Forgiveness, moving didn't work.

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AmericanWoman

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Forgiveness, moving didn't work.
« on: October 13, 2016, 01:34:47 PM »
Forgiveness, wow is this one much harder than I thought and I need help with Christian ideas.

To start with I DO NOT have a good opinion about therapist at all, I think they are flying monkeys so please don't suggest it as those post will be ignored.  Some of my family married some of them and I know that kind well - lets leave it at that as I don't want to make any further comment that may be a bit stronger than my already posted opinion about my dislike for therapist.


I have moved over 1,000 miles and got married in August to a wonderful man that was sent to me by the Grace of God.  He is patient and loving but I'm trying to not drive him crazy.

My relationship with my uNPD mother went to total NC and now I talk to her on my terms and she knows I will hang up if she starts her mess - thanks y'all for the help in many of your post and recommendations.


The problem:

Mothers voice and condemnations have followed me!  The boundaries are in place and working well, I've done a lot of reading and am loving the freedom and it's only been two months so I need help here.  Is it because it's only been a couple of months?  Is time the answer?  My husband had a major NPD ex and he is helping me a bunch but his situation is years old. 

The past year I've come to realize that my mother had ruined so many relationships with me and other family members and this was going on for FIFTY YEARS!!!! grrrr, I'm flipping livid!  Three of my closest relatives that she did this with have died and now I know it and can 't fix it.  Gosh my poor grandmother (her mil), I was told she didn't like me by my mother and now I realize by going through things that my grandmother loved me to death.  My brother, my father...she had them hating me before they died.  I was so close to them when they were well but when they got sick she did her ugly deed.  Now I'm suppose to act like all is forgiven and everything is ok.  I just can't....I want too.

What do I do, how long does it take to let go? 

Please pray for me, I do believe in the power of prayer.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2016, 09:28:59 AM by Spring Butterfly »

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AmericanWoman

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Re: Forgiveness, moving didn't work.
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2016, 07:20:09 PM »
...so no takers from the old timers on this one huh?  ::)

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Forgiveness, moving didn't work.
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2016, 11:46:43 PM »
I think it helps to look at your mother as if she were a case study in a text book.  A clinical examination of her actions and the havoc they raised.  A clinical consideration of what might have helped set her up, ie trauma, FOO issues etc. 

Consider that all who were close to her were likely her victims and they deep down knew she was at the center of many issues between relatives.  In the same way you are coming to terms with the fallout and what her actions caused, they either did, or would have eventually. 

Think of her as a poor and pathetic victim of a wrong brain and mental illness if need be. 

If you did things you regret, own them and grow personally from that process, but do not own your NMs stuff and dont feel a drive to set her stuff right.  Allow your self to feel and process the anger so you can get through it to the other side emotionally. Imagine how God must be grieved by all this stuff going on in the world.  It helps give me perspective.

Its all between her and God.  Pray that she will come to forgivemess and thank him for what He did on the cross to make that possible.  Then ask for him to guide you through forgiving her yourself.  Its might be a tough journey, but God will be with you through it. 

Sometimes God gives up people to their own ways when they reject Him over and again, I think we should also disengage and let others go their way at times.

It sounds like you have a good boundary set up on the contact and such on your terms.  Stick with that.  Forgiving someone for past abuse does not require you to be vulnerable to new abuse.  Stay strong and keep your boundaries up. 

Peace means you are not hating  and hurting and not fighting, it does not require hanging out together etc. 


« Last Edit: October 14, 2016, 11:49:48 PM by 1footouttadefog »

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Thru the Rain

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Re: Forgiveness, moving didn't work.
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2016, 03:31:17 AM »
Well I'm a newbie, not an old-timer, but I wanted to respond. I too find forgiveness really hard. And those people who will probably never change are the hardest to forgive.

Time and prayer have really helped. I've even prayed "Please help me forgive her."

