I absolutely believe in forgiveness, but forgetting? I remember. I may not remain angry about the things I remember, but I don’t forget them, either. I keep a tally. If you’ve betrayed me, lied to me, broken your promises, not been there when I needed you or sometimes, just not been there at all … I remember. It’s not necessarily a grudge. I can forgive bad behavior, but I’m not stupid enough to let myself get betrayed repeatedly by the same person. Twice gives you an asterisk and a footnote: “Not someone I can depend on.” The footnote is permanent. Thrice? I tend to quietly slip away, if not from the person, then from whatever kind of incident was involved.

Any number of combinations can be extrapolated from this, including:

  1. I may refuse to forgive or forget — and hold a grudge. I’m not planning revenge, but you aren’t invited to my party.
  2. I forgive you. I remember everything and won’t trust you when I know you to be untrustworthy. Not holding a grudge, but I am wary.
  3. I forgive you. I pretend to forget because I love you so much I will let you do what you do because that’s just you and you can’t help it. Every now and again, I’ll get really mad about it but real love wins.
  4. I forgive you but I remember everything. No grudge — except I never want to see you again. I don’t hate you, but I do want you out of my life. Permanently.

There are lots of permutations based on combinations of forgiving, forgetting (not) and the holding grudges.

Forgiveness is not the same as “let’s be pals again.” Damage has been done. A sincere apology helps but I am unlikely to trust you after you have hurt me. Most people get a free pass for one hurting. People I adore get two and sometimes more free passes because love is more powerful than the hurt. But after that, be careful. Because when I decide to drop someone from my life, I never change my mind. It’s permanent. Even if I wish I could change it, I can’t. I never have. If I sever ties, they stay severed.

With my moon solidly in Scorpio, forgetting is impossible. Pisces sun? I forgive, but I remember. I don’t plan vengeance, don’t even wish ill on people them, but I won’t give them another shot at me either. I don’t even stay angry. It’s as if all the feeling I had goes cold.

As far as I’m concerned, all this means is I learn from the past.

Categories: Humor, Love, Sayings and Platitudes

Tags: , , , , , ,

23 replies

  1. Couldn’t have said it better, couldn’t agree more!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sometimes these actions are circumstantial. One has to be skillful enough to differentiate these circumsrances.
    Doesn’t mean to be week, or accept whatever is served on the platter, but wise enough what to chew and what to spit.
    Once bitten, twice shy is a perfect example of how to deal with situations like these.

    I remember changing my entire friend circle and preferred to be alone with my family behind me, but made it sure they repent the loss.

    I switched on my preferences to something which i like the most… writing. Writing about relations between a father and a daughter because i found it the most important subject of my life when my daughter was born.
    Marilyn i second your thoughts….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Marilyn, I do agree with one part of your post, but contrary to you I have the ‘gift’ (and it IS a gift to me, one I did nothing to receive but am glad to have) to FORGET. I more or less never forget something good but more or less instantly (well, sort of) forget the really bad stuff (the long years of suffering b efore divorcing as an example). I hold absolutely nothing against my ex because it doesn’t hurt me any longer.
    I do agree with your point 3 – very heavily so – it’s the story of my union with HH.
    But also, if someone “lied to me, broken your promises, not been there when I needed you“, my ‘faith’ and trust in them is broken for good – and it happens more often than I like to admit that said persons cannot believe that I question their sincerity…. but that’s the one point I cannot and will not forget, because it’s like being burned and the scars will continue to burn.
    A truly gr8 post – thank you. You are one wise woman.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m totally with you on all this, Marilyn. I’m just the same, I’ll forgive but not forget. It’s a kind of insurance policy for the future, a shield wall against more hurt. You absolutely don’t have to bear a grudge to remember, but as you say, forgetting as well as forgiving is laying yourself open to more hurt. I’m not sure anyone really forgets completely, you can’t forget a nasty episode in your life. Perhaps some people just cover up the painful memory more. Your approach is the sensible one, Marilyn, you’ve got the balance right. 🙂


  5. I agree with you about being able to forgive but never being able to forget. I posted this a little over three years ago and I apologize if for linking to it here if you already read it, but it expresses a similar take as you expresses in this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have a big struggle where i forgive abusers, and give them million more shots assuming they are going to change. I keep inviting them again to my table


  7. My father was an AH to my mother and I asked him why. He said, she always forgave me. She was a doormat to him. You can forgive but never forget or it will never stop.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I happen to think, if people are honest, that most people do the same. Who keeps letting themselves be hurt over and over? Forgiving means you kick them out of your head and stop letting them live in there, rent free; AND it lifts the burden from you. Forgetting? Sometimes that’s not possible. I’m a bit like you in that regard. I tend to live by this adage: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice? Shame on ME. And no do-overs.


    • Depending on the relationship, I sometimes give them one more, but that’s pretty much it. It also depends on what exactly happened. There are minor little flurries of temper that are not really important, but then there are some really ghastly big ones that no matter what you do will never go away. I try very hard, though to get them out of my head. I figure that being permanently pissed off isn’t doing them any harm. It’s only hurting ME.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Learning from bad experiences and people serves a purpose. It changes those experiences into something useful. Forgiving is way easier than forgetting.

    Liked by 2 people

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