Forgive, Never Forget

Life is a journey where we love and learn, where we stand and fall and stand up again, where we do good and bad things, or have good and bad things done to us. Life is a journey where we learn to forgive and forget, and sometimes we choose to forgive, but never forget.

Throughout my life I have done a lot of forgiving, but many things I will never forget, because they shaped me to be who I am today.

Things to remember

Sixteen…
… I fell pregnant, and not by accident. I refused to have an abortion, refused to have my child adopted. I even refused to marry the father of my child, not wanting to correct one wrong with another. It wasn’t easy, being such a young mom, for so many reasons. I made mistakes, so many mistakes I probably wouldn’t have made had I only became a parent when I was ten years older.

I have forgiven myself for those mistakes, but I will never forget them, because all of them were made in love, believing I did the right thing. I will never forget, because I have a beautiful daughter to remind me of those difficult times, and how we came through them together.

Twenty-two…
… I was now mother of two, and a married woman. He was enrolled at college through his work, a rising star they called him. He loved the student life, and lost sight of his responsibilities, his wife and children waiting at home. One day his son was sick, and needed to be taken to the ER. He had the car. I went to get him from the bar, demanded he took me to the hospital. That’s the day I saw him with her for the first time, a young, beautiful student. It hurt, but I kept my mouth shut. Wasn’t he the one who told me I should be thankful he had married me, because no one else would ever have wanted me. Months later I left him, and the next day saw him walking hand in hand in public with her.

I have forgiven him for what he had done, for how he had treated me and my children. I will never forget the way he made me feel insignificant, dull and unloved, because the four years I had been with him, made me a stronger woman, and prepared me for much worse later in my life.

Twenty-seven…
… I ended up in a horrible relationship (https://rebelsnotes.com/tag/no-consent-series/) where I was mentally and physically abused, gaslighted, and used by a couple. It took me some months to find my inner strength, and when I did, I didn’t only fled their house, but also my country. It happened 26 years ago, and still I am triggered by what happened back then.

I will never forget. I have not forgiven… yet.

Nine…
… I wanted her to experience the same I did, being touched there. I was too young to understand it then, but in my adult years I realized that being sexually abused, I wanted someone else to feel it too. I touched her sex. I crawled under the blankets and run my tongue up her slit. Then stopped, not knowing what else to do, except to crawl out from under the blankets, lie down next to her again and go to sleep. Oh, and before we went back to sleep, I told her never to tell anyone, or we will be punished, just like I had been told to keep it a secret.

I have forgiven myself for what happened then, but I have not forgotten, because only in my adult nature did I understand what bisexuality is.

Other things

There are many other moments in my life I can mention here, such as that one moment between a friend and me where she was guilty but I took the blame on me, or that time at work where I was accused of something I haven’t done, only because someone tried to take the attention off their own incompetence. Thankfully the manager was bright enough to see through it, but not before the damage was done.

There were the times I took a long time to trust some people, and when I finally did, they betrayed my trust the way I instinctively felt they would, and which was the very reason why I took so long to trust them. Some of those things nearly broke me.

I’m thinking of the night I cheated on my second husband. That definitely didn’t deserve a reward, no matter what the state of our marriage was.

There are so many things that happened in my life, and sometimes I was the one who hurt others; other times I was the one getting hurt. I remember many things that have happened, but there are also enough things I have forgotten.

I believe in forgiveness. To forgive is to learn your lessons from what has happened, grow from it and move on with your life. Forgiving someone sets you free from the pain they have caused. In a way it breaks the hold they have over you. I believe in processing what has happened, take the good from it, forgiving them and moving on. Sometimes forgiving comes instantly, sometimes after a couple of weeks or months, and sometimes only after years. But forgiving them is like cleansing your soul.

I don’t believe in forgetting. Forgetting will mean you have to learn those lessons all over again. Remember what has happened. Remember the pain, the hardships, but most of all, remember the good you have taken from it, and how it has changed you.

Forgive, but never forget.

© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay

4 Thoughts or Fiction

12 thoughts on “Forgive, Never Forget

  1. A great post. It’s so important for our own health to be able to forgive. And I understand both your point of never forgetting and also Mary Louise’s point of letting go of things. I interpret both similarly. I also want to thank you for sharing these moments in time with us.
    A totally different query, my info is never saved for your blog so I have to enter it each time I comment. Perhaps something is not working properly?

    1. Thank you for your comment, Michael.
      I know how annoying it can be when information is not saved, so I have switched off that feature and hope it works better for you now? I have no idea why with some blogs it does store the info, and with others it doesn’t. I wondered if it has to do with the theme people are using, but couldn’t find anything about it online.

  2. This has so much wisdom in it, but also you have laid bare injuries and hurt you have endured, confusion and betrayal. Brave.

    I am glad your heart and head can forgive and that you can pull lessons out of these incidents, it sounds a good strategy and is similar to what I do. I forgive but do not forget because – as you say -the incidents hold lessons and warnings of caution to be applied in the future.

    I box things up, with the lid on I can put them aside, but sometimes they do need to be opened and re-examined to shed light on another incident/relationship/problem. Thank you for being so open, hugs Marie.

    1. That’s indeed what I do – ‘forget’ about it while it’s in the box, and then retrieve the memories when I need it for a new ‘problem’. But once I have forgiven, I can think about what happened in a more ‘positive’ light. Thank you for your comment, Posy xox

  3. Forgiveness is so difficult. But you are right that it is about how you improve yourself. What has happened can’t be changed and it is how you deal with it and make yourself better, after all no one is perfect.

    1. You are so right there, PS, and as long as we remember no one is perfect, I think it’s easier to forgive and move on.

  4. Wow Rebel , I don’t know what to say!
    I’m new to your blog so I had no idea of your history.
    I’ve had such a mundane quiet life when I read what you’ve been through.
    I admire you for being who you are now.
    ❤Howie

    1. Welcome to my blog, Howie, and thank you for your comment. I guess I had quite a turbulent life, until I met my husband, and then things settled down. I love reading about your experiences 🙂 xox

  5. Wow Marie – that is such a powerful post. TY for sharing it on 4thoughts. I think it is important not to forgot – as how can we reflect and learn if we can’t remember what happened?
    I have made a couple of decisions I think may have be wrong- but they were carried out with love so i can’t regret them.
    Forgiving can be hard but vital for moving on and being able to live and love.
    May xx

    1. I so agree with you, it can be hard to forgive, but we need to do it to be able to move on with life xox

  6. It’s interesting how you forgive but don’t forget. I’m a but different. For me if I keep remembering it means I haven’t truly forgiven. Some issues I had with my dad for example, when we talked them through and it was then ok, I let go and forgot. Holding onto it for me makes me carry an additional weight that’s no longer necessary

    1. Yes, I can see how it can be carrying an additional weight if you don’t forget it. I think when I say I don’t forget, I don’t think about what happened all the time, but if something sparks a memory, I do remember it, and remember the lessons I have learned from it. I just don’t remember it in a negative way anymore, so it doesn’t burden me, because I have forgiven. Does that make sense?

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