I agree with 1foot above: Think of her as a poor and pathetic victim of a wrong brain and mental illness if need be.
Trying to feel some sympathy for another person can make forgiveness a little easier to swallow.

Rain


« Last Edit: October 15, 2016, 10:13:38 AM by xredshoesx »

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moglow

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Re: Forgiveness, moving didn't work.
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2016, 10:55:54 PM »
I think forgiveness is like pretty much everything else - it's individual.  What works for one person doesn't for another, and the timeline is different as well. 

Think of it as the five stages of grief, as put forward by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  Yes, there are five fairly clear stages, but they are not always seen the same nor do they process the same way for everyone. Some sit in denial and flip right over anger into bargaining. Some go from one stage to another, then backtrack for do-overs with this or that.

Me? I stayed in denial then angry for a loooooong time. Then went back again. Bargaining never occurred to me. Somehow I knew I couldn't change it, so bargaining wasn't on my radar anywhere. So I meander back and forth through the remaining options.

Forgiveness for me really is about acceptance. Mother did what she did and is who she is. Those things aren't me - she tried desperately to convince me of that, but no. She spent decades driving that message home, but still ... No.

My only suggestion is to feel what you feel. Be who you are. Apologize when you've wronged others, but not for who you are at your core. If you haven't already, learn to treat others as you wish to be treated (not what you learned from her). Consider the 12-step recovery process, and what it teaches.  Forgive yourself first, and go from there.

Above all, find and share peace.
“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

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Inurdreams

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Re: Forgiveness, moving didn't work.
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2016, 01:25:07 PM »
I have always had a hard time with forgiveness.  I was taught that forgiveness is about turning a blind eye to the abuse, acting like it never happened and to go back for more.

What I have been learning is that forgiveness is not usually instantaneous.  It's a work in progress.  It may take years or decades or a lifetime to find true forgiveness for someone who has hurt you.  And forgiveness is between you and God.  Not you and the person who wronged you.  You never have to even tell that person you have forgiven them if you ever do.

Forgiveness does not equal reconciliation.  Forgiveness does not equal trust.  To me, forgiveness is about not seeking revenge.

And something interesting I heard recently is that forgiveness is not a feeling, it's a choice and an act.  I think this is what tripped me up for so long.  I couldn't understand why I did not feel all warm and fuzzy when I kept saying I had forgiven someone.  I kept thinking maybe I had not truly forgiven them.

But now I realize that I can say to myself that I can and will forgive someone and not suddenly start farting rainbows and unicorns and magically expect everything to be all perfect, because it never was to start with.

I have learned to forgive a lot of people but I still do not feel the need to reconnect with them or even love for them.  In fact, for me, the only way it will work is to forgive them from afar, because I know that reconciling and reconnecting with them will just stir up all those old feelings again in them and me.

Sometimes I think letting go is to truly let go of any fantasy that things will ever be different with an abuser.  The feelings I have about them and the abuse may never go away, but the less time I dwell on it, the more the feelings begin to fade.  But it takes a long time and I will likely never forget it.  So I let them (the abuser) go...far, far away.


Peek not through the keyhole lest ye be vexed. - Stephen King


Response to a Flying Monkey:  Apparently you are suffering under the delusion that I give a damn.

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liftinfog

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Re: Forgiveness, moving didn't work.
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2016, 01:53:26 PM »
Forgiveness, wow is this one much harder than I thought and I need help with Christian ideas.

To start with I DO NOT have a good opinion about therapist at all, I think they are flying monkeys so please don't suggest it as those post will be ignored.  Some of my family married some of them and I know that kind well - lets leave it at that as I don't want to make any further comment that may be a bit stronger than my already posted opinion about my dislike for therapist.


I have moved over 1,000 miles and got married in August to a wonderful man that was sent to me by the Grace of God.  He is patient and loving but I'm trying to not drive him crazy.

