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I have long wondered about forgiveness. I have also had certain sense of disbelief whenever I have read about people forgiving somebody else for the appalling crimes they have committed. I know that I could never "forgive" in the way that such people appear to. I then came across this statement: "Forgiveness is understanding, not a free pass or absolution.". For that author, it is a starting point on a journey away from the damage caused by perpetrator towards a place of better mental health. The author also wrote "He was too damaged to understand what he lost.".

The author's life story has similarities to my own. I also was abused, though not to the same degree as the author. It took me 60 years to realise that I had been abused, and it has taken nearly another decade for me to realise just how much I had been abused. Like the author, I can now understand why my father abused me, and what my mother tried to do to give me a socially healthy upbringing. My father's bête noire was his own mother. I infer from what my step-mother has told me that he learned in later life what he could have done to raise three strong children instead of three broken adults.

The good news is that the author and I are supporting each other to a place of much better mental health.

anglophone 8 Jan 16
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I never forgive nor forget, and I have a long memory. I acknowledge and forgive myself for being hurt done and avoid the perpetrators, who to me become non entities. It is not a perfect nor socially acceptable solution, but it is my way and it works for me.


I like the concept of forgiveness, but I have found out the hard way that forgiveness isn't readily achieved. As in the OP, forgiveness is an ideal to be pursued. I am often of two or more minds and I accept that some positions change with diet. Trauma does not get dispelled easily, and some of the voices are all too happy to shout a reminder.

Sadly, just as forgiving can be a challenge, forgetting often happens too quickly.

racocn8 Level 9 Jan 16, 2023

The slaying of demons can be a long and difficult process. It was my sixth psychologist, a woman who used schema-based cognitive behavioural theory, that finally got me to the point where I could slay my own demons. My fear of abandonment was by far the biggest and nastiest demon for me. The other two demons died soon afterwards. They were the fear of always being culpable, and the misattributing other people's issues to being my cause.

My level of trauma started to subside with the deaths of those demons.


I often hear about forgiveness practiced as a benefit to oneself rather than to the perpetrator in that you relieve yourself of having to carry the burden of that grudge anymore. I just can't get there. There are some grudges that I want to continue to carry, some things too egregious to forgive.

LovinLarge Level 8 Jan 16, 2023

My own grudges soon turn into contempt for the people concerned.

@anglophone But aren't they worthy of contemp. Should their conduct go unrecognized?

@LovinLarge I tend to ignore them. It is in that manner that my inner feelings emerge as attitude and behaviour.

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