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Heartbroken, Confused And Can't Forgive

by Tomicka
(Chicago, IL)

I actually have 2 people in my life I'm finding hard to forgive. My mother & ex-husband. My mom and I have always had a weird relationship.
She harbored anger toward my biological dad whom I have never met (I'm 35 yrs old). Unless there is something that I can do for her she never acts like a mom. "I love you" was a term never used in our household.

She's been married to her spouse for 20+ years and from day one it was always about him. At this time in my life I have unresolved issues with her & it's been quite some time since I've seen or spoken to her. My ex however has given me pure hell.

Sexual assault charges, infidelity, physical abuse. I can't stand the sight of him. He had a habit of manipulating people into thinking he is a victim. I try to let go of the hurt but it is extremely difficult.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Tomicka, and thanks for telling your story here. Forgiveness is either incomplete or impossible until you have released your anger and come to peace with yourself and the other person. This is neither simple or easy.

Forgiveness comes naturally, when you have released your anger in a healthy way. It is clear that you're still angry, and with very good reason. Here is what I recommend:

Do the trauma writing exercise described on this page, followed by these imagery processes for emotional healing.

Then do the anger journaling on that same page, to give your anger a daily, healthy form of expression. Over time, you will start to feel it subside.

Remember, you're doing this for you, not for the people who wounded you.

Start connecting with the goodness in yourself and your life, using the third journaling process described on that page. This is key to forgiveness. You forgive not because you're no longer wounded, but because you're so focused on the goodness in your life that you're able to breathe, relax and let go--all for you.

Finally, you can let go of your parents using the process described on our FAQ page.

You can do this, Tomicka. Then you can go on with your life and being happy.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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