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Old 01-12-2019, 05:25 AM  
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sarahsweets Humor is my end game..
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Location: New Jersey
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Default Re: Acceptance & Letting Go

One of the gifts I learned through sobriety is acceptance and forgiveness. I had always thought that forgiveness was for the person being forgiven, like it let them off the hook or that what they did was ok with me now, like it didnt matter. This always led to a perpetual state of resentment. Sure, I said I forgave them but the bitter poison of resentment wouldnt let me have peace or healing. I said the forgiveness words but did not really mean them. I learned (for me it took AA and getting sober YMMV) that forgiveness is not for the person who hurt you, it is for you. It is to give you peace. It is to let go of the resentments and the pain. It never makes what happened ok, it does not mean approval or even much understanding. It means that you have made peace with what has happened and have chosen to work on the trauma and healing that it involves so it doesnt poison you anymore. Resentments, revenge, jealousy, envy, bitterness; they are all toxic to your soul and peace of mind. By forgiving you are allowing yourself to be free of the hold that these feelings have over you. You are no longer allowing the person or persons involved to hijack your emotions. You are accepting that things happened in the past and you would like to move on. Moving on doesnt mean you have to resume a relationship with anyone. It doesnt mean you need to talk to them, deal with them or have them in your life. It just means you are willing to put all the bad emotions associated with these people aside and live your best life. Some people get to this point in therapy.

Not-so-Quick story..abusive Dad in many ways. I didnt even invite him to my wedding because I was pregnant (even though we were engaged) and my Dad insisted I should have an abortion so I wouldnt ruin my life. He said I would never finish college(I did, 1 year late) that I would end up in some low end job" beneath" me. When it was clear that I wouldnt have one he started pressing the issue of adoption. My husband and I met when we were 18 and got engaged when I was 19. Married when I was 20. Love at first site. When I got pregnant we just moved things up. So he wasnt invited to my wedding, but i got soft after my son was born and we resumed a relationship and it wasnt all bad. For once he saw I was a grown up and free of his control. When I was pregnant with my daughter in 1999 I began working for him in his office (he owned a graphic design biz). I did all sorts of odd jobs from his laundry to office work. He paid me pretty well. I learned more about what made him tick and it confirmed what I already knew.. he had a mental health issue. He would have been called 'manic depressive' in the old days. Feb 17, 2000 he came to see me and my daughter in the hospital after giving birth. March 9 was his birthday. I decided for his birthday I would write him a letter. In the letter I said I forgave him, that I understood him better. That I knew we had changed our relationship. ( being an adult helped) that I realized that he did not grown up with good parenting. I mailed it to another town on March 7. Early in the morning of March 9 he got my letter. I know this because he called his girlfriend crying about how touched and happy he was to receive it. That same day- his birthday- he had a massive heart attack and dropped dead in his driveway. He was 47, charming, fit, involved in hob nobbing, handsome; he did not look his age. A year before he had a stent from another heart attack which they said may have been due to an undiagnosed birth defect. He got my letter in a day and a half. He read it, and was moved. He died that morning. It was Kismet. If I had not written that letter I would never have had peace. He was a truly tortured soul who hated himself, abused drugs and alcohol ( an addict) but was functional. He did not love himself. I would never have forgiven myself if he had not gotten that letter. My long winded point is that forgiving him may have given him peace(enough to die?) but it was for me. It helped to say the things out loud that I felt and to be truly, gut level honest. I truly believe that he hated himself and was a victim of abuse as well and did not know how to parent. He did some horrible things-but I needed to put that to bed to move on.
Now, I do not know if the gods were prompting me to write that letter, or if he was going to die and he had made peace with himself after that letter but it all adds up to something you would see in a movie.

Forgiveness is for the forgiver. Acceptance does not mean approval. Conversation does not mean confrontation.
Thanks for letting me share- hope it helps someone.
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