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Author Topic: 7.02 | Forgiveness  (Read 11341 times)
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« Reply #90 on: August 23, 2008, 02:46:40 PM »

Forgiveness... understanding... .pieces of the puzzle... .

I have forgiveness, understanding, and am now putting the pieces of the puzzle back together... .

but I can't remain mad... .I ignored the red flags each time and ultimately, paid a price... .

I guess that's why they're red and we have "gut"

Now I clearly forgive myself and am working on me... .

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« Reply #91 on: August 23, 2008, 04:52:49 PM »

 I do see forgivness as a major step to getting over ones experience with a xBPD/NPD.

The problem here is watching both sons get a black mist constantly and out to destrou Me.

Forgiving while those you care about and youreself are in a on going struggle to rebuild our lives is not wise .

Being naive and trusting xBPD/NPDx has proven costly to all.

To forgive in no ,see a sick invidual
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« Reply #92 on: August 23, 2008, 06:50:56 PM »

I still feel that I, mostly, have to forgive myself. Here is why. I was either so needy, or so clueless, that I allowed myself to believe that this darling man (he was, at first, aren't they?), would meet me, immediately feel that I was the "one he had waited for, forever (this guy was 59 and had never been married, yet he was financially very secure, very attractive, etc.  red flag red flag), ask me to move in with him, start planning our future together, take me to his homes, etc., very quickly. He made me feel like a queen, gave me flowers every time we were together, would set up the bathroom with candles, music, water, munchies, and bring in foods of all kinds. I didn't have to do anything except BE.

Shouldn't I have known/realized that it, love, a relationship, something meaningful, is NOT like that? One person doesn't just start adoring another and welcome that person into his life, forever, so fast! He did not KNOW me (I found out later that he didn't want to know me, either). But I fell, hook, line and sinker.

When it seems too good to be true... .Yup!

When the raging, criticisms, silent treatment (for asking him to please NOT curse at me and call me demeaning names), and all of the rest started, I should have headed for the hills. But I was too enamored of that early period, and I stayed, off and on, for months of more abuse.

That's what I mean about forgiving myself. We nons need to develop more skepticism early in a relationship, even before it becomes a relationship. If we get over-involved so fast, we should have a sixth sense that tells us to turn on the brakes. But we don't. We liked the whirlwind joy that came so fast because we liked being caught up in the illusion.

We let ourselves be "ripe for the picking" and they picked us.

So, yeah, I have to forgive myself for being such a little girl who believed her prince would come, with his charming appearance, his instant love, gifts, and showering of attention.

I am so mad at myself, because, had I been closer to "normal" myself, I would have put those brakes on, and not given away my heart to an imposter.

Forgive him? For being exactly what he is, what he MUST be because that's the only way he CAN be? No problem.

They make us realize that, instead of being half of the perfect love, we are just fools. It HURTS. But, as the saying goes: "We have met the enemy, and it is us."

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« Reply #93 on: August 23, 2008, 08:12:57 PM »

More than thirty years after I married her I had a lot of reconciliation with myself, I had to acknowledge I had been very naïve, missed the true meaning of a lot of the little red flags I saw, thinking she would grow up and out of it, ignoring that she couldn’t really talk to me about personal things in her life, thinking that my meaning of love was the same as hers, having faith in things will get better and waiting for the day she would come to her senses and want help. She could be cruel to me but I was also cruel to myself for so many years and never realized it till much later.

I have a new life now and she is not part of it. Enjoying a life now is so wonderful for I rarely think back into the past and when I do it is just a lot of mute feelings now. When they have no control over you and can’t yank your chain, you have acquired control over your own life again.


Letting go when it is too painful to hang on is hard to rationalize.

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« Reply #94 on: August 24, 2008, 02:19:58 PM »

I don't know... .I accept the evil one for who she is... .That doesn't mean I forgive her, it just means I accept that she's a sick person and did horrible things to us... .Nor does it mean I want her to be in my life... .But I think I have to go with the integrtiy side of this... .If you say you're going to do something, you do it... .if you don't, appologise... .the other person can accept it or not... .

