NM

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by rainbowunicorn, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. rainbowunicorn

    rainbowunicorn New Member

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    never mind
     
    #1
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016
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  2. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    In my experience, and perhaps for you it will be different, forgiveness takes only me when I am the injured party. It is really, really nice when the party that offends does all the steps you had outlined, but hey, life isn't perfect because people are not. it is imperfect people who caused the offense to begin with, and, imperfect people who are in the receiving end of it.

    I have found that forgiveness for me is this bag of rocks that I sling over my shoulder. When I first picked it up it was so very very heavy and shocking. I didn't know why it was given to me and I was so angry that I took it. I wanted to not only hand it back but drop it on the giver's foot. And for some reason, I could not lay it down. There were times that I thought had set it down, only to find that I would weigh the same. I found that getting rid of that burden was a process. The first ones were hard to let go, but in times, depending on the journey, it got easier. I don't always get an exchange for them, but sometimes, in their place, I receive love. I want to describe love as chocolate soufflé but that would take another paragraph all together.

    I agree with you, it is not fair that your ability to forgive depends on her. I am suggesting that maybe it doesn't depend on her and it can be a personal journey. Sometimes, for example, when I realize that I had done something completely thoughtless, instead of simply scolding myself for it, I could do one better and use that to make it easier for me to forgive someone who had made a similar mistake.
     
    #2
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2016
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  3. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    How long were you and your ex broken up?

    Personally, I think some things are unforgiviable.

    You don't actually have to forgive to move on. And you don't have to forgive to grieve. You don't have to forgive to have 'closure.' (This comes from my therapist, a sexual abuse survivor, as I am myself).

    I think rape and child rape is one of them. Sure, sex offenders can be charming and well spoken. They can be very high functioning and great at keeping up appearances (Exhibit A Cosby, Bill; Exhibit B Sandusky, Jerry). But they also are selfish and are willing to exploit people who are vulnerable, to satisfy their own desires. They know what they are doing is incredibly damaging to their victims and they could care less. As a teacher, your ex really, really knew this.

    So I say, your ex sucks. You don't owe her forgiveness. You don't owe her to talk to her. You don't owe her thinking about her court cases, her problems, her life. You don't owe her to remember her 'good traits,' or her 'kindness.' And you certainly don't owe her to see her as anything more than a monster (because, y'know, that's a pretty fair opinion of someone who messed up a kids life).

    She clearly didn't feel like she owed it to her student to y'know, not rape him. she didn't feel like she owed it to you to y'know, not call her ex and drag said ex into 'hey, guess what horrible thing I did where I dumped you and moved on to get rapey with an underaged boy.' And I seriously doubt that she is going to care much if she stumbles on an Internet post about how hard this is for you.

    Selfish, manipulative people (y'know, like the kind who rape their students) are more than happy to take advantage of the fact that other people feel obligated to forgive them. Or take their phone calls.

    I haven't 'forgiven' the person who sexually abused me. I have grieved and had tons of therapy. But I did that for me, so I could heal.

    I don't know what the heck 'closure' is really. Your life will never go back to how it was before your ex dropped this bomb on you. It can hurt less, it can get to where you don't think about it much. But closure?

    That's my two cents on "forgiveness." A different viewpoint than yours, but maybe useful to sexual abuse / rape survivors out there who struggle with 'is this unforgiviable, do I have to try to forgive?'
     
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  4. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what it means to forgive someone for violence, for child rape. Maybe I don't know what forgiveness really means. I know it has taken many years to forgive, or, to not remember my own episodes with anger. I know I have stopped paying for someone else's brokenness. Not that I would trust a person like that. Or a person like that would ever have a place at my house, at my table. Maybe for me forgiveness is that I am no longer this little girl that was lost in someone's morbid design. Maybe I have equated forgiveness with moving on. I have written down, articulated things I wanted to say to that person, it has helped, not right away but it was the beginning of a light into a very dark thing that was held in me. That I felt guilty about even though it was not my fault. That somehow being associated with such a person would mean something about me. It was a long process to come back to me.
     
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  5. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    I guess more generically on the concept of forgiveness, I disagree with 'if it's in your power, do it.'

    It's in my power to forgive the person who abused me. But I refuse to do it, because they never earned (or tried to earn) that forgiveness. I don't do it out of anger, or hatred- but I do do it out of judgement.

    Basically, I think that most sex offenders are intractable. They are incapable of changing, of taking responsibility for their behavior, of stopping. This is why we have sex offender registries- because of the high rates of reoffending.

    This intractability makes most of them incapable of working on forgiveness. Because that means taking responsibility, changing, denying their impulses.

    So I don't have a problem judging someone and saying 'you are a sex offender, you haven't / can't earn forgiveness.'

    The Catholic Church tried a lot of forgiving the trespasses of sex offenders and it didn't go so well. Because religious models frequently fall short of empirically based models on understanding things like science, or psychology. Schizophrenia is not caused by demonic possession and sex offenders can't be cured by prayer and religious penance (or much of anything, really).

    Being a sex offender, or a serial killer, etc... falls in a whole different realm of behavior than 'average Joe who stole a little money and is now working on being a better person.'

    Obviously, my views differ a lot from yours. But we agree that you deserve healing and peace. If working on forgiveness and writing an open letter to your ex helps you heal, then I am glad for that.
     
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  6. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    Maybe you know exactly what forgiveness means and it's a healthy instinct to say 'no, sexually abusing a child is unforgivable.'

    I mean, part of knowing something is knowing where it ends.

    I am sorry for what happened to you. It certainly doesn't say anything about you- well, other than that you are strong to have survived and to be able to come here and help others. I am glad you got back to you.
     
    #6
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