I think I understand this. And for you this acceptance led to a release from the bitterness.forgiveness was more like accepting that these things happened, that I can't change that they happened
I’m starting to realize that the term forgiveness is complex and nuanced in meaning. And that, like love, has to be overhauled for some people.
I was quite religious in my life, then very spiritual. I knew that my dad had beaten me and my brother and that he was a jerk and I forgave him for those. I lived with him and my mom when I was married with kids. And I felt deep in my heart that I forgave him for beating me and being a jerk because I recognized that we’re all human and glass houses and all that. I felt so at peace and worked hard not to hold resentment toward him on a day-to-day basis. My SI was pretty well tamed. My main stress was the dynamic between my ex husband and my boys, which was leading to significant depression and SI again, due to my codependency, which I was clueless about.
So when I recovered the memories of the csa that was like a bomb going off in terms of my relationships with everyone in the whole world, but especially myself. I didn’t need to believe any of my old narratives anymore because they were all skewed and “truth” had a new meaning. When I told my mom about the csa she asked my dad if it was true and he said yes and then she told him to leave and I never willingly saw him again. That was almost six years ago.
Then the long long process of rebuilding my self.
So much of rebuilding my self was figuring out how to accept that what he did hurt me. How could it have been that bad if my memory covered it over and I lived with him for almost my whole life up to that point? It was uncomfortable to go through that acceptance and facing that what he did (and who he was) was bad/wrong/dangerous felt like it split me in half, and that by accepting that I fundamentally changed from who I was before.
And now the concept of forgiveness seems like a swing in that direction. And that’s uncomfortable. I hear you all saying, “Nope, that’s not necessarily how it works. It’s simply you figuring out a way to let go of anger and bitterness.”
And so maybe if I think about it that way I can make some headway. That I can still be no contact and still stay away from him but somehow release the anger, a bit at a time.
Seems kind of impossible in this state I’m in.
Last night I dreamed that I was in San Francisco on the steepest streets. I was with a friend and my dad was driving and he was doing a fine job of driving and I wasn’t scared. I think I was young. And we kept asking him to take us to Lombard Street. And as we were driving we saw the most beautiful old buildings and doorways.
And when I woke up I was mad that I was so neutral in the dream toward him. And that I was in a car with him. Maybe this is related, that somehow I could become neutral about him but I don’t want to see him or interact with him and somehow my brain is saying that with forgiveness I *could* interact with him. Some little parts are scared that they would ever have to do that. And I guess they would have to trust that the adult parts would protect them if that happened. And I know I’m not ready for that and parts are saying, “Why are we doing it then?” And I guess it does come back to dealing with the anger.