Could you forgive someone who abused you as a child?

Jon Brooks (@JonBrooks) 6 years, 9 months ago

Geoff Thompson recently wrote a post sharing how he gave the man who abused him as a child to cleanse himself.

(Read it here: https://www.highexistence.com/forgive-to-clean-your-mind/ )

I’m just wondering what your expereinces are with forgiveness. It’s very difficult.

I’m quite a forgiving person, and pride myself on not holding grudges – ever. But then again I’ve never been taken advantage of in an extreme way…

April 5, 2015 at 5:06 pm
Viner Cent (50) (@Viner-Cent) 6 years, 9 months ago ago

To be honest, I could not, I am glad I did not suffer through this, but I could never forgive somebody ruining my life. I would probably even seek vengeance if the legal way was not succesful (it is better here in Germany, but still not ideal), and that despite me being a very calm nature. I actually have the problem of forgiving people to fast and letting them get off to lightly, but I would fail at this.

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Ellie (1,363)M (@tangledupinplaid21) 6 years, 9 months ago ago

This is something I’ve asked myself a lot. There is someone I need to forgive. I think for the most part I have; he was only a teenager when he did that fucked up stuff to me which helps, because I can see him more as a sick minded kid instead of a malevolent adult. However, sometimes I still get really damn mad! Not sure if that will ever go away.

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Anonymous (2) (@) 6 years, 9 months ago ago

We all have to forgive our parents for various things. The more I look at society the more I have to forgive every adult I trusted as a child.

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Anonymous (2) (@) 6 years, 9 months ago ago

I just read this “do not visit the past to heal. Healing lies in the present moment. You need not return to close old doors. Leave them open ; they have become your power.”

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paul_g (21) (@paulg) 6 years, 9 months ago ago

I think that these sorts of adages that go along the lines of ‘in order to be happy, you need to forgive’ tend to take away one’s liberty to look inside and authentically acknowledge what’s there. Of course it’s nice to be reminded that forgiving can help us heal. But, and that’s a big but, no adage can ever represent or summarize for us what’s right _for us_. For myself, a mixture of all worked best: seeking legal resolve, seeking advice and support from friends, and, much most importantly, filling my life with hobbies, habits, friends, support, wisdom, companions, and wonder to such an extent that the old hurts did not really feel so defining any more. I will never forgive all those involved in the terrible aspects of my past, but I also don’t hold a grudge unless the topic comes up big-time, because I have a full and fulfilled life otherwise. So i guess it was important for me to have learned that even when bad things from the past appear to define me 100%, with a decade of time and loads of support, they are defining now a mere few percent of who I am today. So, the urge to answer the question has kind of faded. If I had a time machine, I’d not travel back and punish the perpetrators, but I’d now (as a healed adult) know how to prevent them from wrongdoing. And I take care to be observing my life and environment today, so that I can speak out whenever it can make a difference. So, I believe there are many third ways between eternal grudge and immediate forgiveness; and strengthening the cliches of a postulated necessity to forgive does not help us find out what we really need. As often, the most important thing is to be authentic and grow in loving support from friends.

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JonH (1,139)C (@IJesusChrist) 6 years, 9 months ago ago

My dad verbally abused me as a kid quite often. He would tell me I was stupid, no common sense, and at one point told me I shouldn’t have children. I don’t take it personally, he’s taught me a lot about myself and himself I wouldn’t have learned had he been a ‘nice guy’s all growing up. He never apologized about any of it, but I understand he’s suffered and regretted his decisions enough that it warrants forgiveness. People have their own pain, realize they externalize it on others. Have sympathy for them, not anger.

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Manimal (2,998) (@manimal) 6 years, 9 months ago ago

My mother did a lot of really messed up stuff to me when I was a child. I’ve forgiven her fully.

A lot of people mistreated me pretty badly when I was a kid. I have not forgiven them, and never will. They are unworthy of anyone’s forgiveness.
Moving on does not require forgiveness. It does not require revenge, although it’s the best of feelings.
Moving on is just moving on.

People are way too forgiving, too tolerant, too compliant already. Forgiving child molesters and such is going waaay too fucking far.

