The Forgiveness Myth

We are told to heal, you must: Forgive but never forget. Forgive them and move on. Forgive them for you, not for them. Forgiveness is the key to healing.  Blah, blah, blah…  

And, according to the dictionary, to forgive is to: Pardon. Excuse. Absolve. Let off. Make allowances for. Let bygones be bygones.  

To me, forgiveness is agreeing with what has happened. Saying it’s ok. I don’t agree with that at all. It’s not now and never will be “ok.”

How do you forgive someone who said they love you and still hurt you repeatedly? How do you forgive someone who emotionally and/or physically abused you? Traumatized your mind and your soul for their own gain…without regret. And, you know they’ll do it again to someone else. We put criminals in jail for repeatedly harming others. Yet, we’re supposed to forgive the narc because he didn’t break any laws?

Personally, forgiving him feels like a betrayal to myself. I disagree with what he did. I don’t want to absolve him of his actions. I don’t want to pardon, excuse, let off, or make allowances for his behavior or its effect on my family and me.

Once I realized that I didn’t have to forgive him, I felt like I was empowering myself to honor my true feelings about the situation. And isn’t that where the true healing begins? Honoring ourselves and our feelings?! 

Maybe, you are stuck in victim mode because you think you have to “forgive” to move forward, and it just doesn’t feel right.

If your soul allows you to forgive, then do it. You need to do what feels best for you – not what the “experts” are telling you to do 

However, suppose you’re like me and can’t forgive and feel good about it. In that case, the best way to move forward with your life is Acceptance.

Acceptance is looking at a person or situation and understanding who or what it really is – not what we want it to be.

You don’t have to agree with it. You don’t have to let them off the hook for their behavior. You accept that they are a negative person, which is how they choose to live their lives. They are controlling. They are a cheater. They are abusive. It’s their life, and they can choose to live it any way they want to, honestly. 

Accept that their choices are not based on you. You can’t change who they are. Only they can. If they don’t see a problem with their actions, they won’t change. If their actions get them the results they want, they won’t change. So accept that they are who they are because they want to be. 

The good news is that although they can live any way they choose, they are not free from the consequences of those choices. You don’t have to enable their behavior by saying “it’s ok.” People need to know, and we need more survivors telling their stories. 

The even better news is that it’s your life too – you can choose to live it without fear, criticism, or physical/emotional abuse. You can choose to be happy, healthy, and prosperous. You deserve that…

A Note from the Author:

I am not a therapist or life coach, and I don’t pretend to be one on the internet. These blogs are my thoughts, perspective, and experiences based on my nine-year relationship with a malignant narcissist and my healing journey since leaving him.

The ideas suggested are simple for a reason. Trauma rewires the brain, and healing needs to start with simple, doable steps.   

It’s also not my intention to imply this is a gender-specific issue. My blogs are written from a woman’s perspective because I am one. Men suffer from emotional abuse too. I hope they can overlook the gender terms and adapt the content to be relevant to their own experience.

All my best to you,

Published by TL Durand

Author of the Toxik book series

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s