How Do You Forgive Someone That Hurt You?

It is one of the most difficult things I try to do. Forgiveness.

I feel like it is a sigh of defeat. I know better. But I feel like it’s waving the white flag.

“You win. I have to be the bigger person and you can walk away without learning anything.”

It feels like I have to be the one to do the growing and the person that did the hurting doesn’t have to do anything.

Hell, he didn’t even have to apologize.

It can be any kind of hurt. It can be someone that hurt me emotionally or physically or unintentionally.

But I forgive because I have to.

I don’t forgive them for the guys’ sake. I don’t care how it makes him feel actually. He doesn’t even have to know I am trying to forgive him. I don’t even want to give the men the satisfaction of knowing that they hurt me that bad.

He doesn’t need to know that I am working on forgiveness. It doesn’t matter.

I forgive because it’s for me.

I forgive because it lifts a weight off my chest, and no one else’s.

For me, I realized I have been holding back. I haven’t wanted to open myself up[ again emotionally. Not for real.

I’ve let the weight of this particular person hurting me in the past weigh me down like an anchor. I am trying like hell to drag that anchor because I want to move forward but it is becoming too heavy. I’ve hit that crossroad where if things are going to go forward I need to let go of the anchor so I can keep walking forward.

I wish there was a short cut because I want to get to that place where things were moving forward. But there isn’t a short cut, and I don’t think I can really, honestly move forward in the relationship I am in without fully forgiving this guy for hurting me in the past.

I have been trying to take the short cut for probably the last several years. I’ve tried pushing him out of my mind. I’ve tried to be friends. I tried to fake it till I make it. I thought I had forgiven him since we talked everything through.

But I don’t feel fully free. The way I do when I have really let go and moved on from the pain. I feel like I am still holding back. Bracing myself to get hurt again.

The same thing happened when I tore my ACL for the second time. I knew I had done it right away. That pain was really familiar in my right knee, it was the same feeling I had when I did it 10 years earlier to the left knee.

So after the surgery I started physical therapy. And I knew how painful it would be so I was a complete baby. I resisted all the help they tried to give. I winced at the thought of the pain and started to well up with tears. I didn’t let them do their job effectively.

And what happened? I didn’t get full range of motion back. I have residual pain in that knee that I am told I may have to live with for the rest of my life because that’s just the way it healed.

I screwed myself by not allowing the pain to be fully felt in order to get to the other side. Had I just suffered in the physical therapists office, and the suffering would have been just moments of temporary pain, who knows if my right knee would have recovered fully?

But how do I do that? How do I let myself open to the possibility of more pain from the same person. How do I shut off the voice that says “Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me?”

I do I forgive someone from breaking my heart? For what seems like a really silly reason in retrospect? How do I move forward?

I could ask for guarantees, but I’m not going to get them (or believe them even if he tried). I could ask him to apologize, but what’s that going to do? The answer doesn’t lie in anything that he could possibly say.

It has to come from me, from somewhere inside.

I don’t really know the answer. I am working on a forgiveness meditation to see what comes up and maybe that will guide me to something. This morning I found I have a lot of bad emotions that I try to push away or make excuses for. So maybe step one is to sit with all the negative emotions.

Just like the pain in my knee, I need to feel them and get past it to the other side.

I don’t have any clue what I am doing.

I am scared. I am scared he is going to hurt me again. I am scared that I am going to try all this and the relationship is still going to fail and to me that feels like a complete waste.

I am scared  I am going to spend this fall the same way I spent last fall- alone and recovering.

So how do I move forward? I know I am supposed to “embrace the uncertainty” and “feel the emotions.” But damn, that’s hard. It’s one thing to know something and another thing to commit to doing it.

I am completely open to what you have to say. Have you forgiven someone that hurt you and you were able to heal the relationship to move forward? What do you think?



20 thoughts on “How Do You Forgive Someone That Hurt You?

  1. Feel like I could have written this myself (minus the knee part). I say iv forgiven someone, but everyday a new anger or uncertainty rises out of me. I start arguments out of the smallest things and they just explode. Once you find the answers, please share them with me.

  2. For me, I have experienced both and I think it depends on circumstances and what you allow yourself to forgive. I have forgiven and gone on to have better relationships with those people. there have also been people that I simply cannot forgive. the problem with this is that at the end of the day the unforgiveness holds only me back. I hope you find the answers that you are looking for.

    • Thank you, thank you. Yeah, who knows what the future holds. I do believe we can forgive but we don’t have to forget. Forgiveness is more for me than for them. If I can forget, move on and build a stronger relationship, then it benefits everyone. But forgiveness is purely me healing my heart and soul so that I can be a person that can step forward.

  3. Well this really touched my heart. I have been into the same situation and refused to forgive the person who has given me mental wounds. And I moved ahead, but there comes a point when you cant move ahead coz you need to see the unfinished business. I tried to forgive and still trying.
    Love your work.. Thank you for posting this. xx 🙂

  4. I have tried to forgive those who have broke my heat. I am still trying. Like you, I try to let myself feel the pain, then I fake like I have moved on and tell myself we can be friends. I want to forgive, so desperately, for myself, but can’t figure out how to truly let my heart forgive. When you find the way that works for you, please share. I’m willing to try anything. ❤

  5. I agree with your whole text. The worse for me is that I don’t understand why the pain was inflicted. I don’t get it. I hope she will realize one day what she did to me.

    • I’m sorry you were hurt. Sometimes we never learn why and have to make peace with it anyway. Sometimes we hear why and still don’t understand. I wish there was something I could say to make the pain go away, but there isn’t any magic phrase. Were all stuck in the mud together.

      • I felt so much mental pain that my body felt symptoms and even tried to shut me down to stop it. I became allergic to her. Each time I would see her, my body would trigger symptoms.

        She was so awesome during the relationship and one day she just became totally selfish, ungrateful and mean (despite her feeling she’s doing the right thing).

  6. Sometimes you have to do one thing you don’t want to or most afraid of doing. As much i have seen in the world, when you can’t let go of someone. Only way to get over that person is to let someone else completely. You might get hurt again, and its certainly risk. But its necessary risk. I have known pain both physical and emotional. Meaning of being unforgiven and can’t letting go of someone with whom i spent some special moments. But that pain of can’t able to letting go becomes like poison, which run through your veins and keep hurting your heart until end of time. Making you suffer every single moment, and in the end you are consumed by darkness. Sometimes it still stays there in your dark side. But only one thing might get you out of all these suffering. Letting someone completely in who can heal scars on our soul from past. Other than that i don’t know, but you might end up like i said because i did.

  7. I empathise with you. I am in an incredibly similar headspace at the moment. Reading the way you express these feelings reassures the normality of my own. I’m hung up on a guy who has trampled all over my heart on so many occasions and I have been trying for an entire year to figure out how to get past it. The thing is though, for me, a lot of the time the heartbreak isn’t whats causing the pain. It’s the fact that I’m still in love with him (I’m not another eighteen year old saying that flippantly – I am wholeheartedly about it) despite the way he treated me and it hurts knowing how silly I am for it. I’m brand new to blogging and have only written one post, but I have more to come about this very situation, in fact it’s the reason I decided to start – I need an outlet and perhaps some insight from third party outsiders (hang on I’m not shamelessly plugging myself haha). But basically, what I wanted to say is I’m glad that this was one of the first blogs I stumbled upon and thank you for not only making me realise there are other people going through the same thing, but that it’s a good thing to write about it. All the best on your journey. I’ll “follow” along. 🙂 x

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