I’ve Become a Publicist for Grudges and Bitterness

In yesterday’s post I wondered if maybe the reason forgiveness gets all the love is because it has great PR agents. There are tons of quotes lamenting the hardened hearts of those who refuse to forgive and extolling the virtues of those who forgive others even while those others are spitting in their face. I mean, look at this crap.



That sounds swell but terribly unnecessary. Do you really need to forgive someone in order to move on with your life? I think not!

I’m probably not the best example because I still write about Jerry Lee. In my defense though I do write a blog and he’s always doing something else to try to fuck up my life.

I think I’ve moved on; I also think the things he does pull me back into his orbit. I can’t help that. And saying, “Oh, Jerry Lee, I forgive you for being a lying, cousin fucking sociopath,” isn’t going to make any of those things better. You want me to move on with my life? Tell him to pay his fucking support on time and in full! Tell him to stop neglecting his kids. That would help. Me forgiving his lying ass doesn’t do dick for me.

Maybe let’s try this one instead:


Then there’s this one.


Again with this setting you free bullshit. Hey, if it makes you feel better to forgive someone then you have at it. But I don’t think anyone should feel guilted into forgiving someone.

Oh no! I don’t forgive her for cheating on me. I must be a bad person. Oh no! I don’t forgive him for draining our retirement accounts and spending all the money on his mistress. I’m a horrible human being.

No, you’re simply human.

Why not go with this:


Or better yet:


Again with the healing and moving on, thanks to forgiveness!


Who am I to argue with Nelson Mandela? I’m Sam, and I really feel that this is bullshit.

You do not need to forgive someone in order to heal, unless your definition of forgiveness is like Chump Lady’s definition of forgiveness: I no longer wish you dead. I can get behind that one. Still not necessary in order to heal, though, although I suppose you could argue that if you’re still wishing someone was dead you’re probably not healed.

This one is a little longer but expresses the same sentiments:


Grrrr! Maybe that’s part of the problem. We hold forgiveness in such high esteem that we aren’t thinking about what we’re actually saying.

I forgive you. I don’t agree with what you did or believe it was right, but I forgive you.

How crazy is that? Why are you forgiving them again? Oh yes, because it will help you move on and you will no longer dwell on what was done to you. Isn’t that convenient?

The person who has betrayed you or hurt you experiences no consequences. Let’s wish them well and forgive them.

I don’t think it’s right that you pushed me down the stairs, breaking my arm and collarbone. I don’t agree with you pushing me down the stairs. But I forgive you for pushing me down the stairs. I’m not going to think about you pushing me down the stairs anymore, or about how my body still throbs in pain, or how I break out in a cold sweat every time I’m near the stairs and you at the same time. I’m going to move on with my life. Some might say the way to do that is with a restraining order and charges filed so that your worthless ass is in jail. Others might say the way to get on with my life is to get you out of it. But I know the only way to move on is to forgive you.

Then there’s this gem:


Oh really? Let’s try this one on for size:


That’s not really the way I feel, but damn! Not forgiving someone who has wronged you is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of self respect. Oooh! Let’s do that one instead!


In that same vein we’ve got:


No, sweetie, that’s stupidity.

That’s a pretty easy re-write.


At the very least it’s pointless.

Here it is in longer form:


I’m not even going to bother doing a re-write on this but I would like to point out that one of the major tenants of forgiveness is that the person needs to ask for forgiveness and they need to repent. Forgiving a person who is not sorry is pointless. It defeats the whole purpose of the concept. That person is not sorry! They don’t give a fuck if you’ve forgiven them or not. They don’t think they’ve done anything wrong and they certainly aren’t looking to you to forgive them. That’s just a given.

If you didn’t receive an apology you have nothing to accept. Why even bother with this charade? Stop wasting your time. Find people worthy of you. Be good to those people. You don’t have to go around plotting revenge on those who have hurt you; let them go and forget they exist. No forgiveness necessary.

Then there’s this “wise” advice:


Tell me more. How exactly am I taking away Jerry Lee’s power when I forgive him? Will that result in him paying the correct amount of child support? Does it mean he begins paying his entire spousal support instead of what he has absurdly calculated? By forgiving him and taking away his power does that mean I’m suddenly going to be working at a job that pays enough to pay my bills and allows me to live on my own and still have some semblance of a life? Will he suddenly remember he has two kids that live here in Indiana? Will anything actually change for the better or does the quote writer just think I’m going to feel so much better once I’ve forgiven him?

The funny thing about this whole forgiveness thing is he whole heartedly believes he is the victim in all of this. Come to think of it I think he would be insulted if I told him I forgave him. There’s nothing to forgive in his mind because I am the enemy and I am the one who wronged him. Maybe someone should tell him that by forgiving me he’s taking away my power.

I think a better way to put that is:


Got time for one more?


Oh please! Again I will point out that people who are not sorry do not care about your forgiveness. They don’t want it or need it. If you’re willing to extend it they’ll take it. Why? Because it means they get to use you some more.

I get that holding onto anger does nothing to them. Then again, who says that holding onto anger hurts you? Anger can be very useful. It can propel you to act. It can instigate you to look out for your own interests. It can get you out of a bad situation. It can help you refuse to take any more shit. Plus, not forgiving a person doesn’t necessarily mean you’re angry at them. Maybe it just means you’ve learned a very valuable lesson. 

