As a consequence of my relationship with my ex husband, the narcissist with Antisocial personality disorder, which has spanned on and off, some twenty-six years, I have learned the hard way that forgiveness is not always the right move.
“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”
Matthew 18:21-22, KJV
When my ex husband returned into my life after an absence of eighteen years and asked me forgiveness for the action of twenty years before, I forgave him. Our culture values forgiveness. We see the theme of forgiveness and redemption in movies and on television and we hear it in pop music lyrics.
We are steeped in what we believe to be a concrete fact; that people who screw up and mess up our lives have a right to be forgiven if they have stopped the offending behavior, demonstrated self-reflection, and asked for forgiveness.
To not forgive under such conditions would be considered cruel and selfish.
And yet, I say to all who read this, that you should not forgive the person in your life with Narcissistic and/or Antisocial personality disorder if to grant forgiveness will result in this person regaining access to you in any way.
If you want to spiritually forgive the person because you understand that they are not in control of their actions, that’s fine, as long as you don’t let them back into your life.
I have not this person who has damaged my life with his behavior. This is the first time in my life which I have not forgiven someone. Forgiving him when he came back into my life in 2007 was probably the worst mistake of my life. Or, perhaps I could have forgiven him, but told him to stay away from me. Forgiving him and offering him a second chance was just an abominable decision on my part.
Yet, I received so much positive feedback for forgiving him. From friends, from family. “Isn’t that wonderful, that you are giving him a second chance!” Yes, he was Lazarus, raised from the dead by the power of my forgiveness.
I believe that we attribute some miraculous spiritual power to forgiveness. As if my forgiving him for abandoning me and our infant daughter to a life of crime could somehow invest a mantle of spiritual grace onto him, the forgiven one, and ensure that his path from thence on would be a holy one. A person can only be worthy of forgiveness through their actions. We forget this in our desire to be kind, and let them off the hook, by granting forgiveness based on a verbal request accompanied by self-reflective jargon. We forget that we, the wronged, have some rights here. We have the right to not believe the supplicant, the right to keep ourselves safe from further harm, and essentially, the right to NOT forgive.
Last year, I was struggling with my inability to forgive this person when I came across the book, How Can I Forgive You?: The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To, by Janis A. Spring. Spring presents the option of not forgiving someone who has harmed you, but, instead, reaching closure through a process of letting go. I went with this option and did not forgive him. I chose to not forgive consciously and deliberately.
If he wants forgiveness for what he has done to me, then he can ask it himself, from whichever higher power he chooses. (However, we know that for the Narcissist, there is no higher power beyond himself.)
How can you accept the forgiveness of a person with Narcissistic and/or Antisocial personality disorder when they are such pathological liars, anyway? What is an apology from such a person worth? From the former ‘love of my life’ it was worth nothing.
- Realizing My Ex has Antisocial Personality Disorder (phoenixsphere.wordpress.com)
- Where Narcissicm Ends and Antisocial Personality Disorder Begins (phoenixsphere.wordpress.com)
- Being Manipulated By A Pro … The Narcissist (nakiafleming.wordpress.com)
- Personality Disorders (philadelphia.cbslocal.com)
- The Disconnection of Psychopaths (neurocritic.blogspot.com)
- Cluster B Traits (ptsdandcombat.wordpress.com)
- How to Spot an Abuser on Your First Date (saskatoonconnections.wordpress.com)
- The Family Dynamics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and of Psychosomatic Illnesses (psychologytoday.com)
- Sandra L. Brown Interview on Relationship Talk (imaginepublicity.com)
- The Dark Path to Antisocial Personality Disorder (cherished79.wordpress.com)