Recently I’ve realised even the most well meaning people, those who claim they are forgiving and non-judging, even they fall short. It sounds quite obvious when I see the words before me, after all, none of us are perfect.
I’ll say it again: None of us are perfect.
It’s hard to forgive people who have hurt you, boy don’t I know it! But I’m the type of person who will give people a million chances, and then a million more.
People I’ve known for a long time and who I’m connected to personally, professionally, even spiritually, are some of the people I end up forgiving over and over again. We have connection. We have history. We supposedly have friendship…… I have given chances to them, even when they’ve lied about me to peers.
I have struggled with my mental health in the last three years and the ones who I thought would have my back have used my “sins” as a tool to punish me with, hence some of the lies.
I hear them preaching love and forgiveness, but I know it’s all a facade as their version of forgiveness is selective. This leads me to wondering why some people are all talk and no action, and others – usually the ones who have struggled and suffered the most – cannot bear to see other people suffering.
My “sin” is that when shit gets real for me I hide away from people who I am supposed to trust. But trust is not something I can easily slip into when PTSD comes a-calling. Trauma victims often shut down and go into survival mode, where there is no room for anyone but themselves. It isn’t personal, it’s trauma related behaviour.
I’ve been labelled as distant, cold, hard-faced, incapable of feeling, etc when I’m in survival mode. This is quite a shocking thing to hear when someone you believe has your best interests at heart says this about you.
It doesn’t help with the trust issues, but reinforces that trauma related dialogue that goes on inside your head. It reinforces your belief that you are everything your abuser or attacker said about you. It reinforces that lack of self worth you have honed over many years of hating upon yourself.
It is a very difficult cycle to break. Our minds are constantly churning out thoughts and if we allow the negative stuff free reign, it quickly takes over.
There was a time when I would believe I was unworthy of love and friendship. I would believe that if this person wasn’t willing to forgive me then I must be awful. Or if that person wasn’t willing to forgive me I must be a truly shitty human.
I know I am not.
I know I am worthy of love, happiness, friendship, peace, and much more.
I can’t change the past, it happened. I can’t change how I acted or reacted, it’s in the past. I have apologised to the people who I hurt, whether they forgive me or not is up to them. I have forgiven myself for feeling bad about how acted when I was in the midst of a PTSD episode. I have forgiven myself for acting in that way.
I believe that to truly forgive people you must first learn to forgive yourself.