Monday, May 30, 2016


I learned through my counseling and actively studying forgiveness that distortions abound.  Many abusers believe and try to use forgiveness in two ways, a get out of jail free card and a way to blame the victim.  Sadly, misguided church going people enforce this distortion.  Heavy sigh.  What I learned was forgiveness was not about the abuser.  It is about me cutting the abuser loose and evicting them from my mind.  They no longer have real estate in my head.  Their behavior is their problem and not mine.  What they did to hurt me is no longer hurting me.  It does run up a red flag and let me know that they are not a safe person.  I am not obligated to interact with the person any more.

Another distortion that forgiveness means reconciliation.  My counselor taught me that forgiveness is the first step in reconciliation but only opens the process to the possibility.  If the other person is unwilling to respect me, I have no obligation to reconcile with them after I forgive them. 

I was accused of holding a grudge against my mother for past events.  Not true.  I have no problem with what she did in the past.  However, she continues to disrespect my boundaries, lie about me, and generally not a safe person now.  Not worried about past events, I am taking responsibility to protect myself in the present.  I understand that she was hurt in her childhood.  I also understand that she chose not to do the difficult work of processing that hurt.  Now, she lashes out when feeling pressured and I was her favorite target.  I moved out of harms way.  I am sad I can't have a closer relationship but you get a clue when you come to visit and she leaves within 5 minutes of my arrival.  I joked that I could clear my parents house in less then 15 minutes.  Then I actually timed it.  Five minutes was all it takes.  I have no grudge against my mother.  I feel sad that things are not different.  I am under no illusion she will do anything different than she always done.  I keep my distance because I care about me.  I am worth protecting.  I don't deserve to be dismissed, manipulated, and used.  I pray for her and let Christ heal her wounds. 

Spines are a protection from predators. 

1 comment:

Tundra Woman said...

It's not about "holding grudges," "failing to forgive," "seeking vengeance" or any other "failure" or negative connotation other's believe motivate our need to curtail significantly or completely terminate the relationship with our abuser(s.) It's not at all about "the past:" It's about the Here and Now as their continuing pattern of behavior makes the Past manifest in the Present. It is this on-going behavior that lays bare their culpability as perpetual Serial Offenders. Does it matter if the "motivation" is a difficult past, personal edification or pure pathology?

There is in my conception a Moral and Ethical framework for initiating and maintaining NC. When another person-particularly one in a position of authority-demands we violate our most deeply held morals, values, ethics, our very conscience, the bedrock of who we are to use us as a Tool, they are seeking to break our "moral back" so to speak. If you're successful in this endeavor (as demonstrated on a societal basis by for example some petty tyrant or dictator) you obtain "obedience" by engaging in a form of annihilation of the other. You have destroyed them. You "own" the empty shell of what remains of that individual that was "paid for" at the cost of their Personhood. At best, they exist in a state of anomie. *Trigger Warning* Not uncommonly, others commit suicide as a result.

Most of adult life is lived in the grey areas between polarities. Unlike the Authoritarian individual who resides almost exclusively in those polarities, that does not mean non-Authoritarian individuals lack a deep personal morality regarding Right and Wrong: It is because they DO, the "cost" of their personhood (soul) is not negotiable.<This is exactly what the abusers demand their victims relinquish.

It is that relentless demand perpetrated on their targets all abusers continually carry forward throughout their lives: The Past remains manifest in the Present.

I hope this makes sense. I'm certain you can explain this in terms of spirituality, Ruth. It's your goodness and decency that "clears the room." Your moral "backbone" remains unbroken: It stands as a rebuke in the screaming silence of NC. Unfortunately, even severely curtailing contact does not protect from the effects of shrapnel to your being.
Another significant reason for feeling exhausted in every way.