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What about forgiveness for trauma and abuse? 

"Just forgive and move on" 

"Forgiveness is about you and not them"

"You can't heal without finding forgiveness"


These are all pieces of advice you've probably heard countless times from friends, family, and maybe even a therapist. But if forgiveness doesn't resonate with you, that's okay. 


As someone deeply invested in understanding trauma recovery, I firmly believe that forgiveness isn't always necessary for healing. Especially when dealing with trauma or abuse, forgiveness shouldn't be a compulsory checkpoint on your journey to recovery.


The notion that forgiveness is a one-size-fits-all solution is too simplistic. It overlooks the complex, personal nature of trauma.


The process of healing from abuse or trauma is not about the abuser, it's about you - your feelings, your pace, your needs. Making it about them AGAIN, even in the context of forgiveness, can inadvertently continue a cycle where your needs are overshadowed - making the person who caused the hurt the center of attention.


Add to that the fact that the physiological and neurological impacts of trauma can't be undone simply by forgiving. It's like expecting a broken bone to mend just by forgiving the cause of the fracture. 


Healing is deeper, often requiring professional support, self-care, and time.


If you have a complex relationship with the concept of forgiveness, this may help you understand why and what to do about it.


- Scott 

 

Resources


For those suffering with depression and feeling unseen and helpless, I wrote this for you - because I was you.


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