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View Diary: The Private Side of Republican Crazy (130 comments)

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  •  this is not to dispute your assertion about guilt (7+ / 0-)

    imposed from outside. But sometimes people who haven't themselves experienced child abuse fail to grasp that its emotional damage typically includes being taught to forgive without expecting any apology in return and without anticipating any change of behavior by the forgiven person. Such an ingrained inclination to forgive is self-defeating and harmful. People who have been chronically abused as children often need to learn NOT to forgive, before they can make sense of what happened to them.

    As one who has worked (on a volunteer basis) with victims of felony-level domestic violence, I hesitate to advise any victim of abuse to forgive his or her abuser. Yes, forgiveness can be liberating and healthy under the right conditions. But those conditions may not be attainable for some.

    "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." -- Thomas Jefferson

    by pianogramma on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 11:52:59 AM PDT

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    •  Forgiveness Pt II (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zenox
      being taught [learning] to forgive without expecting any apology in return and without anticipating any change of behavior by the forgiven person.
      Ironic, as forgiveness without expecting response or change from the 'other' is a sign of non-self centered, healthy spiritual growth.

      I'll sure defer to your experience, some are not in a psychological position to for give an abuser; however, the person that I responded to seemed like someone who might resonate a bit with a potentially liberating 'out' for their dilemma.

      You meet them halfway with love, peace and persuasion, and expect them to rise for the occasion ~ Van Morrison

      by paz3 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 03:00:18 PM PDT

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      •  ironic indeed (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Penny GC, zenox, Creosote
        forgiveness without expecting response or change from the 'other' is a sign of non-self centered, healthy spiritual growth
        We haven't defined what we mean by forgiveness here, so forgive me if I misunderstand. One person's healthy spiritual growth is another person's ticket to emotional confusion and depression. In the case of the person to whom you responded, forgiveness might reinforce the abusive maternal delusional system (I'm never responsible for anything bad; I didn't do anything worth getting upset about; you shouldn't be angry at me) still echoing in her head.

        "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." -- Thomas Jefferson

        by pianogramma on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 03:28:32 PM PDT

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    •  Thank you for stating this so clearly. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pianogramma

      I've heard of therapists telling patients they must forgive an abuser or else they can never be truly cured, and have felt how repellant such kinds of forced forgiveness are.

      For a person raised to be obedient as a test of will,  forgiveness of that kind stifles the sort of assertiveness that makes real work and caring possible.

      •  You're welcome. It's an important point. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Creosote

        For anyone who has been bullied into believing her abuse is either misperceived (therefore she's stupid or crazy) or well deserved (therefore her misery is her own fault), exhortations to forgive the abuser merely reinforce the DV pathology. This can be fatal in a felony DV situation. I've seen it be fatal. It's what every judge fears, when confronted with a victim who has forgiven her assailant and now stands before the court, pleading to have the No Contact Order lifted.

        When the violence is primarily emotional, as in my case, the suggestion that the victim is somehow defective or selfish when she has finally broken through to the point of directing her anger toward her abuser instead of exclusively toward herself is profoundly toxic.

        Furthermore, it is impossible to forgive delusional abusers like my parents or zenox's mother to their face, because they believe they've done nothing that merits an apology. The very idea of forgiving them will be taken as an insult.

        "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." -- Thomas Jefferson

        by pianogramma on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 06:30:17 AM PDT

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        •  Yes, I completely agree. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pianogramma, Lonely Texan

          As a reader and admirer of many analytic writers from DWW to Bion, Bollas, and Ogden, I am certain that absence or refusal of early attachment, especially in the years before language, can play an immense part in all this, as the child is driven to attempt to repair the parent - or the abusive partner - in order to find someone to finally begin to live and think with.

          See also the book The Telescoping of Generations . . .

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