I don’t think I’ve ever been good at forgiving someone who has hurt me or a family member beyond the normal day to day slights.
I read something recently on the “Mental Illness Taught Me” Blog. This is what it said.
My Mental Illness taught me that I can’t change past trauma, but I can forgive them and heal without their apology.
I’ve never wanted or needed an apology to heal. There are so many cruelties humans do to one another that can not be forgotten or forgiven. My brain has actually hidden some of these from me. I don’t even know who to blame let alone forgive. I blame myself for drinking too much and putting myself in a vulnerable situation. I have a pretty good idea who else to blame but with no memory of what happened except for previous occasions I’d be guessing.
Imagine being told that you have an event locked so deep inside your brain that it will only show itself in physical ways when you are under stress or frightened. Imagine going for a second and third opinion only to be told the same.
Would you really forgive the person that did that to you? The person who instilled so much fear you LOST YOUR MEMORY OF IT?
The person that causes you to get so startled at any loud, deep, male voice, you drop things in the market and start to sweat.
The person who causes you to stutter and shake uncontrollably when your own father raises his voice? A man that has saved your life more than once and gives you a roof over your head.
What I do remember is bright red streams of blood, the sound of wood breaking, someone choking, screaming, and fading to black. That was the time I remember. There were times before that where there were no physical altercations but left much deeper scars. Dead fetus hanging on the walls, hundreds of them, “You know I love you and you always hurt the one you love the most”. Literally dragging a passed out girl into the bed of a guy I cared for very much just in time for me to see them together. The master of head games. There was no one better. If he had really applied himself he could’ve been a World Leader. His greatest asset was his hair. His pride and joy.
So forgiveness? I don’t think so. I still dream about tying him to a post, shaving his head, and putting a baseball bat where one should never go. This may sound harsh to some. Let me tell you how he would get rid of a girl/woman that he was bored of. He would sleep with her one last time and force her to have anal sex even if she didn’t want to. It worked. If any of them tried to complain he usually had something he could use on them as leverage. I wish I was kidding.
Time has taken care of a lot for me. His hair line is receding, he’s gained an obscene amount of weight from drinking so many years, and his appeal to women is pretty much zero. He still enjoys his life. That is what bothers me. I’ve seen him smiling and laughing with friends. I’m stuck in a time warp of pain and regret. No matter how hard I try to shake it loose it remains. Will forgiveness make the pain go away? I highly doubt it. My illness feeds on pain and loves to show some of it to me play by play, over and over, so I don’t forget the agony of what I remember. There’s no CBT for that. There’s no “picture a stop sign in your head” for these episodes.
I’m lucky to have some manic episodes that never reach psychosis. During these times my thoughts race about doing a makeover on the bathroom, how to sell my car, should I just start driving to Florida and see how far I get, where’s Steven Tyler playing now and should I go, should I move to L.A., I loved L.A., and on and on it goes. These happen at least two to three times a week. Good times.
I don’t believe an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. I think it shows who the survivors truly are. I’m not advocating vigilante justice but for once I would like to see Karma work in my lifetime.
P.S. I did just finish binge watching Luke Cage on Netflix and may be a little influenced.