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Do you have to Forgive Child abuse ?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by breakfree, Nov 28, 2015.

  1. breakfree

    breakfree Peer Supporter

    Hi All,

    Do you have to Forgive Child abuse ? i.e. the person whom abused you ? Im REALLY struggling ...

    I have been 'officially' 'ill' (and I use this word lightly now) for almost 12 years ... but when I REALLY think about it, I think I have been 'ill' almost all my life (43 years)

    I bought Dr Sarno's Healing Back Pain & Mind Body Prescription on the 31st of October 2015, read HBP within 2 days, and the the MBP in 3 days, i've also just finished The Love Response by Dr Eva M Selhub ...
    I have been reading everything on this site since - wow what a brilliant support and information network - THANK YOU ALL !!

    Anyway, I think I'm ready to HEAL - BUT the fear of journalling is too much for me, so i have requested further Counselling - through my doctor , and have already started reducing ALL medications - I TRULY BELIEVE I have 'tms' ( and I'm even trying to use those words lightly too - so that my mind does not believe I have yet another diagnosis to add to my list LOL )

    Anyway, my main question is

    Do you have to Forgive Child abuse ? i.e. the person whom abused you ? Im REALLY struggling ...

    Thank you in advance xx (Im from the UK)
  2. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Breakfree, that's an interesting question.

    I think there are certain life experiences we cannot forgive. But we can learn to 'let go' so these experiences don't have such an impact in later life. I can understand it's not easy by any means and sometimes requires extensive journalling and the support of a qualified professional. I'd also recommend being loving, kind and compassionate towards your inner child and assuring her that she's in a safe place and OK.

    Good luck in your journey and wishing you all the best with your health.

    God bless
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2015
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  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Breakfree, and a big welcome to you. Great name, by the way.

    In addition to what Mike said, I remember reading that you should not be required to forgive unforgivable behavior. It may be that you can eventually understand how that person came to be such a monster. That doesn't change the fact that the person's behavior was monstrous, and that what happened to you was criminal and devastating.

    Letting go only means acknowledging that what happened no longer needs to define who you are today and for the rest of your life. The one person you have to forgive is yourself. It sounds like you've already started on that journey. We're here to support you, so keep us posted.

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  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Breakfree. I agree with Jan. Forgiving is the greatest freedom possible. I strongly suggest that you forgive the person who abused you when you were a child. You recognize that that is a major cause of your TMS, now let it go. Forgiving is healing. If you need to, forgive yourself, too. I am not a big fan of Oprah Winfrey but she has made a career out of telling about forgiving those who abused her. You can become rich in spirit if you forgive.

    You don't have to like the person who abused you. Just tell yourself they were sick. Feel sorry for them and forgive them. You can just do that in your mind and heart. Then turn the page on the past and tell yourself The Best is Yet to Come.
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  5. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    Asking victims of Cambodia's Killing Field to forgive Pol Pot or asking Holocaust survivors to forgive Hitler is going to be tough. The majority of those victims went on to live healthy, happy, and productive lives without spending a minutes thinking about Hitler or Pol Pot.
    I would just forget and move on. Don't blame your childhood abuse for your ill. The abuse can not hurt you years later. Your respond to it, your thought about it, your dwelling on it is what brought on tms.
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  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Breakfree,

    I agree with the others who say "you do not need to forgive." This forgiveness is not an important task for your healing.

    -If forgiveness for your abusers comes then it is a blessing, not expected or required
    -If forgiveness for your abusers comes, it will come in its own time and way, naturally
    -If forgiveness for your abusers comes, you will be a great exception to the norm, and you don't have to be an exception to the norm to successfully use Dr. Sarno's method.

    You are so brave to be starting all of this work. Don't pressure yourself about what must happen. It is about feeling more and knowing more, very gently over time. It is an unfoldment process. You genuinely don't know where it will take you. No wonder you are fearful. You are not the first person on the forum to mention fear of journaling. It is good that you are getting the support of a counselor. If forgiveness ever comes, it may only be fleeting anyway.

    I say this with a great deal of respect to you Walt. I know you find forgiveness so central to healing. I think forgiveness is indeed very precious, but that we each find specific keys for ourselves that seem to work. I don't want Breakfree to feel this "unsurmountable" issue must be conquered.

    Andy B.
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  7. JacketSpud

    JacketSpud Peer Supporter

    I don't know the rights and wrongs of this, I'm still early in the healing process and having a few setbacks, but I wanted to say that I too was abused as a child. It was my father. When I was 13 we finally left him and I haven't seen him since. He died 9 years ago when I was 29. I can not forgive his behavior. If anyone did to my kids what he did to me I would kill them, and I feel that protectiveness towards the child that I was after all this TMS work. However, I also feel bad for him. After much though on the subject (25 years worth of hating and thinking about it) I can really see why he was the way he was - not why he abused, but how severely depressed and miserable he was and why. I actually pity him - not in a despicable way either - I genuinely feel sorry for him. That's the best I can do and I'm good with that. I actually harbor more contempt for my mother who not only sat back and allowed this abuse, but also neglected me, both physically and emotionally, and manipulated and controlled me my entire life. I'm finding that really hard to work through. Anyway, I don't know if there is anything worth taking from that, but I really don't think you need to forgive so much as work through your emotions then try to move on.
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  8. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well put JacketSpud!

    There is a difference between investigating, feeling, clarifying, understanding, communicating ---and "forgiveness." The former is more important than the later, in my opinion.
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  9. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi. This is an interesting question. Its interesting because from all the books I have read on TMS, feeling the anger and rage are important to healing. Most of us do not commonly associate forgiveness with anger and rage. This is something I struggle with. I know I am angry with those that have abused me. And yet on the surface I feel more of the hurt and guilt. I find feeling the anger scary. I personally believe if our abusers are close family members, there is incredible conflict in feeling the anger fully, taking action and severing ties. Perhaps outsiders or more mature selves may not understand this. But from an purely emotional standpoint, from a child's point of view, we can truly love our abusers. We are dependent on them, they are family, they are what we know. To hide our abuse, blame ourselves, is what keeps the relationship safe and the family together. So I don't know how important or necessary forgiveness is. Forgiveness is not an emotion. We often reference it in terms of letting go of anger and hurt. I think if we are in pain because we are subconsciously distracting ourselves from strong emotions that we find dangerous, anger and rage is the most likely culprit. Once we work through those, I believe forgiveness is much easier.
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