I have to agree with Oy... .It's not up to me to grant forgiveness... .I don't let the anger get to me... .Not because of forgiveness, but because I know I can't do anything to make her a good person... .She is a horrible, ugly person... .But she's not part of my life, so It doesn't have any effect on me now.

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« Reply #95 on: August 24, 2008, 02:20:33 PM »

We've talked about this on the Co-parenting board... .

There is a big difference between forgiving and forgetting. It is ok to forgive the negative actions of another, to help yourself and your heart to be able to move on and trust others. You do NOT have to verbalize the forgiveness to the person who committed the 'crime', and you are allowed to in turn remove that person from your life. Forgiving does NOT mean you are expected to continue for all eternity to allow that person (or anyone else who might do you 'wrong' to be in your life and continue to wreak havoc in it.

Forgive, let go of the actions and the idiocy of the other party... .and move on in positive growth while remembering exactly what atrocities you should NEVER allow into your life/space/energy again.


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« Reply #96 on: August 24, 2008, 02:58:26 PM »


Funny thing, I had to forgive my wife in order to start my "exit strategy".  As I type she has stolen my car keys and phone so that I can't go anywhere or call anyone while she is gone... .but it's ok, she's who she is and I'm not going to change that.  She'll be back... .to tell me how horrible I am, but so what?  It's over.  I quit.

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« Reply #97 on: August 24, 2008, 07:34:49 PM »

I wonder how many of the people referred to in this article are BPD. There could have been one reference there. I truly think there is a conspiracy in certain groups within the Psych community to downplay BPD because they don't want high maintenance  patients coming forward  in droves. 
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« Reply #98 on: August 27, 2008, 11:12:57 AM »

What is forgiveness?


There's no one definition of forgiveness. But in general, forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentments and thoughts of revenge. Forgiveness is the act of untying yourself from thoughts and feelings that bind you to the offense committed against you. This can reduce the power these feelings otherwise have over you, so that you can a live freer and happier life in the present. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.

Doesn't forgiving someone mean you're forgetting or condoning what happened?

Absolutely not! Forgiving isn't the same as forgetting what happened to you. The act that hurt or offended you may always remain a part of your life. But forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, positive parts of your life. Forgiveness also doesn't mean that you deny the other person's responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn't minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act.

What are the benefits of forgiving someone?

Researchers have recently become interested in studying the effects of being unforgiving and being forgiving. Evidence is mounting that holding on to grudges and bitterness results in long-term health problems. Forgiveness, on the other hand, offers numerous benefits, including:

Lower blood pressure

Stress reduction

Less hostility

Better anger management skills

Lower heart rate

Lower risk of alcohol or substance abuse

Fewer depression symptoms

Fewer anxiety symptoms

Reduction in chronic pain

More friendships

Healthier relationships

Greater religious or spiritual well-being

Improved psychological well-being

Why do we hold grudges and become resentful and unforgiving?

The people most likely to hurt us are those closest to us — our partners, friends, siblings and parents. When we're hurt by someone we love and trust — whether it's a lie, betrayal, rejection, abuse or insult — it can be extremely difficult to overcome. And even minor offenses can turn into huge conflicts.

When you experience hurt or harm from someone's actions or words, whether this is intended or not, you may begin experiencing negative feelings such as anger, confusion or sadness, especially when it's someone close to you. These feelings may start out small. But if you don't deal with them quickly, they can grow bigger and more powerful. They may even begin to crowd out positive feelings. Grudges filled with resentment, vengeance and hostility take root when you dwell on hurtful events or situations, replaying them in your mind many times.

Soon, you may find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. You may feel trapped and may not see a way out. It's very hard to let go of grudges at this point and instead you may remain resentful and unforgiving.

How do I know it's time to try to embrace forgiveness?

