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Is forgiveness always a good thing?

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  • #67513
    Chris
    Participant

    I was in a relationship that was marked by emotional abuse, dishonesty and volatility. I had trusted a woman (who is a medical doctor) and she knowingly gave me an STD that I will have for life. During the course of our short relationship, there were many incidences of dramatic threats of terminating the relationship, followed by a make up and forgiveness. Ultimately, it ended very badly. On its final day, I spoke in anger and said horrible things to her. I’ve never said such things in in all my years, yet the depth of my anger and pain was such. She left, walking away on a cold winter day without a ride to the airport.

    During the following weeks, I was torn apart. It was as if my soul had been ripped from my body and an incredible sense of anger, emptiness and shame was all I had. I began to work on forgiveness. First I had to forgive myself for being “so stupid”, then I worked on forgiving her. It took months of effort. Finally I wrote a letter of forgiveness and an apology for my harsh words, a letter she graciously accepted. We wished each other well and that was that, or so I thought.

    Weeks later I would be suddenly overcome with a horrible sense of emptiness and grief. I could not understand it. It would come from nowhere and leave me immobilized. All I could do on such days is lay in bed and sleep taking alcohol, trying to escape consciousness. This happened time and time again. But I could not escape the truth. I could not escape what was in my heart.

    I had to face the truth and it is this; I do not wish her well. I hate her and I would rejoice in her suffering. I have no real forgiveness for her and I doubtfully ever will. She put my physical and emotional health in jeopardy and deserves only pain. I know this is not spiritually, religiously or politically correct. I know people will say that unless I forgive her, I be the only one to suffer. BS Sometimes we have been wronged and we have suffered so deeply by the conscious actions of others that forgiveness is an act of self betrayal. There are people in the world that play on others propensity to forgive and use this to their personal gain. There are people who violate the basic laws of humanity.

    Ghandi said “and eye for an eye and the whole world is blind”. I agree. I would never act on my anger. I would never do harm. I am way above that. But if harm comes to a person who knowingly harms me or somebody I love, I will rejoice in their suffering. Nope, not politically correct. Just honest. 🙂

    #67520
    Koala17
    Participant

    Chris, I do believe that forgiving her will be the only way for you to move on. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you forget, you simply allow the emotion to be released from the incident. It may take you time to reach the point of forgiveness, but it can happen. I wish you well.

    #67521
    Inky
    Participant

    I agree. Forgiveness is an optional and noble act. Your feelings are immediate and a primal reaction. Do you have regrets for sending the letter? Do you think that will give her license to repeat her actions? (Clue: She would anyway.) View her as an enigmatic yet dangerous wild animal. Like a cobra. Leave her alone. Back away slowly. Warn others heading in the snake’s direction.

    #67522
    TrumpXII
    Participant

    You are not alone. I am going through something extremely similar. The only difference for me, is this woman is still in my life. Of course there is the old adage that the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference. This is very true. If you are feelings are at all similar to mine, the great hate and desire for suffering comes with a great love for this woman as well. We are capable of feeling both at the same time. I loved the woman I thought she was, who she portrayed herself to be, intentional or unintentional. I still love that woman and who she had the potential to be both in her life and in mine. I always will. I hate what she has revealed herself to be–or again, at least my impression of it. I suspect the truth is a mixture of both. I can’t find forgiveness for what was taken from me and what I view was done to the person I loved by this person I perceive. I wish us both luck.

    #67523
    Vhanon
    Participant

    Hi Chris,

    The grief and the sense of emptiness you felt was due to the fact you’ve lost something. You lost her, your health, and the moral freedom to engage in a new relationship as once you used to. That’s a loss, that’s hard to bear. In the attempt to put something in its place, you find her as the culprit and maybe think that revenge may make up for it. Unfortunately nothing can give you back what you lost, her pain will not make you feel better in the end. You may claim that justice have been made, but things won’t be back as once they were. Moreover, she suffered already as well, after all she lost you and she found out another time that her illness is going to make her be cast away.

    It is not forgiveness your problem, you already forgave her and renounced to act in revenge. What you need is filling up that void left by things you lost. You need to take care of yourself and find something new to do in life, something you can be again proud of, something that makes your life fulfilled. It may be easier said than done right now, but you may start by granting yourself some gifts, an holiday, something you ever wished to do. It is time to give yourself a redound and maybe a prize for forgiving her. Imagine you had the choice to trade your health for something else, what that something else would be?

