Forgiveness Versus Memory Issues

This is just to express my views.

I am sick of the whole "forgive but don't forget" or "forgive and forget" crap. Unless you mean you forgive the stranger who bumped into you on the sidewalk, in which case forgetting seems the normal way things go, when I say forgiveness I mean there was hurt, anger, or both involved. Or they could have been involved but weren't, if forgiveness came immediately (that is rare, but it can happen.)

If something really hurt you and you forget it, I'd call it denial, amnesia, or just an incredibly crappy memory. People don't just forget that their best friend betrayed them or that their parent abandoned them or that the one person they ever trusted stabbed them in the back. I don't forget things like that. I believe that is very good because that is how people learn to forgive, move on, get over, cope, understand, love the real flawed person rather than an image, so on and so forth. Saying you've forgotten something truly bad which was done to you seems hypocritical and unnecessary for me.

I know I've hurt people. I used to bully my grandmother when I was a child. I declared my love to someone who would have been better off not knowing it. I used to stalk my first love. I was passive-aggressive to a good friend who was somewhat unstable himself and, being friends on and off, I did hurt him years ago. I am sorry for all of these and more. I had the occasion to apologize or make amends to some and not to others. Some have forgiven me, some only tried, some may not have even considered it; but I would never expect them to forget.

Why would they, if it hurt them? Or if it was big enough to need forgiveness in the first place? & why would I not feel forgiven, if someone I hurt were standing beside me, talking to me, trusting me again, acting as friends together?

You can benefit from hardships if you rise above them. I do not want to forget the bad things which have happened to me. The kids who bullied me. The way my close family enhanced my anxiety or provoked it in the first place. The most hurtful thing(s) I was told by the only person who ever meant the world to me. The girls who manipulated me. The friend who left me one too many times and said to me one too many hurtful things. I've forgiven them / put those things behind me. I've learned from these things and I am growing into a better person for it. You cannot learn from that which you have forgotten. You cannot rise above that which you have forgotten.

If you forget, it's not forgiveness. If you forget, you just do not remember there was something which needed forgiven in the first place. The cycle can begin anew and no one grows from the suffering. It's all in vain.

naranja naranja
26-30, F
2 Responses Feb 28, 2010

Thank you, Chihiro! Yes, I agree with you entirely. Some people just don't understand those things.<br />
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Oops, *blush* you're right about PTSD, and ironically, I knew that before but must have been thinking of something entirely different when I wrote this. thanks for pointing it out :)

"The cycle can begin anew and no one grows from the suffering."<br />
That's what my mothers life has taught me.With what hell she's endured since childhood,I'm currently taking care of her,and have been for a while.Because of the despair and scares I've had with her in and out of the hospital,I've grown to see how much I love her despite all the yelling we've done throughout our lives.I DO love her,no matter how many times I hurt her and told her "I hate you".I show it by taking care of her as if she's a child again.She's like my baby,only big,and she smokes and cusses a<br />
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People don't understand the necessity of suffering.If it were not for suffering,we wouldn't know joy nor all the other,mushy,happy things in life.Like if it weren't for the crappy relationships with idiots I've had in my life,I wouldn't know what a good man would be.I found one finally and I'm the happiest person I know.I've tried to forgive some of the people who hurt me too,or at least not go anywhere near them,if I can help it.There is only 1 that I've had the hardest time trying to forgive,and I feel like a juvenile for not getting to it.She tortured me the worst with her army of idiots.Now that I'm older,I see why people hurt one another,but it's still no excuse to harm people.<br />
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It's a subconscious thing.People hurt one another because they hurt.And they think that if they bring someone down to their level,then they won't feel so alone.Some are already aware of this,but many aren't.<br />
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(Actually,PTSD means you have flashbacks remembering everything.I may even have it cuz I get flashbacks that bring me pain once in a while,causing me to become depressed)<br />
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You truly inspired me naranja