There has been a lot of talk about “Forgiveness” lately. A few readers have voiced concern that I am not forgiving my ex and therefore will never find healing or true happiness. It was said yesterday that by not forgiving my ex he wins. First of all I really don’t believe anyone ever “wins” in a battle with the narcissist because they never lose. Not in their mind anyway, I learned a long time ago that this is not about winning or losing to my ex; it is about me recovering and going on to live a full happy life. IF I were to make my decisions based on whether the N would win or lose I would be frozen in place because he will twist whatever I do into a win for him. What I do really doesn’t matter to my ex. I was bending over backwards to please him and he was on a crusade to destroy me, I was happy, sad, angry, suicidal, totally lacking in self confidence and confident, I begged, I ignored, I blocked and have had no contact and he won every time (in his mind) In his mind if I don’t talk to him it is because I am so hurt and I am lacking because I am not a forgiving enough person to be his friend, I am bitter, selfish, and stuck in self pity. When the truth is I don’t like him, he is toxic and I don’t want to talk to him. Does that make me unforgiving or smart?
He gets an ego boost because he knows I am talking about him here. He gets more than an ego boost, he also gets to blame me for being a vindictive bitch and it helps him turn people against me because they think “Why doesn’t she get on with her life.” because they view it from his angle, I am angry and slagging him. They totally miss the obvious facts that there was no identifying info in my blog that would bring anyone looking for info on my ex to my blog; it can not be revenge and slander if I don’t reveal who I am talking about. It is talking about my life and my experiences in hope of saving others from the same fate. Plus he is going to think he is so powerful he caused me such damage that I am still talking about it 4 years later.
He would not see it from the side I do. I see it as taking the worst thing that ever happened to me and making it the most positive thing I have ever had happen. I see it as an opportunity for great personal growth and self awareness. I always refer to myself as a survivor not a victim. I always tell people they “were” victims, it is their choice to remain a victim or become a survivor. That the N does not define who we are and we need to dig deep and in the process of putting ourselves back together keep the parts we want to keep and toss the stuff we should never have packed to begin with. It is not easy but it is immensely rewarding. My ex will never appreciate that or understand it.
I have said it before in here many times, the most influential person in my life is the WOSPOS, I credit him with bringing the most positive changes into my life and because of my experiences with him I am a better person. The experience forced me to do an honest inventory of who I am and who I want to be. I don’t think that journey would have been possible without the N tearing me down to nothing. So he was the catalyst to bringing me here, to a place of inner peace and serenity that I never thought possible but I hate to give him credit because he will tell people he led me to spirituality and it will be one more tool in his arsenal of weapons he uses to manipulate people.
But it is too late to worry about that, I have said it, he has read it and I don’t really care what he think or says. If he wants to get an ego boost out of that so be it. Many times in here I have talked about how the abuse will always affect me to some degree, it is part of me now but that doesn’t mean it has to be a negative thing. The experience has given me heightened empathy and understanding and that has brought wonderful experiences into my life. Sure my life was much lighter and carefree prior to my ex but it had less meaning and purpose.
I think it is very common with people who have had near death experiences to feel at peace with life afterward and to want to talk about their experience, to share with people what they learned from the experience and that is kinda the way I feel, like I had a near death experience. I always worried I would live out my life and never figure out my purpose for being here, I have always felt driven to leave this world a better place for me being here. I have been given that chance, I know my purpose and every thing I went through was worth it because it brought me here.
I am not gripped by anger, hatred, vengefulness, or bitterness because I am the happiest I have ever been at a time when my life is at the lowest it has ever been (financially, by all outward appearances) Everyday I am amazed and grateful to wake up, look out my window and absorb the beauty that surrounds me. I am so thankful for every day, I stop every single day and thank God for this beautiful world I live in, for my son, my puppy, the nature that surrounds me and that my suicide attempt failed. I don’t think that sounds like an unforgiving bitter person who is hanging onto her pain or blaming anyone.
The mechanic at Ccon who ended up hurting me by lying, I was angry at first but hey, he has dropped by and we have visited I forgave him long ago.
My dad, I didn’t talk to him for 18 years but I never felt bitterness towards him, I didn’t ever say, “I forgive you” but you know what? he didn’t want my forgiveness, he would have been angered by my forgiveness because he thought he never did anything wrong and he did not need my forgiveness. I stopped talking to him because it was toxic for me, I felt hypocritical and found that any contact with him had adverse affects on me mentally and it was not worth it to me to put myself through that. I didn’t expect any one else in the family to jump on my bandwagon and I told them all it was my own choice for my emotional health. No one could understand that and when I heard that my dad might need a bone marrow transplant I told my brother I would get tested. He was shocked, why would I do that? Because he was my dad, I didn’t wish him ill or to die. I had good memories about times with him, I just could not deal with having him in my life, it was too distressing for me. All the other kids in the family would sit and bad mouth my dad behind his back, I just decided I didn’t want to be two faced. I have never regretted my decision, even when he died, everyone thought I would suffer a lot of guilt because I hadn’t seen him for so many years, they wondered how I could write such a loving obit and yet not talk to him in that many years. I wrote my dad a letter a few years ago when I heard he might be dying, I did not forgive him or ask for his forgiveness, I wrote him the truth. He had been a great dad when I was really young, I wrote about the good memories I had, the things he taught me that I use to this day. It was not written in an attempt to reconnect on a deeper level. I was giving him what he deserved, recognition for all the good he did with no mention of the stuff he did that hurt me and my mom. I think that is forgiveness and acceptance.
