Do I have to forgive my abuser?
No. No you don’t. Not if you aren’t ready or it isn’t conductive to your healing journey.
Survivors can face immense pressure to forgive their abusers. Especially in cases where the abuser has convinced the people around them that the survivor is the true abuser… or when the abuser is a family member.
There are many sayings relating forgiveness and healing, and the “healing power of forgiveness”. And if forgiving your abuser is the right decision for your healing journey, than wonderful! But if you are not in a place to do so, or it won’t help you, than you don’t have to forgive in order to heal from your experience.
Lastly, we at team TEAD believe that forgiving an abuser starts with forgiving yourself. How many survivors say “I feel so stupid, how could it have taken me so long to see, I was so gullible, so [insert negative self talk]”. Survivors are made to feel as if they are at fault, that they are responsible for the abuse.
So forgiveness has to start with forgiving yourself. The survivor. You did the best you could with what you had at the time. You are not a bad person because you were abused. You don’t deserve to live in fear, with constant violence, with self hate.
Once you can forgive yourself, then you will be in a better place to forgive your abuser…if that’s what you want!
And please remember… forgive your abuser IF and ONLY IF it benefits you. For you to move on. For you to have closure.
Not for your abuser. Not for anyone else. For you.
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