Forgiving does not mean you forgot what happened.

So, I’m just supposed to forget all that has happened—all the hell you put me through—and pretend it was just my imagination? Of course, that will never happen. You cannot avoid seeing some people in life, especially when those who hurt you are in your family. Abusive loved ones can be difficult to love. Although letting go and forgiving them may be the way, being around them is never easy because you will remember what they did to you at some point—even if you do not want to remember. You have feelings of love when spending time with loved ones who have hurt you, so you watch them closely. You may not feel those uncomfortable feelings you once experienced all of the time. You will have moments where you feel good. You are finally over it, moving on and only seeing good things in everyone around you. Besides, who wants to live in the past because living in the present is challenging enough?

Remembering negative things that bring pain will cause hurt, especially if you were mistreated, neglected, and abandoned by those loved ones. So, who wants to remember all of that? Everyone wants to move on. Life is short, you know, and not to mention those things that happened so long ago, you should be over it anyway. Let it go. If you are talking to everyone in your family who hurt you, that is a good sign, and you should feel good. You all have come a long way, and that is great. However, you will always remember what they did to you. You will never forget how they treated you. You will always remember how they talked to you. You will never forget how they neglected and abandoned you in front of everyone. You will never forget how they deleted you from their life, no matter how long ago it happened.

 I’ve found the more I do for those who have caused me great hurt in the past, the more I seem to remember what happened to me, and it causes me to take a step back. Caution is important. The last thing you want to be in your family is a fool. Some family members who have issued hurtful blows can easily cross that line again. Never forget what happened to you so that it does not happen again.

Honesty about how you are feeling is the key. Family members may be in need, but because they turned their back on you at a difficult, you may find it difficult to assist them. Do not beat yourself up if you are not finding it in your heart to help them. That abusive loved one should be happy you are even speaking to them.

Healing can take time, so do not rush the process. Forgiving your abusive loved ones is never allowing them to abuse you ever again. If spending time with them or taking them places is triggering the pain from your past, stop doing those things for them. Do not bend backward trying to please people who hurt you by making yourself uncomfortable to show them that you forgive them. You may never be able to have a close relationship with them where you are taking care of them or assisting them with anything—and that is okay. You do not owe anything to anyone; forgiveness is for you and your happiness. You may have to take baby steps for the rest of its existence. So, please stop trying to make it more than what it is. It would not be in this place of caution if they had done right by you, to begin with. Although you forgive them, never forget what they did to you.

If you need help overcoming trauma, please talk with a professional or someone you feel comfortable with.