I didn’t suffer any guilt or remorse because I was confident in my decision and my life was better without my dad in it.
My brother did some horrible things to hurt me, I have never told him I forgive him, I don’t know if he even remembers doing some of them but I show my forgiveness with my actions and in my heart.
I forgive my mom for things she did that were very hurtful but I also have thanked her for trying to understand and I understand she was acting from her experience and doing what she thought was right at the time, and what she was capable of. Some people just do not view or feel like I do. I am 1% of the population, I can not realistically expect everyone to act the way I wish they would I accept that.
I do not have a religion, I do not attend a church at this time and to be honest I have not spent a lot of time in churches. My faith has at times been nonexistent or maybe more accurately, not thought about. At times my faith has been very strong. Today this is where I am at:
I have seen miracles happen in my life and those miracles served to strengthen my belief to the point that it was the only thing that sustained me during some very trying times with my ex. I really believed in prayer and it worked for me many many times and I had undeniably miraculous things happen in my life. I was baptised in English Bay with my son by my side in 2005 because of the miracles I witnessed. When the wospos and I got back together the last time and I was facing having to lose my trailer and move I prayed for a very specific home and when my ex told me of a deal he had heard of and it matched my prayer to the T, I had no doubt that I should move to Sask. I hadn’t wanted to move to Sask but I had not specified “where” I wanted this home to be and if God wanted me to move to Sask I was prepared to do it. I was excited to see what God’s plan was for me. When it became apparent that the answer to my prayer was orchestrated by my ex in order to make me dependent on him my faith was damaged severely. As time went on and more of my ex’s manipulation came to light, things that I had believed for years were miracles turned out to be elaborate orchestrations by my ex.
His mother who I believed to be the most Christian honest person in the world and who I relied on to be honest lied to my face and that hurt deeply. That she allowed me to go back to my ex, give up everything for him and move 1/2 way across the country when she was emailing the woman in Africa who he was telling he was going to marry and bring back to Canada was beyond hurtful. When i found out the truth i flashed back to when we stopped to visit her on our way to Sask and she couldn’t look me in the eye. I could sense she was very uncomfortable in my company and I was confused and thought it was something I had done. I didn’t know what her problem was. When I found the email from my ex to the woman in Africa telling her how much his mom enjoyed her emails it was like a knife in my heart. I confronted him on it and he said they just talked scriptures but you can’t tell me that a woman living in Uganda gets engaged to a man in Canada and believes he is going to bring her to Canada isn’t talking to his mother about her excitement. I had to do a lot of soul searching, my new knowledge explained why she was the way she was when I was there and I forgave her because she was ill prepared to deal with my ex. She wanted to be loyal to her son, I am sure she was praying the whole time. She does know I know and there is no point in me contacting an 80+ yr old woman now and bringing it up. It is the past.
After the extreme abuse by my ex for two years my faith was gone. I had no belief in anything. I didn’t believe in God, Karma or justice of any kind. How does someone destroy a person; take away their hope.
In the process of rebuilding my life I had to rebuild myself and a large part of what makes a person them is their spirituality. I am still working on that and I am somewhere in between the blind faith i once had and no faith and that is about all I want to say about that. Religion is a very personal thing and a very sensitive topic and to be honest I do not have enough knowledge to argue the point intelligently so I leave it alone for now. I am always willing to learn and explore different beliefs. Right now I will tackle the main points brought up by commenters. Please know that I respect everyone’s individual right to believe whatever they choose and because something works for one person does not mean it will work for someone else.
When a person has a blog they are leaving themselves open to the criticisms of the whole world, they have to be realistic and know that there is always going to be people who think you aren’t doing “it’ right. I really try to avoid using words like “should” when people ask for advice because I do not feel anyone has the right to tell someone what they should do because even if you have been through something similar everyone is different.
I find it interesting that some people didn’t think I was angry enough and others that were shocked that I still loved my ex for a long time, now there are those that feel I should be forgiving but for all the different opinions about what I should be doing I have managed to get through the darkest time of my life to the most at peace point in my life. How a person gets there is irrelevant, as long as you get there.
This is what Oprah had to say about forgiveness and I think if you go back over my posts from the beginning you will see the progression I have made from angry and bitter to acceptance and yes forgiveness. I don’t say I forgive because I don’t think that is what is important. I think a person has forgiven when they accept that it happened and take responsibility for their future happiness and can find the good things in the experience.
I looked up what the Bible actually says: There are many verses on forgiveness so I picked three
Matthew 6:15 (ESV)
15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Here is a story of one man’s forgiveness
His story is not the same as mine. The man who changed his life had the ability to change and did, alcoholism is not a character flaw, it is a mind altering habit that can be changed if a person wants to change. But the man speaking talks about accepting what has happened and appreciating the good things that come out of tragic life altering events. His assailant had a family he loved and who loved him back, his family was paying the price of his actions and the victim chose to reach out to the family because he could see that not only his life had been forever changed so had theirs. They are in contact with the family. They are living what the Bible tells us to do. If your enemy is hungry you feed him, if he is thirsty you give him drink. The literal definition of forgiveness according to the Bible is not possible with a narcissist, not if you ever want to be happy and healthy. A person would be crazy to reach out to a narcissist in forgiveness because they will never appreciate it and only use it to victimize you further.
How can you ever be truly forgiving when you can never again be sure he won’t come up from behind in a surprise attack? You can go on with your life, appreciate your life, find good, not hold a grudge against him but you can never ever regain your innocence nor should you. Your innocence and belief that there was good in all people and we should forgive others because we also are sinners is what got you here to this blog in the first place.