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Thread: How to forgive and let go?

  1. #1

    Default How to forgive and let go?

    Every single night, when I lie in bed and try to sleep, I find everything bad that happened to me in the past just coming back to me in a flood, and then I feel intense rage. Rage against my rapist, rage against the peers who beaten me and humiliated me on a daily basis, rage against the adults in my life who knew what was going on but chose to do nothing to stop it, rage against the adults in my life who told me I deserved to get beaten and humiliated on a daily basis, etc......

    I find myself fantasizing about going back to those times and, instead of being passive about it all like I did, actually reacting to those things violently.

    I also find myself fantasizing about going back to those times and killing myself in some very high profile ways, just to get somebody's attention about how I was actually feeling at that time.

    Then I turn around today, and I see a movie at the local video store about how a woman who was a concentration camp victim was able to get on with her life and actually forgive the people who mistreated her. I plan on going back there to rent it later this week, actually..... But if she could manage that and have some serenity in her heart, then why the fuck can't I?

    I want to forgive those who have done me wrong. Not for their sake, but for my own.

    This anger in my heart is so fucking overwhelming - I do not wish to carry it around inside me for the rest of my life.

    Yeah, I know. I got diagnosed with PTSD a couple of years ago. Some people feel pity for me over that, while others tell me I am an "asshole" for "choosing to be traumatized" by my experiences. Heh.

    I want to be able to go to bed at night, and not feel overwhelming rage and frustration.

    I want to be able to let go of this rage completely, to move on with my life, to focus my energy on bigger and better possibilities for my future.

    I have been talking with my therapist about this, but I have only seen this therapist twice so far. I know that a quick fix for this problem is pretty much impossible for me, but if anybody can think of any strategies that could help me out, I'm willing to listen and to try them out.

  2. #2
    Butterfly Mage


    I completely know where you are coming from. There isn't an easy answer. I've found that it's nearly impossible to forgive someone who isn't sorry. My dad beat me, molested me, and tried to starve me to death. The teachers in school *had* to know something was wrong but they did nothing. I got bullied at school mercilessly and the teachers did nothing (dad thought the bullies were awesome since they were tough and proud).

    How do you forgive someone who is basically unforgiveable? That question was one of the things that turned me away from Christianity to begin with. After all, in that religion, if you don't forgive someone, you're considered more evil than the agressor. I don't buy that arguement.

    I've been in therapy for 15 years. I can't say I've forgiven my dad. But I can go through my day without the memory of what he did to me dominating my thoughts.

  3. #3


    Damn, sorry to hear about what you went through, Butterfly Mage.

    My mother and stepfather knew I was being bullied mercilessly at school (although now that they know I have a PTSD diagnosis, they are trying to claim they had no idea how bad it actually was - and I am not buying that). Every day I would come home from school crying, covered in bruises, only to have them and my younger sister pounding on my door, screaming at me to "shut the fuck up" and to "grow the fuck up and get over it" because "others have things so much worse, you should be happy with your life, you have no right to feel upset about anything, because you do bring it all upon yourself".

    So now, my mother and stepfather are trying to claim that they had no idea that I was going through such tough times, and that they had no idea exactly how much pain I am actually in. Well, I think they are only making those claims in some pathetic attempt to absolve themselves from the damage they have dealt out upon me, not because they actually care about me, but because they know what they did was wrong and they want to be able to sleep better at night.

    I do remember when I first told my mother about the sexual abuse I went through, she responded with her usual words - "Well, others have had it so much worse than what you have lived through. You really do not have any right to feel any anger towards that man, for that reason alone. So, just let it go."

    Yes, really.

    I find I have a tough time trusting therapists. After all, the man who raped me was a therapist with a PhD in child psychology, and many of the therapists my mother dragged me to when I was younger did seedy things - such as tape the conversations I had with them to play them back for my mother later.

