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


  1. Yes. I agree with you. I tried and I tried to forgive my abusers. I even prayed and asked God to show me how to forgive. But I could not do it, not until last year. More than fifty years after the worst abuses — finally, I am able to forgive!

    I think it is wrong for people to try to force someone to forgive when they aren’t ready. Forgiving too soon can short circuit the recovery process. We need to feel all of our emotions. Anger can be very empowering. Within appropriate limits, of course!

    Liked by 4 people

    • 50 years! Wow! What a testament. And that is proof right there that there really is no time limit and there should not be because we really each have to go through our own process.
      I don’t feel anger like I did for a good…full year I think. But I felt entitled to that anger after being silenced for so long and feeling so small and weak. That anger gave me strength to actually survive and to keep moving forward.
      You always say the perfect things!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I find photo three scary for some reason. As for the wrting, you go, girl. I just wonder brought this on again. Well-said and right When I was treating sex offenders one man kept pestering his victim to forgive him for the “good of his own soul.” Barf..

    Liked by 2 people

    • I sat out there for about an hour and the sky went back and forth between yellows and bright to this dark scary orange that had these ominous orange clouds and by the time I left all the clouds were this fluffy pink cotton candy and lavender.
      I was asked to forgive an offender. Pressured. I would not do it.
      What brought on this writing is I stumbled upon many posts today that said forgivnesss is the only way and I wanted to view my point on the topic.
      Barf is right on that sex offender.
      My mom treated sex offenders in her job and offenders of many different crimes.
      I found her treatment of them so bizarre. She seemed to have empathy. I always felt that was pretty cool that someone actually gave a shit about these horrid men. Until I realized that she didn’t give a shit about her own daughter. But hey. Another day right

      Liked by 1 person

  3. And you have permission, too. The God that you feel in the creation around you does not forgive unless a person is truly sorry, changes their ways, and asks for forgiveness – which none of the people who hurt you have done. He doesn’t expect you to do what he won’t do.

    Your photos are beautiful.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I hear the heartwrenching pain in this. If forgiveness comes it arises naturally and organically out of a unique process undergone and deeper insights gained, but not everyone gets to that or needs to. I agree that being told you need to forgive can be very toxic and may hurt you more. I dont know any answers for anyone all we can do is as you are doing live our own journey and stand by our own truth. ❤ Somatic feeling is hard because it means bearing with the pain of difficult feelings that can feel too much for a psyche to bear, resistance is a kind of protection.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “Forgiveness is the key to all healing.”
    It is such widespread, popular, and conventional bullshit.
    If there was heartfelt apologies and acknowledgement, we could forgive.
    But short of that, our goal is not to forgive, but to survive.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your pictures are STUNNING!
    I agree about forgiveness… It can work for some but not all.
    I look at healing as an onion, you peel off one layer to find another lurking beneath, no one size therapy fits all people, or all layers within one person.
    Healing is a courageous battle with ever changing lines… I found releasing people who have caused me trauma has helped a little rather than forgiving them. If I release them I feel free of their weight dragging me down which leaves me lighter to fight the battle.
    Blessings to you xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes exactly. The onion. One layer can be a little forgiveness to one person but that has to be when you are ready and it just comes along and that may be after the onion is peeled down to the hundredth piece 10 years from now.
      Releasing is a process I have been going through for awhile. I actually have worked on that in and out of therapy. I actually visualize them and releasing them. It can be helpful. I’m glad you have found something to help you. It is my hope for everyone

