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Forgiving = Freedom, but still P I S D?

Triggers posted 5/16/2019 22:44 PM

I guess forgiving = freedom, should make sense; but after many years all the symptoms of PISD are worse than ever. (I only realized this was a real thing recently.) After many years I'm finally going to speak to a psychologist next week. I'm hoping "emdr" might help. Memories are killing me. Why the are coming back so hard after 15 years? Not sure, but being an "INFJ" doesn't help.

So....I just had a coffee with my pastor. He says if I have forgiven her, that it's just all in the past. No problem. Forget about it.

F*** I'm really confused now. Am I just seeking vengeance with finally exposing to family? How can I have this PISD knife in my heart if I say "I forgive you"?

It's strange how our brains set up "blocks" against hurtful memories. But, for some reason, they are sparking crystal clear this spring. Blocks moving and coming down I guess.

Whatever happens I'm going to go for counselling. Living with this is just getting worse. All of my old family memories are constantly being rearranged as I see old family pictures become digitized. (ie, what was really happening behind the scenes?)

Marz posted 5/16/2019 22:53 PM

So....I just had a coffee with my pastor. He says if I have forgiven her, that it's just all in the past. No problem. Forget about it.

Im sure he means well but most pastors or religious types have no clue how to deal with infidelity. Especially the shit show you were put through.

He nor your wayward was on the receiving end and therefore cannot comprehend your emotion state.

CaptainRogers posted 5/16/2019 23:10 PM

First, I will say that I am sorry that you are dealing with these issues after so many years. I know that EMDR helped me considerably. I pray that it works as well for you.

When it comes to the counsel given by pastors/elders in this area, I have found that it is considerably lacking. When I first found out, I called the elder in charge of our small group. His first question? How much responsibility do you think you ought to take for this? He didn't ask because he thought the answer was 0...I had to tell him that adultery was my wife's decision. I had no part in that.

When it came time that I talked with my pastor (who is also one of my best friends), we talked about forgiveness. And the best thing he ever said to me was this: God can remove sins. He alone can choose to "forget". You are not God. You have to process this and figure out where you want to go from here.

I know a number of pastors throughout town. Never have I heard something like that said about forgiveness and sins.

I have always looked at forgiveness like this: I have given up my right to pursue justice. But that doesn't mean that I have to offer up trust to the person who just murdered my marriage. Forgiveness and trust are two different things. Only a fool would immediately trust someone who just stabbed them in the back.

Forgive? Sure. Forget? Never. Trust? Maybe it can be earned at some point

[This message edited by CaptainRogers at 11:11 PM, May 16th (Thursday)]

DIFM posted 5/17/2019 03:46 AM

I agree with captainrogers. Forgiveness and trust are not inherently tied together. Offering forgiveness may go a long way in alleviating the toxic nature of Revenge or getting even. But forgiveness does little to remove memories that can be very painful.

It is very difficult to offer forgiveness until the source of the pain is ended. If part of that pain continues because of issues related to trust then it's difficult to forgive until that is resolved.

If a wayward spouse still provides reasons for the BS not to feel safe, then it's likely not a forgiveness issue. Does the way that your spouse behaves and speaks and reacts to your needs and pain make you feel safe, supported, and comforted?

sewardak posted 5/17/2019 05:38 AM

"So....I just had a coffee with my pastor. He says if I have forgiven her, that it's just all in the past. No problem. Forget about it."

of course he did. That's how it works in his line of work.

deephurt posted 5/17/2019 06:49 AM

The trauma has not been dealt with. I find your pastors comments to be ignorant as in he doesnít have the knowledge of the subject to be able to discuss it.

I donít know how much work you have done in yourself and your healing in the last but it sounds like you forgave because itís what you are suppose to do as a Christian and you expected it would go away.

It doesnít. You really have to deal with the pain and scars and what it means to you that you are choosing to stay with a cheater. It takes many years which you have out in but I wonder if you were really trying to rug sweep. Of course I donít know how much work you have donít.

I am glad you are going to start ic. I hope itís one that has loads of experience with infidelity because there are a lot of inexperienced ones out there. Ask questions to make sure you are on the same page where your beliefs around infidelity lie.

ButterflyBeauty posted 5/17/2019 08:00 AM

I agree with CaptainRogers and DIFM. I couldnít have said it any better. My Pastorís perspective was also the same as that of CaptainRogers which was a relief to me.

