Laura — Thank you so much for helping me see unforgiveness from a different perspective. I have always believed that forgiveness is for you, not the person you are forgiving, and that you can forgive without condoning their behavior or keeping them in your life. But I am also beginning to see that anger is an empowering emotion and one that is meant to keep us safe, when we will honor it.

I can see how forgiving your mother kept you ensnared in an unhealthy relationship. The relationship that you described sounded much like my relationship with my ex-husband. I forgave him over and over again and always believed that if something went wrong in our relationship it was my fault. It was only after I connected with my anger that I was able to stand up to him and finally leave.

I understand that your anger is what keeps you safe and keeps you from going back. It is so easy to forget how bad it was and think it will be better this time. I did that so many times with him. Staying in contact with the anger is a reminder to beware.

My only concern would be if the anger becomes toxic in your body and begins to be detrimental to your health and well-being. I hope that over time the anger will recede and a strength will come in its place that will serve to keep you safe without having to carry the burden of the anger.

Thank you again for your story.

Human learning to be human. Writing in hopes of getting there.

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