Forgiving is a choice

One of the huge misconceptions that I had after leaving my home in the cult was that I had to forgive the wrong that was done. I tried this. Honestly, I did. No matter how hard I tried to forgive though, part of me couldn’t go there. For me, saying I forgave someone was saying that I was okay with what they had put me through. And I was not okay with it. Nor will I ever be. 

I do not consider myself to be a bitter person out for any type of revenge. My friends would tell you the same. I am not that type of person. However, there are just some things that I refuse to “get over.” 

When I was bullied at school, I was told to forgive them. When I was molested and raped, I was told to forgive that too. When my mom was killed in a motorcycle accident, I was told to forgive the man that killed her. Outwardly I did forgive all those things. I told those people who had taken away my rights or had abused me in life that I forgave them. Actually one of the first things that I did after leaving the cult was write a letter to my dad saying I forgave him for mistreating me. Deep down, I hadn’t and still have yet to fully forgive. 

Deep inside I fought a battle that no one saw. I began to think that I didn’t matter and that led to self hatred. The more I forgave the more I hurt. It was as if I was giving those people who had wronged me permission to do so again and I hated myself for that. I wish that I could have stepped up and said ” No I won’t forgive that.” I lost all sense of my rights. In fact, I didn’t even really know that I had them anymore. I was told that the way people treated me was completely normal and I had to forgive them or god would be disappointed. In the end, my rights belonged to some god that didn’t give a fuck about me. 

So, no. I have have not really forgiven what those people did and that is okay. I don’t think there is anything wrong with not forgiving someone who has taken away your rights or has done harm to you. Forgiveness is a choice not a requirement. It doesn’t heal the wounds. It doesn’t make things right. The problem is still there. At the end of the day, you are the one that has to live with what that other person did to you, so it is your choice what to do with that. If forgiveness works for you then do that. If it doesn’t help and you don’t want to forgive, then don’t do it. What is important is you and that you heal in a way that works for you. 




3 thoughts on “Forgiving is a choice

  1. Charity says:

    I think in our American culture we puff up forgiveness way too much. So often when someone tells us to forgive a wrong I can’t help but think that they’re saying “be a good little bitch and do what you’re told”.

      • Charity says:

        No argument there! Being the oldest of seven daughters and raised by abusive Pentecostal parents, I know this all too well. Now that I’m an atheist my dad has outed me to my entire family (and their families) and has told them that I need deliverance because of my non belief.

        Debby, I’m sorry about your family’s views of homosexuality. I know that affects you personally. I never liked tolerance, I believe in acceptance. It’s a shame for parents to be so judgmental that they just can’t sit back and enjoy their children for who they really are.

        I hope you have a wonderful week!

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