Dr,

This comment is a faint excuse for what is obviously a gross misunderstanding of your subject matter. It is obvious to all of us, I believe, that you are expounding on a subject of which you have no first hand experience. If you are a truly good doctor and researcher, you will use the feedback you have received here to reevaluate your conceptions of the lasting affects of child abuse and the massive scale of the emotional damages they leave. It should be obvious to you now that forgiveness is not a word or even a concept to bring up to a survivor of child abuse.

The perpetrator was someone who violated the child's trust and most intimate self. They chose to do this and they chose not to stop. When the abuse did stop (if ever), it was most likely the actions of the victim that stopped it, not the sympathetic realization of wrongdoing by the perpetrator. And those evil entities who have done such damage take great pleasure in further manipulating and mentally torturing their victims long after the physical/sexual abuse has stopped.

Who among these people deserves forgiveness? Forgiveness is something asked for, then granted. It is not given without request. Before you even bring up the word, consider that this is one of the few powers the survivor holds over their persecutor. The granting of forgiveness is lies in their hands only. No one should be encouraging them to give it away freely. It should be earned. And if it isn't, it should be withheld.

My own mother, when confronted by her abuses, said, "Well, I'm sorry for whatever it is you think I've done to you." That is not a request for forgiveness and I will not grant it.

This woman is completely cut out of my life and I don't miss her a bit. If I wasn't related to her, I would never, ever be friends with her. She is cruel, conniving, manipulative and insane. And ever since I cut off her power over me, she tells others I am bad. Unsurprisingly, when these people meet me, they inevitably say, "Wow, you're so much nicer than Maggie said you were!"

So, you can talk about coping, you can talk about excision, you can even talk about managing interaction, but don't recommend forgiveness. You haven't been there and you don't know what you're talking about.