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LookingForWisdom (0) (@lookinforwisdom9) 6 years, 9 months ago ago

My father abused me when I was a child, both ways, verbally and physically, i kind of forgive him now, i think people who abuse others, specially their sons, are weak and mentally retarded somehow, so i just take that way, that was his limits, he couldn’t think of something else to deal with the situation, all i care about that now he can’t abuse me any more , and he kind of acting like he regret it , not so much, but he have changed a little, while at the moment i still can’t forgive a neighbour who verbally abused me so bad just for laughing loud when i was a child, i still have that feeling of being a victim, he was the cranky mean neighbour who always hated me, i’m not on the hunt for him to get revenge but when life makes me meet him , i won’t be mercy on him , i won’t be like him and abuse him, let’s say i won’t help him when he need it , nothing more i guess , i think it depends on the person for me, my father is my father after all, he did a lot of other things that are good at least , not like a stranger or someone who doesn’t have any favours on you ,

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Viner Cent (50) (@Viner-Cent) 6 years, 9 months ago ago

The only thing I could take my parents amiss is that they were/are to concerned about my school, forcing me to neglect my social life/my social development, which I still suffer from (social anxiety) but I managed do deal with it, and that is probably the “best bad” thing that can happen to you, look at my outstanding grades…

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Jaideep Sharma (3) (@jaideep) 6 years, 9 months ago ago

I am not sure if I can forgive in such situation but I agree that forgiving actually relieves burden from us. I had a bitter relationship with one of my cousin. Post my son’s birth I asked him to forgive me and at the same time forgave him. Now I share some nice time with him without any grudge or negative feelings.

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Beverly Johnson (48) (@lovydovybevy) 6 years, 9 months ago ago

I am a strong believer that to forgive is to be free. I have not been through too many traumatizing events throughout my life which I am very grateful for, but no one is without their share of people who hurt them to the point of hate. Perhaps it is a part of my philosophy that I feel we are strong enough to overcome everything and everything that happens to us is so that we can learn and grow from it , no matter how horrible. And you will never know or understand the reason that those people did those terrible things to you, but the beauty of it is that you don’t have to. By forgiving, you release the chains of hate that attaches you to that person. Forgiving does not mean “letting them off” or deeming a terrible act “okay”. Forgiveness is always more so done for yourself, and not the other person. By forgiving you say, “I will not let your actions drag me down. I am free, but I remember.”

Always try to forgive.

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Lee-Ann (1) (@Lee-Ann) 6 years, 9 months ago ago

Thank you Beverly.

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Martijn Schirp (112,780)A (@martijn) 6 years, 9 months ago ago

I recently told my dad I forgave him for rarely listening to me (and my sister), and always reacting angry and semi-violent. It was the best conversation I have had with my dad. I once had a insight on Ayahuasca that only forgiveness can mark true new beginnings, and that without forgiveness the past will always drag you down (and not the abuser.) It’s tough, because to do this you almost have to re-live the nasty shit that happened, and admit that it has happened to you and that because of it you became damaged in some ways. And who wants to admit this?

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JonH (1,139)C (@IJesusChrist) 6 years, 9 months ago ago

Damn. I really should speak to my dad about this. I’ve never gathered the courage.

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Martijn Schirp (112,780)A (@martijn) 6 years, 9 months ago ago

I don’t think I could have done this without my 3-day ayahuasca ceremony where I learned to come from a place of confidence and love. Especially the last few weeks, the so called integration period, has been a very wild (and positive ride), family and interpersonal wise. I started seeing through the bullshit of my own taboos, and the effect that it had on others, making it possible for all of us to wear our masks and avoid heart to heart connection. And I saw that I didn’t want that anymore, which made it a lot easier to actually act out on my wishes.

Good luck my friend.

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Zara (11) (@EZehra) 6 years, 9 months ago ago

It is very hard. I usually do not keep grudges and let people off but this is something I am unable to deal with. I have not even brought myself to the point where I could think of forgiving. I just try never to think about it.

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Caitlyn (7) (@CaitlynODell) 6 years, 9 months ago ago

My step-mother physically and verbally abused me as a child along with my father.
I have forgiven her, and my father. I haven’t seen them in quite some time, but I don’t see the point in holding grudges.
I have been wronged by others, and I have done/said things I’m not proud of, and looked for forgiveness.
It weighs on your heart, not theirs (if they’re not sorry for doing whatever wrong that has been done to you)
There are others than yourself in the world, and we have all made mistakes. I’m sure there has been a time for all of us where we have wanted forgiveness. If you are not willing to forgive, why should you be forgiven in turn? Forgiveness should be something we all do for ourselves, not for the benefit of others. It’s an experience, you learn from it and move on. Forgiveness is a promise, as well as a feeling. The promise is to them, and the feeling is for yourself. When you forgive other people, you are making a promise to not use their pass sin against them. The sense of peace you find in yourself after is an amazing feeling.

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