If you’ve experienced trauma or neglect, you will understand when you hear someone say, you are supposed to forgive the perpetrator, but you’ve not quite got there.
We forgive because we’re guilt tripped into thinking we must. We’re afraid others may think we’re bad or unkind if we don’t, but not forgiving someone has nothing to do with us being bad or unkind, it’s not how that works.
Not everyone who goes through trauma or neglect will see that the perpetrator deserves forgiveness. We must understand and go with how we feel, not go with something because it makes the other person feel better.
When it comes to family, we keep the peace because it’s easier, but appeasing family doesn’t change the deed, nor does it mend a broken relationship. When we learn to acknowledge the most negative and darkest of feelings, those feelings, will always feel easier.
We must recognise and understand the motives behind the deed and use those as a way to release how we feel about the perpetrator. To forgive is to excuse the deed. Experiences show that some deeds are simply not excusable.
But it is our understanding of abuse that unburdens us. I don’t feel burdened, I feel empowered that I’ve come through the other end to tell my story in a way that allows me the freedom to choose whether I forgive.
The perpetrator doesn’t usually stop the abuse, it’s the circumstances that changes that stops the abuse. It’s absolutely okay not to forgive. You also don’t have to forgive to move on.