Looking for opinions : Do I have to... - Anxiety and Depre...

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BrownEyesBl profile image

Do I have to forgive people who really hurt me and said horrible things to me? I feel pressured to do so. Someone actually said to me “let the past be in the past”. I had a breakdown because of these people and I’m still not feeling the best. And it wasn’t all that long ago.

Family or not, I feel some people are just toxic. Just looking for other’s opinions.

74 Replies

You take as much time as you need. If it's family, maybe you will/should give them another chance but if they do shit to hurt you again I'd just cut them off . Yaknow? Maybe not 100% but I myself think unless it's a very very bad thing that happened family is family. But you shouldn't just forgive them because they or others say so or the past is the past thing . You forgive when you are ready to. And then just never forget.

BrownEyesBl profile image
BrownEyesBl in reply to Sabbath1

Sadly, I’ve given these people more chances than I should have. For 9 hours I got messaged and called just to be put down and degraded and belittled.

This was the final straw.

I’m not saying never but if and when I’m ready to have any contact, it will be with caution and lots of boundaries.

Thank you for responding ♥️

Sabbath1 profile image
Sabbath1 in reply to BrownEyesBl

Well , if it's been that many times, and that bad. Idk . Forgive when you are ready if you want to, if you do just be cautious and if it happens again then just be like nope! Because there's no need for people especially your family to make you feel that bad and be that mean to you . 💙No problem , it's what we're here for :)

Zyxx profile image
Zyxx in reply to BrownEyesBl

In addition to my reply below:People say “family is family”.

But…the only person who decides whether that’s worth anything is you. It’s so simple, really. If you think they will be a good addition to your life, you can try to make it work.

But if in your heart of hearts you know they’ll never change, give up the dream of healthy connection.

The test is this. After you’ve seen them or spoken with them, do you feel good or bad?

That’s all.

BrownEyesBl profile image
BrownEyesBl in reply to Zyxx

Sadly for YEARS, I’ve had major anxiety even having to deal with them. After an encounter with these people, family or not, my mind goes into overdrive with overthinking and panic attacks ensue.

But because it was family, I always tried and forced myself. I’m just over it. I shouldn’t have to put myself in situations where I’m that uncomfortable.

Thanks for your perspective ♥️

Zyxx profile image
Zyxx in reply to BrownEyesBl

Well, it’s natural. I’ve been there, and in a smaller way am still there.I was recently reading old diaries from when I was 21 and it struck me how much I was trying to - well, not especially to be liked by them, but not to provoke their anger or irritation. I was constantly watching to see if they were annoyed or otherwise put out by what I said, and I tried to find a way of talking that wouldn’t irritate them.

That was the worst thing I could have done. It’s decades on and I’m still doing it (with other toxic or semi-toxic people.) What has it brought me? Nothing. Why was I so worried about rubbing these relatives the wrong way? Fear of losing them? Ultimately I chose to stop seeing them, anyway.

I was just conditioned that if I displeased them, I was doing something “wrong”. I wish I could have seen that, at the time. I wish I would have just been myself and disregarded their reactions. Sadly, I was glad every time they seemed to approve of me. So I lost myself by believing it mattered what they thought, by feeling good when they seemed to think well of me.

All the same, walking away from them was best. Too toxic. However, with the semi-toxic people that are still in my life I should just finally be myself, say whatever I want and however I want, and let them sort out what they do with that.

I hope you won’t waste the years I did. I’ve struggled with anxiety all my life. A lot of it was because of worrying what others think. It doesn’t help. People who are only nice to you so long as you behave the way they want you to are never, ever an asset. They will keep you in bondage forever. You have to break out of that bond, yourself. And not choose a life partner who does the same thing: desire you to behave the way he/she approves of. Believe me, that’s a trap you’ll easily fall into.

Good luck. Keep me posted.

Hello :-)

Sometimes it can be hard to forgive and there is no rule that says you have to

It is down to how you feel

If you can forgive that can be a good thing but if you have been hurt to much and cannot then that is not a bad thing

In your heart you will know eventually if you can forgive

I have a saying that I can forgive but if someone has hurt me bad I never forget :-)

There is no rush take each day as it comes and which ever you do make sure it is right for you :-) x

I think the answer depends on how you define “forgive.” If you define “forgiveness of others” as letting go of the anger, hurts, resentments, and pain - then that’s something we do for ourselves. Doing so promotes mental health, self confidence, empathy, healthy boundaries, etc.

