Feeling betrayed by the people that we love and trust who did not respond to our cries of abuse is a feeling that may never really go away. It is something that we need to work on on a regular basis to keep the memories and feelings in check.
Many people talk about forgiveness (even I did sometime in the past), stating how important it is to do in order to move on. Through some real deep self-examination, I realized I was only following a socially conditioned belief. What is forgiveness, anyways? Basically, it is an abstract concept. We made it up. And, because it is a concept to understand a generalized idea, we can attach anything to it to fit our needs if we choose.
Many people are socially conditioned to believe that we "must" forgive. Forgiveness has been a huge hype socialized into us for centuries; a way for society to conform, but also a way for society to behave themselves rather than cause a ruckus. It is a way to silence society. Even celebrities and gurus are famous for using this philosophical pathway of speaking and/or living and many people automatically believe them because they are in a position of authority.
When you live with abuse, forgiveness doesn't just make all memories and feeling miraculously melt away. This is rubbish. Just try to do that. Then you feel shamed or guilty because these feelings didn't go away and of course somethings got to be wrong with you, right? Instead of thinking about forgiveness, think about management. To get through the day--waking up, eating breakfast, getting to work or school, picking up children at the day care, going to appointments--you manage your day sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously.
I must not forget the emotions such as hate and resentment; the one's many call 'negative.' Perhaps, you might say, "well forgiveness helped me move past these emotions." These emotions are built within us. We can pretend they are not a part of us, but they are, and they will always arise occasionally--more in some than others. If they do arise, what do you do? Once again, you most likely use your management skills perhaps even in an unconscious manner.
In the end, dealing with memories and feelings from a traumatized past filled with abuse and/or neglect takes management skills. Forgiveness is an abstract concept that sounds 'nice and pretty,' in comparison to management, so it may also feel better saying it, but in theory you are managing your thoughts and emotions. Whenever memories and feelings come up, you take action in a proactive manner--such as expression, walking, meditation, an Epsom bath, talking to a friend or your counselor, or writing--so that you can settle those thoughts and emotions and function through the day or even week.
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