It’s a strange word and while I do know what it means in theory, knowing what it means in feeling it is a completely different thing. I am not even sure if it is something that is possible. How exactly do you forgive someone?

I am not a religious person; I don’t believe in God, I know a lot of people will answer with regards to their faith of God and forgiveness. I think if I did believe in God I wouldn’t know how to forgive him either.

I guess forgiveness comes in many shapes and sizes; it makes hypocrites out of us. Me especially. I haven’t been very good with keeping up with people this last month or so. Not that I have ignored anyone, or not replied, I just haven’t had it in me to talk. Messages have gone unanswered, my phone has been left, emails not responded to. Yet I in some way expect and hope that these friends will understand when I say I am sorry. Many of them have thought they have upset me and that isn’t the case. It’s just a bad time and I hope they forgive me for my lack of communications.

But forgiveness is probably part of why I have been quiet. I wonder if discovering forgiveness would be the key to removing or at least healing the pain inside. It was my birthday just a couple of weeks ago. It’s never a good time; it makes me anxious and afraid. I’d happily ignore it if I could. This year was worse, added to that is my decision to not have my father in my life. It’s made me very ill these past few weeks.

My hands are very sore through the overwhelming feeling of not being able to get clean, though I know some part of this is my minds way of coping with everything else. I do suffer from OCD and when it is at a point that my hands are bleeding, I know I have something bothering me. The fact that even my wrists are cut and bloody tells me I have a problem. I have had days of not eating and over eating. Nights of no sleep or nights plagued with bad dreams, but the biggest one is, in ten days I have only had two days where I have not self harmed. Some of myself harm days have been multiple occasions.

I look at all of this and why I do these things. I feel sane on the outside, but my actions feel far from it. None of my insanities can ease the pain I feel inside. I wish if I could give my father anything, it wouldn’t be confrontation, but it would be a day of feeling what I feel.

Forgiveness might be the key, but how do you do it? I’m not sure it’s possible. I wonder if forgiveness is real at all, or is it just something we convince ourselves of?

15 thoughts on “Forgiveness

  1. I wish I had an answer for you. I don’t think anyone really does. We have our opinions. I bet most people, like me, would say your father doesn’t deserve your forgiveness. But it’s really not up to us. I guess you need to do what you feel will heal you inside. I honestly don’t know what that is and whether forgiveness is the key. I do believe, though, that forgiveness is not something we need to know how to do. I think it’s something that occurs inside us all on its own. Maybe that’s the problem. You want to forgive because you think it will relieve you, so you’re trying to force it to happen. I think it should happen naturally. And if it doesn’t, maybe your subconscious is telling you it doesn’t really want to.

  2. Forgiveness is possible….it is a choice. It is not a “feeling” but a decision to forgive a person/persons who have done you an injustice. You do not have to be religious or believe in God although it helps tremendously. You choose to forgive that person and then you move on. It is also a conscious effort to forgive each time you pick the hurt up again. You choose to let go of it and turn from it. Now having said this, it does NOT mean you forget. They are two entirely different things. You choose to forgive and not dwell on the situation but you don’t forget. It is a confusing concept to be sure. By not forgetting, you acknowledge the fact that this a lesson learned. Not with bitterness but with the fact that you have gained wisdom. J.D. I feel your pain and hurt for your struggles but I am a BELIEVER and I have faith for the both of us that this is possible for you. I understand that this blog is a way for you to express your thoughts but I also feel the pain that comes out in your words. I pray that one day your struggles will be healed.

  3. I think people say they forgive when the pain lessens to the point where it’s not the last thing on your mind at night, what you dream about and the first thing you wake up thinking about. I don’t think you can make a conscious decision to forgive, because the hurt is still there under the surface. At least I can’t.

    We all deal with hurt in different ways. Some stay drunk, sleep only a few hours at a time, wake from horrible dreams, try not to let anyone see how bad things are and repeat the process. Okay, that’s me for the past month or so. I wish I knew the right words to say. You’re not alone though.

  4. I think he still has the power to make you feel guilty for something that was never, never your fault. even though you don’t FEEL it deep inside yet. And I think that what Rebecca said is very true. If you do not think of him every morning and every night, that is a good beginning to ever be able to forgive him.

    Having said that; however, I would never, ever, ever speak to my father again if he had done to me what he did to you. I would lose his phone number so fast . . . . However, central to that would be the point that nobody else should be near him either even though it may be their choice to see him. And the fear that he might do something to someone else I actually really LOVE like my daughter for instance. Not to prosecute necessarily but just to stay away.

