A lot of survivors of abuse often get pressured from either the abuser themselves or flying monkeys to “forgive” them. Ahem. In short, no! You do not have to “forgive” your abuser. What an abuser means by forgiving them is they want you to “forgive AND forget” otherwise known as abuse amnesia. They want you to allow them back into your life so they can abuse you all over again. And flying monkeys? Well, they enjoy the drama of watching you be abused. So, how can you not forget what happened to you, but also not allow your abuser to live rent free in your head? You write it out. Every. Rotten. Thing. They. Did. Then at the end you tell them you are evicting them from your head. You are raising the rent and the rent is self respect and they do not get to live in your head rent free one more second! There is a difference between compassion and idiot compassion. Compassion is understanding why a person is behaving the way they are behaving but having good boundaries and NOT allowing them to stay in your life. Idiot compassion is making excuses for the behaviors and allowing the abuser to continue on in your life and continue to abuse you. Forgiveness is not about their peace, it is about your peace. You have the right to let go and evict abusers and flying monkeys and live your life in peace. Forgiveness is accepting what happened and more importantly understanding you cannot “Love” your abuser into sanity. If you forgive and forget, you are setting yourself up to be abused over and over and over and over again. Write a goodbye letter to the abuser, hold them accountable and tell them goodbye for good!