When we hold on to pain, old grudges, bitterness and even hatred, many areas of our lives can suffer. When we're unforgiving, it's we who pay the price over and over. We may bring our anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience. Our lives may be so wrapped up in the wrong that we can't enjoy the present. Other signs that it may be time to consider forgiveness include:

Dwelling on the events surrounding the offense

Hearing from others that you have a chip on your shoulder or that you're wallowing in self-pity

Being avoided by family and friends because they don't enjoy being around you

Having angry outbursts at the smallest perceived slights

Often feeling misunderstood

Drinking excessively, smoking or using drugs to try to cope with your pain

Having symptoms of depression or anxiety

Being consumed by a desire for revenge or punishment

Automatically thinking the worst about people or situations

Regretting the loss of a valued relationship

Feeling like your life lacks meaning or purpose

Feeling at odds with your religious or spiritual beliefs

The bottom line is that you may often feel miserable in your current life.

How do I reach a state of forgiveness?

Forgiveness is a commitment to a process of change. It can be difficult and it can take time. Everyone moves toward forgiveness a little differently. One step is to recognize the value of forgiveness and its importance in our lives at a given time. Another is to reflect on the facts of the situation, how we've reacted, and how this combination has affected our lives, our health and our well-being. Then, as we are ready, we can actively choose to forgive the one who has offended us. In this way, we move away from our role as a victim and release the control and power the offending person and situation have had in our lives.

Forgiveness also means that we change old patterns of beliefs and actions that are driven by our bitterness. As we let go of grudges, we'll no longer define our lives by how we've been hurt, and we may even find compassion and understanding.

What happens if I can't forgive someone?

Forgiveness can be very challenging. It may be particularly hard to forgive someone who doesn't admit wrong or doesn't speak of their sorrow. Keep in mind that the key benefits of forgiveness are for you. If you find yourself stuck, it may be helpful to take some time to talk with a person you've found to be wise and compassionate, such as a spiritual leader, a mental health provider or an unbiased family member or friend.

It may also be helpful to reflect on times you've hurt others and on those who have forgiven you. As you recall how you felt, it may help you to understand the position of the person who hurt you. It can also be beneficial to pray, use guided meditation or journal. In any case, if the intention to forgive is present, forgiveness will come in its time.

Does forgiveness guarantee reconciliation?

Not always. In some cases, reconciliation may be impossible because the offender has died. In other cases, reconciliation may not be appropriate, especially if you were attacked or assaulted. But even in those cases, forgiveness is still possible, even if reconciliation isn't.

On the other hand, if the hurtful event involved a family member or friend whose relationship you otherwise value, forgiveness may lead to reconciliation. This may not happen quickly, as you both may need time to re-establish trust. But in the end, your relationship may very well be one that is rich and fulfilling.

What if I have to interact with the person who hurt me but I don't want to?

These situations are difficult. If the hurt involves a family member, it may not always be possible to avoid him or her entirely. You may be invited to the same family holiday gatherings, for instance. If you've reached a state of forgiveness, you may be able to enjoy these gatherings without bringing up the old hurts. If you haven't reached forgiveness, these gatherings may be tense and stressful for everyone, particularly if other family members have chosen sides in the conflict.

So how do you handle this? First, remember that you do have a choice whether to attend or not attend family get-togethers. Respect yourself and do what seems best. If you choose to go, don't be surprised by a certain amount of awkwardness and perhaps even more intense feelings. It's important to keep an eye on those feelings. You don't want them to lead you to be unjust or unkind in return for what was done to you.

Also, avoid drinking too much alcohol as a way to try to numb your feelings or feel better — it'll likely backfire. And keep an open heart and mind. People do change, and perhaps the offender will want to apologize or make amends. You also may find that the gathering helps you to move forward with forgiveness.

How do I know when I've truly forgiven someone?

Forgiveness may result in sincerely spoken words such as "I forgive you" or tender actions that fit the relationship. But more than this, forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life. The offense is no longer front and center in your thoughts or feelings. Your hostility, resentment and misery have made way for compassion, kindness and peace.

