How do I learn to forgive my mother for staying with the man that ruined my life?
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07-12-2015, 11:20 PM
RE: How do I learn to forgive my mother for staying with the man that ruined my life?
(07-12-2015 11:12 PM)xastrogasmx Wrote:  
(07-12-2015 08:10 PM)jennybee Wrote:  Hug I'm so sorry you went through all of that. I'm also glad to hear you are out of that situation.

You don't need to forgive anyone if you don't want to--especially when they are continuing to hurt you. If someone was continuing to be an enabler, I personally don't think I would forgive them. If your step father tries to hug you, I would just tell him you would appreciate it if he doesn't hug you. And if he asks why--I would just simply say "You know why" and then change the subject. If it wasn't for your brother, I would tell you to completely limit contact with them--but I understand why you would still want to see your little brother and therefore limiting contact is not really an option. If your stepfather hits you again, file charges with the police department.

Unfortunately, we don't get to choose our families, but we can choose our friends and our significant others. I would focus on building that network of support and also possibly talk to a therapist to help you process everything that happened.

Everyone is telling me I need to forgive because it's going to provide me some type of peace, not that I'm not peaceful but for awhile I was having bad dreams and anxiety over it. I could barely sleep. I wouldn't even know how to forgive.

You don't have to do what everyone says--you should do what feels right to you. Whatever feels right to you is what will bring you the most peace.
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07-12-2015, 11:48 PM
RE: How do I learn to forgive my mother for staying with the man that ruined my life?
(07-12-2015 11:18 PM)xastrogasmx Wrote:  I guess I'm just really afraid that by going to the cops it will backfire on me.

You are the victim. You are not responsible. Perhaps think that others may also be in danger.

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08-12-2015, 12:33 AM
RE: How do I learn to forgive my mother for staying with the man that ruined my life?
At the very least you should get some counseling. Sometimes it not that you should forgive someone but that you should talk about it in depth with a professional.

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08-12-2015, 12:42 AM
RE: How do I learn to forgive my mother for staying with the man that ruined my life?
Xastrogasmx - isn't your relationship with your Mum already strained? If you let this continue it will only become more so.

It's very hard to go to the police. I'll bet you think "Well it's all over, it's in the past, I can forget it now. I just have to avoid him when he's around."

He's still abusive towards you and has dominance over you. Your fear of the consequences only protects him. He does not deserve that protection. Tell the police. As you say, you're scared even for the kid - let it be *known* that this guy is a sex offender. These guys literally get away with murder because the victims keep silent out of shame and fear. Be brave. Report him.

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08-12-2015, 04:57 AM
RE: How do I learn to forgive my mother for staying with the man that ruined my life?
Forgiving isn't about the other person. It isn't about absolving them of their sins. It isn't about saying that what they did is ok. That's the damn religious idea of forgiveness. God (or you) forgives the sins and the sinner gets to frolic happily ever after. It's not at all like that.

Forgiving is ridding yourself of the burden of injury and hate. Forgiving is refusing to let the culprit win by taking over your thoughts and your life. Forgiving is finding your freedom again.

I was also sexually abused as a child for years. I hated the son of a bitch. For a long time it consumed my life, my attitude, my emotions.

It took me decades to realize that I was hurting myself worse than he ever did. That he still held the power over me. My hatred of him shaped me, influenced my thoughts and daily life.

So he was a fucked up, nasty son of a bitch. So he hurt me badly, back then. But why do I continue to let it hurt me for years and years? Why do I keep that feeling alive? Because that is what happens when you can't find a way to forgive. It isn't over until you declare it over. You are the only one who holds that power, he has long lost his power over you. And only you can close that chapter of your life and get on with it.

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08-12-2015, 07:18 AM
RE: How do I learn to forgive my mother for staying with the man that ruined my life?
I don't think there's any necessity to forgive your mother. No one has the right to tell you how to feel or how to process your emotions. If you find your anger and pain are getting in the way of living your life fully, you can get therapy to help let go. Let go does not equal forgiveness or giving your mom a pass for her inexcusable actions.

IMO the best way to handle this kind of situation is to take some control over it in the real world as well as inside your head. That is, it is perfectly appropriate for you to keep your stepfather out of your life. You should never have to be in the same room with him, ever. You could tell your mom that you will only see her and your brother alone and without your stepfather present, and that this is your condition for refusing to press assault and abuse charges against your stepfather. If she tries to renege: go to the police.

If your mother at some point demands forgiveness, you can consider it--after getting a full, written apology from her detailing the damage she caused you.
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08-12-2015, 07:57 AM
RE: How do I learn to forgive my mother for staying with the man that ruined my life?
(08-12-2015 07:18 AM)julep Wrote:  Let go does not equal forgiveness or giving your mom a pass for her inexcusable actions.

Letting go unfortunately does require forgiveness, however, not the religious concept of forgiveness which would give an excuse for inexcusable actions.