But if we define “forgiveness of others” as “pretending they didn’t hurt me” or “ongoing interaction for the sake of others.” Those aren’t healthy behaviors. Denying your experience, suppressing your truth and your emotions, keeping toxic people in your life and failing to set boundaries that make you feel safe - that’s not only unhealthy, it compounds your trauma by allowing unhealthy people to continue their mistreatment (even if that mistreatment is denial).

So, phrasing the situation more clearly (and avoiding the word “should” because I think very few things ever fall into a “should” category), I’d say this: Work to heal yourself by letting go of the hurt, expectations, and resentments. Let go of the pain not because you forget about it or because your excusing unacceptable behavior - but because it doesn’t define you. You’re the one who defines yourself and holds people accountable for respecting your value. While you let go of anger and harm, choose to build your self-worth with the help of boundaries. Define what behavior you will and won’t tolerate. Remove toxic forces for your life. Remove people (and thoughts) that do not constructively add to your growth and evolution. Surround yourself with forces that support, nurture and bolster your best self. Do not allow others to tear you down and do not think for a moment you have accept that behavior from anyone. You get to decide how people treat you - and if you don’t know where to begin, think of the person in your life that you revere the most (maybe your child, a mentor, a best friend, etc.) - think of how you’d want people to treat that person snd then begin demanding the same treatment for yourself too.

Thank you so much ♥️

Zyxx profile image
Zyxx in reply to The_Color_Blue

Very good answer.

Great reply! We do need to let go of the anger, hurt and resentment of things said for our own peace of mind and mental health, but not to just forget what happened . We need to set boundaries if we decide to keep certain people in our lives after a behavior/argument/disagreement happens that hurts us. I am in a situation with a lifelong friend of over 50 years who said hurtful things while I was struggling during a depressive episode and decided we shouldn't talk for a while. This happened about 5 months ago and I have not talked to her since. She has reached out twice, sending a card when one of my cats passed away and texted me a couple months ago to see how I fared during a storm and to say she hoped I was feeling better. I did not respond back. I may write her a letter saying she may not realize just how much she hurt me by basically pushing me away during a really rough time. I don't expect one, but would like an apology from her. We went through something similar last year and though somehow we got past it, it was never discussed and it should've been. At that time I wrote her a letter trying to explain what it feels like to be me during a depressive episode since I know she doesn't understand any of it. (She has seen me through other episodes, including visiting me a couple times when I was hospitalized.) Told her I was writing the letter out of love, not anger. I don't know if this friendship will survive, it might, but we will have to do some serious talking... In the new letter will be an article of how to cope with and respond to a friend/loved one with mental health issues.

(Wasn't planning on writing so much but there it is)

It is up to each individual to decide if and when we will actually forgive someone else. I can say that if it were someone who consistently berated me I would not, don't deserve that.

WriterG profile image
WriterG in reply to bethelbee

Letting go of things is probably one of the hardest things for me to do. I've also been in very similar situations as you described. I had this 'friend,' and I use the term lightly that became one of the most self-absorbed and clueless people I'd ever met. she lived downstairs and had kids the same age as mine but was going through a divorce. this was close to 20 years ago but we were neighbors for 15 years. She was about 10+ years younger and constantly came up and moaned about her ex and wanted our advice. Okay, the problem was whatever we suggested, she went and did the complete opposite, then came back boohooing when it fell apart. That was the first clue. She loved to drink beer and was one of those really stupid, sloppy drunks who you just can't stand to be around. For some years when she went out with other people I'd be on call to pick her up so she wasn't driving. I'd often bring my kids along and they got a firsthand, up close, in-your-face look at what drunk people look like and act. She was quite a scene. There were many times her kids were alone overnight or I had to bring them upstairs, feed them, etc. I "babysat" them constantly and was never offered a penny, nor reimbursement for food, movies, etc., etc., or any place I was going with my kids. it became quite often and constant. There was a period of time I had no car. She did let me use hers but I always put gas in it and even got her a tire. So I did put up with more BS than I should have...Still, I was the driver anyway because she was usually incapable of driving. At the same token, if she went to the store, knowing I can't get around, she NEVER ever asked if I wanted to along or needed anything.... opposite, I'd always ask her and would pick up milk here, bread there but never gave me money. It was a few dollars here and there and over the years it did get quite a tab...She nickeled and dimed me to death as well as was emotionally exhausting to be around. She just did stupid things because she had no common sense...like meet some guy online, give him the address, then she gets in a car with him. No one knows his name or anything. She'd borrow my clothes and shoes and never return them. (This was before I knew that.) I did get her good though. She'd have me take care of the cat when she was out of town so I found a pair of boots she decided to keep, brought them back up, then a few days later I said, "You never gave me those boots back and i want to wear them to ____" It was hilarious watching her trying to find them! It was just an ongoing list of little selfish, thoughtless, clueless things that over the years drove me crazy. Like in winter if she drove her kids to school never asked if mine wanted a ride...they were all going the same place...many years ago I did nails for a living and would do friends in my home. So, I spent a couple of hours doing her nails...I hadn't planned on charging,

