Reminders Of Past Trauma & Forgiveness

My mother had a best friend for almost her entire life.  They met in school & apparently became inseparable, even when this friend’s family moved about halfway across the country.  They kept in touch via letters & phone calls ever since.  When my mother died, I knew I needed to let this lady know.  I sent her a letter as soon as I found her mailing address.

Since that time, she & I became friends.  We exchange letters pretty often.  She is such a lovely woman with a kind, gentle heart.  She’s also an animal lover, so I often share pictures with her of my cats & in particular, my parents’ cat, Molly. 

Recently, I received a letter from this lovely lady.  She commented on the pictures of my cats I’d shared with her not long ago.  She referred to them as “my grandcats.”  Her comment took me aback.  Although it was very sweet, it also made me angry.  Not at her, but at my parents. 

Before my parents passed away, I had cats & dogs for years.  I got my first cat shortly after moving out on my own when I was 19.  During the years since, I gave my parents pictures, told them things about all of my furkids, kept them posted when they had health concerns & called crying when they passed away.  I even signed cards “from the grandkids”.  In return, they insulted or even tormented them.  I spoke up as soon as I saw what was happening, but they quickly resumed abusing my furkids in similar ways to how they abused me.

Not once did my parents refer to my pets as the grandcats or granddogs.  Having an almost total stranger be so kind & care so much about my furkids was heartwarming, but at the same time, it made me VERY angry with my parents. 

This may sound silly to you.  I have known about Narcissistic Personality Disorder since 2011, so clearly I am well aware narcissists are incapable of love.  I also know they devalue anything important to their victims as a way to hurt them.  So why get angry about this?  It’s not a surprise.  I also have dealt with this so it seems like that should mean that I have forgiven my parents.  The damage has been done & it’s been dealt with right?  Well, not necessarily…

Many of us who have been abused have been told repeatedly how we need to forgive the abusers.  This often makes us feel as if once we have forgiven our abusers, nothing about them can make us angry anymore.  This isn’t necessarily the case.  In fact, the abuse can still make you angry & it should!

The reason it should is because abuse is wrong.  It’s hurtful & incredibly damaging in so many ways.  It causes so many problems.  It’s also totally unfair.  It is normal to be angry about those things.  In fact, I think it’s a good thing to be angry about them!  Not being angry means you have accepted abuse as something that is ok.  It isn’t a big enough deal to warrant anger.  How messed up is that?!  Abuse NEVER should be something that doesn’t stir up anger!  Quite the opposite.  No matter who is the victim of abuse or how the victim was abused, people always should be angry about abuse. 

If you think forgiving your abuser means you should never feel angry about things that were done to you, then you truly aren’t showing yourself enough compassion & understanding.  You can forgive your abuser for what they have done while still feeling angry at the things they did to you, & you should!  You didn’t deserve what they did to you!  It should anger you that anyone thought you were a good target for their abusive behavior.  Look again at my situation that I described earlier.  Don’t you think I have the right to be angry when I was reminded of how nasty my parents were to my furkids?  They knew my pets were like my children & still tried to hurt them to hurt me.  How is that not despicable?

Anytime you have reminders of past trauma trigger anger in you, please remember that those reminders aren’t necessarily a sign you haven’t forgiven your abuser.  Only you know if you have or haven’t forgiven, & that is between you & God.  If you have forgiven though & still feel anger when reminded of abuse you endured, don’t be ashamed of it!  It’s ok to be angry & even can be a good thing!


Filed under Narcissism

33 responses to “Reminders Of Past Trauma & Forgiveness

  1. I am sorry that happened. And, I hope you are feeling the compassion for you that you so richly deserve. Dismissive, demeaning, and abusive behavior leaves a long lasting imprint. I always feel the notion of forgiveness is a difficult one when so much pain has been caused. I wish you much peace, and continued self love. I also hope you are snuggling any fur babies you have 🤍.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ibikenyc

    Of COURSE they tear down anything they know you love. MAN.

    I am aching that they did this in regard to your furbabies. >:-(

    Liked by 1 person

    • You mean you’re not shocked?! LOL

      Seriously though yep, that is it- tear down anything you love. Don’t get me started on the comments about my car. The worst was the furkids though. So often, they looked hurt. Eventually most just avoided my parents. Chester & Valentine took to scratching or biting them during visits though (it was like this furry little tagteam thing.. LOL). Zippy would scratch too but it was especially funny. Every nasty comment my mother made, he’d poke one claw through her shoe & scratch her. Every. Single. Time. It was awesome!

      Liked by 3 people

      • ibikenyc

        You go, cats! Awesome, indeed!

        Ridicule what / who you love and build up what / who you dislike.

        Years ago I began consistently saying as little as possible about ANYthing. Now the biggest thing I can get in trouble for is not talking to him at all.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It truly was! Neither of them understood why the only cats I had that would give them the time of day were so mean. Well, they were only mean to people who hated me, so there’s that.. lol

          Exactly what they do!!

          I get that. I did the same thing. What else can you do? You’ll still get grief for not talking enough but at least it’s that instead of trying to hurt you by trashing who/what you love. For me anyway knowing that was the goal hurt even more than what was said.

          Liked by 2 people

          • ibikenyc

            Oh, yeah! Somehow I manage to see the humour in it even when it’s happening!

            Him (screaming in my face): “YOU NEVER TAAAALK TO ME!”

            Me (to myself): “Can’t think why not. . . “

            Liked by 1 person

            • LOL! Yea, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to talk to him more.. what’s wrong with you?! LOL

              My mother & mother in-law both at various times got highly po’d with me for not talking more with them. Why would I?! Anything I said would be told to anyone willing to listen to them in addition to them trashing anyone/thing I cared about. It didn’t seem like a good idea to chat with them!

              Liked by 1 person

  3. Abusers love to shame us for anger, after all that gives them even more control.. This was hurtful to you and insensitive.. we don’t need to blow off wounds.. this resonated..I once overheard my Mum say to my sister over the intercom ‘she isnt bringing that bloody dog here is she” to my face she pretended to like him it was very confusing to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They really do! Anything to shame us but it seems like shaming us for being angry (when it’s righteous anger to boot) is their favorite hobby.

      OH! I’m so sorry! That is just mean! How did your dog react to your mother, if I’m not too nosy? Just wondering… my first cat, Magic, really disliked mine from the moment they met. I learned over our life together that Magic was an EXCELLENT judge of people. He scratched my mother but good the day they met. I was embarrassed at the time but after thinking about the interaction? I got it. Plus he was very protective of me. Anyone who upset me was not going to be someone he liked.

      Liked by 1 person

    • ibikenyc

      “Mine” just LOVES to keep At me until I finally erupt (I call this “The Poke-Jab”), then he brings out the smirk and says, “Look at you; your eyes are buggin’ outta your head!”

      I thank God I am finally at a place where I can Gray Rock — Gray Boulder — my way through this.

      Liked by 1 person

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