That is not what forgiveness is about - it is not at all about the person who harmed you gaining acceptance. It is about the actions of the person who harmed you losing importance.

Forgiveness is NOT the religious concept that comes to people's minds. It absolves no one of anything. All it does is remove the importance of their actions in your life.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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08-12-2015, 08:09 AM
RE: How do I learn to forgive my mother for staying with the man that ruined my life?
(08-12-2015 07:57 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(08-12-2015 07:18 AM)julep Wrote:  Let go does not equal forgiveness or giving your mom a pass for her inexcusable actions.

Letting go unfortunately does require forgiveness, however, not the religious concept of forgiveness which would give an excuse for inexcusable actions.

That is not what forgiveness is about - it is not at all about the person who harmed you gaining acceptance. It is about the actions of the person who harmed you losing importance.

Forgiveness is NOT the religious concept that comes to people's minds. It absolves no one of anything. All it does is remove the importance of their actions in your life.

It's true that one of the definitions of "forgiveness" is to cease to feel resentment for an offense. And I agree that a good long-term goal is to have that happen.

The impression that I get from the OP's post is that the kind of forgiveness being urged on her is more of the absolution type--she seems to be being asked to continue a toxic, unbalanced relationship with her mother and stepfather without their having admitted any wrongdoing or making any changes in the way they relate to her--to me, that's absolution, and a kind of absolution that makes the desirable kind of forgiveness you're talking about almost impossible.

I also believe that the anger/pain, while not good in the long term, can be energy sources that can fuel positive necessary change…and also that it takes a long time to work through those negative emotions and that's not always something that's possible to be rushed.

It's kind of like grieving over a loved one's death, in a way: you know you won't feel sad and devastated forever, but it takes time to get there.
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08-12-2015, 08:20 AM
RE: How do I learn to forgive my mother for staying with the man that ruined my life?
(07-12-2015 11:12 PM)xastrogasmx Wrote:  
(07-12-2015 08:10 PM)jennybee Wrote:  Hug I'm so sorry you went through all of that. I'm also glad to hear you are out of that situation.

You don't need to forgive anyone if you don't want to--especially when they are continuing to hurt you. If someone was continuing to be an enabler, I personally don't think I would forgive them. If your step father tries to hug you, I would just tell him you would appreciate it if he doesn't hug you. And if he asks why--I would just simply say "You know why" and then change the subject. If it wasn't for your brother, I would tell you to completely limit contact with them--but I understand why you would still want to see your little brother and therefore limiting contact is not really an option. If your stepfather hits you again, file charges with the police department.

Unfortunately, we don't get to choose our families, but we can choose our friends and our significant others. I would focus on building that network of support and also possibly talk to a therapist to help you process everything that happened.

Everyone is telling me I need to forgive because it's going to provide me some type of peace, not that I'm not peaceful but for awhile I was having bad dreams and anxiety over it. I could barely sleep. I wouldn't even know how to forgive.

Why do you need to forgive? So you will get into Heaven? Worry not about forgiveness, she does not deserve it.
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08-12-2015, 09:00 AM
RE: How do I learn to forgive my mother for staying with the man that ruined my life?
(08-12-2015 08:09 AM)julep Wrote:  It's kind of like grieving over a loved one's death, in a way: you know you won't feel sad and devastated forever, but it takes time to get there.

It is sort of like that. However, looking at my own experience with sexual abuse as well as grieving my husband of 30 years, they are different in some important points.

Both start out as something that is beyond your control, your rational mind may tell you one thing but it is impossible to implement until you have "digested" what happened. Like it or not, you will go through a set of emotions such as denial, sadness, assigning of blame, anger and so on. And even after the process is finished, both will leave permanent wounds, wounds that do not heal. Ever. Yes, people will look to be functioning normally. But inside, it is permanently eating away at them. These are the wounds that differ.

In grief, the assigning of blame will lose importance over time. In child abuse, it will not. The blame brings hatred with it - hatred of self, hatred of the rapist, hatred of possible collaborators and/or those who neglected to come to your aid.

Many abused people never get over this, and it colors how you see yourself, others and the world. And you don't realize just how much it ruins your life until you get rid of it.

Forgiveness in the religious sense is nonsense. I don't even think it is possible. Forgiveness one benefits from is more like a dismissal. It's like saying ok, you are fucked up and you fucked me up, too. You are going to stay fucked up unless you do something about it, and I will stay fucked up unless I do something about it. Neither one of us is going to fix the other. So you can go and crawl into a hole if you want, but I am going to refuse to let you influence my life any further. What you did doesn't matter anymore, what I do now is what matters.

Doesn't sound like the religious concept of forgiveness, does it? I think dismissal is a much better word for it.

Having said all that, I think you should move out and sever contact until you feel you have been able to dismiss the whole thing. Your own life comes first. If you don't put yourself first, who will? Obviously not your parents.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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