    #67525
    Kath
    Participant

    Hi, Chris.
    You are an amazing soul.
    I don’t support what others say here – forgive her. You tried hard but it doesn’t come to you.
    The positive thing is – you are not exploding in your anger (you did, but cmon who doesn’t sometimes), I hope you dealt with it and managed to forgive yourself. Next step to forgive someone who has hurt you.
    Here stop for a while. Why not being angry? If you push yourself to forgive, you ll have suppressed emotions to deal with in the future. Stay in your anger, it’s not destructive if you see it clearly.
    If you practice meditation, meditate on this feeling. It should leave naturally, don’t push it. Im not good at this myself yet 🙂 but Im trying, I believe we have rights to go fully through our emotions. Accept yourself as angry, you are not bad if you are angry. It would be bad if you went on for revenge, but experiencing anger doesn’t make you bad.

    It will go naturally, give it a time, maybe long time, unfortunately, we all have our lessons to learn. Im sure it’s given to you to understand something about yourself, although it’s quite cruel way.

    What you say and HOW you say it makes me think you are an amazing soul.
    I wish you all best
    Namaste.

    #67537
    Steve
    Participant

    Hi Chris,

    I would go in another direction.
    I believe it’s important to “understand” her…even if you don’t “condone” her actions.
    At the moment you are angry because you can’t understand how she could have done the things she did.
    Once you have the understandings, peace and finalisation should follow.

    The first thing to understand is that people only make decisions that THEY think are correct. We can’t make an incorrect decision for ourselves…based on what we are thinking and how we feel at the time of the decision. Therefore, try and consider what beliefs she must have had to do the things she did. You will probably find those beliefs quite contrary to yours…but she had them none the less. Most probably, she has had those beliefs ingrained in her for a very long time…as we all do. How they were obtained is a whole other discussion and we may never know, in this case.

    Once you UNDERSTAND why she made the decisions she did, accept that they were based on beliefs contrary to yours and make a firm decision to accept that fact. Who are we to judge how someone else adopted particular beliefs…it could have been childhood experiences, teachers, her peers, books she read…and the list goes on.

    Now is the time to accept our differences and move on with your journey. As the old saying goes….holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

    #67556
    Chris
    Participant

    My deepest thanks to all who offered your perspectives. I will meditate on each reply so I can understand myself and this difficult situation better. I’m very grateful to each of you for responding. Thanks. 🙂

    #67684
    Chris
    Participant

    Thanks again for responding. My thoughts are this;

    Koala-I’m not sure forgiveness will happen, but I am not closed to the idea. I’ll explain below.
    Inky-Yes, she will likely repeat these actions again and only invite more suffering into the world, but I would hope not. I’ve already warned a next likely ‘victim”. And I’ve completely removed her from my life.
    Trump-You hit the nail on the head. I loved the woman I thought she was, not her true self. This in part because her true nature was not revealed to me by her own cunning behaviors. I suppose that we never really get to see the true reality of others unless they offer it to us, and even still we only see our perception of that reality. I can’t imagine having to live with her in my life as you do. I’ll offer my thoughts on healing below.
    Vhanon-You are correct. It is grief and emptiness that has troubled my soul. There was a time when I would try to engage in things that nurtured me such as writing music or home projects, and this is when I simply fell apart. I was powerless and overcome by sadness and anger. That time is slowly fading away.
    Kath-Takes one to know one 🙂 Huggs
    Steve-My ability to understand has been clouded, but you are right. A frank look at the situation is required so I can move on.

    What I’ve come to realize is that in an attempt to move ahead with life, I pushed myself into the process of forgiveness but I also suppressed ALL the memories of the relationship as best I could because it was too painful to think about it and I just wanted to move forward. I threw away all her possessions, gifts and letters. I deleted all files, pictures and emails. I deleted all memories so I could just move on. I didn’t want to re-live a painful chapter in my life. But in doing so, I suppressed my feelings of that time, both good and bad. This was my error. Trump, you spoke about loving a perception of somebody. This resonates so well with me. Looking back, I could not understand why I loved this person. This is because I tried to destroy all memory. During the past few days I’ve invited myself to recall everything, to re-live the experiences and emotions from a more objective point of view. I’m realizing this. Forgiveness is not the answer. To forgive is slightly arrogant. It implys that I am right and the other is wrong. How can I be right if I can only perceive part of reality? Not forgiveness. Love is the answer. For me, I just need to love myself and appreciate myself and each moment in this life more deeply. I need to look back an re-experience not only the painful memories, but the good moments and sit with them in with my being and find peace. It will all heal in time. Thanks to you all for your help. 🙂 I’m grateful.

