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I've been hurt a lot in my life—obviously, everyone has—and all through my adolescence and young adult life, one thing that has been consistently shoved down my fucking throat is the importance of forgiveness. Apparently, it's important to forgive and let go for the sake of yourself or some shit. Yeah, okay.
Listen, I can deal with forgiveness. I'm mostly a nice person. Too nice. In fact, I can barely stay mad or hold a grudge at all. That's probably why I swear too much. That's also probably why I stayed in an abusive relationship with a narcissistic drug addict for 13 years... but yeah, we're not going there right now.
Go to Google. Go search for forgiveness quotes and have a read. I'll wait.
"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."
"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you."
And so on and so forth with the happy horseshit and self-righteous circle jerking and Bible quotes. I'm sorry, but the only place happy horseshit and self-righteous circle jerking has in my life is when I'm posting about going to the gym. I ain't saying shit about the Bible though. You Christians stay over there and be nice. We're cool as long as you're not shoving verses and shit down my throat. Live and let live, mmmkay? You can call me an asshole if you want to. I probably am. And I totally forgive you.
That being said, I am not totally for or against forgiveness and/or quotes from Google. I might remind you that this is just my opinion, and everyone is different; insert more happy horseshit here. And if you're into non-gym-related, self-righteous circle jerking, that's none of my business. I'm a random internet person, and if you're still reading this... well, shit. I'm sorry. Please forgive me.
In any case, forgiveness is different for everyone... and it is different for different situations. I'm a forgiving person... obviously, I'm not still harboring hatred for the lady that butted in front of me when I was reaching for the last bag of cat food on sale, or for the person that I thought was my best friend spreading nasty rumors about me. Maybe that lady needed more cat food than me, and maybe my ex-bff needs more attention or some kind of psychiatric intervention. Maybe even an exorcism. Whatever. I forgive them.
Sometimes, however, there are things that most of society has deemed unforgivable. Namely, certain types of abuse. Yet, as survivors, we are often (directly or indirectly) pressured to forgive. It's for our own good, etc. etc...
Maybe it is, I don't know. I'm not a mental health expert—or an expert on anything for that matter. But I'd just like to give you my take on this.
I'm a survivor of childhood emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, as well as a good healthy smattering of neglect and abandonment. Because of my upbringing (or lack thereof), I often stupidly placed myself in dangerous and abusive situations and relationships, as an adolescent and as a young adult. It's been a hell of a ride, folks.
I did kind of find my way out of the dark, and I'll tell you right now that it wasn't due to any forgiveness or self-righteous circle jerking either. Also, Google probably didn't even exist when I was an adolescent, so I didn't even have so much as a single quote to pull me through. The fact that I am still alive may be due to stupid luck, but the fact that I am sane to boot? That's all due to pure fucking will. I did forgive some of the people that hurt me, sure. It's not my parents' fault that they didn't know how to effectively parent when they had never been effectively parented themselves.
There's some people that did hurt me quite badly, and almost ruined me for life. Or ruined life for me. Whatever. The point is some of them I was able to forgive in time. Most are dead to me. I don't know where they are, or what they're doing, and I don't care. The rest can go take a flying fuck at a flaming tire. Honestly, I wouldn't piss on them if they were on fire. That's not to say that I sit here all day, stewing in my hatred. I'm just saying that everyone is different, and I did not feel the need to forgive these certain motherfuckers for the sake of my own well-being. They had no right to do what they did—and so, I have no obligation to do anyfuckingthing for them... even if all the self help books might say different.
That's the thing, right? Everyone is different. A person could probably come through a lifetime of abuse, and with the proper therapy, tools, and what have you, go on with life wishing nothing but love, light, and laughter to every living being. Maybe even some happy horseshit thrown in for good measure. Good for them.
We're not all like that.
Sometimes, I think healing is not so much to do with forgiveness, or whatever other thing is being spouted on the internet, or from the bedraggled therapist you saw last. It's individual to everyone. And for me, at least, being able to stand here with a finger held high and a big, old "fuck you, I'm still here!" to my abusers is more life-affirming and cathartic than anything. I don't have to forgive you, and I don't have to waste any effort on fretting over your existence either. You're a non-issue, a fossilized dog turd on the edge of humanity, and I don't owe you fuck all.