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think emergingfromthedarkknight makes a nice point. Maybe forgiveness is just a natural consequence of healing, and these well-wishing forgiveness pushers don’t really understand that. To be honest, I’m not even sure what the word forgiveness actually means. Maybe this is just an autism thing, but I know I have always found it difficult to hold a grudge against someone, and when someone holds a grudge against me it really fucks with my head because I don’t really understand why. Even the fools who fired me illegally last year (for the pseudo-crime of showing symptoms of autism in the work place), I have to keep reminding myself that if I don’t hold them accountable, they’ll be free to do to others what they did to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Time gave me the aha moment of “Oh I don’t really feel upset about her anymore” and I wonder how may others that will relate to. Sometimes I think forgiveness is just not giving that person any more of your thoughts or time or energy or care.
      It’s a tough subject and touchy which obviously I dive right into those.
      Now the holding a grudge is something else. Or maybe it isn’t!!!! I mean if someone apologizes or genuinely sincerely feels remorse over an action or word then I don’t hold a grudge. I let that go. The big big things like you getting fired for having autism…that’s a biggie and that would be hard for me to let go. Justice seems big in my mind too. You deserve justice for that and the person in the wrong should be set straight. You should be compensated. And it should protect others from going through what you went through.
      All I’m really saying is we are each individuals and how we process trauma or grief or anything for that matter is our process and if we choose to forgive and let it go that’s ok but if we can’t we definitely should not feel at fault or pressured or made to feel guilty.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh man, I love this post. It’s quite powerful.

    I used to believe that forgiveness was key to healing. I also remember attempting to fool myself that I had forgiven my father for the childhood abuse. Little did I know how much my mother contributed at that time too.

    I remember being drunk and having a short discussion with my father about reincarnation and telling him that BS (that I used to believe) that maybe in another life I abused you, and in this lifetime it came back to me.

    He was a bit tipsy too and I remember him looking at me like really taken aback. A bit shocked. He had been saying something before that (that I don’t remember now) that prompted that thought for me and then the alcohol made me brave enough to say it to him.

    Also in that short conversation, I told him that it was how I came to forgive him.

    But unfortunately that wasn’t true. I didn’t know that it wasn’t true though. As I said, I’d fooled myself. But he had apologized here and there throughout my life for “the way he treated me as a kid. Said he was learning on me and made a lot of mistakes.” (That second part sucks though, like trying to excuse himself and I would feel resentment for my sibs when he’d say that. Just realizing that I felt that resentment now too. Wow.)

    I guess I felt like I should forgive him since he apologized like that… repeatedly actually. He is confusing to me. My feelings for him are confusing to me. I wrestle with my feelings for him I think more than with how I feel about my mother. He could be such a child in his actions, and not apologize for those things. But then he’d do stuff like pay for my cracked windshield, for example.

    I got braces in my early twenties and took initiative to get them and started making the payments. One day, he said, “You know, we should’ve gotten you braces when you were younger, we’ll take over the payments for you.” And they did.

    OK, so there I go rambling. I guess my point is that sometimes you want to forgive because of the good stuff, but then some days the bad shit slaps you in the face and you’re like, Fuck that.

    It can be difficult to get past the black and white thinking of it all. It’s a kind of cognitive dissonance in a way.

    So yeah, definitely forgiveness is a personal thing. And I don’t agree that it’s necessarily for the person forgiving. I see it more as being for the offender really. It’s much easier to forgive when someone is sincerely sorry too. So there’s that.

    As for the modalities…I could not agree more with that being an individual thing. We are not the same in that aspect because we not only have experienced different things as survivors but also we have our own ways of experiencing them, because of our innate differences, environmental differences, etc.

    So even if I experienced similar abuses, I will deal with them differently depending on a lot of other stuff, like temperament, what I’ve been through prior to it, if I have support after the trauma or not, etc.

    This was such a provocative post. It got me thinking so much and I have more thoughts than what I wrote as well.