THIS is the PR agent we need to combat all of that forgiveness nonsense.


A-freakin’-men! I’ll put that one right up there with:


I’ll throw this one in as a bonus service announcement:


It is truly amazing how society pushes us to disregard our instincts and instead encourages us to put ourselves in danger.

One more just because I’m a giver:


I hope you take that to heart. They’re not lying to protect you. They don’t “trickle truth” to protect your feelings. They lie to protect themselves.

Finally, if you really have it in your heart that forgiveness is the way to truth and light then try this one:


Don’t forgive them for lying to you, cheating on you, betraying you. Forgive yourself for putting up with that behavior. Then resolve not to do that anymore.

7 thoughts on “I’ve Become a Publicist for Grudges and Bitterness

  1. I don’t think it’s a cut and dry thing- depends on the person’s temperament, how they handle being angry constantly or if they need peace as an anchor during chaos. I can’t. It’s consuming, affects other areas, makes me less efficient, distracted; taking energy/vigor/ happiness/health which is a heavier price; because of accident, anger spikes pain for days (I used to have a strong temperament and I can’t afford it anymore), I had to stop that shit and concentrate on getting the job done without heavy emotions-resolving only based on a sense of justice- Zero time thinking how unfair it is that I’m in this position over something that wasn’t my fault-so i don’t dwell on what I can’t change, does nothing for me; I work to change all I can, that’s it. That said, let me be clear, I will do everything short of illegal, immoral, vengeful or cruel to get from point A-B-Z. I will eat shit sandwiches sprinkled with adobo if it means I win, be kind to someone who doesn’t deserve it (because it’s more efficient), ignore wrongdoing and keep silent and on task while negotiating, appeal to their sense of humanity, responsibility, justice, their position of power and what’s right because it’s “the right thing to do”. I will do whatever it takes: zero self pride. And for me? Way more effective than a war zone. When I was a kid my stepmother (of all people!) taught me this: “some people you can approach in a straight line, others you have to go around in circles; but if you figure out their circle, you can change the dynamic and be successful with them”. BTW that’s why I love astrology, got to know who you’re dealing with. I watched her charm people she didn’t like or when they didn’t like her to get what she needed- I never forgot it; I believed her wisdom and I started noticing early as I undoubtedly encountered through life those that are straight-liners and those I had to circle: we don’t get to pick our adversaries. Once again, let me say: within the boundaries of legal, kindness, respect and fairness I will do everything I need to do no matter if I like it or not, because what I care about is results; winning, dammit!, and the old adage is true: honey vs vinegar. Honey has been the best weapon because it doesn’t disrupt the rest of my life.
    So no, I don’t think there is a right or wrong in forgiving or not forgiving, it’s whether it’s worth it, or a bridge too far, but I tell you what- when it’s affecting a main goal, the Moby Dick of it all, then to me it comes down to this: is it working in my life? Because what’s the use of anger and self righteousness when it’s all for naught? When I’m still at A trying to get to B on my way to Z?
    Hell naw, I ain’t got time for that.


  2. I HATE how I’ve been pushed and pushed to forgive. I don’t even know what that word means and I know longer care. I see those quotes floating around out there and I just roll my eyes and keep scrolling.

    Honestly, the best strength and freedom I’ve felt about the whole forgiveness crap is that I don’t have to. I’m not required to do so.

    You should write a book Sam. I wonder if you know how much you help? Because you do. You take a beautiful stand against all the fluffy bunny crap that’s out there in the world of infidelity.


  3. I don’t usually comment on any of the blogs I follow, because everyone’s circumstances are different. I hope I don’t offend, but yes, I have forgiven my STBX, and I wish him well. He has everything he wanted or wished for, but in my situation I am not dependent on him, specifically financially. I have decided that he is mentally ill, and I really don’t think his life is a bed of roses, but it belongs to him, for better or worse. Time has moved on, and I am moving on.

    From my perspective, you are talking to a wall. It doesn’t hear you, care if you are talking to it, hurling your anger, frustration, pain at it, and you get nothing back. The emotions remain with you, and in my case, I think it affects my health and well-being. I have accepted that it doesn’t get any better than this, unless I make it so. He is gone, and I refuse to carry all of the emotional baggage for years, much less a day.

    I wish you well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I get what you’re saying but there is a weight lifted when you find a way to forgive creatively….if that makes any sense. I forgive my ex for being so empty inside that he doesn’t care about anyone more than himself. He’s less than. See it’s tricky but it allows me not to have to feel anger anymore. I mean I do feel angry at times with him not doing what he’s suppose to be doing but the reality is he’s not a good person like I am. Nothing can change that. He still sucks for everything he has done and still attempts to do but he’s not my problem. He’s his on problem. Does that mean he gets to get away with not paying me what he is suppose to? No way! It’s the constant fight to make them do what they’ve been ordered to do that doesn’t let you (and me too) really move forward. Not 100%. Fingers crossed for his wages to be garnished soon. Maybe then the forgiveness will happen even it needs to be you forgiving yourself for being tricked by a fraud. I try that one all the time. Whatever works to ease the load. They don’t deserve any emotion from us so finding what works to get there is the ultimate key. Whether it’s forgiveness in some form or just erasing their existence from the past and future….maybe hypnosis would work 😂.

    Liked by 1 person

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