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Forgiving Narcissistic Abuse? What!?

Forgiveness is part of healing. It is not a prerequisite to healing.

“Forgiveness is part of healing. It is not a prerequisite to healing. It is a point we reach when we understand and accept the truth about what happened to us from a position of emotional neutrality without the pain, blame and shame that our abusers shadowed on us.” — Evelyn Ryan

I'd like to share some information on forgiveness, justice and victimization that may not be so obvious to survivors of narcissistic abuse but is critical to their healing.

Survivors of narcissistic or for that matter any abuse were victims, no different than a victim of a crime, a brutal illegal attack or violation of our boundaries, rights, authorities, or freedoms. What is the difference between a brutal attack of one's body or possessions and one's psyche and one's heart and betrayal of intimate trust? Not many. But there are a few fundamental ones.

One attack, you may think, takes place in the conscious physical world — the other, in the metaphysical, the metacognitive world where we feel and think. However, the pain and shame and anger and fear and trauma we experience from a brutal physical or emotional brutal attack are the same. They inflict the same wounds and frequently open old ones.

In addition, there are major differences to how we heal from the wounds. This is why.

We can achieve justice and emotional relief when our attackers are found, charged, found guilty, and punished for their evil deeds. Our victimization is then validated, our egos are soothed, and we can achieve some sense of safety, security, and closure.


But what happens when a criminal “gets away with murder” and is free to roam and victimize whomever he or she chooses to target?

Isn't this what serial thieves do?

Isn't this what serial murderers do?

Isn't this what serial narcissists do?

Healing and justice are not acquired through excusing the evil or pain or betrayal that was inflicted on us by our attackers or by showing compassion for our abusers. Healing and justice are not acquired through resentment and revenge that feed our egos and keep us bonded to our abusers and keep us trapped as we continue to give up our power to them. This is denial of the truth and causes us unjustifiably to take on additional pain and blame and the ensuing shame that will hamper our healing and recovery.

In addition, a huge amount of additional emotional burden is unnecessarily added to an already painful situation by telling us if we do not forgive, we punish ourselves twice.. blah blah blah. Our need to forgive can also be guilt-driven by our moral, ethical or religious beliefs and convictions. This can leave us conflicted and feeling added guilt and even shame when we really do not want to forgive. I agree with Dr. Ross Rosenberg that we do not HAVE to forgive and that forgiving our abusers is a very personal decision.

How, then, do innocent victims “get justice” when their attackers get off free of charge?

How then do they achieve emotional relief and a sense of security? Victims of emotional abuse do not even have the option of becoming vigilantes because the narcissists like the mutants on X-men and space creatures on Men in Black look normal on the outside, do their dirty deeds, and remain unscathed. In essence, not only are we the victim, but we also become the police, judge and jury.

Abuse survivors must turn their compassion and care inward to work on releasing the pain, trauma, shame, anger and fear that were projected onto them and inflicted on them by the emotional criminals, vampires, and thieves who also stole their identities. We are left to heal invisible wounds that were caused by our active but unaware participation in a very harming situation. We, to heal, must not only release the pain and anger from the attack but also the shame from betrayal and of our unconscious complicity in the crime and our perceived foolery. This is why self-forgiveness and self-compassion are so important in healing.

Forgiveness is part of healing. It is not a prerequisite to healing.

It is a point we reach when we understand and accept the truth about what happened to us from a position of emotional neutrality without the pain, blame and shame that our abusers shadowed on us. Releasing the pain and anger will allow us to heal emotionally. But to fully heal we must forgive ourselves for the part we played. This is why understanding why we were targeted is critical to healing. We are then emotionally free to see things truthfully and accept what happened to us, take back our personal power, and stop being victims to emotional criminals. 


I personally believe, it is close to impossible to fully accept what happened to us until we have first healed from the abuse and recovered from the trauma and then stop believing we are victims… NOT the other way around.

Healing requires fully understanding why we love people who inflict pain on us.

Healing is a process of self-discovery, self-analysis into the root causes of why we were victimized, addressing how our beliefs contributed to that, correcting our skewed beliefs and building our self-worth as well as healing our trauma wounds.

As a survivor, I can say that I do not excuse the despicable acts of the abusers in my life but I can say that I am clear on what happened and why it happened in my childhood, why I was targeted and why I let it happen into my adulthood.

I am also clear that the abuse no longer continues because I do not think like a victim so I am no longer victimized.

I choose not to participate in the dysfunction so they are defused and go away. They continue to target me because that is just what abusers do but I am not emotionally vested. I no longer fear them. I no longer believe I have to suffer or self-sacrifice to be good or lovable. I do, however, accept them for the abusers and broken people they are.

We cannot expect things from people who are not capable of giving them.

