You Must Heal Before You’re Able to Forgive

bullying healing

I understand because I’ve been there. It took me several years to forgive my classmates. It was why I didn’t go to the ten or twenty-year class reunion. I had no desire to see their faces. I was just damn glad they were out of my life and had forgotten about ninety-nine percent of them.

As long as I stayed away from my former schoolmates and they stayed away from me, I was happy. But when I’d see one of them on the street, I’d turn and walk away without giving them so much as a “hi” or “kiss my ass.”

During the first twenty years after leaving Oakley High School, I only had something to do with maybe one or two of my classmates. The rest of them, I could’ve cared less if they dropped off the face of the earth.

When you’ve been a target of bullies, it’s only natural to feel anger, resentment, and disgust toward the bullies for a while. To heal, we must allow ourselves to feel the pain and raw emotions.

Never bury the pain. Never keep it stuffed down inside because you’re afraid to make anyone angry or uncomfortable. Because it will only fester if you do. You will internalize everything you’ve been through, which is the worst thing you can do because it will come out sooner or later in either very destructive rage or physical illness, such as a heart attack or stroke.

Take your time and feel your emotions as long as you need to. Just don’t stay in that dark place for long. Don’t set up your tent and live there!

Be open about your anger and talk to a friend, family member, or therapist. Tell them you’re pissed. Speak out about the abuse. But get it out! And realize there will be people who won’t like it.

Understand that, in this world, there are people who won’t mind wiping their feet all over you but will be greatly offended when you become angry about it and talk about it, or worse, tell them a thing or two!

bullying healing

There will be people who expect you to be okay with something they know good and well they wouldn’t be okay with if it were done to them. But tell those people to get lost because they don’t matter. What matters is that you care for yourself and put yourself first.

Why should you give a ticker’s damn about their feelings? They never gave a damn about yours. So, never let those ignoramuses make you feel guilty for speaking out and responding in kind!

Tell them how you feel and let it out. But do it constructively. Put some bass in your voice. Be firm, but don’t yell. A certain amount of cursing is expected when you’re pushed too far.

But don’t drop any F-bombs. Raise your voice if you need to, but don’t scream and yell. Screaming and yelling will only incite toxic people to push your buttons to see you react, then tell anyone who’ll listen that you’re “mentally unstable.”

Go somewhere private and cry if you need to. Crying doesn’t mean that you’re weak. It means that you’re a human being with feelings.

Do whatever you must do to get it off your chest because the sooner you can process those bad feelings, the sooner you can forgive and move on to a better life.

I’m glad to say that I eventually healed and forgave them. And when I did, I found a peace I hadn’t known in years. I was able to forgive them through reading, researching, and writing about bullying.

During something constructive gave me closure and I couldn’t be more grateful!

But first, I had to heal!

33 thoughts on “You Must Heal Before You’re Able to Forgive

  1. Useful words coming from lived experience.
    “Take your time and feel your emotions as long as you need to. Just don’t stay in that dark place for long. Don’t set up your tent and live there!”
    So true. Thanks for this.

  2. Pingback: You Must Heal Before You’re Able to Forgive – Tonya LaLonde

  3. I appreciate your advice. I haven’t known how to process my feelings since leaving my abusive work place. That ugly place brought up all of my childhood feelings of being rejected and bullied as a child. A lot of junk for me to process I guess. And I have to find someone to share my feelings with, which may be impossible…I was taught not to “bother” others or “share” feelings.I tend to forgive too easily in order to create “peace” among people.
    This horrible experience should not be so easily forgiven or forgotten but it will come slowly, in time…I can’t thank you enough for your blog! You are awesome!

    • Ruth, I’m so sorry you endured such horrible abuse at work. I feel your pain, honey! No One deserves to be dehumanized and made to feel worthless. Know that you have value and that there are people who care. 💖💐🤗

  4. Great thoughts here. We need to forgive but not forget. Sometimes (though not nearly enough), someone will legitimately apologize and try to make amends. When that happens with age and maturity, that is an amazing thing. Those people are rare but out there.

    Second, as someone who love social media, let me advise anyone else who does. Social media is neither good nor bad but about the user. Anyone who makes you consistently feel bad or is overly critical, learn to unfollow or unfriend. Usually I start with an unfollow if it is Facebook but if it gets worse I will unfriend. Twitter and Instagram it is hard to get a large number of follows there and I don’t have any use for Tiktok but I am sure it is true there as well. For me, I will unfollow anyone who brings up their political beliefs on a fairly regular basis. I can’t stand that or who will attack other people.

  5. It’s shocking how people will excuse abuse and make you feel as though you are making more of it than it is. When all the while we know they’d never tolerate it happening to them, as you pointed out. Big hugs, Cherie, and bless you for helping others through the process. xo

    • My pleasure. And you’re so right about abusers accusing victims of making more of it than what it is. You just described gaslighting. And when abusers do that, it’s exactly that- gaslighting.

  6. Oh my goodness Cherie, this speaks to my spirit, because this is something I struggled with and to a degree still do. Although my approach to forgiveness is a little easier now than it was before, the painful reason does not just disappear with me when I say I forgive. I still remember certain painful circumstances when I see certain individuals. This goes across the board from family, friends, coworkers, etc. 😕 But I try to look past their ignorance.

    I had to pray long and hard about my ability or willingness even to allow my heart to forgive in spite of the horrible things people did or said. 🙏🏼 I try to reflect often on the scripture where Jesus said, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” But forgiveness is indeed a process and you have to deal with your true feelings about the situation before you’re able to do it. Yet, forgiveness does not mean we condone what the other person/people did. It simply releases us from the grip and stronghold of what someone has done, and puts it back in their corner (the coals on their heads).

    Like you said, you can’t stay in that dark place long. That’s what folks want you to do. I’ve learned to rise above this stronghold, albeit not easy. Great post ladybug! Love it!!! 😍 🥰 😘

    • Thank you so much, sweetie. “I still remember certain painful circumstances when I see certain individuals. This goes across the board from family, friends, coworkers, etc. 😕 But I try to look past their ignorance.” Love that line, Kym! Because it’s so relatable. And you’re right, it’s very hard to even get to where you and I are and takes a truckload of prayer. God bless you, Kym! I love your thoughts on this. 💖😍💐❤

      • Thank you so much for sharing this discussion Cherie. It is one of those subjects that some people really don’t want to talk about or face. I appreciate your bravery girlfriend! 🙏🏼 🥰 👏🏼 Thanks so much for connecting to that particular line I mentioned because it makes me stay as grounded as I can when dealing with such issues. Peace and blessings to you too sweetie! 🤗💖 🎉 💝 🎈

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.