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#430018 - 04/03/13 10:58 PM Re: Forgiveness Revisited *Possible Trigger* [Re: Jude]
Country Offline

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 654
Loc: Alabama
For me it was just a simple choice. I choose to forgive and release the rage and anger. I also choose to forgive b/c I have been forgiven and shown grace when I have messed up. So I made the choice and my feelings followed. How can I ask someone to forgive me, such as my wife, for the times I wronged her and I don't want I give the same grace to another? No one feels like forgiving. EVER. It's a choice and the feelings will follow.
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

#430049 - 04/04/13 04:05 AM Re: Forgiveness Revisited *Possible Trigger* [Re: Jude]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
Hey guys,

I appreciate all your replies. But no one has really addressed my question which was
Originally Posted By: Jude
is there an evil so great that its unforgivable? Where do you draw the line?
I'm trying to understand whether what was done to me is forgivable, and if so, is ALL CSA forgivable? Is there anything too evil to be forgiven? Thats where I am.

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

#430050 - 04/04/13 05:50 AM Re: Forgiveness Revisited *Possible Trigger* [Re: Jude]
Farmer Boy Offline

Registered: 08/23/12
Posts: 442
Loc: Australia

I will preface this by saying that I am basically a very forgiving person.

For me it works a bit like this. Right or wrong.

I have an assortment of perps like a few here. Some I feel I can forgive and others it has NEVER crossed my mind to forgive. Bare in mind this might change as I go through recovery and as has been stated everyone is different.

I basically feel I can or have already forgiven the teenage boys that abused me. There are 4. I feel that they on some level did not know what they were doing would be so destructive. So what they did was evil but 'they' were not evil.

Forgiveness to me doesn't mean I trust them or that I have forgotten what they did to me or how deeply it hurt me. But as Still said I wish them no harm. (mostly).

The other perps - the adults I have never considered forgiving them. To me they knew that they were abusing me and they had evil intentions. What they did was evil and so were they. But then again I don't know as I mean them any harm.

So I have drawn a line. Right or wrong. To me forgiveness is reliant on the motivation behind the abuse. This is not based on anything in particular - just my feelings.

As far as God goes I believe ALL sin is forgivable by him - including CSA.

My two cents.

More than meets the eye!

#430075 - 04/04/13 02:51 PM Re: Forgiveness Revisited *Possible Trigger* [Re: Jude]
Magellan Offline

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 1598
Loc: California
Hi Jude,

Forgive me if I don't remember this correctly, but I remember you identifying yourself as a Christian?

The most significant teaching about forgiveness for me came from an insight I had with the line Jesus uttered from the cross as he was dying. "Forgive them father, for they know not what they do."

If people were truly aware of the impact of their behavior on another person, and the consequences of that behavior on another person's life, and had the empathy to feel those feelings properly, they would probably think twice before doing it. I think that most 'evil' is done out of fear, out of shame, and out of total and complete ignorance. Hence the wisdom "forgive them .. for they know not what they do."

So to answer your question, while we may identify certain things as absolute evil, there may be more to our understanding of that 'evil' than meets our eye, and hence, why forgiveness is recommended.


Originally Posted By: Jude
Hey guys,

I appreciate all your replies. But no one has really addressed my question which was
Originally Posted By: Jude
is there an evil so great that its unforgivable? Where do you draw the line?
I'm trying to understand whether what was done to me is forgivable, and if so, is ALL CSA forgivable? Is there anything too evil to be forgiven? Thats where I am.


#430078 - 04/04/13 03:14 PM Re: Forgiveness Revisited *Possible Trigger* [Re: Jude]
ThisMan Offline

Registered: 01/23/13
Posts: 778
Loc: upper south
Jude- I also am a very forgiving person. But I have recently discovered by trying to find resolution, is that maybe there are degrees of forgiveness.

Do we use it to excuse someone's rudeness... as in... oh, they didn't mean to say that, so I forgive them. Or, they didn't intend to slight me, so I/we forgive them. I wonder the same thing as you, is there an evil so great as to void forgiveness?

A very personal example of forgiveness ... my spouse died of brain cancer. Her behavior became unbearable. She became for a short period in time dangerous and erratic with thoughts and behavior. I was the recipient of that behavior- even temporarily fearing for my life. I forgave her because I knew she was not responsible for her actions. And I loved her so dearly. Even though I forgive what the illness created, the scars still remain. But I almost instantly forgave with each episode.

Do I forgive the perps of the CSA? The older I become, the more convinced I become that I do not. Thought I had. I think it is simply unacceptable behavior without cause or reason that moves so deep into the soul of the child (me), that if it is forgivable, it is God's to forgive. I simply can't do it anymore. Do I forgive the perp of the ASA- I don't think so. The hurt is located somewhere down with the CSA. For me, right now at this point in time, I feel the pain of sorting out and trying to forgive the perps outweighs the act of forgiveness.

Maybe an element in the forgiveness equation is determined by the amount of love and caring you have for the perp. Something to think about.

So, yes, I think there are things so evil that forgiveness cannot be given by man. Or at least this man, and it becomes perhaps God's forgiveness to give. And just to clarify, I am not bitter. Beginning to acknowledge how angry I am, but not bitter.