I have always looked at forgiveness like this: I have given up my right to pursue justice. But that doesn't mean that I have to offer up trust to the person who just murdered my marriage.
My Pastor also explained that Forgiveness means you give up your right to pursue justice. While my faith requires forgiveness it isnít to excuse the sin or horrible behaviors of others. It is so it doesnít produce roots of bitterness that will only do more harm to me.
For me forgiveness has been a process. I want to forgive because I donít want what harboring unforgiveness brings. As often as the thoughts or feelings come, I remind myself that I am choosing to forgive that and then I ask God to help me. It is extremely painful and difficult. I couldnít do it without Him. I also donít think it is that simple that you just forgive and then it goes away. After I choose to forgive I still have to do the work of healing and address my pain and issues. That is also a process
ETA: I am also just starting EMDR. From what I have experienced so far I am hopeful it will help. Good luck to you

[This message edited by ButterflyBeauty at 8:02 AM, May 17th (Friday)]

cocoplus5nuts posted 5/17/2019 10:30 AM

What is PISD?

sisoon posted 5/17/2019 10:33 AM

Your pastor doesn't understand that the A might be in the past, but your thoughts and feelings are right now.

I don't think a minister can help you unless s/he has solid training, experience, and certification as a therapist. I think your best bet is getting some help in unraveling your thoughts and feelings - that is, a good IC.

To start, you say you forgace. What does that mean to you? What, if anything, did your WS do to earn your forgiveness?


PISD - Post Infidelity Stress Disorder ... not sure about the 'D' part, but I'm sure about the PIS. It's analagous to PTSD.

[This message edited by sisoon at 10:38 AM, May 17th (Friday)]

jaynelovesvera posted 5/17/2019 14:21 PM

Pastor here

That is ministerial malpractice IMO.

The good Captain Rogers nailed it.

I remember discussing this with the pastor I interned under. His view is that forgiveness is a one and done. I forgive you. Move on. I think this works on small stuff - like someone cuts me off in traffic

I think there is a point where I choose to forgive... and then there is the ongoing choice to remain forgiving - especially concerning serious offenses.

Every time I trigger, it is an opportunity to continue to choose forgiveness or to turn toward bitterness.

DIFM posted 5/17/2019 14:44 PM

There are many forms of infidelity behaviors that cause trauma to a BS. The physical or emotional betrayals are examples but are not the only examples of infidelity behaviors that might ultimately be the objective of one's forgiveness.

Even if you are certain that the physical or emotional betrayals are ended, if the WS still exhibits wayward thinking, words, lack of genuine remorse, etc, then the pain of infidelity is ongoing. If a WS is not safe due to their not yet "getting it" or due to their not doing the work or defensiveness or similar painful infidelity behaviors, then forgiveness is not of much use or value for BS or WS. You aren't just forgiving the A betrayal, you have to also get to a place where you can forgive the TT, lies, dishonesty, wayward thinking that causes ongoing the point that those behaviors stop.

You can't forgive what has not yet stopped. If your WS still exhibits an attitude that shows they are not a safe, supportive, understanding , empathetic, emotional haven for you, then what are you forgiving other than just a part of the whole source of the trauma.

How do you forgive what has not yet ended. And for many, that place is not reached for quite some time.

[This message edited by DIFM at 2:46 PM, May 17th (Friday)]

crazyblindsided posted 5/17/2019 17:37 PM

(((Triggers))) I'm so sorry. I can barely look at pictures for these reasons everything in my life is sorted by Pre-A and Post-A.

I also am not going to forgive an act as heinous as my WS was. I have also not forgiven any of my other abusers from childhood. They will have to seek their own forgiveness from Creator. I however have chosen to forgive myself for staying so long with my WS.

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 5:37 PM, May 17th (Friday)]

Triggers posted 5/18/2019 12:05 PM

Thanks everyone for great thoughts. Question solved. I appreciate this so much.

Completely alone in this long journey till you guys! Counsellor next week.

deephurt posted 5/19/2019 13:12 PM

Coco-Pisd is post infidelity stress disorder. Basically ptsd but specific to infidelity.

HoldingTogether posted 5/19/2019 13:52 PM

He says if I have forgiven her, that it's just all in the past. No problem. Forget about it.

This thinking is like a small child with a BooBoo... put a bandaid on it and the hurt magically goes away. All better!

Maybe that can work with tiny scrapes, but for deeper cuts more work is required. The wound needs cleaned and debrided with regular maintenance and follow up care.

If triggers are coming up years later then there are issues that have not been properly and thoroughly examined and dealt with. You need to stop fighting against your feelings and learn how to let them wash over your like a wave. Take these memories you are having trouble with out where you can examine them in the light, discuss them and let yourself feel the raw emotions that they evoke. Then lather rinse repeat. I can usually tell which issues I have dealt with most thoroughly by how quickly and easily they pass as they arise. The ones that stubbornly stick still need more processing.


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