I accept that life is not fair and I was born into a herd of narcissists that I had no choice over. But I do have choices now based on my own personal truth and not others' lies.

I choose a life I know I deserve, a life of peace, harmony, happiness, emotionally healthy love and mutual respect! I also accept that they cannot.

We also in the process achieve the justice we seek.

The best revenge is success!

This is how we heal. This is how we achieve justice. This is how we thrive.

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Evelyn Ryan

Evelyn Ryan is a certified life coach, author, business owner, process improvement expert, researcher and the CEO and founder of Yourlifelifter, a web-based life-coaching center that provides practical, inspirational, truth-based and simple solutions to address life, self-esteem and emotional well-being issues to tens of thousands of people from across the globe.

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Evelyn RyanPRABHAKAR RAJARAPUMichelle MoultonLalie NietoLinda Gerrity Recent comment authors
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PRABHAKAR RAJARAPU
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PRABHAKAR RAJARAPU

it’s true

chell
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it took me to long to try to figure this out but intilaily i did for my own self peace weather these people are sorry or not my family when though hell because of bad public bodies as a mother id never give up on my family unfortunately i had to drag lawyers in as its not so easy to just walk away from this it’ll effect our future in the midst of it all i choice peace and forgiveness for myself them and all in between lifes to short to be bitter they win if you give them the satisfaction i’m to stubborn to allow that carry on

Lalie Nieto
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Lalie Nieto

Hello Evelyn, Bryant and Jenni❤ Thank you for sharing this article. Healing and letting go of a traumatic experience takes time. Sometimes when you think you’re already okay, the emotions in relation to what happened suddenly surface. But I’m glad and thankful that I’m over t that stage now. My main goal now is to be Happy, move on and pursue my dreams and goals – to thrive. I refuse to be further victimized by the past by allowing it to have control over my present life. Oops I’m not a victim,I’m a survivor-a warrior😄😍
Bryant and Jenni 💕Thank you for the invite on last night’s broadcast. Give me time to think about it. It was a big happy surprise. But I have to be very sure of myself if this is what i still want. My momentum in making videos waned a little bit. What excites me now is writing. How is that? I would appreciate it if you will address this concern. I will unplug for a few days (stay away from pages to attend to some matters but I will comment still on articles you will send me) Enjoy the whole week ahead of you🦋

Linda Gerrity
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Linda Gerrity

Oh my. This was such a good article. I am almost to the mountain top. Can you still survive in the same house hold? I’m 64 and finally, finally after years and years of verbal abuse, cheating, lies, etc have figured this out. Now I am faced with my spouse needing vascular surgery and the fear that I now am going to have to take care of this man in his old age. I can only hope karma is coming because I feel guilty leaving at such a time. I actually feel bad for this broken man. He never got past the superficial love

Linda Pierce
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Linda Pierce

Thank you for this …I believe I have come a long way to my new journey to healing

Ashi kaur
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Ashi kaur

I was with a guy for 2 yrs we decided to get marride but it never happend I used to do everything for him even though I knw he was sleeping with other girls I loved him a lot and in them 2 yrs I only laughed a few times till I met his cousin sister and she explained what I was doing wasn’t healthy then I thought enough is enough and I broke it off with him did I really wanna go through life like tht no way so in my heart and soul I forgave him now I’m marride I’m a lot happier since my break up I’ve become a stronger person and more confident within myself cause if u don’t forgive u can never move forword with life cause it eats u up inside

Melinda
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Melinda

I’m not fully healed yet but my faith has helped a lot . In the Lord’s Prayer it says to forgive those that trustpast against us and we will be forgiven. However we are only in Gods image he is the only one that can forgive. We are only poor sinners and we should strive to forgive. He is Love perfected we are not

Sandra Sharp
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Sandra Sharp

# ME. 2!!!

Sandra Sharp
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Sandra Sharp

# ME 2!!! Working on it with my counselor soon I’m in anger management helping me with the abuse

Victor
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Victor

I’m going through the same thing right now it was been going on for over 10 years I’ve known this person and it seems like I never knew what narcissists was until I started reading simple reminders they’ve helped me a lot I still have a long road ahead of me it’s really not easy for me to let this person go but the more I look at it and the more I read these articles and the people’s comments I have to do something about it it’s hurting me too much deeply it makes me feel like I’m no good and nobody wants me and stuff like that in or boo hoo poor me poor me well it’s time for me to get off that Darren pitty-pat and start taking the advice that I have been reading the worst thing about it is I know it’s been happening but yet I still let it and I still really don’t understand why I let it happen but it does and it happens over and over and over I need to start forgiving myself for letting it happen to me thank you for these articles and for everybody that leaves a comment they truly do help