How I Never Forgive Someone

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 8.442% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

There are things you can do that I will never forgive you for.  That’s a very hard barrier to cross, and few have, because to get on my “out” list you have to violate my trust the same way, multiple times, with multiple warnings… but a handful of brave souls seemed hell-bent on pushing past my complaints.  I don’t talk to them any more.  I won’t forgive them.
Which is not to say that I don’t think they’re capable of change.
Look, I never feel good when someone hurts me so badly that I have to remove them from my life like some unwanted tumor.  Some people have this protective barrier that when someone violates their trust, they get righteously enraged, towering with justification, and that gets them through the sadness.  Me?  I just feel like I lost a friend, someone who wasn’t quite as good as I thought they were, and I feel bad for me and worse for them.
Because it’s tough to alienate me.  I figure if they’re making me not want to deal with them, they’re living a very restricted life; they’re usually mowing through friends on a regular basis, or dealing with a small core group of friends with similar issues where they all tolerate each other’s psychoses and wonder why the world is so mean, or both.  It’s usually not a fun time they’re having, so I pity them.
And I think they can change, and hope they do.  I was a pretty shitty guy at twenty-two, and now that I’ve doubled my age I’m a lot better – maybe not wonderful, but certainly a more compassionate and less dramatic human being.  When I hear about those people having straightened up, I think, “Good!  Maybe they’ve learned something.”
But I won’t let them back into my life.
It’s not that I don’t believe in the act of forgiveness, repentance, or growth.  It’s that for me, these people have shown me to be not worth the risk of having them around.  They weren’t perfectly toxic in the first place, or they never would have been my friends; there was something I liked about them, enough to give them multiple chances.  They probably did at least one very good thing for every two bad things they did.
Eventually, I realized that I didn’t like continually wondering what hurtful thing they might do next.  The damage of always cringing in preparation for the next blow is, in some ways, worse than the actual blow.  And as such, letting them back into my life would mean cringing on some level… and I won’t do that.
They’ve burnt their time with me.  I hope they can learn to make other people happy; I hold no malice.  But they’re not allowed back, no matter how many proclamations of change they make, no matter how many people vouch for them.  It’s not that I think they are bad, it’s that I am no longer willing to find out.
Go in peace.  But without me.

6 Comments

  1. Skennedy
    Sep 20, 2012

    I’ve agreed with you or disagreed with you in various degrees over your posts, but there are few that I agree with so entirely as this one.
    This is pretty much how I feel, except that some times, those are people that I loved, and perhaps even still love in some way. That feeling doesn’t change anything else, except perhaps to make it more of a shame.

    • Skennedy
      Sep 20, 2012

      Although the title of the post is a bit of a startling misnomer, IMO.

      • Alix
        May 14, 2014

        Agree with @Skennedy – though it’s clarified and it does get your attention 😉

  2. Megan Rose
    Sep 20, 2012

    Been trying to explain that to several people I’ve cut out of my life. They say they’ve changed, and it’s time for me to be friends with them again, but I have a lot of friends who don’t put me through bullshit every few months. I’ve tried explaining that they should change their behavior not so we can keep being friends, but so that they can attract new friends.

  3. RP
    May 21, 2014

    letting them back into my life would mean cringing on some level… and I won’t do that…It’s not that I think they are bad, it’s that I am no longer willing to find out.
    This is so perfect. I give major side eye to people who insist that you *must* forgive people for your own well-being or that not doing so is immature. What’s bad for your well-being is constantly being on alert. What’s mature is taking care of yourself and realizing you can’t keep everyone happy and nor should you.

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