    Having said that, if there is a God, and I believe in the broadest sense that there is one and higher beings like angels and spirits to help us when we need it, then you having survived is the miracle once again. Should divine intervention have rushed in and saved you when you were a little boy? Well, yes, it should. However, perhaps someone was there in spirit to help you get through it even though it was horrible. Perhaps that someone also helped give you the strength to overcome your drug addiction.

    I always hate it when people say that adversity and horror made you stronger. I think that is sometimes just a cop-out. Yet, here you are going back to school, writing, enjoying your grand child, etc. Thank goodness!

    If it was my birthday, next year i would celebrate it like there was no tomorrow. Balloons, confetti, clowns (I hate clowns actually – ha!), something I really want even if I have to buy it for myself, my favorite foods, you name it because YOU deserve it. And I’d toast that s.o.b. and say up yours! for not being able to completely destroy me.

    He tried to destroy something (someone) handsome and beautiful, but he couldn’t!

  5. JD, I don’t know if this is going to be helpful or not but I forgave my mother. I did it for me not her. I will never forget what she did but I forgave her. It took over 45 years to do it but my heart ached with the pain I carried around. I had to relieve it somehow. So I forgave her. And when I truly accepted that I felt ‘lighter’ and happier. I still have PTSD and the tiniest thing sets it off. I have never had a real relationship because of my mother but I am finally able to put a lot (not all) behind me. You just have to find your own time to forgive. And you may never find it in you to do so. I had to forgive myself before I could forgive my mother and that was the hardest thing I ever did.
    Hugs to you and your family………..

  6. Hi JD,
    I sure wish I knew what to say… I sat here reading what you wrote over and over again. I just hope for you that one day you do feel like you can at least move on and find complete happiness. I do want to say though that I think you are a really smart man and your write really well, what are you studying in college?


  7. I agree with you, I think forgiveness may be something we just convince ourselves of. I think people forgive for many different reasons, mostly in the hopes of it helping to let go of the pain. However, for what he did to you, J.D., my honest opinion is if I were you I would never forgive him. And it saddens me that you contemplate it. That man does not deserve forgiveness from you. It’s okay to think that. You’re allowed to feel that. You don’t have to forgive him.

  8. Hi James, forgiveness is something i’ve touched on in the past and i’ve decided that my parents don’t deserve such luxuries. i owe it to myself first and foermost to forgive myself for all the self abuse i have subjected my body and soul to, and still subject myself to. When i have concoured that (which is very unlikey) in my lifetime then i might have some room in my head to even begin to think about weather i want to forgive them or not. I think u have to be 100% sure that forgiveness is truly what u can do because when your life and mind are in turmoil and the abuse is forfront in your mind the hatred and anger and pain are gonna be very real, and if those feelings keep rearing their ugly head have u actually truly forgiven? you need to give yourself a lot of time to come to terms with finally not having your father in your life. The pain that goes with doing this is very immense, the inner child in us still craves to have our mum and dad in our lives no matter how badly we were treated, a childs love is unconditional and the child and adult within you will be having its own internal battle about letting him go, but for me letting my parents go was the only way i could start to heal, i miss not having a mum and dad in my life but i have come to realise that it is the “ideal” parents that i miss and i never really had “ideal” parents anyway so i’m craving something that i never had. Every child that is brought into this world deserves to be loved and protected and nurtured even into adulthood, but sadly abuse victims never have that right. Look after yourself and your inner child first and formost because you deserve putting the time and energy into yourself before you put it into an abuser.

    Big hugs Lil

  9. Well JD you have made me think about the word forgiveness,is it a order FORgive,or a plead,please forgive me sob sob,nay I don’t like the word.Do I forgive the guy who killed 13 of our friends in Aramoana NO.and others over the years,no I feel i have just buried all feelings of them deep in the mind.when I think of these horrors I have to put that part of the mind back to blank.then carry on with what matters to me,sic family ,friends even my animal.But JD you have to put it to sleep your way,try cutting back on the self harm,you were doing so good,bugger your father don’t let him destroy yourself you are worth so much more.We your friends out here no you are worth listen to,take care of your self I hope you can make more sense out of the forgive word than I can.May be I should write a book,may be it would help me .(((HUGS))) 😉 xx

  10. Forgiveness isn’t for the person who has wronged you, it is for your own self and your own inner peace. Oprah said something on an episode one time that really made me stop and think wow..she is right. That is this: “Forgiveness, is giving up the HOPE that the past could have been any different” Someday you will find that peace within, and acceptance from your past. Once you do my friend, there you will find your forgiveness.

  11. forgiveness is for you. one forgives but never forgets. forgiveness does not mean that what happened was ok. it means one can start living a life not consumed by the wrong done after one forgives. it is not a feeling that just appears. it is a point where you say to yourself , I cant live like this anymore. And you will reach that point in your life. the point where you love yourself and see yourself as others do,a loving, caring, beautiful person

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