- Mental Health
Forgive and Forget No Way_A Perspective
I have found forgiveness one of the most difficult of acts toward a person who has abused me. In fact forgiveness is so hard I've not done it. When the imprint of abuse is so ingrained and has left scars that determine your course in life as one of torment and struggle - that's a bitter pill to swallow . You think I'm going to forgive the abuser? No way.
Abuse comes in two forms, physical or emotional. How that abuse is acted out takes many forms: physical beltings, sexual abuse, neglect, verbal torment. One form is no better than the other and if I had a preference I'd chose neither. You'll often see how people cringe more hearing about physical abuse because you can see the bruising, see the blood and swollen face. Physical or emotional scars can lay the foundation for feeling worthless and forever being in a state of justifying your existence. Continually portraying traits of convincing others that you are worthy of living on this rock and breathing the same air as anyone else.
The eggshell syndrome (I'm sure it has a more intelligent term in psych circles) is quite common not only for children but adults who have endured an upbringing where their environment does not feel safe. You tiptoe through the family home, hoping not to be noticed, or hoping you don't upset anyone. And if you are extremely good and quiet perhaps you won't feel like you're to blame for world war three in the kitchen. Why is it that when parents fight with each other, the child thinks it's their fault? Later in life that eggshell feeling often turns into resentment toward the parent and a desire not to be near them. Why are they surprised to learn this when their children don't want to visit?
Children are usually resilient, they cope. They cope by finding ways to defend themselves and it's often in the form of a loss of innocence, a closing and using character traits that enable survival while the bombs are going off. The more land mines they've stepped in, the more coping mechanisms are put in place. Once they have fully armed themselves you can be assured they have become their own commander in chief and trust no-one, especially the people who were supposed to love them. Life is war and it's each man for himself. Imagine if the child could have used all that survival energy toward more creative pursuits like music lessons or tadpole collection.
Often you will hear in therapy sessions or healing sessions the word forgive. When you are able to forgive them you are released. I have always found this act loaded. In my mind forgiving a person for abusing me is somehow saying it is okay for them to have abused me. It's like giving them permission somehow to have committed the act. It has never sat well with me. In fact, I just can't do it. I can't forgive, especially if forgiveness, in my mind, means saying it is okay that you abused me. Nope. Not going to happen.
The only way I've been able to deal with these experiences is to accept they happened. I find acceptance completely different to forgiveness. It's not my role, not my job, not my business to forgive someone else for the acts they commit. What use is it anyway? I can however accept why they did it. Most likely it's to do with their own upbringing, their own life circumstances. It's their way of handling what life has dealt them. But that is their business. It's up to themselves to accept what they have done. It's up to themselves or some inner judge to heal them. Not me.
For me to heal and let go, I have to accept that it happened. And as with many of life's experiences, ensure that I'm not on the receiving end of further abuse. My biggest lesson so far in life is to know that I do not have to take responsibility for the actions of others. As a child I did feel responsible for the emotions of my parents............and everyone else who was not happy. What the.......?
There can be a lot of flying artillery on this battlefield called life. It pays to get armed with a few life skills. Hard to do as a child however. But you can't change your life for the better when the bitterness pill is still in your mouth. Spit it out. Don't forgive them, let some higher power do that instead. Accept your life's challenges, and get even by getting stronger.
This hub was completed late one Friday night as part of a 30 minute hub challenge between fellow writers. When under pressure, the creative flow just happens.