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Author Topic: To Forgive an Abuser (Choosing Happiness)  (Read 930 times)

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Offline DallasTopic starter

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To Forgive an Abuser (Choosing Happiness)
« on: May 01, 2019, 11:46:22 AM »
To Forgive an Abuser

A troubling conversation spurned between a peer of mine and myself concerning abuse and a victim's choice to forgive them. This sparked from thoughts regarding human redemption that has been a reoccurring theme in my talks, lately.

As a disclaimer, I will say that if you suffered any serious abusive tribulation... you have a choice on how you deal with it (or don't). I am not one to judge you for that choice, as it belongs to you. You do you. Just as what I write here and say are by my own choice. I choose to forgive my abuser. Now, I will begin with the points used against me in this decision:

"But you can't/shouldn't really forgive monsters like this. It sets a bad example for our society."

No, it doesn't. This is a misrepresentation of equating a victim's choice to heal as being the same as enabling the abuse. These are not the same. In my case this is a choice to shed a toxic element from my spirit. Doing so does not condone, award or enable the guilty party at all. If I clung to anger or hate to feast upon like carrion birds to a corpse, how would this sustain me? How would this benefit others around me? I have a choice that affects my life; to forgive and move on. It doesn't magically heal damage already done, but it prevents any further damage I do to myself. In the end, people can only live life for themselves.

"But it enables them to walk free and hurt other people."

Yes and no. It is not my choice to let them get away with the deed. It is my choice to not allow that damage (that they inflicted) to "own" me. I have no way of knowing what people become as time moves forward. I have seen alcoholics sober up, drug addicts turn their life around. I have seen cold-blooded killers become remorseful people to heal and rebuild the weak and poor. What do I know of this person now? On the matter of time, I have already missed out on a lot of good things in life. Why let even more of it pass me by with a grudge in my heart. The guilty party got away. I don't remember much about him. An unfortunate outcome back then, but what point is there in dwelling on it when I cannot even bring the guilty to answer for it? Sometimes, moving on is the only choice we have available to us.

"So, you won't do anything to protect others?"

This is the danger of bullying people into silence. This lesson I have attempted to teach people, be them uneducated or even young college professors. And if I can be completely honest, I feel that this is a lesson that even some fellow Elliers may have yet to learn. Even the most intelligent seem to fail in grasping this lesson and consequently perpetuate the very root of their outcry, permeating the same symptoms that spurn their ire. When the solution is sometimes just as simple as breaking the cycle and moving forward. That is progress, not continuously spinning the wheel in a downward spiral. I choose to break my cycle. Unfortunately? People continue to do exactly what I expect them to in these sorts of interactions. When the world pushes one onto a deserted island, what can they ever hope to protect? No. Sometimes the only thing we can do is start over and build a new life for ourselves.

Society might shun the victim for this choice, transmute them into monsters. If so, who would speak on their behalf? This is the punishment people bring upon themselves and to one another. We reap what we sow. Victims are not my responsibility, but society's for creating them in the first place. Generally I can do my best to protect people, but sometimes one can only do what they can to the best of their ability. Batman is a fictional character, I am simply Dallas. Besides, what can I do to protect others by living in the past? Generally speaking, the rest of the world resides in the present. And I have been behind it in some ways.

"But what about the damage/what you lost?"

Devoting the rest of my life to find this person will not restore anything I have lost. I must choose to live. I must choose to find happiness while I yet live. By dedicating a pursuit to justice or harboring hatred, I do not survive the past. Instead, the past merely becomes a prison. And that just won't do.

"That is remarkably selfish."

Much less selfish than poking at others to do that which they would never do, themselves. Even then, I fail to see how it is selfish to try to heal as a healthy human being. Wouldn't hate make me another monster in this society? Unless one can fit their feet in my boots and continue to put one foot in front of the other... They cannot truly judge me with a clear conscience, can they? In cases like these, people don't understand often because they do not want to understand. Perhaps more people would be so bold if the world yielded more than skewed views of heroes and victimhood. If a woman is abused, it is often a tragedy. When she stands up to own her survival, she is heroic. If a man is abused, it is almost always played for laughs. When he stands, he is publically shamed before the world. Given my experiences, I would say both should be equal. Still, if I really wanted to be someone's hero in this world, I would have to fight stigmas like this, by myself, on multiple fronts.

In the end, I choose to forgive and keep moving forward. I choose to break the cycle on my own. Hate cannot be my prison. Darkness cannot turn darkness. Only light can do that.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2019, 04:08:13 PM by Dallas »

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Re: To Forgive an Abuser (Choosing Happiness)
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2019, 12:03:12 PM »
Dallas, thank you for sharing, and I am very sorry to hear that you have suffered from abuse.

However, I think the message you're sending about forgiveness is a wonderful one to share. I can't say that I've faced the stigmas that men face in these unfortunate situations, but I had a few people who couldn't (and some who still don't) understand why I forgave those in my life who have wronged me. There is definitely something to that saying; forgive but never forget.

There is this misconception that forgiving someone means you're weak, when really, it is one of the most powerful things a person can do. Choosing to peel away the 'victim' label and take back control over your own life is not only rewarding, it's liberating, and in my opinion, is completely necessary for healing.

I hope that those around you who disagree with your decision will come around and support you. And even if they don't, I support you and I'm sure many others will, too.