    #67696
    Steve
    Participant

    Forgiveness is not the answer. To forgive is slightly arrogant. It implys that I am right and the other is wrong. How can I be right if I can only perceive part of reality? Not forgiveness. Love is the answer. For me,

    What a great concept Chris. Thanks for sharing it. I think you’re well on way….

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 11 months ago by Steve.
    #67701

    Hello Chris,

    I understand you still feel angry and want to rid yourself of every aspect of the relationship. And perhaps you are not ready to accept the fact that forgiveness has nothing to do with anyone else, but everything to do with you…But I believe this is the truth…Can you see that the only person who is being hurt by your anger and pain is you? For years I carried around the pain and hurt from an abusive relationship not realizing that I was only hurting myself. Understanding that someone else’s behavior is their behavior and nothing to do with me helped, as did realizing that in letting go of my pain I set myself free…Maybe you will want to consider this idea…

    Love and peace,

    Marilyn

    #67703
    popi
    Participant

    I think that forgiveness it’s only for psychological calm.
    you forgive or not,this doesn’t have to do with other’s life or happiness.
    some people can forget,or ignore some facts and go on with their lives.
    i don’t agree with this because i think that we must better be clear with any person and don’t have problems,repressed feelings etc.
    unfortunately i have repressed feelings with some people,but I’ve tried to successfully ignore them,not because i have the chance to fix them,but because i hadn’t unfortunately.
    so,whatever you said is a fact,you wanted to tell it,so don’t take it back.
    whatever you told was your feelings that trying to defece your self. it’s not your fault at the first time,she was the explosive,you were the eruption.
    try to just ignore the past facts and feelings,do more good to yourself,and someday you’ll love you.
    that day you will understand that your actions were expected.
    and focus to yurself.everyone does that,ex doesnt matter,she’s a piece of shit in your life.if you’re feeling good with yourself,you’re succeed in the whole journey of life.
    good luck.

    #73875
    TrumpXII
    Participant

    Well, I can tell you forgiveness isn’t a good thing now. I forgave. I started seeing another woman. And wouldn’t you know over the holidays I get a text from the ex who just wanted to talk to clear the air between us. Remember we work together, so I said when I get back from the holidays we would see. She came over, we talked, she apologized profusely. She had left her husband again and wanted back in my life.

    She also wants desperately to have a Kundalini Awakening and was saying her libido was diminishing dramatically. Well it didn’t that night nor over the next couple weeks. She did say to keep dating the other woman, but she also proceeded to monopolize my time. I gave presents, helped with issues, the normal and beyond friend stuff. I could tell her “Enlightenment” wouldn’t happen rapidly. While she appeared to have made progress with valuing others, her sense of self and divestment of ego was no where near what I’ve seen in friends who have meditated for years and still don’t consider themselves “Enlightened.”

    I forgave. I had patience that she would see. In spending so much time with her, I ruined the relationship with the other woman at a critical time in her life for which I feel great remorse. But bad for me or not, I loved this first person. This woman I forgave then started telling me she needed space and to be selfish for a while while she found herself. I stepped back. I answered texts and visited once or twice at her request. I then was told I caused too much drama and she was out and wanted to see other people. The drama was that I was upset when she pushed me away farther like what she had apologized for the first time. It was a normal reaction. The drama was hers. The apology was insincere at best.

    Now from this forgiveness I am now responsible for causing great havoc in my life, my ex-wife’s life, and this other woman I left to be back with the first woman. The first woman has left her ex-husband again creating havoc in his life I’m sure and is looking to see other people to try to find something she’s looking for. I strongly suspect from everything that was said and how it happened she is sick with Borderline Personality Disorder. I know it’s recognized as an illness. I know I should forgive, and I guess some part of me does. But in forgiving her and giving her another chance to be a decent human being and in my weakness for her, I have caused pain to others extending the cycle. I take blame for my weakness. I do wish she had respected that other relationship. I do wish I had had the strength to say no to what I thought I loved. I am working to forgive myself. I am working to move on. I’m not sure I can forgive because when I forgive it means I forget and move on. If you forget when you forgive, maybe forgiveness isn’t a good thing.

    Some of us need to hold on to the past to avoid repeating mistakes.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by TrumpXII.
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