Monday, April 7, 2014

F is for Forgiveness: A-Z Challenge

F is for Forgiveness

Bing!


I thought I forgave Devin for what his addiction caused him to do to our marriage.  But, I was just kidding myself.  Anger always simmered beneath the surface.  Instead of taking a look at my resentments, I shoved them down, and tried to heal from the betrayal and hurt of his affairs.

Ignoring my emotions was a terrible idea.

I complained to him over the tiniest things.  If he left his socks on the floor, I griped.  When he left his plate on the counter, I made a production out of it.  Sometimes those sniping remarks resulted in a fight and I threw his addiction in his face.



I realized through my S-Anon recovery that I needed to find a place of serenity or I’d go bananas.  I worked the steps slowly.  I picked up every piece of my emotional puzzle and examined it.  When I completed examining my emotions, flaws, and assets, I realized something. 

I wasn’t angry any more. 

Bing!
I forgave myself for things I’d done while I was co-dependent.   I shed the embarrassment I felt for marrying a sex addict. I understood I did what I felt needed to be done to survive in my marriage.  And, it was okay.

Once I had forgiven myself, I forgave Devin. I wasn’t bitter towards the women he cheated on me with either.  Instead, I felt compassion for them, for they are sick too.

I was released from the burden I’d been carrying.  And, man, it was a heavy weight.