Also, remember that forgiveness often isn't a one-time thing. It begins with a decision, but because memories or another set of words or actions may trigger old feelings, you may need to recommit to forgiveness over and over again.

What if the person I'm forgiving doesn't change?

Getting the other person to change their actions, behavior or words isn't the point of forgiveness. In fact, the other person may never change or apologize for the offense. Think of forgiveness more about how it can change your life — by bringing you more peace, happiness, and emotional and spiritual healing.

Forgiveness takes away the power the other person continues to wield in your life. Through forgiveness, you choose to no longer define yourself as a victim. Forgiveness is done primarily for yourself, and less so for the person who wronged you.

What if I'm the one who needs forgiveness?

It may help to spend some time thinking about the offense you've committed and trying to determine the effect it has had on others. Unless it may cause more harm or distress, consider admitting the wrong you've done to those you've harmed, speaking of your sincere sorrow or regret, and specifically asking for forgiveness — without making excuses.

But if this seems unwise because it may further harm or distress, don't do it — it's not about making yourself feel better by apologizing. You don't want to add salt to a painful wound. Also, keep in mind that you can't force someone to forgive you. They will need to move to forgiveness in their own time.

In any case, we have to be willing to forgive ourselves. Holding on to resentment against yourself can be just as toxic as holding on to resentment against someone else. Recognize that poor behavior or mistakes don't make you worthless or bad.

Accept the fact that you — like everyone else — aren't perfect. Accept yourself despite your faults. Admit your mistakes. Commit to treating others with compassion, empathy and respect. And again, talking with a spiritual leader, mental health provider or trusted friend or relative may be helpful.

Forgiveness of yourself or someone else, though not easy, can transform your life. Instead of dwelling on the injustice and revenge, instead of being angry and bitter, you can move toward a life of peace, compassion, mercy, joy and kindness.     

But when you don't practice forgiveness, you may be the one who pays most dearly.

By embracing forgiveness, you embrace peace, hope, gratitude and joy. Here, Katherine M. Piderman, Ph.D., staff chaplain at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., discusses forgiveness and how it can lead you down the path of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
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« Reply #99 on: August 29, 2008, 01:14:10 PM »

I just found this in a post I wrote a year ago:

A word about forgiveness... .  The definition of "forgiveness" does not include letting someone back into your  life.  Forgiveness is about you, so that you don't hang onto anger and resentment.  You can forgive someone as you close the door behind them.


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« Reply #100 on: September 05, 2008, 11:48:10 AM »

I have forgiven him, myself, and everyone. So why am I so lonely and sad? I know one is supposed to do something about it, but I think I, somehow, let myself fall into a deep well.

I was so EXCITED when I first left him, and got over it, but, now, maybe I am not... .?

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« Reply #101 on: May 07, 2009, 10:17:13 PM »

Thanks for the bump.

I move in and out of forgiveness for my former.  I know that the forgiveness truly is for me and that holding on to toxic emotions only harms me and I don't want that for my life.

I guess it's like the e-mail Susan wrote to her sister that had not been answered except there won't be an e-mail or anything of the kind to my former.

I have things that I have and could certainly apologize for and I have to do that on my own.  I'm very okay with that.  She isn't a safe person.

In this I can find that I'm released from any of my own expectations or anticipation of an external, harmonious result.  If she were involved it just wouldn't happen and that she's not, it will happen in me.

It is.  I'm working out my stuff and I have many friends, a T, this great resource, a counselor, and my faith as well that help a great deal.

I'm not in a place where I would smile and wave if I saw her across the street but I'm not in a place to flip her a one fingered salute either so I'll count that as progress.

Peace, UFH

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« Reply #102 on: June 07, 2009, 03:36:37 PM »

Here is another thread that talks about forgiveness with insightful members contributions: https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=45959.0

From that thread I wrote this and it still stands true for me now as it did then:

Forgiveness is one of the hardest things we have to learn in life.  But the reality is this, forgiveness is not necessarily for the benefit of the party who injured you, but it is, solely for the benefit of yourself.