    Thank you for writing your thoughts on this super important topic for trauma survivors. This is one post that needs to go viral.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve been gone to the dentist today and just read your comment a few times
      I think you summed up my blog post better than I ever have with just the complexity of the issue. It is not simple at all. It is so complex with so many variables and layers.
      Your dad. It seems like just paying for the things a dad SHOULD pay for should not be any sort of leveling out of the bad things he did do. It’s like he was trying to prove himself by buying these things.
      I wouldn’t think you fooled yourself as much as you truly thought it was that easy that someone would apologize and you could accept it but then as time went on and you realized the gravity of it ALL that it isn’t so simple as to say ok all is ok then all forgiven because it is deeper than that.
      It was very brave of you to say what you said to him. You were confronting him about the abuse. That took a lot of courage.
      Your dad saying he was learning on you is cruel. That is projecting his own inadequacies on you. He sucks for that. I mean that is a crap thing to say to your daughter and would create resentment towards him and siblings who he somehow magically learned by then to do better?
      An apology does not take away the behavior and it does not mean you owe that person anything.
      Just like you said it really isn’t black and white at all. It is so complicated.
      And also very personal.
      I’m so glad you put your thought here.
      It has made me think even further on the subject.
      My husband read the blog earlier and he made a valid point that I didn’t even put in the blog. He said that society holds someone accountable for their action so if they break the law they get say 2 years in jail. If someone gets the death penalty for killing then the laws have been put into place that for his killing he will then be put to death. No where in there is forgiveness. It is an action has consequences and those should not be put back on the victim.
      Anyway, I could go on forever because now my mind is reeling with all the ideas that come from this topic.
      I forgave a friend of mine a year ago. Just let it all go. Said fuck it and let her back in my life because I loved her so much. And she let me down again, disappointed me, and left me feeling more alone than I felt not having her at all. So even with the forgivness word there are so many varieties of forgivenesss and levels and in my case stupidity for just letting that one word mean i’d let her back in to hurt me again.
      It’s freaking all complicated.
      But my basic premise is that I don’t believe someone should be told do this and that will happen becasue that is your cure all when one things does not work for everyone and forgivness or being told to just forgive pisses me off.
      There was a man that abused me as a child who wrote me a letter of apology. He asked for forgiveness. I genuinely felt I forgave him. I don’t even know what I thought that word meant at that time. I should have said or rather said I appreciate your remorse and thank you. Because the act he did is still with me. I haven’t been able to get rid of it.
      So yeah. Ok will stop this ramble now!

      Liked by 1 person

      • So I’m working through an email to send you and came here to read your comment again.

        Quoting you:
        “Your dad saying he was learning on you is cruel. That is projecting his own inadequacies on you. He sucks for that. I mean that is a crap thing to say to your daughter and would create resentment towards him and siblings who he somehow magically learned by then to do better?”

        I can see that now how that was cruel and a projection. Like I’m some puppet to practice with or something. A child is not something to toy with ffs. And that’s what he did, intentional or not. And no he obviously didn’t learn to do much better since my siblings ended up disordered as well.

        I remember who you are talking about, the man who sent you that apology. It is a complicated thing isn’t it? An apology doesn’t take away the action already done and the damage it caused, so really when it’s something so severe that someone does, is there really such thing as forgiveness anyway?

        We’ve been indoctrinated so much to believe that forgiveness is necessary for our own good. I don’t think it’s for us, I do think it’s for them. It seems like it’s just the wrong word. Even if the anger is let go of is that even really forgiveness.

        Maybe the key for some people though is to forgive themselves (like that man you referred to) and do better because they know better, just not with those they hurt.

        It’s too much to think about. I think it’s a matter of feeling to not so much thinking in the case of letting go or forgiving. It’s definitely in the body. Ugh. Okay I’m done.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Love this on so many levels! I am on a personal journey of self reflection and posted yesterday about wanting to work on forgiveness. This post causes me to first pause and REALLY give this some major thought. I will probably read this 100 times! Thank you for causing me to think deeper.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I can relate and I adore your PICS. Personally, I have found it easier to FORGIVE others and there have been many, for their abuses towards me. It is less baggage to carry around and I found holding grudges only dragged me down as well as depleted my personal power. I do wish you all the best on your journey. Much love…MG…XXOO

    Liked by 1 person

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