I see this occurring, all too often.
Religious people, can be the worst for this. I’ve heard many toxic and abusive statements, like ‘God won’t forgive you of your sins, if you don’t forgive your abusers’, ‘all sins are equal’. ‘I’ve forgiven, so should you’. Plus Buddhists deem you will get your ‘karma’ for not forgiving everyone of everything. They lord forgiveness over you as something if you do not have for everyone, makes ‘you’ the bad person. It really does become a big ego fest.
And this is all highly abusive.
This is all ‘shame-shifting’.
The only person that does need to feel shame, is the abuser. They do need to feel appropriate shame about their actions. They do need to feel remorse about the harm they caused. They need to seek to do what is necessary, to deal with it appropriately. Like be honest and tell the truth. Be honest about their motivations.
And if they did all this, they would not expect or demand anything from the victim. They would know the victim needs to deal with their healing, how the victim needs. They would know the victim is absolutely entitled to feel anger, rage, disgust and needs to grieve.
No-one gets to demand forgiveness.
No-one gets to demand, their interpretation of forgiveness.
No-one gets to demand reconciliation, or any further contact with the abuser.
Some things like child sexual abuse, can appropriately be deemed unforgiveable. Continue reading