but she never offered to pay me a penny. Worse yet a few days later she comes up here, shows me her hands and to my horror there is a new set of salon nails that she went and paid $50 for a day or two after I did them fof free. It was a constant series of things like that and I just couldn't understand how someone could be like that. She wasn't mean or doing anything nasty intentionally, just =clueless. Yet, her mother was such a nice lady...and here is where it ends. Her mom had been ill, in and out of the hospital for sometime. I'd always ask how is your mom doing, bla bla bla..Well, when my mom passed away she gave me a breif sorry but never,ever once asked again how things are going, how I'm doing, etc. That was the end. The funniest thing is when she finally moved I did not help or even say bye when she left. She never even came here or wondered why I'm not out talking to her. At this point it had been 17 years of so, so she was kind of like the evil sister I never had. She just moved down a few blocks and we've never spoken since.

emmi331 profile image
emmi331 in reply to WriterG

They name streets after your neighbor: One Way....

Yes, there are people like that in the world and you sound like you tried to be kind. But your concern also enabled her mistreatment of you by allowing it to go on for so long. I know you were probably trying to help her kids, but honestly, I'd have called the authorities when she left them alone....the upside might have been that she'd have gotten furious enough to end your one-sided friendship.

bethelbee profile image
bethelbee in reply to emmi331

I agree with what you said! I would not have let it it go on for so long either. I know she was looking out for the other kids, but ,yes, the authorities should've been notified. From what it sounds like(leaving the kids alone overnight, etc) she very well could have lost them if CPS were notified. What a selfish ungrateful irresponsible person that 'friend' was!!

Would you eat the same food that gave you food poisoning the night before?

I’ve never thought about it that way before!

You don’t have to do anything. I think it’s important to have hurt feelings validated Only then can we possibly forgive. Even when we do forgive we don’t condone or forget. I’m working on forgiving too and it’s hard. I just write a post about this I really like the book Radical Forgiveness which is also an audio book. Maybe it can help you too. But remember your experience is valid. And if you aren’t ready to forgive that is perfectly ok!! Much love.

I would never forgive someone who has hurt me multiple times that person would keep doing it over and over again and would apologize again and again

I suggest you have to protect yourself from these people even though they may be family, you cannot spend the rest of your life enduring uncaring behaviour that has resulted in breakdown.

But you should say to them: "I forgive you!". They'll probably ask what for but say no more. Just repeat a second time: "I forgive you!" before disengaging from them.

That is the ultimate revenge: to forgive.

Dolphin14 profile image
Dolphin14 in reply to Jeff1943

Jeff:

Why say the words if you don't mean it? I'm just curious.

Why not say you have hurt me and I can't do this anymore?

🐬

Jeff1943 profile image
Jeff1943 in reply to Dolphin14

Well, saying 'I forgive you' is a more original way of saying you have wronged me. And it may leave them wondering what they did that you forgave them for so they may examine their behaviour. Anyway, if we don't forgive it eats away at us like poison. The important thing is to get toxic people out of your life and that applies equally to relatives. Just my opinion of course.

Dolphin14 profile image
Dolphin14 in reply to Jeff1943

I def agree.... toxicity must go.

