permanently either. Forgiveness is an old fashioned way of surrendering anger. Anger leads to depression. When you can let go of the anger at someone even for a brief moment you have forgiven them. It is ok if the anger rushes back. You just have to forgive them again. I call this serial forgiveness. Eventually the forgiveness becomes more permanent. Why forgive? Surrendering anger is supposed to relieve your depression and angst. If it doesn't then there is no point to it. If it does make you feel better then forgiveness is a gift to yourself not the the person you are forgiving. If forgiveness doesn't make you feel better it may be because the anger is a defense against the person you are angry at. If anger is a defense against someone who could really hurt you if you forgive them then it is ok to put it off until you are safe. Those who choose not to forgive should not feel guilty. It is not the end of the world. It is just the right choice for many of us at the right time.
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« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2007, 12:01:17 AM »

IT will forever Be beyond comprehension.17 years Ago she was a doting Mother who kissed My son ,Me she was funny,fun,sweet then like a gradual getting weirder the constant Im right etc etc today none of us will answer the phone ,rants for any of us from out of town somewhere.      Dangerous and pitiful all rolled into one a contradiction?Illness. today was put things away all pictures going in one box. giving up  both sons for some fun at 45?I just dont know?why didnt she go get help i and others asked many times to get laughed off.because she never ever admitting even a small mistake.
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Susan Peabody
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« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2007, 04:48:20 PM »



Dear Leo,

I was touched by your statement "Why didn't she go get help. I and others asked many times to get laughed off because she never ever admitting even a small mistake."

I just wanted to say that your mother is in "denial." This is a medical condition not necessarily a choice. Denial is a defense mechanism against shame. We are ashamed so we deny everything to ourselves. It may also be that your mother is not only a borderline but a naccissist. Narcissists deal with a broken chilldhood by believing that they are OK and everyone else is not OK. This is also a defense mechanism against shame. Narcissists become cold and unfeeling. They cannot feel empathy for those they hurt. They rarely go to therapy because of the denial and when they go they do not stay because they get anxious at the very idea that their is something wrong with them. They equate not being perfect with being bad and sometimes with being punished like going to hell or even dying.

It is not easy to love someone who is mentally ill. There are some good books about this that may help. You don't have to forgive your mom, but you might consider it for the reasons I outlined in my original post. My best to you.
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« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2007, 06:37:41 PM »

I just wanted to say that your mother is in "denial." This is a medical condition not necessarily a choice.

Interesting.  I've never seen an ICD-9 code for that.
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Susan Peabody
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« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2007, 09:18:05 PM »



A lot of things are not coded in the wonderful world of "self-help." They are just common sense. I believe in attaching labels that resonate with a person. One that triggers a "light bulb" moment. Even if you have to make up your own term it works if it resonates. I remember hearing for years at A.A. meetings that "This too will pass." This never resonated with me for some reason. Then someone re-phrased it and said, "I have come to discover that every thing has a life span." Suddenly I got it. Why, I don't know. Anyway, sometimes we just have to throw away the books and open up our eyes. Denial, or whatever you want to call it, is a function of the "old brain" as Harville Hendrix puts it.
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« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2007, 02:29:30 PM »

Susan thanks for youre post but she was my wife of twenty four years ,on rare occasion i have seen a moment of guilt.followed by a attack.I think she battles with guilt.but will never admit it.its a impossibility.When she went to her next stepping stone she went way over board on trying to finish me off.it wasn't necessary.I assume she felt it best.
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« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2007, 02:47:40 PM »

Forgiveness doesn't mean forgetting what the other person did; what forgiveness is is not letting what they did control your life and reactions.  If one forgives the issue at hand, then the person who hurt you can no longer control how you behave or think.  In the end, what they did to us was wrong but how we handle the aftermath is all up to us.  Holding on to unforgiveness only hurts me and multiplies the pain of the original insult by causing me to pick at the wound so that it never heals.  As long as the wound is open it can never heal & no one can ever get past the hurt that way. It gives the control of your life over to the one who caused the pain in the first place.
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« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2007, 07:15:49 PM »

I have thought long and hard on this topic,no offense to any but it is rare Ive read the type of behavior my sons and I endured.cruelty in its worst form it bothers me that raised to forgive its impossible in this case she sold us all out for her fame and fun.i worked multiple jobs for years to raise this family and get her through to tenure the same year the first of several affairs began.forgiveness just isnt possible.
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Susan Peabody
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« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2007, 11:15:45 PM »



There are many points of view about forgiveness. Susan Forward is against it. A.A. recommends it. Each person must decide on their own but for those who choose not to forgive I hope they revisit that decision every so often. Just remember this . . . forgiveness is for OURSELVES not for others.

