No, You Don’t Have To ‘Forgive And Forget’

We get taught from a young age that we must always forgive and forget to be happy – as well as to fit in properly with our (corrupted) society.

I was once asked why I had not forgiven and moved on from a person who used to abuse me in a physical manner.

I was told they had changed and that my negative way of thinking will prevent a civil relationship from existing. That my negative feelings towards them were not valid.

It baffled me, how is it that we are expected to accept people as ‘friends’ almost, even when they have caused us physical and mental harm.

My response is that I have forgiven them. I understand why they took their actions but I cannot forget that they acted upon said actions.

The thing is, forgiving doesn’t have anything to do with needing a relationship of any sorts with a person.

Sometimes it is just letting go of the claim they have on you and putting them in a place where they cannot take away our previous energy – after all hatred does cost us.

The person could not understand this, they didn’t know why I wanted to live in the past, but I wasn’t.

Trust is an important thing, little mistakes you may be able to push away from your memory, though they may still be there.

But acts that cause damage, that removes trust and honestly, it shouldn’t be socially unacceptable to remember these events, that’s just survival.

Now I do not ever encourage anyone to activity live in their past and loath a person.

When we are close to someone and they become a stranger through undesirable acts, you need to grieve.

What we can do, is say “I don’t accept what you did and I will not forget it, however, I do not wish live with this negative situation over my head, so I will learn to understand and try to forgive your actions.”

This is actually something I told to a person who had assaulted me, it did not condone their actions but it did remove their power over me, I’ve been free ever since. My time is not a gift that I am willing to give them.

So maybe, we need to stop saying forgive and forget and try focusing on acceptance instead.

After all, we cannot fix what is hidden.

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2 Replies to “No, You Don’t Have To ‘Forgive And Forget’”

  1. Totally agree, Charlotte! It seems logical that we NEED to forgive, after all, holding anger forever is not wise – “It’s like taking poison and expecting the other person to die!” Often, we are unable to forgive immediately, because our “scars” are too deep, but eventually, we deal with them and it becomes easier!
    Always remembering or never forgetting … Isn’t that like “life Insurance”? You put it in a drawer and maybe, even overlook it! But when you need it, the memory is there, protecting you from a replay!
    Your insurance appears to be fully paid up, Charlotte! Thank you for sharing!!


  2. 100% agree. As a teenager I tried to forgive. I even convinced myself that I had.

    But as my mental health issues got worse I realised that what I was actually saying was that, whilst I disagreed with their actions in the strongest possible terms, I had an understanding of what drove them to the point of committing the murder that they did.

    As much as I want to ‘Forgive and Forget’ I can do neither and quite frankly, it is my right as a victim to say I just don’t want to


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