Forgiving, Forgetting, Remembering and Healing
What happened when you forgave the narcissistic person in your life.
Forgiveness may be the most fraught issue in managing and healing from narcissistic abuse and narcissistic relationships. Most people were raised on a steady diet of forgiveness – it is divine, it is necessary, turn the other cheek. These were messages that were fortified by family, religious teachings, childhood stories, and the world at large. We are regularly told about the virtues of forgiveness, and are often shamed to believe that we are the “bad ones” if we don’t forgive.
Is forgiveness possible in a narcissistic relationship? If you do forgive (and most of you have racked up a lot of forgiveness points) – what happens? How do you come back from repeatedly forgiving, and being repeatedly betrayed? How do you recover from forgiveness shaming and what it does to your identity? What happens if I can’t forgive them?
There are few topics this confusing and polarizing when it comes to healing from narcissistic abuse. We will talk about the wide range of alternatives to forgiveness this month, give a realistic look at what forgiveness really means in a narcissistic relationship, and figure out the right path for you. Some people do forgive in these relationships but that is often a station that is further down the line. Radical acceptance, realistic expectations, finding your voice – are all essential first steps before forgiveness enters the conversation.
It is my hope that this month on forgiveness expands our simplistic take on forgiveness and expands it in a way that will help you heal, strengthen you, and perhaps most importantly, find a place of self-forgiveness within yourself.