Forgiveness and Child Abuse ~ When Suggesting Forgiveness is Abusive

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forgivenessWhen I was about 17 years old and had escaped the difficulties associated with living under the same roof as my mother, I became friends with a neighbour lady whom I eventually sought mentorship from. (Or perhaps I was actually just looking for someone who would love me and mother me.) She was a nice lady with a couple of children and she seemed to be interested in me. When I grew comfortable enough to tell her about a problem that I had with one of my mothers boyfriends, she told me to pray for him. PRAY FOR HIM! She told me that I needed to forgive him.

I got assaulted and HE got prayer.  I didn’t realize at the time how much she discounted ME by telling me to pray for him. I didn’t notice that she wasn’t interested in what happened to me, or in the difficulty that I was STILL having dealing with what had happened to me but that she skipped right to concern for HIM. I didn’t even realize that the message that I was getting from her was concern for him. I was used to being discounted in that way so it was normal and familiar to me then. Today I see her directive for me to pray for him and forgive him as abusive.

Forgiveness and child abuse is a difficult combination.

I didn’t respond in any way to her suggestion at first. In my minds eye I see myself “thinking” about this suggestion; considering the best way to “go about it”. As always the compliant victim, I stayed quiet. I even agreed to let her HELP me pray for him.

I remember her praying “with” me or “for me” or maybe she prayed “over me” I can’t remember for sure which method she used. She asked God to heal my heart and to show me the way to forgiveness.

I got assaulted and he got forgiveness?

She told me that I needed to forgive my mother for not protecting me and not believing me. She didn’t even listen to the whole story before she was telling me that I had to forgive them. It was invalidating.

There was no comfort for me. There was no understanding for me. There was no permission for me to be afraid or to be in pain. There was no permission for me to talk about what happened or how I felt about it. I was invalidated once again. The abusers, even when I exposed them, were the ones who deserved the attention.

My mother didn’t love me enough to choose ME over HIM but she got prayer and I had to find a way to forgive. I was ‘encouraged’ to try and ‘understand them’.  I had to try to understand the abusers.

I didn’t know how to forgive so as I was directed I prayed for God to show me a way; I prayed that he change MY heart. I prayed that he show me how to love them with HIS love. I was devastated by the events of my childhood and I was trying to find a way to forgive the people who did this damage without even having had the damage VALIDATED. I had never been heard, I had never been protected. The damage was invalidated as I was invalidated.

I did all the things I was told to do but I never quite found the real answer. I still lived in fear. I still felt dirty, disgusting, unlovable and unworthy.

Whenever I tried to re-visit the difficulties of the traumas I had suffered in life, I was advised to pray for the people who caused them and I was instructed to find a way to forgive. I was told that forgiveness was for “me”. That forgiveness would set me free from the pain. But in reality I was not allowed to HAVE the pain. I was not even supposed to talk about it. I was apparently supposed to jump straight to forgiveness.  I was told that forgiveness was the only way to peace and happiness. I felt so much shame that “forgiveness” wasn’t working for me! I felt like I was the only failure in the world because I could not seem to get over the abuse in my past and I didn’t know how to forgive.

Being directed to “pray for them” and being told that “forgiveness is the only way to peace” seems really messed up to me now. There was a crime committed against me and I was told to pray for this person and all others who assisted him in getting away with it and find it in my heart to forgive them. Even the way that sounds in writing seems to indicate that since I was the one that had a problem. I had to forgive. And the message that I got was that I was the one that had done something wrong. And since that message was the same one that I had received all my life, it slipped into my belief system quite easily and comfortably.

If a seventeen year old girl (or boy) came to me today and told me that her mother’s boyfriend or anyone else sexually assaulted her, I would advise her to call the police and report him or I would ask her if she wanted me to call the police or go to the police station with her and report him. That response might scare her, but it would also validate her worth and the fact that a crime had been committed against her. If she didn’t want to report him I would support her through it and make sure that she knew that none of it was her fault.  I would not advise anyone to pray for the perpetrator or perpetrators of the crime. That would be discounting to the victim of that crime. I would not advocate for the abuser. I would not put the abuser ahead of the victim in this way. That would be invalidating and devaluing.