My relationship with my uNPD mother went to total NC and now I talk to her on my terms and she knows I will hang up if she starts her mess - thanks y'all for the help in many of your post and recommendations.


The problem:

Mothers voice and condemnations have followed me!  The boundaries are in place and working well, I've done a lot of reading and am loving the freedom and it's only been two months so I need help here.  Is it because it's only been a couple of months?  Is time the answer?  My husband had a major NPD ex and he is helping me a bunch but his situation is years old. 

The past year I've come to realize that my mother had ruined so many relationships with me and other family members and this was going on for FIFTY YEARS!!!! grrrr, I'm flipping livid!  Three of my closest relatives that she did this with have died and now I know it and can 't fix it.  Gosh my poor grandmother (her mil), I was told she didn't like me by my mother and now I realize by going through things that my grandmother loved me to death.  My brother, my father...she had them hating me before they died.  I was so close to them when they were well but when they got sick she did her ugly deed.  Now I'm suppose to act like all is forgiven and everything is ok.  I just can't....I want too.

What do I do, how long does it take to let go? 

Please pray for me, I do believe in the power of prayer.

Hey americanwoman,
I'm sorry you have had bad experiences with therapists.  :(

It's amazing how we can't outrun the critical, demeaning voices of our PD's. This is hard. I still battle with this. I know this all to well with my PD parents. From my journey's experience, I can say that for me forgiveness is a hard one too.

Realizing your mother was manipulating people "behind the scenes" is horrible and something I understand too. That kind of sabotage that comes from someone is just so hurtful and angering, let alone coming from your own mother. Mine is like this too, and has made me furious! Ugh so sorry!

I think we need to be ok with being angry about what they did wrong to us. Anger used to be something I feared, since my PD's used to say that my anger was a "problem" and showed that I was a "hateful/heartless/evil" person. Also, my NF's rage fits made me fear anger too, since I feared both him and myself becoming like him when I got angry. But in a biblical example, Jesus made quite a scene in the temple when he saw self-righteous people using their religion and power to exploit the poor and good-hearted people. He made a point, didn't harm anyone, and stood for what was right.

People abusing someone will cause anger, just as hitting someone on the head with a hammer will cause pain. It's a natural and healthy reaction. Anger is an indicator that something treasured (like our dignity, self-worth, etc.) is being attacked or infringed upon, and needs defending. How we act on this, can be good or bad, but the anger itself isn't bad.

For forgiveness, I think we need to evaluate what we think forgiveness is, and test it against what forgiveness actually is (easier said that done obviously!). I for one, had years of the words "forgive and forget", and "love covers a multitude of sins" and other bible-esque teachings twisted by my PD's to absolve them of responsibility for their abuse, implanted in my head as a kid. Hating that, I've been searching for what forgiveness really is.

From what I've been able to piece together from learning on my journey, forgiveness is like being in a tug of war, and choosing to let go of the rope. It's a choice to say, what you did was wrong and made me feel hurt, angry, etc, and I didn't deserve it, but I will not spend my life energy trying to fix you or bring vengeance. I will keep myself safe from you, and let God or whatever entity governs the what-goes-around-comes-around/what-you-sow-you-shall-reap/karmic principle have its way with you. Like keeping up your side of the street, and not worrying about or trying to control about theirs. It is a one sided decision, unlike reconciliation, which takes two.

Talking about those critical voices out loud with a safe person helps me a lot. For me, its my T, for you it could be someone different. Just make sure it's someone who gets it. People who are unaware of the fact that they (and most) hear their parents criticism in their heads, won't be helpful. They'll just help you be stuck and confused. Talk it out with someone who is self-aware and safe. 

Be ok with the fact that this healing takes time. You're not going to go from unforgiveness to forgiveness in a moment. I think it's a process. I don't think it's once and done thing either. I think there's times that the (completely justified) hurt and anger will churn up again and again, and we need to chose each time, "do I get bitter about this, or forgive - let go of the rope?". Maybe that's what's meant by "If a brother sins 7 times should I forgive? I say 70 times 7" ?