I feel no poison. I'm in a good place knowing I don't have to forgive. That's what works for me. If I don't feel it I don't say it.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

🐬

As The_Color_Blue says, “forgiveness” must be defined carefully. It does not mean (pretending to) forget, or as Abysswalker says, going back for another serving of hurt. Forgiveness does not mean reconciliation.

The explanation that’s helped me the most is canceling a debt. They no longer owe an apology or “making it right.” There’s no more thought of “getting even,” or “getting what they have coming” from others. Consequences are limited to measures needed to keep you safe and whole in the future.

Whether you “must” forgive depends on what is ultimately, cosmically true about justice and your own blamelessness. Do we ultimately receive what we give?

As for “should,” there are psychological benefits. I’ve heard holding a grudge compared to drinking poison daily while waiting for your enemy to sicken and die.

For great offenses, forgiveness is not easy, cheap, or quick. If you owed it, it would be justice, not forgiveness.

Family does not get a pass, IMO. It’s just that boundaries are often harder with family’s

I don’t know you, but I am sad and angry about what was done to you. Argh. People. Sick of it.

bethelbee profile image
bethelbee in reply to propjock

I like the line, 'Forgiveness does not mean reconciliation '.

Brown Eyes - My family have hurt me over and over again. I am 70 years old and have been talked about in a hurtful way for many years. The last few years, I have cut things off with my family. They are very toxic people. I have no family now, but at least I have my pride and respect back now. Now I choose people that treat me in a positive way, and trying to develop a little confidence, that was taken away from me. Honestly, I don't understand why a lot of people feel they should forgive these toxic people, that really know what they have done. As far as forgiving goes, I don't think it makes you feel better about yourself, mentally. Lots of people will treat you badly, because it makes them feel happy. And always remember that people don't really care about anybody but themselves. Family isn't exempt from it. And it's very hard to find true friends that have your back.

I can do relate. And I’m so sorry you have had to go through that.

Thank you for your response ♥️

Thank you and good luck making a decision.

Oy vey, it sure is the Holiday Season, isn't it! You don't have to do anything! Whatever you do or don't do it will be your choice. Own your decisions and know it's a lifelong process and you will likely evolve with it. Don't even try without therapy if it's that tough. Spend the Holidays however you want, and you don't have to be happy all the time. Again, if you find yourself depressed spend as much Holiday time as you can in therapy. Hang in there. For some folks it's the toughest time of the year. Hugs!!

You don't have to forgive. I've talked to my therapist in depth about this. People have told me to forgive , " it will set me free" In my eyes I am free by having let them go and I don't have to say words I don't mean. Let their higher power forgive them if they believe in that. I won't give them a release from the damage they caused. I'm spending so much time fixing my parts, my heart and soul, because of them.

Try boundaries. If they step outside of them then maybe it's time to step away.

🐬

Thank you for your response ♥️

I like that perspective of holding them accountable.

unfortunately family are often the worst for ruining ones life,and my family certainly invented toxicity ,and i am so pleased i divorced my family entirely several years ago,and its the best thing i ever did,i dont even give them a second thought.People might say,forgive and forget,but i cant forget,and some things are unforgivable.

I'm so sorry you're been treated this way. 😭 I've seen your posts and comments and you seem like a really nice supportive and caring person . Wo in their tight mind would treat you this way? In my opinion, no you're too nice to be abused! Please message me. ...would love to chat with you.

Thank you so much ♥️

Nope. You do not have to forgive. Especially not under pressure from other people.

I never know what forgiving means to other people. I don’t think much anymore about the family members whose abuse I suffered for years as a child. When I do, I don’t think of them lovingly, because they’re not very nice human beings. I don’t wish them any ill, because in the end they’re just products of dysfunctional backgrounds, themselves.

One of them has apologised, and in fact quite genuinely so (insincere apologies are easy to come by.) With that family member I enjoy a very good relationship. The rest I never wish to see again, not out of bitterness, but because they’re toxic to be around. I don’t blame them for being toxic, but I get out of the way.

My sister felt we should “forgive” a family member that has never apologised. I feel that my sister is just lowering herself again, and accepting the abuse she got as if it was OK. She was afraid to stand up to that woman as a child (me, too) and she is still afraid to do so, now. “Forgiving” seems easier.