Suggesting that the victim of a child sexual abuse crime (or any other abuse crime whether legally liable or not) consider forgiveness or the salvation of the perpetrator of that crime even before the damage has been validated and even before the victim has permission to feel all the pain and anger is mean. It discounts and devalues the person who was abused. It puts the emphasis in the wrong place. It causes the victim to be stuck in shame and pain. Stuck. 

This is the way that I was always treated in the old dysfunctional relationship system. I could not heal from damage that had never been validated. It wasn’t even that I was always told to forgive. I had also been told that I ‘misunderstood’ his intentions. I was told that I must have done something to cause this to happen. I was told that HE would never hurt me. But he DID hurt me. Why was it always about HIM?

Telling people to forgive as a priority and as the only path to healing also serves as a way to keep the cycle of abuse active instead of breaking the cycle of abuse. No wonder the victims are the ones hiding and crying in the dark, too afraid to admit that they are still broken from the events of years ago and the abusers are out there using their real names and puffing out their chests, continuing to bully lots of other people. In this messed up system, the abusers get prayer, understanding and forgiveness and the victim suffers in (forced) silence!

Victims of child abuse (or any type of abuse) need to be heard before they are instructed to move on or find a way to forgive the perpetrator of the damage caused to them. People need to be validated and assured that what happened to them was WRONG and that they didn’t deserve it. They need to be told that it was not their fault and that the perpetrator of that abuse is the guilty party and that person is the one who is accountable.

Until I finally saw the truth about my childhood and the trauma that I suffered, I was stuck in the prison of living as an invalid person.  It was in finally being heard and being validated in my pain and my right to be angry at the injustice done to me that set me free to live.

All things healthy grew from this initial validation.  I was able to heal from the pain, hurt, anger and resentment when I finally gave myself permission to justify having those feelings in the first place.  It was only then that I was able to let go and eventually put it behind me.

Please share your thoughts on the subject of forgiveness and prayer for the perpetrator of child abuse or (any other abuse) verses validating the victim of that abuse and encouraging/validating emotions, fears and the anger they have at the injustice that has been done and don’t forget to put yourself and the pain your have experienced into this thought process.  

Welcome to Emerging from Broken where Exposing Truth is the beginning of truly living;

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken bookThe Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing” is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

Related Posts ~ see the highlighted links within the post in bold letters

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“Adult victims of Child Abuse still need to be heard” 

128 response to "Forgiveness and Child Abuse ~ When Suggesting Forgiveness is Abusive"

  1. By: Stanley Posted: 1st October

    Holly, I feel you are right on target. As a Christian I too was been told countless times to forgive my abusers and then be silent and get on with my life. I can’t do that as long as the huge amount of pain persists. I have no doubt that some day I will forgive them as well as the rest of my family for abandoning me. I hope and pray that God understands this and will continue to hold me in his loving arms! You are not alone! ~Stanley

  2. By: Holly from 300 Pounds Down Posted: 29th September

    Wow. You are speaking right from the heart. Thank you so much. As a Christian, I struggle with this because I am being told by other Christians that if I continue to speak about the abuse it means I have not forgiven. Since when does forgiveness equal silence. I don’t think that identifying the abuser and demanding justice on earth precludes you from working on forgiveness. I can do both, can’t I?? According to many people, being vocal about the abuse means I am not ‘walking’ in forgiveness. However I often think that the people who want you to be silenced may be the very ones doing the abusing. Wouldn’t it be convenient for them if we all kept quiet? That is where their power lies. That is how they kept us in that condition for so long. There are others though who believe a true Christian only projects that they are happy and positive all the time. I was even told that as a Christian I am held to a higher moral standard and if I openly discuss my struggle with forgiveness then I have dropped the ball as a Christian. I simply don’t understand where we went astray in Christian culture that some Christians actually think they are supposed to be held to a higher moral standard. To be “good” or “better” than all of society. Last I checked the whole point of Jesus was being none of us are able to be ‘super moral’ or “super good’. We are human and we struggle. I’m not trying to be better than anyone us and I’m also not trying to judge. I am working on forgiveness and I will continue to b/c I do believe it is important for healing. Yet it does not have anything to do with my rights as a victim to no longer be silenced. Jesus Himself is clear on who condemned Him. He said “Father forgive them” but He never was silent as to who was condemning Him either.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 29th September

