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Forgiveness

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by levfin003, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. levfin003

    levfin003 Peer Supporter

    Dear all,

    Today has been a very emotion-filled day for me. I would have never had courage to write this if I didn't get TMS, but I want to process my emotions arising from the death of someone who took advantage of me when I was young.

    This person was a relative of my father. He figured out that my father was psychotic and abusive, and started taking financial and other advantage of our situation. Life was a horror, as we were helplessly stuck with an abusive father and an opportunist evil relative.

    I specifically remember that one evening he came to our house, took my father aside and whispered something in his ears. Within five minutes my father dragged my mother by her hair and threw her out of the house. This man just sat there and watched the spectacle.

    I have lived all my life in fear of this man. He died today. I am having a difficult time figuring out how should I feel.

    There was no direct justice served to us in the world. This man got away with everything he did in his life. I am curious to get both religious and secular views on how to process my emotions around this man. Specifically, I want to know how to move on with my life now that he is not there, and I have an amazing family life with my wife and child.
     
    SunnyinFL likes this.
  2. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Forget 'should'. How do you feel?
     
    JanAtheCPA and SunnyinFL like this.
  3. levfin003

    levfin003 Peer Supporter

    I feel enraged at what he did, and that he did not face justice for his actions. At the same time, I feel guilty for not being able to move on and forgive.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
  4. David88

    David88 Well known member

    That's okay. There is no 'should' about feelings, because we don't choose what feelings to have. They just come to us. Don't judge yourself for your feelings, and don't let anyone else judge you.

    It's perfectly fine if you're not ready to forgive and move on. You will do that when the time is right.
     
    jazzrascal and JanAtheCPA like this.
  5. Zumbafan

    Zumbafan Well known member

    How aweful for you to have lived through that. I felt a sense of relief for you upon the man's death. Maybe if you reflect on your survival through it all, and giving thanks for your lovely family now.
     
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  6. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I personally think it may be too difficult to forgive. Since you are still overwhelmed with powerful emotions; rage, anger etc you will need to look internally rather than externally. Try and forgive and show compassion to yourself, assure that inner child everything is OK.
     
  7. levfin003

    levfin003 Peer Supporter

    The weirdest emotion is that of guilt. I feel guilty that I got myself out of that abuse by "disobeying" him and my father. He told my father (out of avarice) to pull me out of school. I outsmarted him, and went on to get a pHD. Today I almost feel that I got my doctorate through deceit.
     
  8. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's awful that you feel guilt, you need to learn to love yourself unconditionally. Move away from the sadness that you've endured and transform that into positive emotions, both onto yourself and family.
     
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  9. SunnyinFL

    SunnyinFL Well known member

    Hi Levfin,

    I'm so glad that you posted your post; I think it will help a lot of people with similar situations. I agree with David that there is no specific way you "should" feel; rather, feel whatever feelings you need to feel to process the situation - and know that there may be many waves of feelings as you continue to process it. And I also agree with Mike - to look first internally - give those feelings attention and let them flow so they do not get stuck inside.

    I have also had a person in my life - a person who taught me what the term "psychopath" means - and who caused me to live in fear, continuously, for decades. I know that fear and I know the losses it causes. I also witnessed that psychopath getting away with unjust behavior, as if he were entitled to do whatever he wanted to do with no responsibility to account for his misbehavior. You are so very right: it is wrong and unjust.

    I was lucky to have another person in my life who helped me to understand that part of healing is to feel all the rage, mourn all the losses caused by the person, and - I believe most importantly - to place all shame exactly where it belongs: on the wrongdoer. I think this is crucial. As recovering goodists and perfectionists we often take too much responsibility, tend to blame ourselves, and take on guilt and shame. That needs to be turned upside down: place all responsibility and shame on the wrongdoer.

    For me, the way to move forward was to feel what needed to be felt, place all blame and shame where it belonged, acknowledge it was wrong, and also acknowledge it is now in the past. That takes some time, and I wouldn't suggest rushing the process. When you're ready to take the next step, affirm that you are, finally, free at last. Being free at last means you don't have to spend another precious minute of life thinking about that person, including spending your precious time debating issues like forgiveness. It is extremely powerful when you proclaim you're free at last, because that means you are also free to choose to fully live in the present and enjoy every present day with your amazing family.

