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Forgive and forget?

 
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amother




OP


Post  Fri, Sep 20 2019, 1:58 am
It’s that time of year again. The kids are coming home singing “dip the apple” and blowing shofar. The teachers are stressing the importance of teshuva and forgiving those who’ve wronged you.

But what if you can’t find it within you to forgive?

At one point during this year I was REALLY wronged. Not only wronged, but also extremely humiliated. I cried for days, didn’t have an appetite and had trouble sleeping as a result of what this person did to me. I remember describing what happened as if “someone plunged a knife into my heart, twisted it, took it out and did it again.” I can’t give too many details but it was BAD.

I know the concept of forgiving others so that Hashem forgives me. But honestly, HOW? How do I think about this person without bitterness? How can I have no hard feelings to someone who shamed me without pity?

Any ideas?
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Jewishfoodie




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 20 2019, 2:52 am
It's so so hard!! I totally know where you're coming from! I wish I can say, "forgiveness is a gift you give yourself so that others don't occupy free real estate in your mind" blah blah... But no. It's sometimes literally impossible when someone hurts your children or your family. I have so struggled with this one particular issue for years. One group of individuals badly wronged us. I can't really give any details but what they did, while it came from ignorance and anger on their part, with a combination of bad parenting, no amount of logic could erase the hurt that they ultimately caused.

After several years and MONTHS of reading about it, I finally just turned to Hashem and explained, even though He knew every bit of it, that by forgiving these people, I would be doing so at the expense of my family's 'kavod', not mine and I had no right.

I told Hashem openly that I would go above and beyond to tell them I forgive them and try to actually forgive them and eradicate the pain in my heart that they caused, but sadly, like a bad penny, it creeps up on me and I know I must have not actually forgiven them in my soul. So I keep asking for that strength. And I aske for understanding too.

I know Hashem hears me. I know He understands me. But thus far, as much as I wish my heart followed what my mind tells me to do, it is too difficult.

Keep trying please! I'm trying too! But the Rosh Hashanah deadline hasn't been met yet, and it's been several painful years. I'm so ashamed to admit this. I wish I was stronger. But forgiveness is not simply saying, "I forgive you!" It's actually forgiving.

I have things I want Hashem to forgive me for as well. I use that as my incentive. I won't give up trying! I literally love all Hashem's children. All his creations too. (cockroaches and things that walk run or fly faster than me I love from faaaar away) But 99.999‰ of His creations didn't actively hurt my family.

Forgiveness is not a simple thing. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It doesn't mean you're not a good person or you don't WANT to forgive. Believe me, I know. It weighs heavily on me. But, while they were wrong, they know they were wrong and forgiveness is not something they have a right to ask of me, I want to do it one day with my whole heart. I guess I'm just verbalizing what I've been thinking all these years.

I want to. I really do. But I'm a work in progress.

Would you ask a person who was nebach abused to forgive their attacker? Would you ask a parent to forgive someone who caused their children horrible pain to "forgive and forget?" It's a ridiculous notion that it's expected of us. That's why it's so so so hard.

My advice, (and it's coming from someone who is not a saint) is, give it your best shot and may Hashem help us all truly forgive those who have wronged us and have no remorse.

A gut gebentched yar
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Lizzie4




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 20 2019, 2:53 am
A big concept of forgiveness is finding inner peace, letting go of grudges so you can free up precious headspace. When you are angry at someone, every time you think of it you bring up all those bad feelings and then you are the one who is suffering. This person already wronged you terribly! Why are you giving them more of a hold over you?

It's very important to process all of these bad feelings so you can let go and move on.

Acknowledge the pain, talk about it, maybe approach the person who wronged you to tell them how hurt you were by what happened. ..

Wishing you true inner peace 🙏
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daagahminayin




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 20 2019, 2:59 am
OP, I heard this shiur on the topic: How to forgive if you can’t forget?

https://www.theyeshiva.net/jewish/7122
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Jewishfoodie




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 20 2019, 3:08 am
daagahminayin wrote:
OP, I heard this shiur on the topic: How to forgive if you can’t forget?

https://www.theyeshiva.net/jewish/7122


(thanks for posting that. A gut gebenched yar!)
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amother




Burlywood


Post  Fri, Sep 20 2019, 5:41 am
I definitely relate.
I need yeshuos and I'm scared this is what's stopping them from happening. But I don't want to pretend to forgive. How can I forgive when they never said sorry?
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Ruchel




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 20 2019, 6:13 am
Don't pretend. But for a child that may be the exception. I would still bring up the hurt you feel NOW. Hashem isn't going to punish you for being human
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1091




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 20 2019, 7:23 am
amother [ Burlywood ] wrote:
I definitely relate.
I need yeshuos and I'm scared this is what's stopping them from happening. But I don't want to pretend to forgive. How can I forgive when they never said sorry?


