This has been the theme of this past week or so, and an intermittent theme of my entire life thus far: some person or group does something shitty to me, I am angry about it, that does not change because the shitty people don't care to make amends, some random, usually privileged asshat comes by on their high horse and tells me to forgive the original shitty person/group/whatever.
This sanctimonious asshat, again, always has privilege I don't have on at least one axis and always tells me to forgive for my own peace of mind. That it'd make me feel better, and don't I want to be the bigger person? Let bygones be bygones, et cetera.
And you know, at first I thought these people just didn't understand what they were asking me to forgive-that they didn't know the kind of abuse I went through as a child, that they didn't know that a board member of a big supposedly good autism charity assaulted me with flash for an entire weekend, that they didn't know, didn't know, didn't know.
They ran out of benefit of the doubt, though, when they started commenting immediately after I shared the story that I need to forgive "for myself." Then I started thinking, what's it to them if I am pissed off at my dead mother or at AutCom or whoever for the rest of my days?
Do you, forgiveness pushers, see my mother in yourself? Do you see any reason it was acceptable for a board member of AutCom to follow photosensitive people around with a flash camera? Do you see any reason it's acceptable for students to lock another student in a locker? Are you relating to the villains of the story? Is that what's going on here? Do you need me to forgive them in case you are accidentally just as toxic? How does that even work?
Maybe this for your religious reasons? I still don't get it, though: I'm an Atheist, but I was raised with "you sin (fuck up), you go to confession (apologize), you do your penance (make amends), then you go and sin no more (do your best to not fuck up again)." Only after that are you absolved (forgiven). That model works pretty well for us secular folks too. I highly recommend it.
The thing y'all are failing to understand from way up there is that you are asking me to go against every hard won survival instinct I have. You are demanding that I betray myself as deeply as possible so that you feel better. You say it's "for me". You lie. It isn't at all. It's for whatever convoluted reason you have.
Here's the thing: these people aren't sorry. Not one of the people or groups I've been sustainedly angry at has made even a perfunctory, much less sincere, apology. If someone isn't sorry, I sure as shit am not forgiving them. No. You work for that. If you done fucked up, and I assure you, these groups or people have all done fucked up in concrete ways and know what they are, you apologize and you try to fix it if you want forgiveness. That's how it works.
If you forgive someone who isn't sorry, then you are giving them license to hurt you again. It took me a long painful time to learn that "good people" aren't always good people and that people who others say are looking out for my best interests often are against my best interests. Every single iota of self preservation and self respect I have says "if there is even the slightest chance they will do it again or will escalate, never forgive." Forgiving would be deep self betrayal.
Not forgiving people or organizations who aren't sorry, no matter how great y'all sanctimonious privileged equestrians think they are, is self care for me. And it's not like it's a secret-they know where to find me if they're actually sorry and actually want to be forgiven. But they don't. Take it up with them if you think forgiveness is so important.