    Again, please don't rush; instead, be patient with your emotions and extra kind to yourself as you continue to feel and release all the emotions that need to be experienced. There is soooo much good for you waiting on the other side.
     
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  10. levfin003

    levfin003 Peer Supporter

    This is going to be a long process. I will have a hard time placing the blame and shame on him. The abuse happened in secrecy and most people (including his own children) do not know what he did to us behind closed doors. As per our local tradition, a special prayer will be held for him today and many good people in my hometown will be praying for him.
     
    SunnyinFL likes this.
  11. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Hi Levfin,

    Have you ever talked with anyone (in a safe environment) about the abuse? Sometimes we process feelings better if we talk them out. There's something about hearing the words come out of our mouth that changes our perspective. It can also help to break the feeling of secrecy, which is part of the hurt.

    David.
     
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  12. David88

    David88 Well known member

  13. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Levfin. I think that the best thing we can do when someone is so terrible to us or those we love is to pray for them. Pray to bring them peace, while they are alive or after they have died. Praying for others who did us harm relieves us and helps us to forgive. Forgiving is one of the best ways to stop any TMS symptoms.

    That awful man may have fooled everyone in this life, but he won't fool God. Let God judge him.

    There are some very good videos on Youtube about forgiveness.
     
  14. levfin003

    levfin003 Peer Supporter

    Forgiveness will be difficult. I can still remember the sternness on his face when he got my mom thrown out. The fact that a man can do that to a woman is just not acceptable.

    What I do pray is that justice is served in some unimaginable or ethereal way that us humans cannot comprehend.
     
    SunnyinFL likes this.
  15. Mtngal

    Mtngal Well known member

    Hi Levfin. I'm so sorry you are going through this and have such terrible memories. I'm assuming since you are on this site you have TMS/ pain issues.
    You might want to check out the Back in Control website of Dr. David Hanscom M D. He talks a lot about the toxic effects of anger on pain and health. He also recommended a great book I'm just now reading entitled Forgive For Good by Dr. Fred Luskin Ph.D.
    I hope this helps.
     
  16. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Levfin, on the topic of forgiveness, I read somewhere you do NOT have to forgive unforgiveable behavior. Perhaps some day you'll discover how this person ended up being that way, and maybe you'll want to forgive the fact that he was a messed-up excuse for a human being, but you don't ever have to forgive what he did to you and your family.

    Your mother and father of course had roles in all of this dysfunction - clearly neither of them was mentally healthy, and you might need to forgive them for their mental and emotional incapacities, although again, you don't have to forgive their harmful behavior.

    However, you DO need to forgive yourself, completely and unconditionally.

    As far as I'm concerned, you can celebrate this person's death. Is there no one else you can celebrate with? My aunt was married to a bitter and negative man who made her life miserable. After his death, every single person in our family AND in her neighborhood said "Thank goodness he's finally gone". No hesitation, and no guilt and let me tell you, her neighbors were all good church-going people!

    Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case in your situation. I hear, loud and clear, your frustration at the fact that this person is being honored by people you might still have a relationship with. That has got to be enraging. All I can advise is: don't stuff the rage, and don't let your brain repress it. It's real, it's honest, and it's acceptable. Acknowledge it, accept it, and please love yourself in spite of it. Once you see that you can survive the rage, you'll be able to move past it.
     
    Boston Redsox and mike2014 like this.
  17. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Like that phrase: u dont have to forgive the unforgivable!!!!
     
    levfin003 likes this.
  18. levfin003

    levfin003 Peer Supporter

    Wow, I never expected this thread to get so many responses. When I started this thread, I was struggling with guilt/shame for saying bad things about someone who had just died. If TMS therapy had not made me more assertive about expressing my feelings, I would have supressed them.

    I am indeed enraged because this was man pure evil, but people are still praying for him. However, while I am relieved at his death, its a bit early to celeberate because the other tyrant from my childhood - my father - is still around and is still abusing my mom. My life will continue to be really difficult until my mother escapes that cycle of abuse, which she is not willing to do. God help her!
     

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