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Re: How do we really forgive ourselves? **csa trigger* antigua3

Posted by Daisym on September 15, 2007, at 23:05:07

In reply to Re: How do we really forgive ourselves? **csa trigger* RealMe, posted by antigua3 on September 15, 2007, at 22:26:43

I wish we were all in the same group together. Everyone in my group hates their abuser - father, grandfather or brother - and I'm the only one who has mixed feelings. I hate my father and I love him too. And I'm the only one with an ongoing relationship, such as it is.

Perhaps you can't forgive yourself because there is nothing to forgive. You didn't do anything bad intentionally -- even if you see yourself and/or those acts as bad. Even if you could somehow get angry at your dad or hate him, that wouldn't necessarily mean you'd let yourself off the hook. I also know intellectually it is never the child's fault. But I beat myself up with millions of questions: "What if I'd never gotten out of bed at 7?" "what if I'd been a boy?" "Why didn't I tell anyone?" And on and on.

My therapist tells me that part of the work is to allow myself both extremes and to not feel guilty for loving the good parts of my dad. He was, after all, my dad. We've talked about how sad I get when I lose yet another piece of the good dad as I remember more and more. And we also talk about how the hate feels and why it is OK to hate, not just the acts but him. I can hate the dad who did these things. This is a new concept for me, and it rattles me.

And somewhere mixed up with all of this is the idea that I could have done something to prevent it. So am I trying to forgive myself for not doing that?

I'm closer to letting go of the self-blame than I am to forgiving him. But sometimes I wonder if I can't stop blaming myself because then I'd have to completely blame him and recognize that HE had the power to stop it. And he didn't. And recognizing that means accepting as true that what happened can not be changed.

I sometimes think I can't forgive myself for remembering all of this. Or for not being able to just shrug it off. If only I could just get past it...

It sounds like you are hurting. I wish I could help.

 

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