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Never Forgiven

by Anonymous

I can not forgive my mother for what she did to me. She humiliated and abused me emotionally as a child. Now, when someone else attempts to do the same thing, I feel the same emotion of anger, bitterness, and vengefullness. It has ruined my life.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. Your life is not ruined. It just feels like it is.

Here's what I want you to do:

1) Use the journaling processes on this page, starting with the "Trauma Writing." Write in total detail about all of your memories of what your mother did to you. This has been shown to help, as difficult as it may be.

2) Then go to the next journaling exercise on that page, and write from your anger--do this on a daily basis, whether you're angry or not. This gives your anger "somewhere to go," and keeps it from building up inside.

3) When you feel ready, do these imagery processes for emotional healing, regarding each of the traumatic memories you wrote about.

4) When you're feeling some relief from the above two exercises, start the Goodfinding writing processes (third exercise on journaling page), where you focus on the good things in your life. This is very important--don't leave it out.

Believe in yourself, and never give up on you. You are a good person, which is why you want things to be different, and that's also why you wrote for help on this site.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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Feb 02, 2010
by: Anna

Hi. I don't know how many times in the past someone has told me that I just needed to forgive my mother for how she abused me. They acted like forgiveness was this magic thing that would cure me without even having to look at the memories or to feel the anger, fear and sadness of my childhood. I had so many people give me that advice, that I began to wonder if there was something wrong with me for not being able to just forgive her and get on with my life. Later, I found out that the advice I was getting was hurting my ability to feel the emotions I needed to feel and to face the memories I needed to face.

My mother emotionally abused me to the point where I didn't feel as if I deserved to take up space on the Earth. To this day I still feel as if other people are better than me. I often feel as if other people can handle things better than I can, or that they are just more intelligent than me. I don't do this as much as I did before I went into recovery, but I still catch myself doing it.

Years ago I told a psychiatrist that when I walked into a grocery store and looked at all of the other people, I felt as they had their lives all figured out and that none of them were as messed up as me. He laughed and said that I could not be farther from the truth. He said that chances are all of the other people in the store were thinking the same thing about me.

My mother's verbal and emotional abuse destroyed me to the point where I thought that I would never be OK. I was severly depressed and could not find my way out of it.

Then I read Bill DeFoore's book about anger and started to do the anger releases methods. I also started to listen to the "Nurturing Your Inner Child" recording. This helped me more than I can tell you. I was amazed at how much rage I had in me. I had always done my best to be so sweet and quiet. So, when the rage came out of me, I totally surprised myself. I kept doing it though until my severe depression went away.

About a year ago I started to write about my childhood on this blog site. I kept writing about my childhood and crying until I felt that I had told my story enough. This is really interesting though because when my oldest son was a teenager, he told me that one day I would write about my childhood. I remember that my answer back to him was, "I don't know if anyone out there would be that interested in hearing about my childhood". Now, I am finding myself wanting to hear about your childhood and hoping that you write some more on the blog site. I think that it really helps all of us to write about our childhoods and to read what others have written about theirs. Your story touched me very deeply because of my own past experiences.

Anyway, to get back to forgiveness, I found that premature forgiveness only stops recovery. It was so important to get out the rage and other emotions and just know that forgiveness will come naturally on its own at the end.

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