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hrairoo's avatar

Have you ever forgiven someone who seriously hurt you?

Asked by hrairoo (147points) March 11th, 2018

If so, can you please share…

1. What the person did to hurt you.
2. How they convinced you they were sorry.
3. What emotions you felt.
4. Why did you forgive them?

I’m looking for advice for a friend in need. Thank you!

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10 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

I forgave my mom for emotional, physical and psychological abuse in my teen years due to drugs and alcohol.
She doesn’t remember most of it, but she aplogized, stopped the drinking and changed her life.
Emotions I felt were rage, deep hurt, embaressment, helplessness, protectiveness and a deep need for control and security.
I forgive her every day still, but in the end she needs me and I love her. She will never exert control over me again as when I was a child, which allows my inner child to relax and allow the love again.

Jeruba's avatar

I can’t. It’s still too personal. But I think you have to separate out number 2. They may never tell or show you they’re sorry, and they may never be sorry. You may have to forgive them anyway—for your sake, not theirs.

For years, I thought, “Why should I forgive someone who doesn’t ask to be forgiven?” It took me 15 years to learn the answer. I had thought forgiveness had something to do with justice and mercy, as both Christian religions and Shakespeare teach us, and had to be earned by repentance. I guess God is seen as an entity that has no need of healing.

It turns out to be one of those many things where if you’re the perpetrator, you pay. If you’re the victim, you pay. That’s because you’re simply one of the people who pay. Some people never pay.

My injury came from someone close to me who never expressed any regret and died without an apology, leaving me to carry it for the rest of my life. I had to choose to put it down. Some of it still clings to me, though, and probably always will.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Jeruba I’m sorry. Seems like some people are just heartless.

Jeruba's avatar

@KNOWITALL, and some are narcissistic and greedy, and some are so certain of their righteousness that they just have no sense whatever of the destructive effects of their choices.

MrGrimm888's avatar

They’ll just hurt you again….

Love_my_doggie's avatar

Yes – my mother.

She was a vile, mean-spirited person who had no friends, fought with the neighbors, and couldn’t even imagine getting along with people in any workplace. Her long-term abuse of me got so bad, I finally severed the relationship and became estranged for about fifteen years. How many times could I put my hand into a fire until I would grow weary of being burned? I simply couldn’t continue being treated that way.

Seven years ago, Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Almost instantly, it was as if she’d had a personality transplant. She became lovely, loving, and loveable, the mother I’d always wished I could have. We adore each other, and I’m completely devoted to her.

This isn’t so unusual with A.D. As parts of the brain deteriorate or become impossible to access, other parts emerge. Sometimes, a likeable person can morph into someone cruel and miserable; other times, however, a person can change for the better.

Even though the estrangement was the only thing I could do, it fractured my soul. As time went by, I felt guilty and tortured every day, thinking about Mom and worrying as she grew elderly alone.

There really aren’t words to describe my gratitude for this gift. During these past seven years, we’ve loved a lifetime’s worth. I’m healed and, despite her grave illness, so is Mom.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Love Beautiful, thanks for sharing. So glad you got that healing,

AshlynM's avatar

Never had that happen to me, so no.

Pandora's avatar

The stories are many and too long to type them all out. But I usually end up forgiving people. Not because they convince me that they have changed, but rather because I either accept that they will never change and anger only hurts me, or because I wrote them out of my life. Usually when I write the person out of my life, it isn’t because I won’t or can’t forgive them, but rather I find they have no value to my life. I can still forgive someone and move on away from them because a relationship with them would be unhealthy. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting and letting that person hurt you again
To me, forgiving means letting go of the anger and accepting that I have control over my feelings and my life.. It means I do not wish them ill. I do not want revenge. Not forgiving them only means pain in my life. Often times we may be angry with someone but they don’t feel the hurt. It does nothing to them really. But it can color your view and change who you are. There is nothing to gain by holding a grudge. Only angry nights.

furious_rose's avatar

I recently lost one of my best friends because I did something very mean and stupid (I told his girlfriend that he was cheating on her [he WAS, but it really wasn’t any of my business and I should have kept my mouth shut]) and he would not forgive me. He claimed that that was the worst thing anyone had ever done to him.

I have a hard time with impulse control, and when he made me mad, that’s how I retaliated. :/

They didn’t break up, though, so I kinda had a hard time understanding why he had to be such a donkey to me. He talked his way out of it like a boss, and fully convinced his girlfriend that it was me who was the lying scumbag. So, I’m sure it was stressful for him, but I think he’s overreacting a little.

I thought he should have taken into consideration all of the favors I had done for him during the course of our friendship, and realize that I had made one really bad mistake, but that I was a generally good person.

I mean, when he needed money in the middle of the night, I drove some cash over to him, and he lives about 35 miles away from me. I definitely don’t know anyone who would do that kind of thing for me! And, I would pay to get his car fixed, buy dinner, let him use my Uber account, etc. Not once did he ever repay me or do favors for me like I did for him. Hmm. What a jerk! ha

Anyway, I apologized to him until I was blue in the face. I was sincere. I cried real, genuine tears. I expressed a great deal of remorse, and assured him that I would not do something like that again.

He stopped talking to me completely for a few months. Then, I sent him an email one day just telling him I missed him, and we sorta became “pen pals” for a little while, but we never spoke on the phone again or texted, and I never saw him again.

In his mind, there was nothing I could ever do to make up for that one mistake. He would never be able to get past it.

I even wrote up a pseudo-legal “behavioral assurance contract” (fancy-sounding, eh?!) where I gave him a signed, blank check and told him that if I ever misbehaved again, he had permission to cash the check for whatever amount he wanted. That’s TRUST, right there. And y’know what he did? He went and made the check out to himself for $300— and cashed it because he said he needed new brake pads and an oil change. WTF?! And I am the bad guy?!

I forgive people very easily; probably too easily, so this would have been a no-brainer for me. I would have given myself a second chance, if I were him.

I don’t cut someone off the first time they screw up. They need the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. And the reason why I give people a lot of chances, is because that’s what I would want a friend to do for me if it came down to it.

I try to be the type of friend that I would like to have, if that makes sense (even though I screw up mega once in awhile, like I did in this case, ha).

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