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Thread: How to forgive and move on?

  1. #1

    Default How to forgive and move on?

    Hello everyone,

    I would like to make a topic that can hopefully be helpful not only to myself, but to others here too.

    For those of you who have had tough experiences, how do you manage to forgive yourself or others?

    I don't want this to turn into a contest of who had worst experiences, because it is demeaning and guilt-ridden to do so. (Please, no statements like, "Your experience? Boy, that was nothing...your suffering was nothing compared to MY suffering!") Everyone deserves to find their peace, no matter what caused their inner stresses.

    So, I'll give a little bit of my story and what I've been doing to try to help myself.


    For most of my earlier school life (8+ years, from kindergarten to beginning of high school), I was bullied. I tried seeking help, but everything I tried to do to help myself seemed to fail--and the adults didn't seem to try hard-enough to help me.

    I was not physically abused, but I was actively ostracized for many years. I did not make/learn how to make any worthwhile friends, and "friends" I had managed to find eventually turned on me. I wanted to hurt (or kill) myself many times, because I felt so worthless and unwanted. I changed locations and forgot most of what happened (until recently), but I was left with a residual hate and distrust of people; at one point, my thoughts were so irrational that I was convinced that people who wanted to befriend me were faking it and really just wanted to hurt me. Ever since, if I've ever experienced anything that has made me feel remotely helpless, those feelings of helplessness have quickly jumped to hellish levels of rage--both towards myself and towards others.

    Fortunately, through all of this, I had loving and supporting parents. They have helped to provide some level of counseling, and I am pulling out of what has been a chronic depression. Now, I am looking for a way to move beyond what happened.

    I hated myself for not being able to help my situation and put things under control, back in elementary school...but I know that I deserve better. I deserve to live and thrive in this life, and I want to learn to forgive myself so that I can feel a sense of self-worth, rather than self-hatred.

    For those of you that have been through similar stories, how have you dealt with this pain?

    It seems to me forgiving others is easier than forgiving particularly, how did you forgive yourself?

    Thank you for your help and support.

  2. #2


    Oddly enough, I'm still going through this sorta thing.

    It reminds me of an old philosophical phrase.

    Excuse me if I'm paraphrasing here, but i believe it went something along the lines of...

    "Shit happens."

  3. #3


    Well, to get over my self-hatred, I found a place where I could help other people. (Like here. I'm sure at least a few people have listened to my wise words.) It made me feel like another human being could benefit from me, and made me feel like I had a place in this world. So, yeah, go out and volunteer or something. Donate to the homeless, help out at an animal shelter. Do something that makes you feel good about yourself. It really does help, trust me.

    And it's alright to hate the majority of society. It's slowly deteriorating and falling apart with how everybody is now. I don't really trust it any more, but instead of succumbing to it, I try to make it better. Whether it's recycling or teaching a kid how to treat people, it all makes a difference.

  4. #4


    I can relate to where you are coming from, Kif.

    My childhood was an endless onslaught of physical and emotional abuse - not from my parents, but from my classmates, most of the teachers I had, a few counselors, etc. The classmates tended to beat me up and humiliate me on a daily basis, while the teachers and counselors tended to tell me that I deserved that treatment. Also, being a student in the "special ed" class in the middle of a public school made me fair game for foul treatment from just about everybody else there, it seemed.

    I hated myself for so many years, I was convinced that I would never succeed in life and that I was doomed to live a life of failure.

    What helped me out was finding a good cognitive therapist. But I do recognize that route is not for everybody.

    I agree with NeiNei about the volunteering, that also boosted my self-esteem very much in the last year.

    As far as dealing with the people who cut you down in the past - recognizing that the problem lies with them, and not with yourself, is a good start to forgiving yourself. Most likely, you have nothing to forgive yourself for.

