What if forgiveness was invented by the perpetrators of violence?
People call me often a vengeful person because I don’t believe in forgiveness. When someone does something bad to me, they ask for forgiveness because I confront them with what they have done and let them know I am pissed off. Most of the time they get very upset, because they are not used to people confronting them head on. When it becomes clear I am not gone let them off the hook, it prompts them to ask for my forgiveness. My response is always the same:
‘I don’t do forgiveness, you can go to a church, there are people who get paid to do that.’
Why no forgiveness? Because I believe in the right of every person to learn from his/her mistakes and, in my opinion, granting forgiveness prevents people from learning.
I learned this lesson as a child, growing up in a violent hell. I found out that forgiving people for their bad behaviour wipes the slate clean for them. It means that they can erase the past acts from memory and is basically an assurance they will do it again, since they are not plagued anymore by feelings of remorse or guilt. For me, being the victim of their behaviour nothing changes: I still have to learn to live with what they have done to me, and on top of that I tell the perpetrator that it is OK what he/she has done. Basically violating myself all over again because I am all traumatized over nothing.
(Think about that, before you start believing in the New World Order Religion of forgiving everybody who f*cked up the planet and all of human- and animal-kind. Who came up with that religion you think?)
Forgiveness is meant to whitewash the perpetrator’s violent behaviour. For you, as a victim of violent behaviour, there is no need to forgive anybody, you just have to learn to accept what happened and all the bad and good that came from it. In time you will learn to live with it: you don’t need to erase other people’s feelings of guilt and remorse to be able to grow stronger out of that experience.
Don’t forgive, since everybody has the right to learn from his or her mistakes and choices, and when you take that away from them, it will make you the perpetrator of violating that right.