    Thanks for your words, I am sorry to hear about everything you went through, I really am. None of the people who hurt me over the years feel any real regret about the things that they did and the damage they dealt out. I do not want to forgive them for their sake. I want to forgive them so that when I go to bed at night, I can focus on how I am going to live a great day when I wake up the next morning, instead of being eaten alive with rage and hatred, and instead of having fantasies of self-destruction being wrapped up within all of that.

    I have a new therapist now, and hopefully she will be able to help me work through this. I wish I could look my past right in the eye and not crumble into sheer anger, because this anger is not doing me any good at all. I am glad you are able to go through your day without your memories dominating your thoughts - I clearly am not even close to being at that point yet.

  4. #4


    I thought I was alone feeling like this, but instead of rage I feel regret even if it wasnt my fault sometimes. Like it would be my fault that I was bullied! :O

  5. #5
    Butterfly Mage


    The whole thing about getting molested by a male is why my counselors have always had to be female. I totally know where you're coming from on the trust issue.

  6. #6


    It's a gradual process. You shouldn't expect to wake up in the morning and go "Ah, all is forgiven"

    I try not to let anger or rage dominated to much of my psyche. The few situations that got me angry and mean-spirited are now nothing but a dull ache in my head. I can never forgive those for the crimes that they done, but I can make their actions no longer affect me. (In others, forgiveness and letting go can be two completely different actions)

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by kaworuchan View Post
    I want to forgive those who have done me wrong. Not for their sake, but for my own.
    From my own standpoint, I think this is the only way that any sort of peace can be achieved. It doesn't matter if the people who wronged you feel any sort of remorse, or even if they realize how much they hurt you. If they are no longer actively hurting you, and it's only the memories that inspire anger, it's time to let go. For your own sake. It's easier said than done.

    If you are no longer being actively harmed like you were in the past, I would focus on that. Focus on how, except for the memories, your life is better now. (Sorry if I'm making too many presumptions--I'm just guessing that most of these things happened in your childhood/adolescence and have since stopped.)

    I guess... that's what I did and what I'm still trying to do. Every once in a while, the old anger starts to well up, but before it can take hold, I remind myself of where I am and why that anger will now only cause me more harm than good. It takes a lot of active reminding, especially at first. I'm learning to let go, and it's getting easier.

  8. #8


    I think the only thing your doing is tourturing yourself, you can't go back and fix the past, I wish I could but I can not fix any of the bad things that happend to me.

    I have had my share, but if I dwell on them they stay fresh in my memory,I live for today and take tomorrow as it comes problems and all, I solve those problem one at a time and move on to the next.

  9. #9


    Yeah, lot's of people probably have some better insight than me, and I can't pretend to understand what went down in your life and what you're going through now, but whatever.

    Don't know how you can overcome what happened. Most stuff is easier said than done. But I figure the best way to start making things better is to grow through life with a positive outlook. When you wake up in the morning, give yourself something to look forward to. Give yourself a reason to be happy as you start your day. Do it eveyr morning. When you're about to have lunch, do it again. Think about how the morning went, focus on what was solid and then think about what you can do to make the day even better. Do stuff that makes you feel good and others happy. Try stuff you haven't done. When you go to eat supper, do it again. Pretty simple. Just think about good stuff. Seriously, the mindset is huge, and if you genuinely want to be happy and try to be, it's not too tough to pull off. You're not going to get a whole lot of good just waiting for life to get better - you have to take it by the face and scream that you want something great out of it. Solid way to get through it I think. Try it out some time.

  10. #10


    You must work to release these intense and consuming emotions. I've been dealing with my own demons for decades and still find myself thinking about going back and getting even on occasion.

    I have to check myself and deal with the fact that it is done and cannot be undone. In some regard wrongs I suffered made me the person I am today, so I have to accept that they served a purpose and go from there.

    I also take solace in the notion that someone may kill my body, but they will not make me defeat myself as I did in years past. I now say with conviction, "Death before dishonor."

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