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I regularly see posts about how forgiving those who have wronged you is the only way to move on in life. How forgiveness liberates you and brings peace.

I disagree. For me.

There are some things that can never be forgiven. Abuse, Rape, Neglect or any other kind of suffering imposed on one human by another does not require forgiveness for the survivor to move on.

When we forgive, it could be argued that we are absolving the offender of their behaviour. It is not up to us to grant another freedom from their remorse or guilt (if indeed they have any) that’s for them to do.

Sometimes it can be more comfortable to find compassion, for ourselves, and for the offender. Understanding that what they have done to us is not right, and not okay, but that usually their behaviour stems from difficulties they may have experienced. That does not mean that it is okay for them to behave that way, but merely places the fault entirely at their door, because we are not to blame for their choices, and it is not our responsibility to forgive them.

If we are to forgive anyone, it should be ourselves.

We owe ourselves kindness when we’ve escaped abuse, or survived attack of any form. We owe ourselves forgiveness for it. We do so to absolve ourselves of any wrongdoing or blame taking for being in harms way. We do not choose to be hurt, and for me, forgiveness is not for the attacker, but ourselves.

I appreciate that some people feel the opposite way to this. Ultimately, whatever we need, we do. However, I feel strongly that we should never instruct another how to heal. That each person is unique in their emotional process, and what another finds helpful, another finds hurtful. We have no right to tell someone whether they are doing it wrong, all that’s required is love and support on that journey of healing.


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