  5. #5


    here in the UK our schooling system is very different, after kindergarten we got primary school which lasts 7yrs then on to secondary school which lasts 5yrs after that you can either leave school or go to higher ed.
    ( thats what it was like in my day )
    i can relate to ur issues because i was bullied and made to feel like an outsider - probably cause i'm a geek and understood more than most at that age.
    things just changed.... i became a bullyand a vandal, it was a case of if u can't beat them join them.. ever since i've been a wise ass who takes no shit - cause i knew first hand what would happen if i did.
    i'm not saying u should do what i did ( bullies are bad, simply put ) but you can either take it or do something about it.
    like the dude above said ' shit happens ' Just don't let it happen to YOU!!

  6. #6


    I can relate as well. I was bullied thoughout my schooling years. Early on my parents made the mistake of putting me in tae kwon do classes for four years. I then lashed out at my tormentors physically and usually cheaply. I remember walking in a line back to the classroom and a boy who had been giving me shit for a while was in front of me. Just before we passed a sign that was posted by the sidewalk, I slammed his face into the back of it, breaking the skin and him needing to get stitches. I felt good back then, but now I look back and say that was uneccessary.
    In high school I became depressed (something I would deal with off and on from then) and started picking fights with anyone who got in my way. I do think that it is a bit "healthy" for boys to settle their differances with some fistacuffs rather than a gun or a knife. However fighting does not solve everything. Now that I am older I can see how immature I really was.
    Now I live by the way of "do what is right." If that means finding a really nice cell phone and calling the owner's home phone on it and returning it, to giving the cashier at the check out the change back that was too much being a dollar to ten dollars.
    It makes me feel better inside and I can always look back and say "I did the right thing."

  7. #7


    Take up a sport.
    I did kick boxing for most of my teenage life, and you can really punch and kick through the pain.

    I too was bullied in my early school years, and do feel quite resentful towards my ex-classmates and certain teachers. Sometimes you just have to forget about stuff.
    Try hypnosis! Seriously, you can hypnotise yourself and make it so you feel good (or rather not bad) about past experiences. Might be worth researching.

  8. #8


    i seem to have developed a tendency to assume everyone is out to get me, and i have a hard time trusting anyone. i could probably point to experiences in the past that helped that state of mind develop, but i'm not sure that would be relevant. the most important thing is to be realistic. most people are perfectly nice, even if it's difficult for you to believe that. some people are even extraordinarily nice. i try to give everyone i meet the benefit of the doubt until i've gotten to know them.

    at the same time, the reality is that some people are just jerks, and it's best to avoid those people. if there are people like that in your past then forgiving them is good, but that doesn't mean you wouldn't avoid them if you saw them. and when you meet somebody new, it's best to figure out as quickly as possible whether or not they're going to turn out to be a jerk. it's hard to do that while still being fair and open-minded, and i'm not sure i can say i've fully mastered it yet.

  9. #9


    I'm alot older than you guys, and I went thru the bullying, I was a little fat kid very easy to pick on, live your own life make sure you do better than they do, it's probably not much comfort to you now but later on you will get the last laugh.

    I did.

  10. #10


    My story is kind of half-relevant.

    I was a teasing target during elementary school and early middle school. I remember really hating social situations at the time - I felt like I'd missed the boat early on somewhere, never to ever get another chance - and it was a real drag on my self-esteem. I was lucky enough to be smart - one of if not the smartest in my class - and I compensated by being really ambitious in the classroom. I remember wondering at least a few times where I'd be if I didn't have that, and my parents' message of "everyone hates grade school - you have such a bright future" wasn't resonating.

    Somewhere in late middle school to early high school, people stopped wasting their time and just ignored me. I think what ultimately happened was that as I started taking mostly honors courses and only academic clubs/teams, I just wasn't in close proximity to the people who cared to bother me.

    I think I have the background to comprehend the depths to which one can go, but I never went there myself, and I got out of where I got easy.

    My lesson learned is this:

    If you do worthwhile things with your time, you're going to end up around like-minded people who are also doing worthwhile things. You will artificially select from the vast pool of your peers a subset that is statistically much less likely to mistreat you.
    Last edited by Fruitkitty; 29-Dec-2009 at 19:07.

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