Have you ever had a difficult time forgiving someone?

~~~

This post is part of the A-Z Challenge.  Wanna see more?





56 comments:

  1. The most difficult person to forgive is ourselves.
    Some people never drop the weight. They carry a grudge forever. Often it only hurts them.
    Glad you were able to forgive.

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    1. Alex, first again! The blogging superman! I carried that weight for far too long. It really did drag me down emotionally and physically. I'm glad I moved on too.

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  2. I'm pretty okay with forgiving others. Though my passive aggression can make it difficult. One thing I'm definitely not very good at though is forgiving myself. I will continue to blame myself for things that aren't even my fault. It's probably one of my bigger flaws.

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    1. My hubby is working on his passive aggressiveness now. He finds it easier to deal with things in a very round about way rather than sit and talk. He's getting better though. The good thing about you, Mark, is that you see you blame yourself for things you shouldn't. It can only get better.

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  3. I read a quote once that said "forgiveness is like setting a prisoner free, and realizing that the prisoner was you"...

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    1. That's it exactly, Keith. Allowing yourself permission to know it wasn't your fault how someone else behaved.

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  4. I clicked over from your other site (now shut down) and found your A to Z. I think authors who post "real" stuff are much more interesting than those who don't. Just so you know. So, kudos to you for being brave enough to keep it real.

    I also commented on all (or nearly all) of your old A to Z postings. Each one was fantastic.

    Forgiveness. One of my favorite topics. Like boundaries, I could go on about this one for a very long time.

    That bit about it being something we do for ourselves... absolutely. I also think Mark is correct in that forgiving ourselves is often much harder than forgiving someone else.

    By the time my now ex-husband and I divorced, I was furious with him. I harbored so much anger toward him. He gave me migraines. That was how I saw it then. Being married to him was so stressful and painful that I ended up with a chronic migraine that I still have. How could he???? Well.... he was a lousy husband, abusive, and mean and all sorts of other things that would be true could be said. But, he didn't give me a migraine. I gave me a migraine for putting up with that garbage. For allowing all of my boundaries to dissipate under the weight of his ferocity.

    And now that I can see that, I forgive him. Just like that. He was always just being himself (as unpleasant as that is). I chose to marry him. I chose to stay. I chose to sacrifice myself on the alter of his cruelty. I forgive him. You don't get angry at the snake for biting, do you? If you put it in your pocket, are you really going to be outraged when it does what a snake does? Or will you be angry at yourself for putting it in your pocket?

    Maybe when I completely forgive myself for carrying around so many snakes of different stripes, I will be able to let those migraines go once and for all. Forgiveness is a tough bit of work. But the results are fantastic.

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    1. I'm so glad you were able to forgive him, Robin. It sounds like your divorce was the best thing that has happened to you and you deserve that happiness. You didn't deserve to be treated like crap in your marriage. Forgiving yourself will happen over time. For me, it was hard to give myself that freedom in my soul and not take on all the blame for what happened. But, I did, just like you will too.

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    2. I gave me a migraine for putting up with that garbage. Thanks for sharing that, Robin.

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  5. I can forgive with ease, but never forget. Screw me over once and never again. But if you hold on it just weighs you down while they are off doing their thing not caring, so screw that. As far as blaming myself, I just blame the cat, seems to work lol First one blog, then to another blog, then to 2 blogs, now back to one blog, geez can't make up your mind much? lol see blame that on the cat.

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    1. That's the funny thing about most situations. We hang on to the crap, while the person who did the harm just moves on with their life with ease, ignorant about what they did. I blame the cat for most things now. I mean, why else would I close my other blog? It's ALL the cat's fault.

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  6. Usually, I can forgive quickly but sometimes not. Sometimes it can take years but eventually most things are let go. Then again, there's that enemies hit list I maintain in my head . . . .

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    1. Well, I never said I didn't keep a list in my head…or on in a large notebook somewhere….

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  7. I'm Irish, we're known for our grudges!

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  8. I'm glad you found and are finding ways to get healed up and move on. Very cool.

    Back from the doctors, off to rest. Be back tomorrow to catch up on your posts. But I did read your post about closing the other blog. Personally, I like blogs that mix it up. Doesn't have to be all one subject. Have fun combining the two, I have no doubt you'll do a killer job.

    Cheers and boogie boogie.

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    1. Don't worry about my posts, my friend. You just take good care of you. I hope all is well…you've got me a bit concerned.

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    2. I am on four Mondays in a row, adjustment for my spine. And each adjustment, I have to mind my computer time. The sitting at the desk. Where sitting on the couch, doesn't bother things. So I've got a stack of coupons and bills to sort, and then tomorrow I'll catch up on more blogs.

      Are you having fun with the A/Z game? Have you stumbled upon any new and fun blogs?

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    3. I'm glad you're getting the adjustments. I hope they help the entire week. I do most of my computer time on the couch to alleviate the aches and pains. I do my couponing on Sundays. I haven't had a ton of luck on finding good deals lately.

      I'm having a great time with the A-Z. Reminds me of when I started out blogging and wrote something every day. I've found a couple of really great blogs!

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  9. Wow Elise,

    Glad I stopped by your blog on this day and none other. You see, Forgiveness must run in the veins of any family or person who wants to live in freedom. Yes, It is hard but the gain is huge!

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    1. I think the reason forgiveness is so difficult is because the rewards we reap from it are endless. Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. Um, yeah. Forgiveness has always been a tough one for me. But I love how you said you had to forgive yourself first before you could forgive Devin. It never occurred to me before that you might have felt embarrassed about choosing someone who turned out to be a sex addict. But, yeah, that would be a moment of self-reflection. How could I have been attracted to someone who has all that going on inside them? As always, I appreciate your honesty. :)

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    1. Thanks, Lu. I held a ton of embarrassment and shame when I learned Devin was a sex addict. I was like, "how could I be attracted to someone with such issues?" Than, I learned to look at my own stuff and see how I tended to mother him rather than be his partner.

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  11. Oh yeah....my mom & I don't get along at all b/c the older I get, the more resentful I become of they way she treated me when I was a kid and how she continues to get her digs in and do things that I perceive to be 'on purpose', whether or not they are. It's really hard to forgive the emotional and verbal abuse, esp as it continues to this day. She doesn't think she did anything wrong and I'm the one with the problems. So there it is.

