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#12462 - 12/20/11 07:23 AM Empathy, compassion and forgiveness.
starry Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/11
Posts: 350
Thought I would start a new topic on these, seeing as they seem pretty relevant on the forum at the moment.

Looking forward to a great discussion on these areas smile


Edited by starry (12/20/11 09:08 AM)

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#12463 - 12/20/11 10:57 AM Re: Empathy, compassion and forgiveness. [Re: starry]
1Healing Offline
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Registered: 10/25/11
Posts: 87
In re forgiveness/compassion/empathy, & also the topic of which was mentioned of love/loving & the Psychopaths: I stand by my beliefs as to my experience with ex h Psychopath (that he does love, his kids/ siblings, etc., when he loves, but he blocks it as well & can turn that love off & on & does (very controlling) which causes him havoc & Everyone else around him that is close, the same.)

From my experience in this I believe that there are likely variations in the Psychopaths, just as any mental illness/defect each person is unique. I agree that there seems to be a souless quality in some, many likely, but I do not think that is nescessarily the case in all (of the Psychopaths).

IF this is also in part a brain disorder, nature/nurture thing .. this is where I feel I HAVE TO go with it in my head as to forgiveness/empathy in regards to my own healing. & I will even forego the empathy part in this because of the nature of Psychopaths.. When in my life & I am no youngster, I encounter others of whom I do not get along with for whatever reason or clash with, I have to separate myself from them, in a psychological sense.
Of course I was married to this person so it was not like I wanted a divorce or would have frankly left him.. BUT under the circumstances ..
going to a place of the larger picture. OK what if, ie, parent is a pyschopath .. someone's parent & they go through life abused, rejected, there is no bonding of formidable, healthy, nature esp when living in the home... & I would go to the fact of WHY was this psychopath person/parent created? IF it is to bring about another life & THAT is the reason, then there IS a reason they lived. & I thnk it is possible as is in other cases, that their existance is one stacked with evil in their choices/ but too that maybe not ALL is such, if it is also a brain defect ( psychopathy ) then I am going to guess/believe that there are Some of these people who are in ways similar to a person who is mentally reatarded, they would not be expected to function the same as a person who is not.

As I have stated, I spend a LOT of time in disgust at what he did to me, how he treated me, kept leaving, left me in debt & did not pay on his part, the debt was created in large part due to the upheavals & did NOT need to happen. When I post these things here & can discuss the nature of psychopathy THEN I can release my anger, that & in prayer/seeing the larger picture of things. It does not excuse his behavior, I don't believe people can skate through life & do whatever they like in damage. But God Is The Judge & will deal with him (them) in due time.

re healing..In my own family (& with others) I have to give space, boundaries of which are real, that each can have their reality. It doesn't excuse Psychopaths at all, but meaning, life in general. As an adult I can choose how to do things, who to be involved with.

My own life is still very difficult because of what he did to me & that will not change soon. I guess what I am saying is that I have to keep loving. The bible says, "love at all times," & it doesn't say to pick & choose whom I love. I will admit I have never been as challenged in this, in hindsight of my experience with Psychopath. I don't think I have, before had to work to not hate someone & in this case it has been something I've struggled with some days. The fact they are often biologically different, is no excuse to go about turning people's lives upside down, but not in his prescence now I try to rise above. I don't feel I am needing to change my stance / I do not agree that all Psychopaths do not love/ I agree with what Martens says as to some Psychopaths, that they love, in their own way, but also with the rest of it, that their narcissistic nature & inability to FEEL (as a non Psychopath feels) etc causes MUCH damage & to many. Created by God, Differently, then there is likely a reason they are alive & removing from the chaos & then defining why/the reason, if only that they brought about another life, etc. I think that is imperative in healing. That is not excusing their behavior /actions, but it IS, "loving at all times," of which The Word asks that I do.
smile
It's how I have to function/ regardless of who I am with & in my life..
Some days I am seething angry at what he did to me.

When I am upset with a person & believe they are not responding or treating me as I desire .. I pull back & assess my expectations. If they are not able to give me what I need/desire then I try to negotiate or no longer seek the need I have from that person (of course that doesn't work/ negotiation w/Psychopaths, I realize this, but I'm not a Psychopath so it's what I seek when/if possible! smile ). Having a healthy support, system, is important.. not leaning too heavily into one person. Marriage is different/ order in a home is vital for health .. but as an adult & the ability to choose those I am close to helps in the balance of my life.

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#12469 - 12/20/11 04:25 PM Re: Empathy, compassion and forgiveness. [Re: 1Healing]
starry Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/11
Posts: 350
I'm really interested in what you wrote. I'm going to have to think about it over the course of a couple of days, make sure I process everything that you said as well as I can.

