This post I think may ruffle a few feathers and if it does, that is okay, just get off my page. I have no use for you, nor do my fellow survivors. If you leave hateful messages you can be assured no one will see them. I have mentioned before that I am not for everyone, nor is my page. I think that is okay. There are lots of other resources you can follow and read that fit with your views.
However, I am open to a dialogue that is respectful and considerate of different views. My views are not necessarily the views of everyone and I am aware of this fact and I can respect that. This, however is my blog, my sanctuary so this is where I am queen. I rule the content, the comments and I protect my fellow survivors. So do not piss me off. I am on a short fuse lately.
I am so tired guys. So tired of the people who force their views down our throats and shame the victim and put the responsibility on the victim or if you prefer a different term, the traumatized.
Forgiveness is not necessary for trauma victims to heal.
I cannot stress this one enough. Now, keep in mind I am not shaming those who feel the need to forgive, those who are able to forgive and those who have different views. I am however calling out those who try to force this on the rest of us. The ones who feel differently.
Some background on why I feel that forgiveness is not necessary for trauma healing
My biological mother, as I have mentioned before, was mentally ill. In a time when the knowledge and treatment was not particularly barbaric, but certainly inadequate.
She had so many psychotic episodes throughout my childhood that I was moved more than forty times by the time I was twelve. This means that I was in more than two or three schools per year. I was in and out of all of the foster homes in the county and this is not counting the times when I was a baby and was left with biological family members. They stopped taking me when I was no longer a cute baby.
As time went on, the biological family gave up and just stopped helping or caring. We were left with only each other and the police who would pick her up when she had a psychotic break and the system that would put me in a home, then send me back to her, knowing that it would happen again. Knowing that each time I was getting more and more damaged.
I have the records. I have the notes that the different caseworkers wrote. I know that they did try to help but they sure as hell did not try hard enough.
The term Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was not yet considered. PTSD was specifically for Vets and the Armed Units, not for little girls who were abused and tormented and unloved. Childhood trauma was not a real field of study and the psychologist that I was forced to see were ill equipped to help me or my biological mother.
Blaming the victim
My entire childhood was filled with my biological mother, teachers, foster parents, religious leaders, family members and social workers telling me I was not good enough. I was told through verbal abuse, through well-meaning but ignorant adults, I was told through looks and beatings that I was not good enough. I did not work hard enough.
I was told that I was incapable of having real relationships, that I was only capable of having superficial relationships. I was told that I was manipulative, that I would put one person against another. That I would cause adults and children to argue with each other. I was told over and over that I had to be better, that I had to be different, that I had to be someone other than what I was.
I was told that I was incapable of love when I all I wanted was to be loved. How they could not see that I loved with a heart of flaming fire I cannot understand to this day. Nor can my true mother, my adoptive mother. The woman who choose me and never gave up on me and to this day supports and loves and protects me. Something my biological family never did.
My own biological family thought they were better than me. I had two cousins who lived with their parents and my grandmother in the home that my grandmother and grandfather built and they looked down on me. Saw me as defective and unworthy. No one in my biological family wanted me or tried to help protect me. They lived their lives, their “normal” lives while I was shuttled from home to home to home and while I suffered they lived and loved and were a part of something that I was not.
I starved while they had homes and food and went on vacations and had presents for Christmas and birthdays and lived in one home. They had each other and they had security. The had clean clothing and they never had to wear hand me down shoes that were too small it hurt to walk or pants that did not fit because I was a growing girl and we could not afford to buy me clothing. I had lice because my mother could not take care of me. I was dirty because my mother would not clean me.
The family that should have been there for me abandoned me and looked down on me and my biological mother. I was the outcast, the throw away child and I can tell you this right now, I will never forgive, but I will heal.
My anger and frustration
Years ago, I started to go through The Box Of Pain. I was at the time too vulnerable and it destroyed me for a while. All of the pain and grief was brought to the surface and it scared the shit out of me. I read what the social services, psychiatrists and psychologists and foster parents thought of me and my biological mother. I read how they saw the damaging attachment that we had, how she would not let me out of her sight and how she used her religion to torture me.
I read how they did not think I could ever develop a healthy loving relationship with anyone because I was damaged beyond recovery. I also read how they thought I was a bubbly and delightful child when I was not with my biological mother. How they could see glimpses of something other than the dirty, damaged girl. But mostly, what I read was how they thought that I was manipulative and out for myself. How I tried to get the best for myself, how I thought no one else suffered because I was so focused on myself. And as I read these things, I was distraught.
I thought, what if they were right. And I want you to really focus on my message here my friends because I think it is important and those of us who have suffered trauma are so vulnerable to this. I started to think that their reality was the real reality and mine was not. I started to lose myself to the doubts that crept in.
What if I really was incapable of love? Did that mean that the relationships I had were fake? Did I really love my family and my friends? Did they love me? Could they love me if I could not love them? Was I faking without knowing it? Were they faking? Did I misunderstand and was everything I thought was real not real? Who was I?
If these people saw me this way, in a way that was so different than how I saw myself, were they right or was I?
It was at this point my mom told me to put the box away and these people were idiots that they did not see what a loving little girl I had been and still was. (Not so little anymore-my words not hers) It angered her that they could not see what she saw right away when we first met. They were fools. They were ignorant. They had no clue.
Now here is my message, those of us who have been conditioned to think badly of ourselves can feel so fragile, so vulnerable when confronted with someone who tries to overwrite our reality with theirs. These people are Gaslighters and they are insidious. They try to make us see ourselves as though we are not enough, as though we are bad, as though we are dirty. They try to blame us for what we have been through and for how we respond and react to our trauma. When we are working on recovering, this can be particularly painful and difficult to fight back against.
Why forgiveness is not required to recover from trauma
It is funny because as I write this I think about how I am going against the belief of so many. The Dali Lama who is well respected, believes that we need to forgive people. He believe that we should not forget but that we must forgive. Religious leaders, from all different religions, believe the same. We must forgive. The message is shoved down the trauma survivors throat.
What they are saying here is that we need to forgive and that it is our responsibility. They shame us if we chose to say “Nope” , they claim they have the answers and that we need to do what they think is the right way to heal. They are full of shit.
Look if you are able to and want to forgive the abusers who traumatized you, then I applaud you efforts, however, please do not feel that you have to do so. Do what works for you.
I personally will never forgive, nor will I forget, yet I will heal. Those two methodologies are not dependent up one another and you can heal with out forgiving.