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Forgiveness Crucial???

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by NIClubber, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. NIClubber

    NIClubber Peer Supporter

    I believe my anger is towards my (former) best friend who essentially abandoned me when he met his now wife.

    I have had a few temporary reductions in pain, lasting anything from a couple of hours to a day and a half, over the past 6-8 months, but nothing more.

    Do I need to write about forgiving him (and possibly her, as well) (and genuinely forgive them))?
  2. David88

    David88 Well known member

    This happened to me just a few years ago, when a close friend moved away to get married. To make it even harder, he was not a person who felt comfortable with expressions of strong feeling. So I buried the anger and hurt I was feeling (partly to protect him but mostly to protect myself), and came down with the mother of all back spasms. They went away when I realized how sad I was about him leaving, and how angry I was that he didn't want to hear about it.

    I don't believe that forgiveness has anything to do with getting better from TMS. I had already forgiven him for leaving. I just wasn't being real with myself about my own feelings.

    Be true to yourself first, and then you can decide to forgive or not.
  3. NIClubber

    NIClubber Peer Supporter

    He (my (former) best friend) is a very physically strong person, and I now believe he is in a very controlling relationship with his wife.

    He seems to not want to spend any time with me.

    Unfortunately in between times his dad died of cancer and then my dad died of cancer ..... so another thing we have something else in common.
  4. Susan1111

    Susan1111 Well known member

    Hi NiClubber I don't doubt that you're feeling hurt perhaps even abandoned. I'm sure I would too. I wonder however what may else be going on for you... Breathe and think back does this remind you of something else that may have occurred when you were a child? Feeling of betrayal or abandonment? Many times when we feel so strongly although what's happening in the current is real it subconsciously brings up something else...that I believe is what causes the pain.
    As for forgiveness it is said that people enter our lives for a reason for us to learn a lesson. His behavior is about him although you/we react as though it's about us. That is why we usually react so strongly!! So hurt! So if indeed there is a lesson for you to learn and his behavior is about him there really isn't anything to forgive but to learn.
    Hope this makes some sense and you discover what else may be going on for you and find some peace.

    Warmly, Susan
  5. NIClubber

    NIClubber Peer Supporter

    My mum was the other source of anger - she made so many horrible and stupid decisions during my childhood and early life that I only saw her as a bully. In fact saying that I was angry at her bullying me was actually the first time I had a reduction in my pain, but the pains have got worse ever since then, even though I have had other times of pain reductions.

    The main decision that I have a lot of anger at her for was her forcing me to move schools at the age of six or seven. Apparently there had been a government report in the UK at that time to say it was educationally beneficial for children to change schools.

    She also essentially grounded me for a number of years after I was involved in a minor accident down the street with one of my friends when I broke my left colarbone. I was told that my school work wasn't good enough and that I had to do all my homework, then my piano and viola practice before I could do anything 'fun'. The only 'fun' thing I ever got to do was to sit and watch TV for maybe an hour in the evening. Not totally horrible, but is probably a major reason for me being so shy around new people and feeling unable to talk to people even if I have met them before.

    My parents also forced me to move into an apartment 11 years ago, that I could never reasonably afford to pay for on my own, so my mum has been essentially paying my mortgage for me - giving me no sense of achievement.

    She also tried to talk me out of not being a volunteer at both the Olympics in London and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

    She doesn't seem to want me to achieve anything in life.

    Now that my dad has died and she has too many nerves to drive, my brother lives miles away in Wales, I am expected to be helping her when I feel that she has never helped me in life.

    I have been in psychotherapy with two different counsellors over the course of most of the last 18 months, and, although my mind is a lot clearer, I have have a massive amount of pain in my back and still suffering from almost constant dizziness.
  6. Susan1111

    Susan1111 Well known member

    I'm glad to hear your working through this with therapy. Here is something that may be helpful...

    Forgiving our parents is a core task of adulthood, and one of the most crucial kinds of forgiveness. We see our parents in our mates, in our friends, in our bosses, even in our children. When we've felt rejected by a parent and have remained in that state, we will inevitably feel rejected by these important others as well.

    But letting our parents off the hook, psychologist Robert Karen says, is the first step toward happiness, self-acceptance and maturity. Here are some thoughts to help the healing begin:

    Resolve resentment.
    Nursing resentments toward a parent does more than keep that parent in the doghouse. We get stuck there, too, forever the child, the victim, the have-not in the realm of love. Strange as it may seem, a grudge is a kind of clinging, a way of not separating, and when we hold a grudge against a parent, we are clinging not just to the parent, but more specifically to the bad part of the parent. It's as if we don't want to live our lives until we have this resolved and feel the security of their unconditional love. We do so for good reasons psychologically. But the result is just the opposite: We stay locked into the badness and we don't grow up.

    Develop realistic expectations.
    The sins of parents are among the most difficult to forgive. We expect the world of them, and we do not wish to lower our expectations. Decade after decade, we hold out the hope, often unconsciously, that they will finally do right by us. We want them to own up to all their misdeeds, to apologize, to make heartfelt pleas for our forgiveness. We want our parents to embrace us, to tell us they know we were good children, to undo the favoritism they've shown to a brother or sister, to take back their hurtful criticisms, to give us their praise.

