I have padlocks on various parts of me. Trauma parts, memory parts, body parts, brain parts. They key to those locks for me is NOT forgiveness. One day it may be. It may NEVER be. We each have what unlocks the healing pathways. Some have therapy, massage, hypnosis, yoga. Some things that help one may be a trigger for another. Religion and church may be healing for one and it may be triggering for another. Being touched may be a huge trigger for one while for another it may allow safe touch. Either way, healing is individualized. I don’t believe you can put a group of people in a room and give them the exact therapy and have the exact results.
I tried somatic therapy. I hated it. Some find it remarkable. Some find DBT very healing. Some don’t.
Depending on the trauma and life experiences we each go through the gamut of emotions and not ONE in particular is the key to each person’s healing. Crying may help one but not another. Chopping up furniture and feeling rage may help one but not another.
There is no catch phrase to heal from trauma.
I often read articles, medical journals, blogs. I research healing modalities. While doing this I ALWAYS run across “Forgiveness is the key to all healing.” That simple? Just forgive? Or maybe that person isn’t putting a time stamp on how long this will take. Maybe it will happen if we are JUST strong enough or just have enough faith to do it? Maybe it will happen if we just become such enlightened beings that we are able to absolve all of the traumas they have inflicted? A lifetime? A month?
How can one person, any person, tell another that they JUST need to forgive and all will be ok.
I don’t accept that.
I don’t believe that.
I know for a fact that it is an oversimplified insensitive sentence to throw out as a “fix all.”
Well, person saying it, there is no ONE “fix all.”
Healing is a process.
During that process there are levels of letting go. During that process there are levels of growth and enlightenment based on THAT person healing themself, NOT what they are willing to do for someone else. I’ve heard “forgiveness is for the forgiver because it releases the chains.” What if I just want to release the chains by saying, “ Fuck you you mother fucker for ruining my life!” Oh but that is too angry and there are so many rules right? Anger is a poison that will eat you up? I’ve heard that too.
Anger can cause negative things to happen. Anger, also used and channeled correctly, can release a lifetime of feeling silenced.
I watched the sunset tonight and was lost in it. I was not thinking about one thing on my list of fix its. I was not thinking about one thing at all. I felt peace. In that peace I feel a healing in my heart, soul, and body.
I once chopped up my cheating boyfriend’s furniture. In chopping up his furniture I felt a rage and then came a peace. In that rage came a peace that created a feeling of closure over that trauma.
“Forgiveness isn’t for them it’s for you.” I mean do the forgiveness quotes ever end?
FUCK THEM! I don’t have to forgive any of them. Not one of them. It doesn’t hurt me to not forgive them it empowers me to know that I don’t HAVE to be FORCED to do ANYTHING in regards to them. I can let them fly away into the metaphorical hot air ballon, or maybe a tornado. Is that forgiveness enough? Letting go enough?
If you want to forgive…forgive. Whatever that word means to each person, if they feel it will benefit them in their healing process then by all means work through that. But we each have our own path to healing.
I forgave my old friend a few weeks ago for not standing by me when her husband sexually assaulted me. I completely and totally forgave her. And good for me! It was a powerful emotional moment filled with love and understanding. But I’m not forgiving her fuck of a husband. He gave me trauma that I still face with PTSD to this day. Fuck him!
Do I forgive my brother for skiing with the ski team that had a child molester in it that stole my entire childhood? Fuck no. Fuck him. I don’t need to forgive him! He’s a selfish fucking asshole for that deep level of narcissistic behavior and betrayal. Fuck all of them.
Healing for me may include forgiveness but that is for me to decide, to come to, to be led to, if at all, if ever. That is for me. It is for no one else.
Infact, no therapist has EVER told me I needed to forgive. After I attempted suicide when I was a teenager and was put in a mental hospital, all of the psychiatrists and team of professionals never mentioned forgiveness. The many pastors I have confided in have never told me I needed to forgive. No specialist, no chaplain, no person who has ever valued my healing journey has ever said forgive. Because it is a bullshit word tossed out by someone who has no business tossing it out.
I give you permission NOT TO FORGIVE! Only because it may not be the key to your healing. Although it may be. That is up to you. It is not up anyone else to put those conditions on your healing.
This is the sunset tonight and the crane that gave me the peace that I desperately needed I can assure you far more than I needed to forgive. The sky, the clouds, the sunset, that connection to the earth and the sky and nature heal me more than forgiveness will. At least for today. Hey maybe in 10 years I may feel differently, but I would never force that thought on anyone else’s path.
*all photos taken by me and are unfiltered