Something jumped out at me straight away though. I went for many, many years (most of my life) thinking that my dad didn't really understand what he had done to me, that he had somehow got his wires crossed, that he was somehow not quite right in his mind and so things had got mixed up, that he wasn't really to blame.

I remember one of my counsellors asking my why I kept making excuses for him. And my answer was that I didn't really think he understood what he was doing, that his brain was defective, that he had a mental illness and wasn't really compos mentis.

And then something happened to make me understand that he knew perfectly well where the dividing line between right and wrong was. And that he was deliberately choosing to cross the line to the other side. Deliberately, and repeatedly choosing to cross the line.

I can tell you exactly where I was when I had that realisation, even though it was a good few years ago now. It was like a revelation. I swear, everything fell into place after that. I suddenly felt completely free of all the guilt and the burden of it all.

And now I think of it all very differently. My former train of thought was as a result of the brainwashing he did to me. Passing the blame and the responsibility, from himself to his 'lifestyle', his 'offbeat personality', to all the drugs he had taken and how they had affected his mind. It wasn't him, he was just confused.

But he knew all along what he was doing. And he chose that path, knowing that it would cause me suffering. Knowing and being excited by my suffering and confusion. Toying with my suffering and confusion, keeping me forever suspended in suffering and dangling in confusion.

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#12473 - 12/21/11 04:12 PM Re: Empathy, compassion and forgiveness. [Re: starry]
FreeBird Offline
member

Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 230
starry, Ive been in the same place. All the blame, nit wanting to accept that he did this on purpose, looking for excuses even when I had it there on a plate, that he is a psycho and knows well what he is doing.

When he pushed me to the limits, my mind would block it, I had no control, Id believe anything then just to make him stop. Its terrifying what he did to me, and its terrifying that I only can see it now.

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#12475 - 12/22/11 01:09 AM Re: Empathy, compassion and forgiveness. [Re: starry]
blueheron Offline
member

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 84
Not sure how to be coherent on this one.

Over many years, I have spent a lot of time helping other people learn about forgiveness. I had a whole big spiel about it, written some articles, and have spoken in front of groups, talking about what forgiveness is and isn't, why and how to forgive, etc. Once a person understands that forgiveness is not a feeling, it is an act of will, that makes it a little easier. Forgiving is for our benefit, not for the transgressor's. However, it certainly does not give the transgressor permission to keep doing what they're doing -- that's what I was always afraid of before I learned better. There's a bit more to it that I won't yammer on about now.

It is much easier to forgive someone who may eventually see what they have done, or perhaps did the best they could with what they had at the time but it was still damaging. But even with all I understand about forgiveness, I find it hard to set aside the transgressions of someone who knows good and well what they are doing to you and doing it with gusto. And cannot see why you fuss about it. I find it awfully hard not to hold that against them, and to want a violent revenge. I haven't ever been a violent or physical person, but right now there is at least one person on this planet I would like to beat like a drum. Until there's nothing left of them. I guess I'm only human, huh.

At this point when I was talking with someone who needed to forgive, I tried nudging them to consider handing over their transgressor to God. Great and Almighty God knows far better than we do what needs to happen to that person. Often I have been able help someone to hand a person over to God and as soon as they do, retribution is swift because they finally took their hands off.

Well. Still struggling with this one.

blue heron

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#12476 - 12/22/11 12:37 PM Re: Empathy, compassion and forgiveness. [Re: blueheron]
Dianne E. Offline

Administrator
member

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2788
Loc: United States
Hi, this subject has been on my mind for a long time. I will write the couple in the next 2 days. I have one on my hate list, don't want to crowd that list so need to deal with letting this last one go. Being in the present moment when my mind wanders there is about all I have been doing and now I need to release this hatred, it doesn't feel good.

I won't be around but to check in for new registrations so if anyone in the community needs me to respond to any issues, please click the notify button.

Auto immune system problems and getting ones head bashed in seem to go hand in hand so I need to release this last bit of toxic feelings I have.

I developed shingles on my face, never knew the level of pain involved.

Anyways this isn't about me and I apologize for getting off topic.

I'll post my issue with what to do and letting go, it will only keep my physical being in disorder even having one person on my hate list.

Di

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#12553 - 01/20/12 11:10 AM Absolutely [Re: starry]
F Wright Offline
member

Registered: 01/19/12
Posts: 13
Forgiveness is critical. For healing to occur, we must forgive. If we don't forgive and move on we're allowing the psycopath to occupy space in our heads. Rent-free I may add. They don't deserve that.

This doesn't necessarily mean we should forget. Escaping the clutches of a psycopath is a hard life lesson learned. Use that knowlege when pursuing relationships in the future. smile
_________________________
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke

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#12555 - 01/20/12 12:59 PM Re: Empathy, compassion and forgiveness. [Re: F Wright]
starry Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/11
Posts: 350
Now, here's an interesting question: who are we forgiving here?