It’s wrong. No apology? No forgiveness. Also no hard feelings, but I think it’s unhealthy to forgive people who have not changed their abusive ways. That doesn’t mean you should be bitter in your heart. Realise how frail they are, and how hurt, themselves. But if they are still toxic persons, don’t forgive. It’s another failure to stand up for yourself. You owe it to yourself not to fall into the trap. Stand up for yourself.

BrownEyesBl profile image
BrownEyesBl in reply to Zyxx

Thanks so much for your response ♥️

What you might find is that the act of forgiveness relieves the pressure on you. If you cannot forgive, how can you expect others to forgive you. I am a committed Christian and The Word of God says to forgive, the same way that God forgives you. Bless you.

Personally, I refise to forgive those who show no remorse for their wrongdoings. For me, forgiveness opens me to being hurt again. It's the anger that I try to let go of. I am struggling with this right now.

BrownEyesBl profile image
BrownEyesBl in reply to

Yes!

Thanks so much for your response ♥️

An alternative: forgive, but dont forget. Ie do not open yourself to being hurt the same way. If possible.

Toxic people must be left behind, if they have proven they don't want to change. Forgiving is always good for YOUR mental state I think, whether you tell them or not. Forgiving doesn't mean you let them keep treating you badly again and again. It also doesn't mean you should keep them around you. It gets hard or impossible when these people are in your immediate family. I have this problem. Can't forgive them, can't leave them behind. In such situation you just need to find peace in other ways. Tell yourself it's one of those situations you have no control over and you can't change it. It's like that serenity prayer: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference". Try and minimize contact with them until the time comes when you can stop seeing them altogether.

Another way is to confront them in a calm manner, letting them know they caused you all this problem. But that depends on what kind of people they are and if they will even take it seriously.

Forgive only if you are ready to not because others tell you to. You don’t even have to forgive to them directly. If you want to forgive within yourself that’s fine. They will never change due to your forgiveness but you may find peace for yourself internally

I'm totally with you. You should avoid all contact with these "people". If they ever change their tune, you might consider not forgiving them but being willing to forgive them, if that makes sense. I am going through this too and lies are being told about me as well.

It’s difficult, no doubt. I hope your situation gets better xo ♥️

Thank you.

What do they say? Forgive but not forget, or vice-versa? The genuine thought is forgiving is the way to heal. I don't know and often think about this as well. I've had a number of people who really hurt me deeply, in various ways, and some things just are too horrible to forgive. I guess I'm probably not the best one to give advice on this because I do tend to hold on to resentments and bring the subject up often. If and when I do forgive someone for whatever, I find it hard to trust that person or confide in them with personal information. I usually find myself expecting them to do something bad again and overall the whole thing just is never right again. The bottom line, it really depends on what that person did. If you asked person "A" to go out Sat, for drinks and they claimed they were too tired but you found out they were out with person "B" well, that's a forgivable offense, but if person B was your spouse that is a whole different story!

Most will tell you no because it is not normal to forgive but from the post it isn’t about forgiving. When it was written let the past be the past, that really means forget how you feel, and just move on. Unless you are a spiritual person one can’t forgive. What they did was wrong and nobody would tell you to let the past be the past unless they want to dismiss your pain. You have got over 40 people who don’t think what this person is telling to do is right. The question is what will you do with all your pain?

BrownEyesBl profile image
BrownEyesBl in reply to Cece321

Well, I won’t let my pain turn me into someone I’m not. I’ll feel it and then heal from it. It’ll take work and time. As someone who has been mentally abused and manipulated and gaslit for YEARS I sometimes find myself questioning if I’m the problem. Through counselling and therapy I’ve come to realize, it’s not all on me. I’ll take responsibility for what I did wrong but I’m no longer allowing anyone to treat me like garbage and make themselves the victim when I didn’t start anything.

Thank you for your response ♥️

You just said it " some are toxic" allow yourself to have a life free of these kind of people.

Yes, some folk can be absolutely toxic, and there's nothing you can do about them, but think for a moment; Are they unhappy with their lives, see something they wish they had in yours, and are nasty because of it?

It could well be that they are also unhappy and use you as a target because to bring you down makes them feel better about themselves?

The thing about forgiveness is that it reverses it and turns it back on them, so you in turn feel better about yourself.

Holding hatred towards others inside yourself only poisons yoursef further and makes you unable to move on past it.

