“When you hold resentment toward another you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.” – Catherine Ponder
How true is that quote. In my life, forgiveness is paramount to my own growth. But what happens when you think you have forgiven someone who you believe wronged you and then one day anger hits you square in the face and you realize you have more forgiving to do? Well, that is what I’m dealing with. I believe forgiveness is a process, especially when it is one-sided. When the offender has no intention in any apologies, forgiveness is even more important. In my case, forgiveness is an evolution.
My hurt and anger toward my husband’s ex-wife has been a long, strange journey. In short, dealing with, or dealing with the ramifications of a narcissistic person is no easy task.
So, why do I care about this? I shouldn’t. I have undergone extensive soul-searching in therapy and in prayer, and delved into countless books about dealing with difficult people. This higher understanding of my own emotions has helped a great deal, but every now and then I realize that my anger has returned. This bugs the heck out of me as I find myself going back to the drawing board to find a deeper sense forgiveness in my heart.
Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that my husband’s former wife has completely destroyed the relationship between my step-daughter and my husband, along with the entire side of his family, including her younger half-brothers and sister. Dr. Amy Baker and Dr. Douglas Darnall have identified 66 strategies of Parental Alienation, and nearly all of them have been employed by my husband’s ex-wife. I am extra-sensitive to her behaviors because my own mother used those same tactics to alienate my father from me. This may be why I find myself needing to work on forgiving her again and again. Now, I would imagine if she was reading this she would feel honored to have someone in such turmoil over her actions, but knowing her it would probably just fuel her narcissistic personality. That’s okay. I won’t hide my emotions because I’m not ashamed anymore. This is just a process of grieving over the effects of Parental Alienation.
I’m documenting this setback here because it is real. I’m sure many of you can relate to it. However, I realize that holding onto anger will only hold me back, and yet I continuously feel I have forgiven but setbacks are still abundant. For this reason, I have learned an important lesson in forgiving people who have committed atrocious acts: that even though you may want to forgive with all your heart, forgiveness may seem to slip through your fingers. That’s okay. Forgiveness can be a process. Let your forgiveness evolve. You will find that along the way your determination and growth has contributed to your character.
“Forgive me my nonsense, as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense. ” -Robert Frost