Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

We Have To Forgive Those Who Wrong Us

“I hate her!” I said.

“I understand that you feel like you hate her. You’re hurt,” my dad said.

“I’m not hurt – I’m pissed off!” I said.

“You’re also hurt,” my dad said. “And, while it feels like hating her is hurting her back, it’s only hurting you. She’s going about her life, either feeling guilty for betraying you or not. Probably not. Your hate and anger for her isn’t affecting her. It’s affecting you. Carrying anger for another is like carrying a dark ugliness. Eventually, it will eat you.”

“Well, maybe,” I said. “I guess. But I still hate her.”

“Work on that. Forgive her,” my dad said.

We Have To Forgive Those Who Wrong Us

UGH, right? Here’s the deal, friends. Forgiving people who’ve betrayed us is hard. Like, really really really hard. The mere thought of forgiving somebody who has wronged me – especially when it feels as if they’ve done so on purpose, brings out the bear. The bitch.

When the bear feels too wounded and bumbling to know what to do, I become an older, taller, more wrinkled version of myself at the age of two. I become the I ain’t havin’ none of it, no matter what, arms crossed, feet stompin’ “I know best and you wronged me” toddler.

I’m not talking about giving the kind of forgiveness that happens when a spouse comes home too late from work to ensure that dinner, bath and bedtime are ideal. Of course, you want to throw a sponge at his head, but that type of forgiveness is understandable, and easy, after the moment.

I’m talking about giving the kind of forgiveness that we have to breathe deeply to give. I’m talking about the forgiving of people who were mean, thoughtless, and deeply hurt us.

The kind of forgiveness that brings out our toddler.

I know.

I know.

I KNOW, it sucks. It totally suckity sucksuck SUCKS because why should we?

But guys, we need to. We do, and I know it sucks.

We Have To Forgive Those Who Wrong Us

We Have To Forgive Those Who Wrong Us

Why should we forgive the guy who laughed at us when we fell? Why should we forgive the stupid single beotch with a full cart in line at the “12 or Under” checkout when we stand there, with a I-NEED-TO-NURSE-NOW-BABY and we’re in the store for tampons (and wine)?

Here’s why.

Forgiveness is about ourselves, and making room for light. It’s about not carrying around darkness.

And while I grumble and cry and stomp my toddler feet, I am writing this:

To those who have hurt me: Fuck you. Stupid Dicks.

Wait, sorry. Start over.

To those who have hurt me, I’m choosing light. Here are a few of the moments I want to release and the ones I choose to forgive.

To the girl I spent more time with than anybody else once we found ourselves lost, but together, in eighth-grade science and boys: You were my best friend, until you weren’t, and I’m not sure I’ll ever understand why. You messed with my ability to trust friendship.  I forgive you.

To the vet who wanted me to do exploratory surgery on my failing and fading dog at the age of 12. You said “Would you like me to do a quick test and see whether his kidneys can handle surgery?” I said yes, and so you did, and charged me $400 for that test. I wish you’d shown me, and my dog Chief more empathy. I hope you’ve gotten better at that. People don’t make decisions like I had to lightly. I forgive you.

To the trolls on the site when I wrote honestly and wanted to share, I don’t know why you felt the need to attack me as viciously as you did. Does it help you to know that I cried, reading your words? That I hid under the covers when I realized you’d created new Twitter accounts simply to harass me? I think you’re awful, and small, hiding behind your keyboards and your righteousness. There were those who had my back, even though I never asked for that. I thank them, and I forgive you.

To the guy who fixed my Jeep. Gawd, I still miss that car. I know, it’s a bag of metal, but it was more mine than any vehicle I’ve owned since. I wish you’d been honest that you didn’t know what you were doing. That I’d park and that my Jeep would catch on fire. That that stupid vehicle was part of my identity is something you couldn’t have known. I know, and I forgive you.

To the doctor and nurse practitioner who told me that my son was fine when I said “I’m worried. I don’t think he’s talking as much as he should be.” I was right, and I wish I’d have listened to myself rather than to you. I forgive you.

To the evaluator who said “It’s not just a speech delay,” so clinical, and matter-of-fact. I forgive you.

To the boy on the bus who bullied my son. You may be one of my most difficult to forgive, for you did not hurt me, but my little boy, who I will carry islands for. It took everything I had to not ride the bus with him the next day, but I trust that you’ve been spoken to, and that you’ll find a way to embrace your demons and to embrace that my son does not fit your idea of a perfect friend. I forgive you. Also? Mess with my kid again, and we’ll revisit this. Bear-style.

