I’m not sure how to begin this post. I’ve debated on whether to write this, sweep it under the rug, or dive full force into the topic of forgiveness/regret. For us, forgiveness is a four letter word and we rage against people that think you have to forgive to heal.
So yesterday we came face to face with the topic of forgiveness. In our daily meditation book, the topic was forgiveness. Ron Palmer is quoted as saying, “Forgiveness or regret are the only choices we have.” It closes with the affirmation, “Forgiveness unties the knot that binds me to resentment and regret.”
First of all, forgiveness is not an either/or choice that people have to make. How the hell can you forgive someone who ruined your life, who abused you as a little girl, who left you with a legacy of hurt, pain, tears, dissociation, ect…? Forgiveness is not a choice and that doesn’t mean the only other choice I have is regret, although I sure as hell regret my childhood. I regret the bitch of a mother that didn’t protect me from the perps. I regret being different my whole childhood into my adolescence. I regret being different now, not always knowing conversations that have taken place, or whether I paid a bill or not, or what I did five minutes ago. Those are regrets I have, but there is no way on earth that forgiving the people that stole my innocence is going to to make that go away. If I chose to forgive, I would still dissociate, I would still have an eating disorder, I would still be f*ck*ng crazy.
Regret doesn’t have to be a by-product of not forgiving. Working hard at therapy, sharing my story, opening myself up to friendships, treating myself well, not perpetuating the abuse by hurting myself, these are things that will heal me and regret is not in there anywhere. I can be whole without forgiveness and regret doesn’t occupy any place in my journey of healing.
I’m not destined to a life of regret, or ruined self-esteem, or anger, or sadness.
I am not prolonging my injuries and wounds by not forgiving my perpetrators.
They don’t deserve the time of day. I’m not going to spend my precious life and time forgiving the sins of others who ruined me for good.
Hell yes, I’m angry. But forgiveness won’t change that. It won’t usher in a peacefulness and soak up all the atrocities committed against us.
As far at the affirmation goes, forgiveness doesn’t untie anything. I will always resent being abused; I will always resent being dissociative; Mostly, I willl always resent the insuation that if we don’t forgive we will have a life of misery and regrets.