I don't forgive my DNA collection; I just moved on without them
That is how I feel, too. What happened, happened. I see why it happened, but I no longer feel I can change it.
So I am free of all of it.
I don't think about them much unless there is a new altercation
It's a good feeling.
It also has to do with not letting those experiences interfere in how I see others.
I am still seeing through those "family eyes," I think.
This is an interesting topic.
I don't have any knowledge of how to forgive. What I do know is that I have forgiven, and that each time, it was a gift to myself that I was overwhelmingly aware of in the instant it occurred...but I have no idea where it came from.
When it happened, it changed everything and I saw myself differently.
The best way I can describe it would be to imagine walking around with a tourniquet on an arm or a leg for so long you don't even think about it anymore and then, it's removed. It changes everything and yet, the things that you now possess (extra strength, that feeling of being more of yourself, of having more access to yourself)...those things were always yours. But for some reason, you could not access them.
The first instance was forgiving the male who beat my daughter. I thought I had already forgiven him, in the sense that I did not allow myself to wallow in vengeance. The male who beat and left her for dead was someone I loved. The betrayal was personal to me in a way I cannot describe. So, I muddled along doing the right things, contacting his mom and comforting and taking comfort, monitoring my vengeful thoughts, that kind of thing. There was a numbness at the heart of everything having to do with him. The date of his trial approached. I was in the shower, thinking vengeful things about boy, would I say this and that if I decided to walk in to that courtroom and look him dead in the eye. And I was like, oh man, what am I doing...and the next instant ~ and it was instantaneous ~ I felt whatever it was I was holding against him let go.
It was like something liquefied.
And I have never felt the same constriction, the same tortured kind of "I should not be thinking like this" regarding him, again.
I feel compassion for him. All at once, I understood that there was nothing anyone could do to him that would be as terrible as what he had lost when he allowed himself to become who he had to become to do what he did.
I could see that plain as day.
When his sentencing came up, my daughter wanted me to go there, wanted him to see me, because she said that would hurt him more than anything she could say. And while I was willing to go for her sake, I was not at all willing to see him hurt.
The damage is done. My daughter is healing well.
And that feels like the end of the story.
But it was an instance of grace, and not anything I did or could know how to describe for someone else. I thought I had already decided to forgive him ~ this was something altogether different.
A gift, pure and simple.
In the second instance of forgiveness that I know about, I forgave myself. I am not sure what it was that I forgave. It had to do with forgiving myself for the way things still are in my family of origin. I sound sort of conceited here, but I had spent so much of my life trying to stand in for a mother to my siblings. I have written elsewhere that I believe my mom may have an illness, an emotional illness. So, however much the grown siblings might wish to come together, she seems to relish subverting that. The family has never come together in an honest way, in the kind of Hallmark card way where you can trust the other guy. I wasn't aware that I felt badly, that I berated myself and condemned myself for not having been able to do this for myself and my family. One day, husband said: "You need to forgive yourself for not being able to change your family."
That watery, dissolving feeling and that other feeling of coming into possession of myself.
So, that's all I know about forgiveness.
About forgiving the kids.... I think I will never forgive difficult child daughter for what happened with her own children.
Oops. One more incidence of forgiveness.
Remember when, after recovering from the beating and continuing to use and things going from bad to impossibly worse, and I posted that difficult child daughter may have been going into organ failure? So, I believed it was over. The only question was whether it would end soon or whether we would have time. Again, there was that feeling of something letting go that I had not been aware of having been constricted. It was overwhelming, and I realized how fortunate I was to have been able to hear her voice, and to have been able to laugh with her. Nothing else mattered.
So maybe, forgiveness has to do with gratitude somehow?
Back to the issue of difficult child daughter's children. I am more watchful, now. I would not trust again as I did, once. And that is wise. I don't hold it against her, I don't hate her for what she did, as I once did.
But that is a different kind of forgiving. It is a willingness to give up holding onto a rightful grudge. There is no overwhelming gratitude connected with that. I just don't want to hate her and so, I don't.
That is all I know of forgiveness.