To me, and my regrettable mistakes. You’ve been stupid, and flawed. You’ve lived imperfectly, and strived for better. You’ve failed, and will continue to do so. You’ve been unkind to yourself, and to others. You’ve f*cked up. I forgive you.

To the world for being less than I thought it was supposed to be and more than I’d ever hoped for, I forgive you, and I thank you. You’ve taught me lessons beyond any I’d have gotten had you never tripped me.

I forgive you. I thank you. 

Also? I forgive myself, because, friends, we must. Always. For all of it. 

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1000Speak

This has been a #1000Speak post, created one year ago by the fab Yvonne and Lizzi.

#1000Speak Compassion

#1000Speak I Want My Son’s World to Be Beautiful


  • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - I don’t know what number I am but I’m here! This made me laugh out loud and shake my head saying “yup, I know” and feel sad and angry a bit, too. And I think forgiveness is like that, you know? There’s a little bit of so many things mixed up in there. Forgiveness is definitely a choice and it’s a damn hard one. And sometimes tricky – like how do you forgive someone who has wronged you who absolutely doesn’t believe they did? I guess that’s where the idea of forgiveness being for us, not them, comes in.
    I am late to the party this month (shocker) so I need to go get finished.January 20, 2016 – 1:49 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I think forgiveness is like that too, Lisa. I like believing that it’s more for us. Because really, even the people I’ve forgiven… it’s not like I want them in my life, or to hang out with them, you know? And go go get finished. I can’t wait to read yours!January 20, 2016 – 8:38 pmReplyCancel

  • JT Walters - Right we forgive others so we do not carry their metaphysical garbage around. That is the purpose of cruelty is to transfer metaphysical garbage from one person to another.

    A little surprised about the bully on the bus. I am not quite there yet and I barely know Tucker.

    But it would be so nice to just be able to wash away all the pain with forgiveness. Sweets, I wish the world was that simple. For us we have to educate which means we go back out and try again the next day a little wiser from the experience and understanding unconditional love is by no means for all of us…although I wish it were.

    Who are these people with Twitter accounts…dude you know I can get them…then forgiveness is easy!

    If only forgiveness came at the dawn of each day washing away pain like a tide rolling out to sea and hope, love and acceptance were birthed at dusk for everyone….what a beautiful world it would be indeed.January 20, 2016 – 2:11 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Here’s to not carrying metaphysical garbage around – especially that generated by others. For the bus incident – I have to remember this is a kid. And he LEARNED that – did people give him attention when he made fun of Tucker? Did something happen at home? What’s his home life like? I know I *KNOW* that it sucks (believe me forgiving is not forgetting) but well, I don’t want to teach my own son to bully and so well, yeah, something like that. Here’s to pain rolling out to sea and hope rolling in.January 20, 2016 – 8:41 pmReplyCancel

      • JT Walters - Today I found out because the law enforcement officer failed to document the battery of my son with two rare disorders correctly the perpetrator is not even going to be charged. A 6’1″ 240lb 23 year man battered my 5’4″ 100lb son and us not even going to be arrested. I cried. The officer failed to document correctly and there is nothing the State of Florida can do to protect disabled children.

        Today I want to hate. It hurts. I carry this beautiful boy in my body and my heart to have some bully beat him because he is not typical. It is really hard today.

        JT

        PS

        I will carry the metaphysical baggage for my son today and everyday afterwards until our children are loved and accepted for who they are.January 20, 2016 – 10:06 pmReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - 🙁 🙁 🙁 I don’t even know what to say.January 20, 2016 – 11:10 pmReplyCancel

          • JT Walters - Thanks for not judging me, understanding and providing a forum. Maybe other parents will be more careful about watching the documentation so their children are legally protected.January 20, 2016 – 11:54 pm

  • Deborah Lovel Bryner - Doncha just HATE that whole “forgiveness” thing? I recently forgave someone whose sin against me was skin peelingly awful and against whom, like many people, I’d carried around those feelings of scalding anger and resentment and hurt. What I’ve learned is that sort of retention of anger is akin to drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. So I wrote a letter, carefully explaining what this person had done to me and what effect that had on my life for many years…and then I forgave them. I’m FREE. The other person? Not free. But I’ve done my part…the rest is up to them. It feels WONNNNNDERFUL.January 20, 2016 – 6:20 amReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Rogers - SECUND!