Cheers, midori

BrownEyesBl profile image
BrownEyesBl in reply to Midori

I’ll forgive these people; not for them but for myself. This is a vicious cycle over many, many years. I’ve had enough. They never take responsibility for their actions and I’m tired of it.

Thank you for your response ♥️

Yes, and how many times should you forgive them when their spitefulness emerges 100% of the time so far?

That’s true.

Your post got a lot of others talking; as one said, “It must be the holidays.” Cece321 got me thinking. We’re really talking about a big topic, how to respond and relate to people who have acted wickedly towards us. There are many ways to do that, mix and match. Boundaries have come up a lot. You might like the popular book: goodreads.com/book/show/944...

Here is another resource that has helped me a lot goodreads.com/book/show/560.... It gets into the five things “toxic” people consistently lack, and the four types of Drama they stage, and how to avoid getting sucked in.

Here is yet another resource that is focused on the largely inner work of capital-F Forgiveness in particular. internationalforgiveness.com/

If it's as recent as you say, the wounds are still a little raw to start considering forgiveness.When you do, keep in mind that forgiveness is not saying "What you did was okay". It's saying that "I accept what you did and will no longer hold it against you." This relieves you of anger and also releases you from the power they are holding over you.

Do not feel pressured to forgive someone if it is not in your heart, even if it's family and especially as bad as they have ben treating you. As someone else said some people are just toxic. As I and others said, try to let go of the negative feelings that are impacting your own life and you will be a better person for it. Just because someone is family doesn't mean we have to like them or accept what they do.

Thank you for your response ♥️

You're welcome!!! Keep us posted!

I will

In my opinion absolutely. The forgiveness is a gift to you so that you can be unburdened from a spirit of bitterness. Being reconciled to those who have hurt you depends on whether or not their behavior has changed. You do not have to be in relationship with hurtful people. I think it is good to keep the door open if they do change. I hope this helps.🙂

This pressure to forgive may be your spirit telling you that to not forgive is wrong. I realize this is a religious-sounding answer (and it is). But God still tells everybody what is wrong. It is your decision on whether to listen or not. Remember if you do not forgive you will not be forgiven.

😇

BrownEyesBl profile image
BrownEyesBl in reply to utep99

I can forgive them but not allow them in my life anymore. And God forgives us all our trespasses.

I will. I longer allow anyone to treat me the way these people have; family or not. This has been going on for years.

And the pressure is not from my spirit; it’s from other forces outside of myself. I’m still very much hurt.

Thank you for your response ♥️

I know exactly what you mean. For whatever reason, the pain of betrayals going back 20+ years is eating away at me today. One was in a vivid dream I had last night. I try to remember a quote from The Shack: "Forgiveness doesn't establish a relationship; it just means letting go of (his/her) throat". I've said I've forgiven them multiple times, but I can't stand being anywhere near them, especially the ones whose actions were deliberate and who seemed to get some perverse entertainment from their actions.

BrownEyesBl profile image
BrownEyesBl in reply to dishnc

Exactly! The thought of being anywhere near them or being in their presence results in mere panic for me.

Thank you for your response ♥️

You can forgive just to end the bitterness in your mind and heart- that does NOT mean you have to allow that toxic relationship in your life. Move on with peace in your heart and mind, actually pray for that person, and don’t ever allow someone in your life that doesn’t make you a better person and feel good. Scripture tells us to guard our hearts and minds- good advice!

Pete Walker (a therapist in USA) focused an entire chapter in one of his book about this topic, and if you have an audible account I highly recommend "The Tao of Fully Feeling Harvesting forgiveness out of blame". (I subscribed to Audible.com just to get the book for free, then dropped the subscription.) Much of what the author says falls in line with most of the wise members of this community. The author takes a deep dive into the concept of forgiveness and frames it in a way that I'd never explored before. Concepts such as "premature forgiveness" and "forgiveness and guilt" are weighty topics that should not be discounted. Pete Walker has a website with a bunch of free downloadable resources. He's very much a pioneer in the arena of family abuse, much like John Bradshaw or Alice Miller.