I would forgive someone who had hurt me, and who came to me saying they were sorry for what they had done. I wouldn't have a problem with that, however badly they had hurt me.

But the psychopath, well, they don't think they've done anything wrong. In fact, they're the ones who feel wronged. There's no guilt or remorse for the hurt or damage they've caused. Quite the opposite, in fact.

So I made a decision a long time ago, not to forgive my dad, for as long as he didn't come to ask for forgiveness from me (and mean it. Which will be never).

It has been tremendously empowering for me to refuse to forgive to my dad. He took great delight in destroying my boundaries (physical as well as mental and emotional), so I have taken strength in putting a boundary into place. It's my boundary which I have put into place. My boundary is on my terms.

There's so much pressure in our society to forgive, 'let go' and 'move on' that it's difficult sometimes to say 'stop, I want to stay in this place for a while and examine how I feel about this and what is right for me'.

Actually, the person who deserves my forgiveness is myself. I remember the moment when I realised that, and it was like a deep peace and calm had come over me. And I still refuse to forgive my dad.

Perhaps refusing to forgive can ignite anger, 'how dare you have done this to me?'. I'm not one who thinks that anger is necessarily a bad thing here. It was never safe for me to be angry with my dad, however abusive he was to me, because his anger trumped everone else's anger. So I had to suffocate it to survive. It's taken me a lot of work and a long time to reconnect with it. I'm proud of it now, it tells me that there is an injustice happening. And it gives me energy to act and ultimately change the situation. It's a tremendous source of energy.


Edited by starry (01/21/12 07:06 AM)

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#12556 - 01/20/12 05:13 PM Re: Absolutely [Re: starry]
FreeBird Offline
member

Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 230
Yeeees!
Starry! You are great!

I will never forgive my Psychopath as well. He deliberately destroyed my whole life, put it all on me, lied about it and at the end of it all tried to persuade me that I was insane.

I have no problem forgiving people. I rarely get upset. I usually see the good side of people.

But he does not deserve that I treat him like other people. He behaves worse than an animal, so that's what he is to me - I wouldn't care much if I saw him dying in the street.

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#12562 - 01/21/12 01:04 PM Re: Empathy, compassion and forgiveness. [Re: starry]
F Wright Offline
member

Registered: 01/19/12
Posts: 13
Well... forgiveness isn't necessarily synonymous with capitulation nor acceptance of deviant behavior. And lack of it certainly shouldn't be confused with revenge. If a refusal to forgive is empowering, all the better for one's personal healing. I'm just wondering if the refusal to forgive is rooted in a need to exact revenge.

Starry, what your father did was just plain despicable and, some might say unforgivable. But he may not give a care whether you forgive him or not. Psycopaths rarely have concern for their victims' feelings anyway. Once can't easily exact revenge on a person who has no concept of the consequences of his actions.

Holding on to anger toward him is beating the proverbial dead horse. He ain't gonna notice nor care. We can choose to be angry and allow past transgressions to control us. Or we can take the high road and give our past tormenter(s) the shoe once and for all. It's our own choice to make. It's never an easy choice but it's always ours.

My father, while not a psycopath was a violent alcoholic. None of us kids really knew him. When he was on his deathbed I flew back Stateside from Greece to be with him before he died. He hardly aknowleged my presence in that hospital room... he spent more time BSing with his cop buddies or watching television than he spent talking to me.

I remember thinking... what the hell. I fly halfway around the world to spend time with this guy before he croaks. Here I am sitting by his bedside and he acts like I'm not even here.

He's been dead for many years; not a one of us kids shed a tear when he passed. I don't believe my sisters and brother have forgiven him to this day. For a long time, I hadn't either. But I had to realize that, until I was willing to let go of the past he would continue to torment me from the grave.

And, unchecked I would continue to use his treatment of me as a crutch or excuse for whatever pitfalls occurred in life.

That had to stop. I had to take responsibility for my life. To do that I had to forgive him, as difficult as it was and push him out of my head.

If it's any help I was married to a psycopath for 16 long years. For good measure, her mother, one of her brothers and a cousin were psychopaths as well. To say my married life was a traumatizing experience would be putting it mildly.

After I finally got free I was angry. I was bitter. Very much so for many years afterward. I wanted revenge. I wanted to see them lose everthing they'd taken me for.

Life has a funny way of exacting revenge. It's called karma. Given time, the evil will reap their reward. Of this one may be sure.

The ex and her new hubby lost it all over time. Her brother lost his business and his livelihood. The arrogance they used to toment me and so many others came back to them.

I had forgiven them long before they fell. Forgiveness was my road to peace of mind. I refuse to allow them to occupy my head rent-free and continue to control my thoughts.

They threw me away like so much rubbish. By forgiving, I have done the same to them. I've thrown them out of my head. Not to say this works for everyone. It worked for me.

Hope it helps.
_________________________
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke

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