Forgiveness

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that Sadie does too much of the talking in therapy. I sent her a link to that post and she took that comment very seriously. In my appointment yesterday, she completely backed off on the talking and left me there to uncomfortably fumble for words in response to her leading questions. It felt awful and I thought I was going to cry. It also felt productive. It’s easy for me to let her suggest ideas and to nod and say “maybe”. I don’t have to actually feel anything for that to happen. This was an entirely different experience, one I haven’t had since my previous therapist, Wendy, left.

We started off talking about something that was causing me to feel guilt. I had magnified the situation enormously, and even though I did what I could to fix it, I still felt like I am a horrible person and everything I do is wrong. After a conversation that meandered on to other topics, such as what causes a person to have worth, we got back to the question of whether I could forgive myself for this incident. Sure, I can. For now, while I feel okay, but it will still come back as something to beat myself up over the next time I’m feeling down.

Or maybe not. There were a number of really bad things I obsessed over when I was suicidal in March of last year. Things that had haunted me for years. I shared them with Wendy and the next time I was suicidal, I didn’t come back to those same thoughts. I wouldn’t say I’ve entirely forgiven myself, but I’m also not haunted by it anymore.

Sadie asked if I have difficulty forgiving other people too. Not really. I will take a lot from people, although there is eventually a breaking point at which things become unforgivable. For the lesser offenses, I tend to assume that they didn’t mean to hurt me. This part sounded good. It sounded less good when I continued to say that I assume I’m being oversensitive and that I shouldn’t be upset by what they said or did. I’m taking a wild guess that my brand of “forgiveness” isn’t really forgiveness at all.

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