      Hi Holly
      Very good points! Forgiveness has nothing to do with silence and you are so right that silence is always demanded by the abusers OR by the ones justifying the silence they too live in, patting themselves on the back because they are such good people for suffering in silence?? It’s crazy! And the abuse can go on from one generation to the next in that system which is exactly what the abuser wants. It is so convenient (to the abuser) if the abuse is never exposed ~ but it is wrong. There is far too little about the actually message in the bible that is NOT preached because it gives people too much equality and most of the world lives in the pecking order system believing that the one with the most power wins and that love is when someone submits to you. ugg.
      Glad you are here, love your comments, thanks for sharing
      Hugs, Darlene

  3. By: joy Posted: 25th September

    Hi Mimi.thanks for validating my thouhgts;) being raised so “religiously” I have had to really go way back and undo all I had learned before I can begin to realize that it’s not right that I had to keep silent or that i was scared into silence or made to feel guilty by siblings and relatives for finally coming out about what happened…I actually got brave enough to defend myself on the phone against my mom and then by email and then my message so .. I feel like this year i have come a long way .. though I Have so much further to go.

    Hugs and love,.

    Joy

  4. By: Mimi Posted: 25th September

    Hi Sincerely,
    You wrote, “they want to get vengeance even on those who don’t deserve it due to holding on to their anger too long.”

    I would like to ask, in your opinion, how long is too long, and who sets that standard?

    I can say I’ve struggled with anger at times in my life and sometimes it was nearly uncontrollable. I have had misdirected anger, at people or situations that didn’t really deserve that reaction, or at least to a lesser degree.

    My point is, that underlying anger just lingered there quiet and resting, until someone hurt me. Then, I would be infuriated. Through the processing of all that was done/said to me growing up, I have FINALLY realized that the anger deep inside had a source and a reason. It’s very frustrating to go through life not knowing why you’re angrier than other people. AND. to have it used against you by abusive people.

    I don’t want anger to be my legacy. I am ashamed of it most the time, and I still struggle to know what healthy anger looks like. I can tell you this for sure, if I hadn’t ever dug in and processed what I went through at a young age, I wouldn’t have EVER let go of that anger. I feel as though it is finally (at age 44) starting to dissipate, and I’ve been working on TRUE healing for approx 18 months.

    What I wish to convey is that people who are angry (in the way I was) I believe, have deep injuries that have never been addressed, resolved, acknowledged, or validated in any way. I wish for you to understand that when I came here, I had no one else. My family was crumbling before my eyes. My marriage was in danger. I trusted no one.

    If you are a person who can skate through life having been damaged for years as a child and adult, then withstand the crumbling of your FOO, and an affair at the hands of your husband, and never get angry, Kudos to you. Having said that, you’re on the wrong blog if this is the case.

    Best Regards,
    Mimi

  5. By: sincerely Posted: 25th September

    Yes, it’s wrong. And validation is good but some want a lifetime of holding on to validation and anger so they can justify hurting others and that’s where I draw the line between the reasoning. I have tried to help witth validation for friends only to find myself being verbally abused by the victim of abuse causing me to question who the actual abuser really was. If every time I attempt to mention the possibility of forgiveness and the victim holds vengeance for me just mentioning it, it leads me to believe maybe they don’t just want validation, they want to get vengeance even on those who don’t deserve it due to holding on to their anger too long. This is why I believe God says vengeance is his. Don’t hold onto it. We aren’t capable of dealing with it appropriately. If I don’t sound validating because I mention forgiveness I don’t believe I should now be put in a category by someone of deserving their wrath. If their anger is this high they do need more help but I question how much validation they should have. To take matters in their own hands isn’t wise when that much anger has built up. A person doesn’t need to allow abuse to forgive. But they also don’t need to blow up at the mention of the word forgive. Sure they can sayI’m not ready or willing but some I speak of do much more such as saying they hate me now too or I should suffer for mentioning forgiveness. That much anger needs resolved by some type of forgiveness.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th September