My own personal recovery from the abuse suffered at the hands of malignant personality disordered family members has involved going No Contact permanently (which I understand is not always an option for everyone) before I could really even begin to process all the abuse. Consider questions like, "What EXACTLY am I really being pressured to forgive in the first place?" It's very painful grief work and I suggest you take your time. You're not on anybody's timeline but your own. Gaslighting by tribe is an all too familiar trope in our society and I just couldn't take it anymore.

You might take a look at the you tube channel hosted by Dr. Ramani because she REALLY zooms in on dynamics and how to handle high conflict personality types. There are techniques like going "grey rock" that she explores and recommends. Setting boundaries is hard work but it can be done on the sly.

Maybe I'm rambling here, and I apologize for the somewhat disjointed comment. I'm running out the door and in a rush right now.

The short answer is: "HELL NO." It's not your job to forgive them.

Thank you so much!

Absolutely not. Don't forgive, if you know what is feeling right for you. Yes it might be hard for the others, but you have to put yourself first. I've blocked a few family members from my life and its been brilliant ever since, they don't deserve to be called family. And I'll never speak to them ever again. You do you, don't explain yourself, don't look for validation in your actions, take control of your happiness and your feelings and boss it out x

BrownEyesBl profile image
BrownEyesBl in reply to Charl-

Thank you ♥️

I have no contact with my sister. After decades of physical, mental and emotional abuse I couldn't take any more. It was hard to do. I honestly don't know if I have forgiven her. I really haven't thought about anything but survival. Give yourself some time then do what is best for you.

Sometimes we need to do what’s best for us; even when others don’t think we’re making the right decision. I’m tired of being uncomfortable and insulted, used as a doormat and made to feel I’m never good enough or that I’m nothing. My sister and her children constantly put me down. For years. I’m just sick of it.

Thank you for your response ♥️ I’m sorry you had to go through that.

It has been hard at times but I am in a better place without her. She lives locally and my husband and children talk to her and see her. I just removed the biggest target in her life...me. I try to think of it in a good way. Going through all her toxic attacks has given me the ability to reach out to others like you. I hope you know that you are not what your sister and her children think you are. Each of us is unique with something special to share with others. Living with anxiety and depression we aren't broken. We are kind, creative and stronger than most people. Good luck as you figure out how to deal with this.

you forgive because it's good for you. you let go. doesn't mean I trust the ones who caused the hurt doed not mean I have to let them into this new life this new place I have built for my self. in the business world they talk about the ROI the return on investment. I forgive and have moved in . whether it's family or others I choose how much, if any time energy ecetera I am going to invest there. what is the return in my investment? what is the value in continuing a relationship? of spending my presious time? I can forgive I can move on but I do not have to waste my time.

No you do NOT have to forgive BUT for your own mental well-being sometimes it is better to do so...I agree with Sabbath in that if it is a family member it may well be that you give them another chance BUT one chance and that is it...if it is somebody that you really do not need to ever see again then you are under NO obligation to HAVE to forgive anybody...forgiving can be a good thing in a strange way but forgetting is another thing altogether. Being let down by somebody especially when you are not well has a HUGE impact..the trust goes, you become cynical and are always wary....I know I am. NEVER feel pressured to do anything that you feel uncomfortable with...take your time and tell them you need time if they push you. Stay strong !

Hi it’s Shnookie. This topic of “forgiving”family members is a sore point with me. I was the sole caregiver for my beloved mother who died from stage 4 pancreatic cancer in January 2016. Not one of my 2 first cousins’ children called me to express their condolences. They also didn’tcall me when I was taking care of my mother.

Since this time, I have been to family events and taken pictures with them but in reality if I didn’t text them about once a month. Some do occasionally call

and I have received pictures of children, etc. but the point is that I feel what they did to me was shitty. I went to a family event recently where my female relatives really didn’t converse with me and then gathered for pictures and did not include me. Now I heard from one of my cousins oh yeah we’ll see U on 12/23 at D’s Bat Mitzvah celebration. The PROBLEM is I

have not been INVITED ! My first cousin

helps me out a little financially and I am grateful for this BUT I do not want to forgive the others. They don’t deserve it. All I want to do is eventually forget about this behavior. As I post this I can feel an open wound. That is why I come to this web site for support. They R lucky that I talk to them when I see them at all. Thank I for letting me vent. U guys have been great to me.

Much more at times than most of these relatives. Sending everyone my hugs and thanks for your support. Love ❤️ S

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