I'll pray for you!
Wishing you the best in your healing!
“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.”
― Leo Tolstoy

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AmericanWoman

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Re: Forgiveness, moving didn't work.
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2016, 06:14:22 PM »
Wow, lots of good stuff from the posters, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I am now looking at her as sick, she has tried to put her hooks back in me in the past few days through the phone and I'm trying to decide if I should block her email and on the phone again.  Can't say enough how wonderful that is to use as an option.

@liftinfog:  [my personal belief regarding your comment about being sorry about an experience]
No bad experiences with therapist personally with the exception of knowing them in a social setting and having relatives that are in the business.  I was in college actually to be one back in the 80's.  I learned what they are taught, and that is why I got out of it and wouldn't recommend anyone in that "job" (no, don't consider it a profession) to someone that is truly sick.  My personal view from what was taught is that they learn to be depressing drug pushers and make people worse and keep them coming back (very financially profitable) - the stuff they taught in a state university blew my mind, I saw them make people sicker not better however the sick person believed the junk they were selling.  It's a set up for the drug companies.  If you don't believe me, poke around and ask just how many people on self-help forums are on meds?  Not this form, but I have a physical condition I'm dealing with that causes pain and I poked around the pain forums to see what was working.  I deal with it or take advil.  Some folks on these forums are given multiple drugs and wear them like a badge.  I believe doctors, therapist and such are most of what is causing all the mental issues with their pills.....of course, this is all my personal beliefs and could be taken with a grain of salt since this is also the internet and you don't know me from Adam or Eve!  ;)

Everyone has to do what they believe is best for themselves, mine is to pray and let Jesus be my guide not drugs.

Jesus, time and block options are what my take is on this and the wonderful advice to accept her for who she is.  If others can let it go here I can too.  Thank you again.  :cloud9:

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Is This Normal

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Re: Forgiveness, moving didn't work.
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2016, 07:22:06 PM »
AmericanWoman,

I just read a book by Pete Walker on this very topic that I know I will be returning to again and again. It's called The Tao of Fully Feeling, Harvesting Forgiveness out of Blame. Unfortunately, it's not readily available. I had to order it from Amazon, but it's well worth it. The guy really throws it down about healing from parental abuse and (possibly, he sees it as a choice) moving into forgiveness after processing ones feelings about what happened. But, dun dun dun, he is himself a therapist lol! So, take it or leave it. But from reading his books (and he appears to be pretty anti-drug btw), he really wants his clients to heal. I wish, wish, wish, wish I could be his client, but he's in the San Francisco area. So, books it is.

I agree with others who have said it's a process. I seem to move in and out of forgiveness with my unBPDm. One prayer that really helped me was to ask God to allow me to see her as He sees her. That produced some pretty stunning results. Then, she engages in more hurtful behavior, and I have to repeat the prayer.  :stars: But that's just how it is.

Another prayer that's really helped me when I've really been angry or upset with someone is from 12-step recovery. I think it's called "The Sick Man's Prayer." Basically, you pray for the person you're having a conflict with to get everything you think they may want. People tend to talk about material things, but I usually wind up talking about love, peace, joy, etc. I think the thinking behind it is that whatever energy you put out to other people comes back to you threefold. You keep saying the prayer for a couple of weeks, and then you should start to see a transformation in how you feel towards the person, if not in the relationship itself. I've had personal experience with this and it's worked some miracles in my life. I used it for a student who was super mean and hard to deal with, and I swear his behavior towards me changed after a DAY of my saying this prayer. Was I giving off a different vibe? I know I definitely felt more positively toward him after saying the prayer. I don't know what it was, but it has worked for me, and writing this post I'm reminded that I have this tool still in my toolbox.