    You’re so right to say that forgiveness is a choice. It’s a conscious decision we make, sometimes day by day or hour by hour, not to let the anger about those hurts keep on wounding us. It’s frustrating and slow and difficult, because it’s our nature to want vengeance and to hurt the other person instead. If we waited til we *felt* like forgiving, we’d never get it done.

    This is all so, so relatable, and a great post. You made me smile, you made me sigh, you made me proud to call you my friend 🙂January 20, 2016 – 6:26 amReplyCancel

  • Stacey Gannett - Great post, Kristi! And have to say, “Hear, Hear!” It can be such a hard thing to do, especially when it involves someone close to us! I can almost let things go, when it comes to me…but one of my family, it is so much harder. Trolls…I just don’t get them…not sure what the fun is for them…maybe they should find a good book that interests them or some other hobby, seriously. I don’t often have time to breathe for myself…let alone wasting what little time I have trolling! Hope you have a great week!January 20, 2016 – 6:52 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you Stacey! It can be SO so hard to do and yeah, I get that it’s much harder when somebody wrongs somebody close to you – more than it is for forgiving them for hurting us… And trolls SUCK. I don’t get it either and they so so need books. Thanks much, friend and you too!January 20, 2016 – 8:44 pmReplyCancel

  • Diana Pratt - Love love love this!!!January 20, 2016 – 7:02 amReplyCancel

  • Christine Organ - Amen!January 20, 2016 – 8:54 amReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - Not going to lie, this forgiveness thing is a hard nut to crack. Trust me I know in my heart of hearts it is the right thing to do, but with some it is harder than with others. Don’t get me wrong, I do try my best, but not going to lie there are still a few out there that I still can’t wrap my brain around forgiving, but yet I guess I am just a work in progress. Thanks for the reminder here today that I need to try harder and better still though.January 20, 2016 – 11:54 amReplyCancel

  • Emily - Oh this was good and something I need to learn…I’m a dig my heels in kind of person and I’m trying to hard as I get older to not be that way. For the past two years, I’ve been trying to forgive two friends who were just not there for me when I needed them during Little Dude’s treatment. And, I think they probably don’t even realize they weren’t there for me. Which in some ways makes it even harder to forgive, because they SHOULD realize it. Yes, I’m still “in touch” with them, but I barely talk to them and have yet to see them since a few years ago (they only live 30 min away). I keep thinking they have to realize something isn’t right with our friendship and yet they don’t…and so my resentment grows…January 20, 2016 – 12:43 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I can be that way too, Emily, and probably AM by nature. I think I’d have a hard time forgiving friends if they weren’t there for something like what you and your family went through with LD… that’s a hard one and they SHOULD realize it. Ugh. You’d think they’d ask if they’d offended you. That would make it so much easier and kinder and gentler. Your resentment growing though, I think that’s what I was more thinking of about the “it’s about us” part (or what my dad was, anyway). Ugh. It’s HARD. Would you consider saying something to them about it?? Or are you over that?January 20, 2016 – 8:47 pmReplyCancel

      • Emily - You ask a good question…I’ve thought about saying something to them about it, but it was over TWO years ago, so now it feels weird. I guess I keep hoping they bring it up, but I’m thinking that’s not gonna happen. I think in my head I have forgiven them, but the heart is a whole different matter…January 21, 2016 – 10:17 pmReplyCancel

        • Kristi Campbell - UGH. Maybe if you get drunk? Or, maybe, move on. I dunno. It’s so dang hard when people disappoint us like that. <3January 25, 2016 – 7:09 pmReplyCancel

          • Emily - Ha – get drunk and tell them – love it…you crack me up and that suggestion just may be the answer! 🙂January 25, 2016 – 7:24 pm

          • Kristi Campbell - I think it may be, plus what an awesome blog post it’ll make 🙂January 26, 2016 – 10:15 pm

