Forgiveness – is it a neccessary part of healing?

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And another gym visit – I spent a bit longer exercising today, and pushed myself harder on the treadmill – and I was very proud of that, but when I told N about it in the car on the way home, he seemed to be taking the piss out of it – saying that walking at 4kph on a 7% gradient was just walking a bit more briskly uphill.  I was quite surprised to get tearful over this – maybe because I am off the tablets, I am getting back in touch with my emotions, which would be a good thing, if painful.  He did say he didn’t mean to be hurtful, but actually made me more upset by trying to explain why he was saying what he was saying.  All I wanted was for him to see that I was upset and to stop upsetting me more – not unreasonable, I thought.

Anyway, I swallowed the hurt back down and nothing more has been said.  He probably thinks it is forgotten, but it isn’t.

I have been thinking about forgiveness – partly because of this incident, but mainly because of a thread on mumsnet.  One poster was talking about a book about toxic parents, and said that the author says that it is not neccessary to forgive your abuser/the person who hurt you – and that hit me right between the eyes.  For years and years I have been struggling to forgive the children who bullied me, the teachers who either didn’t notice, or knew what was happening, and did nothing about it, and my parents, especially my mum, who knew I was being bullied (because I came to her in tears) and who did nothing to help me, but instead brushed me off, leaving me with the firm impression that I was on my own, and it wasn’t worth going back to her when things carried on, and got worse.

I have been told a number of times that I should forgive all these people – that forgiving them is the first step on the road towards healing for me – and now I am wondering if that is actually true at all, or whether there is nothing wrong with the fact that I actually don’t want to forgive the bullies or the adults who did nothing to help me.  I have felt like such a failure because I couldn’t forgive them, but I am going to try to stop believing that now.

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About sdtgcraftygenius

I'm in my late forties, mum of three teenage boys, living near Glasgow. I've been a nurse, studied politics and music at university, and now I am a stay-at-home mother. I've suffered from depression for many years (only recently diagnosed), and take antidepressants daily to keep me on a manageable level.

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