Whatever you try, keep doing, I hope it works. What your mother did would be very, very hard for me to forgive, so I cannot blame you for having the feelings you're having. Best of luck to you as you continue to work through this.  :hug:

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AmericanWoman

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Re: Forgiveness, moving didn't work.
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2016, 07:35:53 PM »
Thank you IsItNormal  :bighug:


I will look into the book - I look more at the book contents than what the author did for a living but usually at the end of the book when they start talking drugs is when they lose me, lol.
My niece got so messed up by so called therapy drugs they took her kid away!  She has been free from doctors drugs and got in with a wonderful Christian group and we believe she will get her daughter back soon.  Her uBPDm (my sil) is a 25+ year nurse and SHE is the one that pushed the mental drugs then took the girls daughter!!!  sick, sick, sick.  Nope, I don't have much use for most in the medical field unless it's a naturalistic doc.  You go to a doctor or hospital you have more chances of not coming back out (BTDT, worked in medical at a hospital for a good while - no good!)


You gave me great advice!


« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 11:39:59 PM by xredshoesx »

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Forgiveness, moving didn't work.
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2016, 11:02:19 PM »
Regarding medications, I believe thst a great many people could be helped with medications for psychological problems if they would honestly work with a psychiatrist who has integrity.

My spouse takes meds.  They are keeping him out of trouble and us safe.  We could not be a family without those meds.  He would be who knows where because I don't think he would take them for himself. 

It was a bumpy couple of years finding the right stuff, and a more competent doc would have allowed the process to be quicker.  Either way we are fortunate for the meds.


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Sesame

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Re: Forgiveness, moving didn't work.
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2016, 02:19:53 AM »
I moved very far away from my uBPDNmum (and later my uNMIL). The rest of my extended family also contained toxic members and so it was quite a shock to the system to suddenly be free of them. To miraculously have this convenient excuse to never see them again (or at least not as much). I kept in contact with my uBPDNmum because the distance made everything so much more manageable and everything that damaged and triggered me then was in relation to being stuck in the same living quarters with her. That first year, I still spoke to my most-likely-a-narcissist grandmother. H noticed how she completely threw me off centre and always gave me a lot of stress, sadness and anger. So when we moved away, I didn't give her our new phone number and I didn't call her.

Even after that, it did take a while to regain my confidence, self-esteem and to stop worrying about what other people thought. However, uNMIL was to be a lot more damaging than my FOO all by herself. Taking every opportunity to slash at any shred of self worth, she insulted me, humiliated me, bossed me about, told me everything I thought and did was wrong, said I can never do what I want to do with my life, disapproved of every decision I made, made me feel I would never be good enough, and bullied me about my weight to the point that I didn't recognise myself in mirrors any more because I had subconsciously accepted the idea I was fat.

When I moved far away from her, like you, I often heard her disapproving voice in my head. I stopped doing everything I loved. I only did things I thought she would approve of and was utterly miserable. I cried frequently. I did not allow myself to do anything I enjoyed or anything that related to my dreams for the future because I knew she would consider that a `complete waste of time'. I knew she would want me to spend every waking second searching for jobs and only ones that she deemed good enough. In a way, I am glad to have faced rejection because I already knew I would have hated so many of the jobs I felt obligated to apply for. When I wasn't doing that, I should be going above and beyond to make the home spotless and get all the housework done so H needn't lift a finger. This might sound easy to an American, but this was in a place where there are no dishwashers or clothes dryers, cockroaches were everywhere no matter how clean you were. The climate was also so humid, there was always mildew growing somewhere almost every day, which meant extra clothing to wash, shoes to wipe, walls to scrub with bleach, wooden furniture and shelves to clean... Then I also had to `go out' somewhere and do something that she would deem a reasonable pursuit. Problem was, it was impossible to do both and I was still teaching H not to tell her everything.

