Sunday, November 28, 2010

Forgiveness is...

I recently watched an Oprah show with 200 sexually abused men. On that episode, Oprah quoted someone who was on an earlier show. In that one statement, I found great healing:

"Forgiveness means letting go of the hope that my past could have been any different."

I've spent about 2 weeks letting that sentence roll around in my mind. It means something to me. It spoke to me in a way that nothing else has. I believe this sentence pulled together 6 years of therapy, allowing the words of my therapist, Mr.S, to finally hit the target.

I realize now that I, and many others like me, desperately and constantly want our sordid pasts to be something else (who wouldn’t).
  • I always went on about what happened in the past and I realize now that I should be going on about what is in my future
  • I was desperate to hide my past as if I could wipe if off the wall so no one can see it, but in reality, no one sees it unless I show it.
  • Hope is an impossible emotion when I’m directing it behind me; hope is only for the future.
  • I’ve been locked in that single nano-second of time when one recognizes total and complete loss, such as the death of a loved one, and I’m saying, “If I can go back to just a few seconds before... things would be different.”   ...    ...
 No, things won't be any different, because there is no going back.

I feel like I'm in mourning. I'm not sure I know what to do with all this understanding. I feel different, but weird, like I'm in yet another skin. I have therapy tomorrow. I'm afraid to go. Isn't that weird? If any of you were here with me, I'm sure I would be chattering like a monkey trying to explain this. 

Here are a few other posts of mine that totally say that I'm living in the past:

God is Cruel, Sometimes, He Make Us Live
Changing Expectations
To Be Or Not To Be
Right As Rain
T, Are You Listening?
Forgiveness Doesn't Mean It Doesn't Matter


Kerro said...

((hugs)) Ivory, I feel for you. The mourning thing is tough. I've been there, still go there sometimes. Apparently it's completely "normal" to mourn for what we never had, what we SHOULD have had, but it's really hard. Important, though, as you point out.

I can't call this "forgiveness" because I have a problem with that word - for me it conjures up too many images of whackos telling me to "forgive" my abusers. No way. For me, accepting that we didn't have what we should have had, and grieving that loss.

Take care as you go through this.

Just Be Real said...

Ivory appreciate your honesty in your pain in this post. Blessings.

Grace said...

Yeah, God can be cruel, huh? I have spent so very much time thinking "If I could just make it NOT happen..." and what better way to make you stop with the constant sui thoughts than giving you the reality of living with the very real possibility of dying.
It's true Ivory, you can't go back. You can't "unring" the bell, or make it not happen...sounds quite logical and yet not so easy for the little ones to understand.

castorgirl said...

I'm glad that you are able to make the connections. I hope you let us know how therapy went for you, with this new knowledge or understanding.

I'm not sure whether I'm reading you as feeling excitement, relief or sadness over this. I can sense the pain and grief behind your words, but is there anything else there?

Take care,

hopefortrauma said...

For me when I let go of the hope that my past could have been different it did not feel good. I guess one could describe this as a sort of let down feeling? It kind of reminds me of this quote "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin. Take care <3

Michael Finley said...

Hard work that.

I find that as soon as I have a past than it becomes the past. I only live the past that I did not know.

Sometimes it is just opening a pathway to that past and then over time it is in the past. That is not how it started.

Ivory said...

Kerro, Thanks for understanding. It is a lot like mourning something. I, too, have a problem with what forgiveness means - maybe that's why I keep posting about it. Think?

JBR - I want to be honest, just in case there is someone, somewhere, who reads and what I say makes sense - then there is 2 of us who have taken a step forward.

Grace - Yes, I believe it's the littles who keep me "in the past". I want to find a way to get past that, tho, it's keeping me from moving forward, as any DID will understand.

Castorgirl, it's excitement over hearing something that makes sense to me, but I wasn't prepared to feel sadness over the "loss". I'm sure I will find myself wishing I could change/erase my past again, but I have something more concrete to hang onto and pull myself up with: understanding.

HopeForTrauma, yes, let down is exactly how I felt! It took me awhile to realize that the let down feeling is because I realized that I have spent a lot of time, years actually, trying to acomplish the impossible. I feel as if I've wasted my time, my life, my money, and my health for what is basically hitting a brick wall.

Michael, I am aware of much of what happened to me - not all of it, but the time frame is short and identified. It was horrible and I don't think I will ever NOT say, "I wish it wouldn't have happened."

Just Be Real said...

Ivory, came by to give you a ((((Ivory))) and to thank you for your encouraging words left for me on my blog. Blessings.

Paul said...

Ivory. Nice to see you posting again!

I'm not so sure I love that quote. Maybe that's what forgiveness is and maybe that's what's important.

But for me, I would change that sentence to somethign like: "Healing means accepting that the past happened and now the goal is to move forward and live life."

Ivory said...

JBR, Thanks for the hug!

Paul, I like your version of forgiveness, but haven't reached the "moving on" part yet. I've just realized that I've been floundering in the memories. I don't want to do that anymore.