      “Sincerely”
      Please read the comments I left you on the other post that you commented on earlier.
      Although I think I understand what you are saying, I think you missing the point of these posts. Why do you have to mention forgiveness as a solution in the first place? that is what people find so invalidating and triggering. That is what we are talking about.
      Darlene

      Here is my comment on the other post:
      “Sincerely”
      I realize you are new on this site, but did you even read this post before you commented? From the beginning I said “First, a note about blame: In my view, blame is about placing the responsibility for the trauma where it belongs. In my recovery, blame was necessary and part of the natural progression on the journey to wholeness. I am not suggesting that we need to stay in the emotional part of blame forever, just that it is an important stepping stone in this process of emerging from broken”

      You have discounted that with your comments.

      And then I wrote “Forgiveness; What I am suggesting is that we are taught to skip a step in the whole forgiveness arena. We are told to forgive before we are even validated that we have something to forgive.”

      And again your comments do exactly what I am talking about in this post. I think you missed the point. In this site we are talking about healing from the damage. It is no comfort to me to think that the abuser might pay for what they did in this life or in any other life. The damage needs to be validated before forgiveness is suggested.
      Forgiveness is a result of the healing process.
      Darlene

  6. By: Danielle Posted: 23rd September

    Thank you Mimi,
    I do believe it will get better for me. I have been in a better place before and I know I can achieve it again. But I also see the ‘act’ in how I felt before too. Acting for myself, and acting for them. I acted in a way to keep them from knowing I was hurt, because there would be such a backlash of ‘spoiled child’ slurs thrown at me. And also to preserve something of my own, to not think that they broke me. This time I know I’m broken. I’m also very sick, so all this ‘stuff’ that I get from those around me is even more painful and damaging. The emotions that come with it can be a killer. I just need to spend some time alone, and concentrate on my healing, emotional and physical.

  7. By: Mimi Posted: 23rd September

    Danielle,
    I feel for you. It’s a lonely place. It gets better; it has for me anyway. I think I needed to feel that loneliness really. It did serve a purpose. It allowed me to see things as they really are. To develop my own thoughts and opinions about people and events. I certainly needed space from all of my family to figure things out. I didn’t know I needed it at the time. I so horribly missed my sisters. I sobbed a lot. In retrospect though, I needed it. I needed to be less dependent on them, and moreso on myself. I had to learn to trust myself and my own judgment, rather than running things by them first. I found out it was okay to have my own feelings and opinions on things, whether they agree or not. Don’t get me wrong, I still have to work hard on self reliance, and trusting myself. It’s no easy feat. Truly, EFB has been a saving place for me. There is hope Danielle. Healing from loneliness and the pain it brings is a real concept. It does get better.

    Love and Hope,
    Mimi

  8. By: Danielle Posted: 23rd September

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for providing this website. I am going to get help for this difficult time in my life that seems to be spiraling into every relationship i have. But I want to thank you for providing a place that I can speak and be heard, and even seeing the words that I have written, to validate my feelings. I realize I’ve been bouncing back and forth for many years, between forgiveness and betrayal. And I have to break this cycle I’m in. Sometimes people will keep hurting if you forgive them. I have desperately been running away from holding bitterness in my heart, and I thought that forgiveness was the only way. But standing up for myself is something I need to learn, because I see now, it’s my only option.

  9. By: Mimi Posted: 23rd September

    Joy,
    #83 ~ I love everything you wrote there. Especially this, “it made me feel like I was unholy for feeling hurt or bad .. that I should do some kindness for my abuser. that I should be ashamed that I am not handling things so well

    I may choose to ask God for help but whether I want to keep the abuser before my mind in prayer is another story..that is not a sin to choose not to pray for the person. it simply means i want to get them completely out of mind and heart and space”

    This is so well put. I have struggled to pray for my mother and her husband. Then the guilt on top of that. You articulated it so well… I need them out of my mind and heart so I can wade through the muck that resides there. I really appreciate this post Joy.

