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Do you REALLY need to forgive in order to move on?

I read a question about molestation and forgiveness earlier, and it made me wonder. Is it really necessary to forgive in order to move on?

I was molested by a family friend (or rather, one of my grandmother's foster kids) when I was about 5 years old. Now, even though I was pretty young, I never blamed myself, and I never really felt traumatized. I just figured "wow, that guy is messed up" and that's about it. I wasn't raped or anything like that, and at the time I don't think I really realized what he was doing, but later on, it dawned on me that what he did was NOT okay. Anyway... I don't feel like I ever forgave him. He was an asshole for doing what he did. And when I heard he had died young, I was glad, I have no issues admitting that. But I DO believe I moved on from that. I don't feel traumatized, I don't have issues with men or trust because of that, I don't even think about it much at all.


Asked by Anouck at 7:50 PM on Oct. 8, 2010 in Relationships

Level 25 (23,484 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • I don't think forgiveness is necessary to move on. In fact, I think sometimes forgiveness can bring harm. We are so insistant that we forgive in our culture that we sometimes forget that not everyone deserves it.

    Answer by Ati_13 at 7:52 PM on Oct. 8, 2010

  • Forgiveness is more for the person who is stuck in the anger or in a religious culture that requires you to forgive. If you don't feel harmed then you are probably fine. It's possible you "sort of" forgave him bc he was an idiot. As long as you don't harbor hate or anger, it's all good and you will be fine to move on.

    Answer by admckenzie at 8:00 PM on Oct. 8, 2010

  • No you don't need to forgive but you do need to let it go.


    Answer by beeky at 8:18 PM on Oct. 8, 2010

  • Ummm, Cenchan, my question had NOTHING to do with what you said. Matter of fact, I don't even know what you said. Both earlier questions merely got me thinking if it was really necessary to forgive for a person to move on... General question. Maybe YOU should stop thinking it's all about you... And frankly, your panties seem to be the only ones in a bunch here.

    Comment by Anouck (original poster) at 8:52 PM on Oct. 8, 2010

  • It sounds to me like you have moved on and I think that you are ok if what you say is really how you feel. I don't sense that you are angry about it. Being glad he died, I think that is a natural feeling considering what he did to you - I still don't sense anger in you about what he did. That's a good thing that you haven't been consumed by anger - a more typical feeling. I speak from experience. I too have been molested but wasn't really angry about it. I have been raped more than once and THAT has produced unbelievable anger that I have and still am working on to overcome. I think that anger of that magnitude does have to have some degree of forgiveness to let go and stop eating at you - but that does NOT mean you have to forget. And you won't and don't.

    Answer by Babylove76 at 9:29 PM on Oct. 8, 2010

  • Yes, I think it does. People I know that have been molested have all said that they couldn't move on until they forgave the ACT. They didn't necessarily forgive the person but the act. It works in other situations too. My cousin was murdered by his foster son over 25 years ago and all but 1 of the sisters forgave. She still cannot move on. She has wasted 25 years in anger...she is not a happy person. Forgiving does not mean forgetting, you should never forget.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 11:10 PM on Oct. 8, 2010

  • Wow people. Do you REALLY need to make a question about a comment you obviously don't agree with? Chill out. My comment wasn't about the forgiveness aspect as much as it was about hoping they regretted what they did. Get your panties out of your ass for once.

    Answer by Cenchan at 8:12 PM on Oct. 8, 2010