Susan
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Mikki
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« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2007, 09:35:13 AM »

Susan is absolutely right when she says forgiveness is for ourselves. And I would add that ALL things are possible through God.

This is not to minimize what happened to you and your family. But for your health and the health of your family it is important to turn this suffering over to God to help you with it. Ask Him for the strength that it is going to take to forgive this person. It is possible! If you stay in this place and keep dwelling upon the terrible hurt and injustice, it will poison you. Healing won't happen overnight, but you are going to have to work at it with God's help. It is through Him that you can find the peace and love that you so deserve. As for your ex, let God deal with her. I pray that God will deal with her soon and make her see what she has done to the people that she professed to love the most. But her actions are out of your control. She will eventually have to answer for them.

I don't mean this to sound so preachy, but I know it to be true.
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Pinnacle
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« Reply #26 on: July 06, 2007, 05:58:39 PM »

I have just asked God to take the anger, resentment and stones out of my heart and allow me to forgive my BPDh and to forgive me for my part.

I don't want to hurt anymore, I don't want to continue walking through life with this pain.  It will only give my h another way to control me.  I want:

The hardness that has accumulated around my heart over the years to soften.

To be the kind of woman God wants me to be.

To be able to speak my heart in a kind, loving way without fear.

To let my H know I forgive him.

To keep my boundaries in place.

To show more through my words and actions that I love and appreciate those around me.

To have fun.

To be ME

Thanks Susan and Everyone!  You are all a blessing

Puddin
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schnitzel
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« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2007, 02:16:27 PM »

These are the famous words of Alice Miller from her book "The Truth Will Set You Free" about forgiveness:

Excerpt
These are the changes that enable us to overcome hatred. Hatred can survive only as long as we feel trapped in the situation of a child who has no choice, who is forced to hold out in hopeless circumstances in order to survive. As soon as the adult sees an alternative, a way out of the trap, the hatred disappears of it`s own accord. It is then entirely unnecessary to preach morality, forgiveness or exercises in positive feeling.

So what are those changes? They are the working through our traumas - not denying but SEEING them and understanding, digesting and mourning them -  to get to the point of no longer feeling like a hurt child, but to have grown into an adult who has accepted the circumstances of their childhood and come to the point of saying: what now? Now - I am free to go left or right. I am no longer at the mercy of my abusers either in reality or by reliving the traumas with their surrogates. And when we have arrived at this point of true freedom from our past with the choices being ours as to how our lives will go on from this day forward, we can begin to have compassion for those who knew no better than to do what they did to us.
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Mollyd
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It's a strange game when the only move .... is not


« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2007, 06:37:12 PM »

I think there is a difference between forgiving and letting go.

Forgiving, to me implies a completed act, where an amend is made and accepted.  Forgiveness.

Letting go, is when a genuine amend cannot be offered, but the offended moves on, to freedom.

I don't think the end is always forgivness when wrongs are done, but we can always move on.

fwiw,

Molly
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Ave Marina
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« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2007, 12:54:22 AM »

I am so glad to see that this topic was reopened. Forgiveness has meant my survival. This is frequently talked about in our chuch by one of our pastors. I went through hell sharing my live with my exbp. Looking back, I don't know how I survived as much as I did without crumbling. It was important to forgive. I had to come to realize that I was dealing with a man who was mentally ill. Unless he realizes the err of his ways and goes into T, our relationship would have no success of survival. This is the best thing I could do, and also he didn't give me much choice. He is a sad creature. He is eaten up with his BPD illness. He doesn't admit to having any problems, but he knew deep inside that he had anger issues and other emotional problems. They are by far above and beyond me. I feel that by forgiving, it is more about moving along with our lives, We have to forgive our tressspasses as we forgive those who treapass against us. Through prayer, I have learned that I "need' to forgive them. That doesn't mean that I need to stick around and ask for more. I'm sure that if my ex had a choice he would not want to be how he is. He doesn't know how to connect the dots. I will not call him. I made my peace with his family, I sent Grandma a card and e-mailed his sister. I made my peace and told them my side of the story. I've done all I can do. I wll back off by my own chosing. The next move is theirs.

Ave

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