    Melody,
    What you wrote, “I wouldn’t back down and when she was in a corner about her lies, her true horns came out.”…. this is exactly what I’m going through right now. I have held mother accountable for some lies which she refuses to acknowledge. She actually did apologize for some other offenses. It was really BS. But, she never addressed the lies. It’s been going on almost a year now. Back and forth about the lies. Finally, after her apology for the other offenses didn’t satisfy me, she dragged her husband and counselor in on it. They both sent me blaming emails. Her husband told me not to reach her anymore, that I’m dealing with HIM now. I thought, well, no problem there. It’s not me who’s been trying to reach her anyway. It’s HER. She kept asking what’s wrong, despite me spelling it out numerous times. I kept saying the same thing. When she realized I wasn’t giving up, she retreated to the fetal position and summoned her front line.

    I have been on vacation and while I was gone, I got an email from her stating she has a new email address. I have blocked all her other email addys, as well as her husband and counselor. Her new email went directly to the blocked status as well. Somehow, it makes me feel empowered to do that. A small step toward taking my power back and not allowing the BS in my life.

    I’m a little puzzled by the email “notice” though. Her husband told me not to contact her anymore, that I am to go through HIM now. And, here she is putting her new email addy out for my use. It’s not me who keeps the drama going. I have been fine with no contact. I’ve only addressed her when she addressed me first. I want to be abusive and call them both idiots. Something I need to work on!!

    Melody, my husband has said the same thing. That he was on to her, but never let me know because she’s my mother. Surprising what other people see. One time when I was in surgery, my mother and husband were in the waiting room. My mother took the opportunity to tell him how she’d saved me when I had horrible panic attacks in my 20s. He never told me about that until about 6 months ago, after I’d discovered so much crap about her. She was planting seeds, like she’s always done.

    Love to everyone,
    Mimi

  10. By: Danielle Posted: 23rd September

    I just don’t know what to do. After walking away from so many people in my life, now I have to walk away from the last member of my family I talk to. My father told me yesterday, that he and his wife, and his wife’s late mother, all felt so sorry for me that I didn’t have any family. I always wondered why they treated me like such an outsider, they were the only people who could have stepped up and made me feel like I have a family. Now I learn that they just felt sorry for me. It felt like he was talking down to me. Like he never took responsibility for being my family. His wife would scream at me when I came to visit, like a jealous wife, like spending time with him was taking from her. I never asked for anything, I did everything in my life on my own. Eventually I had to stop visiting. And you know what? I did forgive my dad. He stole a lot of money from me for drugs or for his wife, I don’t know. He took it from me and told me the day before I graduated from high school. It was money I was going to use for college, I worked the last two years and saved it because he told me he would be unable to help. But I forgave him. Now he’s older and falling apart emotionally, and I just refuse to be there for him. Because I had no one, absolutely no one. Christmases were spent with me getting screamed at if I didn’t act grateful enough for the hand me down gifts. While they bought only the best, the most expensive, I got their used garbage. Because they had a hard time throwing anything away, even their own garbage was to precious to part with, so they gave it to me.

    I just have to walk away…For someone to use me and abuse me, then say they feel sorry FOR me? Not he IS sorry, but sorry for me…I can’t allow someone who hurt me to look down at me like a pity case for the things they did to me. Never again.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd September

      Hi Danielle
      I am sorry that you have been hurt this way again. Something I found helpful was to realize that the ways of being treated that you are sharing are not love. They do not communicate that your ‘family’ regards you with equal value or even any value. The things that they have said and done are so hurtful and mean.
      I had to figure out why I thought I had to accept this kind of treatment. Even after I walked away, it was a huge part of my healing process to take a look at the roots of why I never stood up for myself and why I kept going back. In realizing the false messages about me that were at the roots of those questions, I was able to overcome the feelings of obligation and lonliness that I was so tied into.
      Hugs, Darlene

  11. By: Melody Posted: 19th September

    Mimi as responding to Karen#51
    About the mother and her sneaky ways not ever writing a note on paper, so as not to have proof of her behind the scenes abusive ways. If she writes a note it is to be sickening sweet and suck me back in because she knows she has crossed a line with me. This whole post is what I just recently went through. On the phone or in person (alone with me)she throws the barbs, put downs and the most anger towards me. I wouldn’t back down and when she was in a corner about her lies, her true horns came out. When my husband is nearby, she is so sweet. I’ve asked him about this since he knows all the behind the scenes that she does, he said that he knew from our first days dating that she was fake. I’ve been recently called a coward because I cannot forgive someone, I think a true coward is an abuser that hides behind the scenes so sneakily causing pain to another. (Especially since it is your own child.) If you have to be sneaky then these mothers must know what they are doing is wrong! So forgiveness for doing the same things over and over is just not in the future right now.