    Hold on to the good.
    Most parents love their children, with surprisingly few exceptions. But no parent is perfect—which means that everyone has childhood wounds. If we're lucky, our parents were good enough for us to be able to hold on to the knowledge of their love for us and our love for them, even in the face of the things they did that hurt us.

    Foster true separation.
    To forgive is not to condone the bad things our parents have done. It's not to deny their selfishness, their rejections, their meanness, their brutality, or any of the other misdeeds, character flaws, or limitations that may attach to them. It is important to separate from our parents—which is to stop seeing ourselves as children who depend on them for our emotional well-being, to stop being their victims, to recognize that we are adults with some capacity to shape our own lives and the responsibility to do so.

    Let your parents back into your heart.
    When we do that, we can begin to understand the circumstances and limitations they labored under, recognize the goodness in them that our pain has pushed aside, feel some compassion perhaps, not only for the hard journey they had but also for the pain we have caused them.

    Commit to the journey.
    Getting to a forgiving place, finding the forgiving self inside us, is a long and complicated journey. We have to be ready to forgive. We have to want to forgive. The deeper the wound, the more difficult the process—which makes forgiving parents especially hard. Along the way, we may have to express our protest, we may have to be angry and resentful, we may even have to punish our parents by holding a grudge. But when we get there, the forgiveness we achieve will be a forgiveness worth having.

    mike2014, Jan 15, 2016

    Going back to what I said in my original reply to you it's not about you it's about who they are.. What is about you is your response, your boundaries...not easy when involving a family member but can be done hopefully with the aid of your therapist.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
    Lavender likes this.
  7. sjcy

    sjcy New Member

    Does it feel helpful to write about your anger at your mother? I think you have to first work through the anger and allow yourself to feel it before you can work on forgiveness. That's what I found with regard to anger that I had toward both my parents. It takes a long time to do that emotional work. My mother is not particularly toxic but is selfish and demanding; at this point in my life I'm able to both love her and set boundaries with her as to what I can and can't do for her. If I hadn't worked through my feelings about her twenty-five years ago with the help of a therapist, it would be difficult.

    I've been angry for about 8 years at some former co-workers who treated me badly and forced me out of a job. Only this year was I able to feel some willingness to forgive. Although I haven't hidden the anger from myself, and I've certainly FELT it, almost too much, it has been less stressful for me to think about since I was able to feel forgiveness. But I think it comes in its own time, we can't force it on ourselves. And of course, forgiveness doesn't mean approval of past behavior, it just means that we are willing to let it go and refrain from punishing, or wishing to punish, the person who needs our forgiveness. (At first, in place of "punish", I wrote "punch". That's really what I wanted to do! :shifty:)

    Susan1111 likes this.
  8. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Forgiveness helped me in a lot of ways and with a lot of issues I had with people. I strongly recommend it. We can forgive but not be able to forget. The important thing is the forgiving.
    Celtic Lady likes this.
  9. Susan1111

    Susan1111 Well known member

    For me I don't know that I'm actually forgiving but I'm letting go of the anger I feel towards a situation. I'm also looking at siutations, people etc and working on the lesson it has taught me. I do believe there are lessons everywhere if you look!
    Celtic Lady likes this.
  10. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    I do believe forgiveness is important in our healing because resentment is toxic to our bodies. I also believe that FEELING the feelings, whatever they may be, is very important. These feelings are stored in our bodies. Talking, writing, tapping, etc. are all methods to get these feelings processed out of us. THEN forgiveness can really be felt. Not just said. Felt. It's all a process and we're ready when we're ready. No one can make us ready.

    A feelings letter to the person is a good idea too and a way to get your feelings out. No need to send to them.

    Releasing the person/situation, etc. releases their control over you too.

    Best wishes!
    Celtic Lady likes this.
  11. NIClubber

    NIClubber Peer Supporter

    I had started to think it might be like the situation Sarno talked about in one of his books about going to war - his conscious mind was all for it, but his unconscious thought he was being 'mental' as he was putting his life in danger. My parents have only ever wanted to keep me safe, but my unconscious maybe only sees the controlling nature of what they have done over the last three decades or so.

    I do think money is very central to my problems, but am having difficulty in putting it into words.

    Ever since I was forced to move into my apartment, I have regularly been putting my finances 'at risk'. I think it's likely to be guilt, but finding the right words is difficult. I'll give it another go.
  12. NIClubber

    NIClubber Peer Supporter

    I am in the middle of planning and booking a four week vacation to the USA, which is going to push my finances to the limits of what I can realistically afford.

    Maybe that's the wording ..... feeling guilty of pushing my finances to the limit ...........
  13. NIClubber

    NIClubber Peer Supporter

    No, none of those. I have been trying to go a bit beyond what I have written before.

    The only temporary reduction in pain I got from talking about anger towards my mum was about her bullying of me. I have now written about my anger towards her mum (my grandmother) for bullying my mum.

    I also felt my dad neglected me for prolonged periods of time and have written about my anger towards his parents for neglecting him when he was younger.

    Did any of those happen?? Possibly. My perception is that neither of my parents bullied me regularly for no reason.

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