But is there a difference between forgiveness and just finding peace with a situation? thoughts... b
For now we see through a glass, darkly.

#430079 - 04/04/13 03:17 PM Re: Forgiveness Revisited *Possible Trigger* [Re: Jude]
unhappycamper Offline

Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 756
Loc: VA
Based on my experience, the only reason I can imagine for a CSA survivor to "forgive" a perp would be to try to establish or re-establish a normal personal relationship with the perp, whether that relationship is close or distant. "Forgiveness" is an interpersonal relationship that doesn't exist unless established between them. Some survivors of intra-family abuse might find, or imagine, that to be helpful to their recovery, depending on the facts and the personalities involved.

In contrast, I had no relationship to the perp other than the sexual assault and attempted murder. While I need to resolve my own emotions toward the perp in a way that allows me to move forward, this is an internal emotional process that has nothing to do with the concept of "forgiveness."


p.s.: Another bit of terminology I dislike is the phrase "my perp."

#430081 - 04/04/13 03:47 PM Re: Forgiveness Revisited *Possible Trigger* [Re: Jude]
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 929
Originally Posted By: unhappycamper
Another bit of terminology I dislike is the phrase "my perp."

Oh thank you, I thought I was the only one who hated that turn of phrase. I've been boycotting it after a fashion. I do not "have" a perp, an abuser, a rapist, they are not "mine", in the sense that I "have" a daughter and an insurance broker and a dentist who are "mine" - who are involved relationally with my life. Making a violent criminal "yours" adds intimacy to which they have no right. Before all this, when I got bullied, mugged, and robbed, it never would have occurred to me to characterize them as "my" bullies and mugger, and I don't recall ever hearing someone else talk about "my" mugger or tire-slasher or bank-account scammer either.

Better to distance and neuter them from normal human relations: THE assailant, THE abuser, are perfectly clear in context. And if its the first sentence, I'll go to the trouble of spelling out "the man who abused me." Makes plain the directionality and responsibility while restoring proper distance.

YMMV of course, and sorry for the digression.

My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

#430294 - 04/06/13 03:33 AM Re: Forgiveness Revisited *Possible Trigger* [Re: Jude]
focusedbody Offline

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 542
Loc: NY

If there were an evil so big that it was not forgivable, I personally would have trouble believing in the possibility of healing.

That being said, I don't think that for any one person it is possible to forgive all of the terrible things that people can do to each other. That is of course why Christianity has been such a powerful force for good in the world. It is a religion which allows for a faith in something that will sometimes do what we cannot do.

Some of my steps in recovery take me closer to unthinkable events. My brother and I were like twins growing up. As I watch my own two children grow, I sometimes recall sensations of great fear that must have come from him at the time of his abuse. I was probably 7, but I'm not exactly sure. The shock of what happened to him reverberated in me. Before I get to contemplating the entire picture of what was done to him by a stranger, I must first forgive my brother for how he took out his pain on me. Although I approach this process in the spirit of forgiveness, I'm aware of how slow the actual forgiving goes.

In preparation for taking these steps, I had to do a little forgiving of my therapist today. In the middle of some very good work, he made a small but retraumatizing mistake. I don't know his personal history, but I felt the need to draw on my strength to remember how hard all this is. In that way forgiving is helping me continue to find a strength that I have not always exercised. I am now beginning to see how I may have been kept in the dark about my ability to reach out to others. It feels like a wall of shame as large as the world itself has kept me in silence. Perhaps it is a leap of faith, but in some way each smaller act of forgiveness contains a brave attempt in remembering how human we are.

I think forgiveness is ultimately an act of courage taken at the level we are able. Perhaps this where love and fear collide in something divine, but that is up to someone else to conclude.

I hope you will find some peace here.
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

#430299 - 04/06/13 04:13 AM Re: Forgiveness Revisited *Possible Trigger* [Re: Jude]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
*****Dark Stuff Warning*****

Originally Posted By: Jude
is there an evil so great that its unforgivable? Where do you draw the line?

Not yielding to a begging child...when he's begging for mercy and the monster is a clear-headed adult: That indicates an evil SO great that the child need never forgive the monster and the monster ought to die. Things punishable by death are pretty much unforgivable after the button gets pushed.

Forcing a child do endure and endure and endure the un-endurable: That equals a evil SO great that the monster ought to die and need never, ever be forgiven. Because that un-endurable thing was truly truly truly un-endurable...without question.

If these things are forgivable by social standards, pedos would not assume room temperature in prison. The Bible would not call-out crimes against children as having extra doom in the forecast. People would not fist-pump and cheer when a parent delivers due justice.

If you feel social pressure to forgive, that's because society can't handle this shit.

Any church, therapist or bartender who claims "you gotta forgive and forget" ought to experience prison rape first and THEN speak.

I hear that no matter how much you beg, reason, beg, plea, and beg in prison, you are going to be forced to endure the un-endurable. So yeah...any adult who thinks they can pontificate your requisite forgiveness of a perp ought to spend 7 long with monsters.

is ALL CSA forgivable?

Edited by Still (04/06/13 04:14 AM)

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