It took a long time of training myself to catch when the voice was hers or mine. Usually hers made me feel a lot of shame for simply being me. It also took a lot of encouragement and reassurance from H. Not to mention his own contributions of learning what not to pass on to uNMIL. I would definitely give it more time. A few months is not enough in comparison to years of abuse and mistreatment. It has been about 5 years of working on myself and getting H to be more secretive on the phone. We've only just now reached a comfortable stage. I am still working on doing what I love, even though I do not hear her voice in my head any more. Sometimes I worry something broke in there and I can never repair it.

As for forgiveness... I do not think it is right to expect or demand every victim forgive the person who made them a victim in the first place. I read an article or study a long time ago that said it causes unnecessary stress and further difficulties when survivors feel they must work to forgive those who hurt them. You can forgive yourself for not getting her voice out of your head yet. Treating yourself with patience and understanding is far more important than forgiving someone who may not even realise what they did or have any remorse regarding their treatment of you. Take care, AmericanWoman and don't forget to put yourself first!

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coyote

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Re: Forgiveness, moving didn't work.
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2016, 06:12:15 PM »
American Woman,
Just thought i'd weigh in as one of the "Old Timers". I have a sign above my desk that simply says, "Forgive Everyone Everything." For me forgiveness is not about what the other person did to me. It's about me letting go of anger, hatred, fear, and all those other negative, destructive emotions that come with holding a grudge.

I won't go into my childhood stories as many are so graphic they would be triggers for others here. Suffice it to say I have them. But one thing I found out is I had a choice. I could hang on to all that negativity or I could forgive and let it go. I don't offer this as advice for others. All I can say is it is what worked for me.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
 Wayne Dyer

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
Capt. Jack Sparrow

Choose not to be harmed and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed and you haven’t been. -Marcus Aurelius

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AmericanWoman

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Re: Forgiveness, moving didn't work.
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2016, 03:21:02 PM »
........"Forgive Everyone Everything".................

Thanks!  I like that  :)

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coyote

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Re: Forgiveness, moving didn't work.
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2016, 04:28:51 PM »
American Woman,
You are welcome. I know it's not always easy but I find it very empowering. I also like to think that if Jesus could die for our sins and we receive His forgiveness it is the least I can do.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
 Wayne Dyer

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
Capt. Jack Sparrow

Choose not to be harmed and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed and you haven’t been. -Marcus Aurelius

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moglow

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Re: Forgiveness, moving didn't work.
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2016, 05:23:11 PM »
Quote from: Coyote
For me forgiveness is not about what the other person did to me. It's about me letting go of anger, hatred, fear, and all those other negative, destructive emotions that come with holding a grudge.

I won't go into my childhood stories as many are so graphic they would be triggers for others here. Suffice it to say I have them. But one thing I found out is I had a choice. I could hang on to all that negativity or I could forgive and let it go.

Yes! So much Yes!!  I've also held onto the thought that we can choose to be better or bitter. I can move into the future with a dance or stay mired in the quicksand of the past. Our choices truly do make us who we are.
“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

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tommom

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Re: Forgiveness, moving didn't work.
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2016, 07:38:33 PM »
Coyote is so right. Not forgiving hurts YOU. Good grief, it won't "hurt" a PD! They have expectations that...well, we really don't understand. Worship, maybe? Who knows.

American Woman, don't feel that way about all therapists. I've had more than one and about 80%, well sucked. I had one women who was trained in EVERYTHING, doctorate in behavioral, masters in both clinical and behavioral, taught a Harvard, written books, you name it. She wanted to get you well. Period. I only saw her for about six months and she helped me more than any other of the probably 10 or 12 I've seen in my life. She even talked about the tendency of some T to get the "repeat customer". That isn't a therapist, its some kind of quack.

My M was like yours. Abusive, horrible, BPD/NPD probably bipolar, maybe more. I was her scapegoat and boy was my childhood a doozie! But it WILL eventually go away! You will heal.

And I will pray for you! :bighug:
"It is not my job to fix other people; everyone is on their own journey."