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    1. I held a lot of resentment towards my mom for how she treated me when I was a teenager. It took a lot of work before I was able to accept that she probably didn't know any other way. That she wasn't "mean" but had issues herself. I decided to accept her as she was and not get baited by her. When that happened, I felt so much better. Maybe one day you and your mom will get along. Maybe.

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  12. I tend not to forgive when somebody disappoints me big time: I just leave and never return. I'm currently thinking of ending a friendship with a friend of mine. It's always difficult, but once I lose my trust in you there's nothing more to connect us

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    1. Getting over broken trust is really, really hard. It was one of the hardest things to find again, that trust in Devin. I hope you and your friend can talk it out, Dezzy.

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  13. With your situation I would think forgiveness would be an ongoing thing. Something that has to be done more than once as there was damage done to you in multiple areas of your life. Like you said it takes work.

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    1. You got that baby! Forgiveness came in stages as I worked the steps and found more understanding and acceptance. It's an integral part of my recovery, that I work on not allowing resentments to build so I can stay in a state of serenity.

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  14. Ah... I have a funny story about that and sleep-eating. Not me sleep-eating. someone else.
    But it's too long for right now.

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    1. Aw, Andrew! You're such a tease. I hope you come back and share your story! I love me a funny story!

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  15. It really comes down to a choice. Doesn't it? We think forgiveness is incredible hard (and it is), but it's a matter of deciding to, and deciding to over and over again. I admire - and can't imagine - what it's taken for you to evolve to this point in your marriage.

    I'm glad to comfollow you at your comblog, Elsie. Smiles.
    xoRobyn

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    1. Yay! Another new word, comfollow! (How many times did you have to retype it. Me, three times). Thank you for following over here. You're one of my favorite bloggers, Robyn. You always make me laugh.

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  16. I can forgjve but sometimes is difficult to me because I feel hurt.
    Especially when the other persons is not worry for all so you have yo forgive the same.
    Ah dear Im too much sensible sometimes:(
    XXX

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    1. Hope you feel better dear Elsie! Im ...down today maybe I talk you later:)

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    2. I hope you feel better soon, Gloria. I had a migraine yesterday too. Blah!

      It's hard to forgive someone when they are just humming along in life, isn't it?

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  17. Powerful stuff, forgiveness. We tend to think it's about the other person, but it's really for ourselves: forgiveness does US the primary service. And forgiving oneself is the hardest one of all. Great post.
    Guilie @ Life In Dogs

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    1. It took my counselor pointing out how crucial forgiveness of myself would be a turning point. I thought, pfft, what do I need forgiveness from…turns out, quite a bit. Thanks for stopping by!

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  18. Forgiving is difficult because of our egos, mine included. So when we find is hard to forgive ourselves, it's becaus we're taking a good look in the mirror. I've been trying to forgive a couple of people what they did to me a long time ago, but my ego keeps saying, "I may forgive but not forget." It's like a pointless warning, making you sound strong but I'm not entirely convinced your inner You buys it, if you know what I mean. And then suddenly the angr is gone and it suprises you. Aren't people funny creatures?

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    1. We are such odd creatures, we human folks. Yep! You made a great point, Blue. The ego is such a large part of my own problems. I have this chip on my shoulder sometimes. Like, how could someone treat *me* in such a way. After I look, I think, huh, maybe it's not them, but me. Maybe I'm seeing something that's not there, being to sensitive or not compassionate enough? I hope your burden lifts soon, Grumpy Man.

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  19. A place of serenity is good thing to have... but then they start letting the riff-raff in and the neighborhood is shot. At least that's what everyone says when I get there...

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    1. I can't stand when that riffraff stars invading my place of serenity. It can be hard to either ignore them, or kick them out!

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  20. It is amazing how much freedom come with forgiveness. It is truly a gift we can give ourselves.

    Brandon Ax: Writer's Storm

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    1. And it's a constant work in process. Just when you think you're done, you find more work to do.

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  21. forgiveness is one of those things that is easy in word and hard in reality...it really takes some work to truly forgive someone...and it is not in saying it was ok, because it was not...but it is in getting beyond it....

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    1. If I had a dollar for every time I said, "it's okay" but didn't mean it, I'd be a rich woman. But, now I try to hold onto a grudge for too long. It just takes so much thought and time.

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  22. Glad you were able to find forgiveness.

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    1. Thank you, Brianne! And thanks for stopping by.

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  23. Elton John once sang, "sorry seems to be the hardest word." I disagree. "I forgive you," is harder. "I forgive me" is harder still.

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    1. I don't know that song…but, I don't know a lot of Elton John either (although my brother was a big fan back in the day). It's definitely easier to say I'm sorry than I forgive you.

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  24. Hello there. Until we are faced with what you've been through, none of us can truly say how we will react. However, it takes humility to forgive. Many times I think about how often God has forgiven us our sins. We're constantly sinning against him, not because we mean to, but because it's inherent in us. I find the scriptures at Exodus 34:6, 7, Psalms 86:5 and Matthew 6:14, 15 especially useful when I'm struggling with forgiveness. I appreciate your candor. Thanks for sharing & visiting my blog. All the best with the challenge!
    Entrepreneurial Goddess

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    1. Hi E.G. It takes a bunch of humility to forgive. I don't think I realized how much my ego got in the way of it until I had actually allowed the forgiveness to occur. God knows all about forgiveness and if He can do, why can't I?

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  25. That's such a hard lesson to learn, that we have to let ourselves be angry before we can forgive. I'd much rather skip the rage, but then it ends up coming out when you don't want it to. Thank you for reminding me about this!

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    1. Oh yeah, that rage and anger will eat you alive and pop up in all sorts of areas of our lives. It just simmers beneath the surface.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm here to help any way I can.