It releases you from the pain, the anguish, the anxiety, the anger, the worries and stresses that are harnessed all inside of you when you play over and over in your head the wrongs that someone has done you.  It paralyzes you and stunts your growth.

I have to remind myself "daily" that my ubpex is very handicapped.  All his vile words, empty promises, and cruel acts are not for me to anguish over.  I forgive them each and every time.  Not for the benefit of my ubpex, but for mine.  A gift I give myself to release myself from the grips of living in a tortured and demobilizing mindset.  I am not those words he utters, I am not deserving of those cruel acts, and his empty promises are not my shortcomings!   

God is the source for everything!  And when we utilize the gift of real forgiveness we will live and breathe God's grace.       

It is very hard to forgive.  Especially when you have been violated by someone you trusted.  My ubpex has done and said some vulgar things.  He has damaged two families (his and mine).  When I was at my most humblest with him and was nothing but sincere, he perpetrated his most deceptive act on me.   And then begin his cycle of bizarre borderline behavior and mental illness.

I forgive him.  Because I will not reward him with harvesting all the pain he has caused me.  I do not want to give him, the disorder, and the evil spirits that surround him that power.  I will not be destroyed by it all.

My joy, hope, and love is the gift that God has given to me.  I will not let anyone rob me of that gift.  And not forgiving will rob you of it.  Which only hurts you and no one else!


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« Reply #103 on: June 08, 2009, 11:24:17 AM »

Thank you for that post OFO.

I've found forgiveness in choosing my own closure.  In the process of walking away it has been very difficult to get passed the erroneous belief system I had established in the way I "wanted" to see my former and from what I read here that's a pretty common thing.  Every day, when she comes into my head (and yes, she still does) be it in a wistful moment or and angry moment or something in between, I try to remind myself that my attachment to my own illusion... .is simply that.  It's an attachment to my own illusion about what I needed and wanted her to be despite the reality of who she needs to be thus, who she is... .chooses to be, in this life.

I wanted her to be sweet, kind, understanding, tolerant of others, honest, etc. and surely those are all the qualities I embrace and do my best to manifest to the world around me.  She has those qualities too but they are so buried beneath her own illusions that it was never a predominant expression of who she needs to be in this life rather, her self manifestation is something like a pretentious, arrogant, blaming, manipulative, etc. person who occasionally does nice things.

We all have our flaws and attributes.  I guess it's a matter of which we choose to embrace and move through this life with... .and as.  It seems to me that a BPD suffering human being just doesn't have those filters that are necessary in order to embrace life, harmoniously.

So... .

Do I need "that" kind of person in my life?  No.

Forgiveness for me gets much simpler when I let go of my own illusions... .let go of a person that never really existed... .not the way I needed her to exist in my life anyway, embrace my reality and how I want to move through this life, and to put it simply and bluntly, be really glad... .I'm not her or anyone that she connects with.

There, but for the grace of God, go I.

Here by the grace of God... .I am.

Thank you, God.

Peace, UFH

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« Reply #104 on: July 01, 2012, 06:58:23 PM »


That is wonderfully stated.  But my uBPDw is the one with forgiveness issues.  She can't forgive.  I can forgive her, but I can never tell her because she would be insulted.
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« Reply #105 on: September 23, 2015, 12:32:37 AM »

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. 


This is an old post and I don't know if you will get my response but it looks like I can respond so here it is. I really like your analogy to finding out that the person who wounded you took out a piece of cancer. It kind of reminds me of an x files episode where this creature ate people's sickness and then regurgitated them whole. Now of course our offender doesn't have this kind of power, but God does, and in the spiritual life we learn that those who hurt us may have great power to heal us. I appreciate your bringing it back to the spiritual nature of things. I am really struggling with forgiveness in my own relationship, and when I looked at the gifts the hurt has brought me, everything starts to make sense. Thank you again for your post!
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