    And then the various ways of apologies that really aren’t. I just got the same thing, adding I’m sorry, but…. Anything with a but after it is not a sincere apology. I also agree wholeheartedly because my Nmom very rarely apologized, I can count on one hand how many times she has apologized, and it has always been with a ton of anger added in.

    Also “the sucking people in and getting them to defend her.” Wow, this one also hits home with me. I would love to be a fly on the wall in her home to hear her conversation as she puts me down to numerous people on the phone. (Mostly my rather large family on both sides.) She is well respected, her and my Ndad on both sides of the family. I keep finding people saying things like “Well, you’ve been trouble for 30 years now haven’t you, haha.” When people say these things it hurts your heart to the core to know that one persons’ hatred of you can resonate so far into the family.

    Thanks for your posts they are so helpful. And thanks to Darlene for this safe place to be. Peace.

  12. By: Jordon Posted: 18th September

    Another meaningful and heart touching post, thank you Darlene.

    The only way I could move on to where I am today, putting my emotionally abusive mother behind me was when my feelings were validated. I was never going to get that from my mother so I had to find it in myself with the help of a counsellor.

    When a professional not only believed me, but could tell me what she was like from his past professional experiences it was the final piece in my jigsaw to healing.

    At fifty years old I knew my mothers manipulative, abusive behaviour was wrong but I couldn’t see a way out. She used usually fictional illness and threats of what would happen to her if I didn’t conform to her demands.

    I was held in her power by nothing but fear, fear of the harm that might come to a woman who had willingly and knowingly emotionally abused me all my life. But without being believed/validated in my own mind I couldn’t get past that fear.

    Thanks to the help of a professional and my many friends who have continually told me my mothers abuse was not my fault I am now on the other side of the fence, free, happy, calm and peaceful living a life rather than living a dread.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 18th September

      Hi Jordon
      I can relate to what you are sharing. No matter how many clients I work with I am still surprised by the depths that fear works and is used to control kids well beyond childhood. And the lies that we believe never having had a choice but to believe them; we just don’t know anything else until we are told something else. The lies have to be exposed! Thanks for sharing this!

      Everyone ~ there is a new conversation going on in the post “The Fear of Good-bye if you don’t Comply” if anyone is interested. This was a very popular post and now has over 430 comments in the discussion ~ https://emergingfrombroken.com/the-fear-of-good-bye-if-you-dont-comply/

      I have been taking some personal time this week but please feel free to comment on this or any other post conversations.
      Hugs Darlene

  13. By: Danielle Posted: 17th September

    Oh, I just have to say, I did find a man. A sensitive, beautiful, loving man. One who didn’t dominate me. But in my own illness, and not being able to fight back, I almost lost him. I almost gave it all up, because I couldn’t handle the attacks anymore. I even told him, I needed him to go away just so the pain would stop. Just so I could be what everyone wanted me to be and then they would stop. I’m so glad he didn’t go.

