Just Get Over It!

Just Get Over It! August 17, 2014

shut upby Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living Liminal

Imagine you were part of a circle of friends, many of whom you’d known for a long time. You are close, you often spend time together in each other’s company. Everyone tells you how much they love you and value you. You feel happy and accepted.

Now imagine that things start to change. In subtle, and not-so-subtle, ways you start to feel pressured to conform to expectations you never agreed to. To comply with other people’s dictates. Eventually, things become more overt and these friends start to slap you around.

You object.

You might even fight back.

But they club together. And one day, they gang up and beat you up so badly that you can’t even get back on your feet. Bones are broken. Flesh is bruised.

You plead for justice. For your wounds to be tended. For them to love you once again.

And they turn and say, “Oh, we’re sorry that you feel hurt.”

You look at them incredulously.

They continue, “We’ve said sorry and we feel ok now. We’ve moved on. You need to do the same. Just forgive us and get over it.”

You protest.

So they turn away. They can’t be around someone so bitter and unforgiving!

Does this sound at all familiar? Have you experienced this type of behaviour?

I ask this because something I read the other day reminded me that this was what happened to me. I came across across this article in a Newsletter written by Leslie Vernick. The context is domestic abuse, but the principle applies to any type of abusive situation.

After having said, “I’m sorry” often the destructive spouse believes he or she is now entitled to amnesty, forgiveness, and full restoration of marital privileges without ever having to make amends, suffer long-term consequences, or work hard to repair and rebuild trust. Sometimes we collude with such unrealistic and unbiblical thinking pressuring the injured spouse to forgive and reconcile. 

But if she’s not yet ready, or refuses to grant amnesty, or restore full marital privileges until she sees evidence of repentance, we often start to label her as ungracious, ungodly, rebellious, and hard-hearted. Instead of being supported and validated for the pain she’s in, she now feels pressured, scolded, shamed or scared for her “unbiblical” stand or refusal to fully reconcile.

get over itThank God, I’m in a much better place these days!

But what if you’re not? What if you are being pressured to forgive and move on – to “just get over it”?

If that is where you are, I want to share the truth with you.

It is not unforgiving to refuse to trust someone who has betrayed your trust. You are not being bitter if you insist that words are meaningless without the actions to back them up.

You are not ungodly or unrighteous if you hold out for evidence of repentance! You are WISE!

Read everything by Living Liminal!

Living Liminal lives in Australia with her husband and three sons, and she is learning to thrive in the liminal space her life has become.

The Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network

Comments open below

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • ConcepcionImmaculadaPantalones

    My past experience in a situation involving abuse was with a guy who not once said he was sorry – instead he relied on keeping me absolutely terrified. There was not only the fear that he’d physically harm me worse than the times before, but fear that he’d physically harm my parents, my friends, etc. – many times it felt like my staying with him was the only thing that was keeping everyone else in my life safe.

    Even when a parent has no experience themselves with abuse in relationships, they need to talk with their kids about the subject.

  • The problem with these Christians’ idolization of swift, cheerful forgiveness is that it is a easy way out, a so comfortable way to deal with abuse without trying to fix the system and the wrong beliefs which made abuse itself possible.

  • MizzKittay

    Somethings can be forgiven. Somethings simply cannot. Other things take time to heal. A betrayal of trust is not something that should easily be forgiven. Being ganged up on socially is not something to be forgiven; its something to run away from FAST!! Lest your desire is to lose yourself in the process.

    One of the hardest things to deal with in life is loss of self love and self respect. That can come around when your putting your emotional needs secondary to someone else. To fit in with the group or to keep a spouse happy by lying to yourself. When you speak to other people… your still listening to yourself. As odd as that sounds. Say it enough and you’ll start to believe your own lies and even start to defend them if someone should question them.

  • MizzKittay

    I do notice that while it is “okay” for some to expect full and fast forgiveness they aren’t always prepared to offer it in return. Sometimes they’ll even gang up on you then too! Then it isn’t about who is morally right or wrong it becomes about power and control.

    You said it very well AndyT

  • Forgiving someone doesn’t mean they get a pass from the consequences of their actions. Our Lord forgave the thief on the cross but he still paid the price for his crimes.

  • SAO

    Being inconsiderate of others, offering a facile apology when called on it, then expecting instant forgiveness and going on to do it again is something people with personality disorders do. They can be quite charismatic and have good arguments why their actions are blameless, thus get a group to agree with them.

    I was called a grudge holder when I said honestly I was struggling to forgive an egregious offense because I didn’t feel like it was honest (it wasn’t honest, given that she continued, over time to repeat the same things).

    You can end contact with the narcissist, but it’s hard to deal with a group of friends in the thrall of a narcissist who’s picking on you.

  • Sharla Hulsey

    There may come a time when a person may choose to forgive for the sake of letting go of their own hurt and bitterness. That time can’t be scheduled before the person’s ready, and it can NEVER be done on the abuser’s timetable. Nor does forgiveness necessarily = restoration of relationship. I can forgive that person who hurt me, in the sense of no longer feeling as much anger or hurt when I think of them, but I sure as hell don’t have to have anything more to do with them, particularly if there’s even the slightest possibility they may do it again if they have access to me.

  • Nightshade

    Forgiveness is not a magic Band-Aid to be pulled out of someone’s pocket, stuck on, and used to make everything all better. It just doesn’t work that way.

  • Nea

    It’s possible to move on, let go of hurt and bitterness… and still never forgive. Moving on, letting go, and forgiving are three related but separate concepts.

  • Evelyn

    So true. And I hate it that sometimes church people demand a restoration of relationship as proof of forgiveness. Good thing I don’t care whether they believe it or not. . .

  • gimpi1

    The forgiveness seems to be a one-way street, too. People with less power are pressured to extend forgiveness to those with more power. Those inside the tribe are entitled to a great deal more forgiveness than those outside it. Forgiveness is used as a way to wield power, not a means of reconciliation.

  • Indomable

    So. Much. This.