So this is where I am. Years of horrible behavior and no apologies.

Apologies are often a gesture of I recognize I should have done something differently. In some cases the individual just doesn’t see why they should have behaved otherwise.

But I am working on forgiveness thoughI doubt I will ever forget. My anger hurts only me. The individual couldn’t care less. And it hurts my family. I have opened my home back to them in the interest of my family with very certain rules and sometimes think, maybe that will have to suffice as forgiveness.
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amother




Blonde


Post  Fri, Sep 20 2019, 8:07 am
I have been hurt very badly many times in my life. For me, there are four things that really helped:

1. Time. It might not be possible for you this year, and that's okay. You might need more time, especially since this person had no remorse.

2. Reflecting on what made the person behave this way. Chances are they have troubles that make their life difficult and miserable. I finally got to the point when I found out that my ex-fiance/rapist was getting married that I hoped that he would be happy and fufilled so that he wouldn't hurt anyone else. (This was 7-8 years later, though!)

3. Try to give it over to Hashem. Everything is for a reason, though it's not so easy to understand or accept!

4. Make your life better. Move on, and rise above. Look for ways to improve and be happier than before.

Hashem should grant you peace and joy!
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amother




Seashell


Post  Fri, Sep 20 2019, 8:43 am
It's really hard! Especially when there no apologies at all!
Another thing that can help, is to realize that whatever we go thru in life was given to us by hashem, every nisayon,every sickness...
the person that hurt us was only the shaliach to make us experience the suffering we suffered!
It could have been that person just as it could have been someone else.
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polka dots




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 20 2019, 9:02 am
Another step that needs to happen before forgive was is feeling safe. You need to feel that that person can't hurt you anymore like that. If your still scared of them, then you really can't forgive.
By knowing that either they came to a place of understanding how they wronged you and won't do it again or by knowing that you are stronger and you have a way that this won't be able to affect you as much you can hopefully move on easier.
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amother




Saddlebrown


Post  Fri, Sep 20 2019, 9:29 am
I heard from a rav that the obligation to forgive is only when forgiveness is asked. That helped me so much. There were years (before that) that agonized how to forgive. It freed me to heal on my own terms which ultimately led to forgiveness
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amother




OP


Post  Fri, Sep 20 2019, 9:41 am
Thank you everyone. There are amazing strong and validating responses here.
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amother




Brunette


Post  Fri, Sep 20 2019, 2:13 pm
Is approaching that person an option? I found that could also help, but it depends on the nature of that person.
Even if he doesn't apologize, telling him how you feel/ felt may in some cases help you feel better and more forgiving.
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Cheiny




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 20 2019, 4:58 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
It’s that time of year again. The kids are coming home singing “dip the apple” and blowing shofar. The teachers are stressing the importance of teshuva and forgiving those who’ve wronged you.

But what if you can’t find it within you to forgive?

At one point during this year I was REALLY wronged. Not only wronged, but also extremely humiliated. I cried for days, didn’t have an appetite and had trouble sleeping as a result of what this person did to me. I remember describing what happened as if “someone plunged a knife into my heart, twisted it, took it out and did it again.” I can’t give too many details but it was BAD.

I know the concept of forgiving others so that Hashem forgives me. But honestly, HOW? How do I think about this person without bitterness? How can I have no hard feelings to someone who shamed me without pity?

Any ideas?


Tell yourself that while this person wronged you with their bechira, Hashem will handle the person how He sees fit, but that person was a shaliach to carry out what Hashem deemed it good for your neshama to go through. Try to accept it b’ahava and ask Hashem to have the Emunah to understand that it was from Hashem and the person was only a tool. Hopefully they will ask you for forgiveness at some point.
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Librarian




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 20 2019, 5:40 pm
If the person does not ask for forgiveness it is very very very difficult to forgive. It feels like your pain doesn't count, like your suffering doesn't matter. I try to keep in mind that my pain matters to HKBH. And time - years - will soften the memory and slowly allow for forgiveness.
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daagahminayin




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Sep 20 2019, 6:57 pm
Jewishfoodie wrote:
(thanks for posting that. A gut gebenched yar!)


You too!
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Studious




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Sep 21 2019, 3:22 pm
I am confused about the need to forgive people who didn’t apologize to you. Isn’t an apology a prerequisite?
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