  14. By: Danielle Posted: 17th September

    I really appreciate what you said Jane.
    I have seen a similar pattern in my life too. Those that have hurt me have gone on to have a difficult time. Having put some distance between myself and those people I was able to see it. I don’t know if it was a direct result of the harm they did to me, but I realized that I don’t have to be caught in a battle anymore. If a person continues in life to cause chaos, then eventually their world will fall apart. I may have just been in the path of a tornado, and I was probably not the only one. Recently, pretty much all my tornadoes came back to seriously wipe me out. This time, I was older, had come to peace in my life, was living my life on my own terms. I think this time it was much more vindictive, because it seemed so purposefully meant to keep me from happiness. Purposefully meant to keep me from making my own decisions, having my own direction in life. And I don’t know if it’s because I’m a woman, but the whole world seemed to agree with them. Basically that this life I have made for myself, I didn’t deserve, I just needed to find a man (an abusive man) to tell me what to do, how to live and who to be. And if I didn’t find a man, they were there to do if for me. I got extremely ill, I don’t know if it was a result of all the negative intentions of those around me, but this time I fell…for about six years I was stuck in it, I’m only now beginning to recover physically, mentally, and emotionally. Perhaps I had convinced myself that they didn’t know what they were doing before, I gave them too many allowances for making mistakes. But to realize the real intention was to cause serious harm, well it shattered me. Maybe, this happened for a reason, because I honestly didn’t believe before that they did anything on purpose. Maybe I needed to know, that it was done out of total hatred, otherwise I was still vulnerable. Knowledge is power. I am beginning to see that there is real sickness there, real hatred. I wanted to be innocent before, stay innocent despite it all. But I’m starting to see it is better to know what you are up against.

  15. By: Jane Posted: 17th September

    Dave-thank you for responding to my comment.It is good to know I am not alone. God has removed my abusers from my life. I don’t think that is a bad thing since when they were in my life they seemed to wreak havoc on it. I was too weak to fight back and God some how knew that because He is a defender of the weak. I believe when we go through bad things in our lives it is not in vain,it is so that we can some day rise above it all to help others that will some day need our help in over coming similar tragedies. Jane

  16. By: joy Posted: 15th September

    Hey Darlene..

    Its good to find my way back.. when I get a slowing of schedule ..your blog is always a great place to be 🙂

    Hugs

    Joy

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 15th September

      Hi Everyone
      Another “mother daughter post” from the past has attracted a commenter that seems to be defending herself as a mother and pointing to her daughter. A woman who is calling herself “mom” hopes that her daughter will realize the ‘sacrifices’ that she made… she talks about “her love” vs “her daughters definition of love”.. In case anyone is interested in commenting here is the link: https://emergingfrombroken.com/mother-daughter-relationship-false-definition-of-love/
      The new conversation begins on comment #118 and continues…
      Hugs, Darlene

  17. By: joy Posted: 15th September

    Hi Darlene

    I can so relate and I so hate when people tell me I need to pray for someone who hurt me and I feel that lady was in a way judging you .. by telling you to pray.. or how you should pray or for whom you should pray..

    I feel sermons are not what wounded people need.. that is just like salting the wound. .like telling you you are not doing enough yet.. that GOd wants you to say something some formula to receive healing.

    I am like I am because I did all that stuff.. I tried the suggested ways.. it made me more a victim..it made me feel like I was unholy for feeling hurt or bad .. that I should do some kindness for my abuser. that I should be ashamed that I am not handling things so well

    I may choose to ask God for help but whether I want to keep the abuser before my mind in prayer is another story..that is not a sin to choose not to pray for the person. it simply means i want to get them completely out of mind and heart and space

    Sometimes religious people like to tell people what to do but if you look into their lives they have a whole list of people they are not talking to or praying for..

    I rather take a tissue from a caring non-believer than a sermon from a conceited believer.

    I am just trying to find my own way back to what I believe regarding faith..but don’t need someone telling me what I should do…when I talk to God.. .

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 15th September

      Hi Joy
      Your comments are excellent. I too tried all the suggested ways with little lasting results. (sometimes I felt like it was working but it never lasted, it was like a baidaid when I needed surgery)
      I love ALL your comments. Great points!
      Thanks for sharing!
      Hugs, Darlene

  18. By: Allison Nations Posted: 14th September

    Forgiveness is necessary for healing, but it can take a long time. First you have to tell the story, feel the anger, and make the choice. Forgiveness can not ever be forced. It can only come from a person’s desire to forgive. When the time is right, it can be the best thing that ever happened, so freeing.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 15th September

      Allison
      Why do you think forgiveness is necessary for healing? I find this concept interesting.
      Also, for me forgiveness was a result of doing the work and not a desire at all.
      Hugs, Darlene

  19. By: Aurele Posted: 14th September

    Hi everyone,

    I have a problem. My neighbour wakes me up each morning at 7 screaming after her kids ! It lasts about one hour where she screams, yells at them ! I am tired of that, it’s really stressful.
    Because of her, I wake up in stress.