  • Allie - Day-um this was awesome! Forgiveness really is a gift – for the person you grant it to – and yourself. I truly believe that. Do you remember back when the “Secret” was the big thing? I was pregnant with Cammy at the time, sick in bed and watched it all on Oprah. To me the biggest takeaway was the forgiveness component. I truly thought about my grudges and then set them free and it was life changing. Just wait – you’ll see:). And for the record, I hope I never see Kristi – Bear:)!January 20, 2016 – 2:10 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Allie! I love your “Day-um!!!” 🙂 And yeah I think it’s more of a gift for us in the long run, especially when we do it silently, inside, and no longer talk to them. I do remember when the Secret was big although I never read it (oops). Wow, to it being life-changing. Thank you!!! xoJanuary 20, 2016 – 8:53 pmReplyCancel

  • Yvonne - Really interesting post Kristi. It starts with anger and moves on through to forgiveness, and what I’ve found is that denying or blocking off that anger actually makes true forgiveness impossible. We need to honour our own feelings before we can even come close to honouring another’s or to finding the empathy required for forgiveness. I think your post is a good illustration of that.January 20, 2016 – 2:47 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Yvonne. It has to start with anger, I guess, in order for it to be important enough to forgive. And blocking it does nothing in the long run although blocking it can also be an effective tool for the Moving On, I suppose.January 20, 2016 – 10:53 pmReplyCancel

  • Lola Marguerita - I have a lot of trouble with forgiveness too.January 20, 2016 – 10:17 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - To the co-worker who worked hard to get my husband fired at his crappy job, just so you could run the company with your smug, haggard face? I forgive you. I know I wanted to run into you in the mall and cut you down into the toddler I know you are, but I had to be bigger than that.
    So. Sigh. I forgive you. But I still just slammed the door.January 21, 2016 – 8:28 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - UGH and I so get wanting to cut somebody down into the toddler they are! Doors help. At least, the slamming of them does.January 25, 2016 – 7:10 pmReplyCancel

  • Rowena Newton - Thank you for taking me through your journey of forgiveness. It was very helpful. I am feel so fortified going through the linky reading all the posts and loading myself up with goodness.
    As a parent, I find it hard to forgive those who hurt my kids but I also remember the changing nature of kids friendships and how yesterday’s enemy will more than likely be a friend again tomorrow. My kids also contribute sometimes as well. Might not have the best social skills. This continues to be a work in progress.
    xx RowenaJanuary 23, 2016 – 3:37 amReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - Love it. Those are some ginormous forgives. Forgiveness is hardest where the kids are concerned. I saw a funny meme not long ago. It’s was along the lines of, “I can’t come out and play with you because I told my mom what you did and she’s still mad”. LOL!January 25, 2016 – 8:49 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - LOL to the meme! That’s so perfect and so TRUE!! Kids are amazing at what they’ll forget about — but BUT BUT there’s the stories we remember from being kids that stay with us that makes it enough to have a hard time when somebody is mean.January 25, 2016 – 7:12 pmReplyCancel

  • carol schepper - It is so important to always keep in mind that forgiveness is about ‘me’ not ‘you’ – it is very very very hard to get past that anger, but otherwise it really is like drinking poison & waiting for the other person to die. We can only move forward & get on with our lives by forgiving and moving on.January 25, 2016 – 3:53 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I agree Carol – I also think it’s hard to keep forgiveness about “me” not “you” and I love the analogy of drinking poison waiting for the other person to die. That’s a good one!January 25, 2016 – 7:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Sandra - For those who have hurt me: Fuck you. Stupid dicks…works for me…No, I get the point of this post. There is a person in my life that I really need to forgive and move on out of here, but I can’t. I just can’t. I’ll live with “Fuck you. Stupid dicks”…plus I love that, it just rolls off the tongue.January 31, 2016 – 7:31 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - LOL yeah, it works for me too except that it’s messing ME up more than them ya know? And yeah, I get the I can’t, too… xoFebruary 1, 2016 – 2:05 amReplyCancel

  • Out One Ear - Linda Atwell - Awwww. I love this whole piece. Every. Single. Word. I have a tendency to bring out my toddler every so often. I don’t really like this stomp-y, yell-y, critical person I turn into when I have been wronged, or feel I’ve been wronged. But you are so right, we must forgive. I try. I try harder. I try again. Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes, I have to start over at, I try. I try harder.

    The bully on the bus would be hard for me too, but maybe he will find some goodness way down deep and never, ever bully another classmate/peer ever again. I’m hoping that your forgiveness provides that.

    Hugs to you. Love this.February 4, 2016 – 11:14 pmReplyCancel

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