    It’s horrible because her children must be very unhappy having such a “mother”.

    That situaiton is hard because I feel nobody can help me and I am too discouraged to report her and do something to stand up because she scares me ! In the past I confronted her but it was a nightmare, she is just evil and I hate her. The communication with her is impossible, she thinks she is totally right to scream at them and I have to accept it, she won’t make an effort for me !

    Hugs, thanks for listening.

  20. By: Dave Posted: 13th September

    Jane – interesting timing that you post about what happened to your abusers. My mother, who was the worst abuser, has been in a nursing home for several years. I have not had any contact with her since my father died in 2005 because of several lies she told about me shortly before his death. Out of the blue i got a phone call the other day from her guardian to let me know that my mother had been hospitalized over the weekend and had been in a lot of pain. Its the first time i have heard from the guardian in about six years…i honestly wish my mother no ill will. she has suffered a lot as she was abused as child also and just continued the cycle. I thought i would never hear anything about my mother again and out of the blue my phone rang and it was her guardian calling with an “update” – six years is a long time between updates. The guardian herself has some issues that i dont need to get into but i have been wondering maybe if my mother had died and i just had not heard so i at least got an answer…i think God is allowing her to live so she can find him before its too late…

    Dave

  21. By: Michelle Posted: 13th September

    PPS: NC = no contact

  22. By: Michelle Posted: 13th September

    PS: NM above = narcissistic mother

  23. By: Michelle Posted: 13th September

    A new step in my spiritual journey… This latest blog on forgiveness was a trigger for me. I went to talk to the priest today (since returning to church after 45 years) about my NM. I went prepared, armed with Luke 17:3 and Emerging from Broken printouts on forgiveness because I was afraid he would just dismiss me with “just forgive” BS. But he didn’t do that. He understood my need to be NC. He agreed that some people are just evil. He appreciated that I have found spirituality through my struggles. He told me that the church was about relationship and community and would support me. He advised me to pray for help to forgive people who have hurt me, to pray for peace in my heart and to pray for peace for NM. He said I will know I have forgiven when I have no concern about my NM and when I have peace… Almost there… I feel hugely validated by this experience, very supported and comforted.

    But I would never have been able to reach this point without getting angry first. Thank you for this blog, Darlene.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th September

      Hi Michelle
      That is awesome! There are great people in the world who know what they are doing when it comes to healing and helping others to heal. What he said about knowing you have forgiven by the peace you feel; that is what I mean when I say that forgiveness was a result of the healing work that I did. That peace was the result of facing the damage and the truth about that damage, feeling the appropriate feelings about it and for myself. Thank you for sharing this story.
      That is very cool!
      Hugs, Darlene

  24. By: Aurele Posted: 13th September

    Hi,

    My former boyfriend told me I must forgive to my father to be free !! and I had to do it immediately !

    Pff, what a great advice …

  25. By: Jane Posted: 12th September

    hit the submit button by accident to continue the fourth abuser had stints put in her heart,numerous operations,her son has cancer,her husband died from cancer.the fifth abuser has a daughter that is a drug addict.the sixth abuser had a son that was murdered in a drug related dispute.the deniers in all of this have had to deal with deaths in their families,divorce,financial difficulties and scores of other hardships. I am not sharing these things to be mean or to feel superior to them.That was never my intention. In fact as of this moment I feel sorry for all of them.I never once tried to get even with them and this is the first time I have ever shared my story with any one besides my therapist.I don’t feel good about what has happened to them but maybe this is God’s way of showing me that when you repeatedly hurt someone causing them to suffer it will come back on you eventually. I’m not perfect but I have been through a very unimaginable life.It took me a long time to get to where I am and I still have a long way to go.At this point it doesn’t matter if I forgive them it’s whether I forgive myself. You can’t make someone change,the only change that can come is the one within ourselves. Thank you Darlene in sharing your life with others.

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