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Thread: A Second Chance

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    A Second Chance

    Have you ever heard the quote, "The greatest gift you can give someone is a second chance"?

    As many of you know I've been on the planet for quite sometime. I'm 55 for those who don't know my age.

    Hence I have made more mistakes than you guys have had days on this earth. Huge mistakes! Mistakes that have followed me around like a chain on my neck.

    Sometimes you can make amends. And other times, you have to accept you will never get forgiven. My brother doesn't seem to want to forgive me nor ever get back in my life. In a nutshell, he was 5 years younger than me, I took care of him almost from birth, I ran away from home at age 15, thus abandoning him. I didn't see it as abandonment at the time and I did go back after I graduated from high school. But then I left again at age 21 after getting married and moving to another state. After 3 years, I moved back home to New Orleans, but by that time, I got the impression he wanted nothing to do with me. Maybe it was the "I want you out of my life completely" statement he told me. He stopped talking to me then. I never understood what I did until 2005 at my father's funeral. My brother finally told me that I left him. He hasn't forgiven me since. He is 50 years old. I get very sad when I think of never seeing him again.

    But to get back to my original thought. .......

    I am grateful that people in my life have forgiven me and given me a second chance. Despite major screw ups I've done, there are people out there who understand that people change, grow, improve, regret actions.

    Have you ever been in a situation where you're grateful that you've gotten a second chance to make things right?

    Do you feel you are able to give someone else a second chance?

    I know there are special circumstances that you can't. You might be able to forgive an abuser, but if that person is not sorry, has not gotten help..........well, it's not safe to go back with that person. But if the person has shown you that they have changed (not just said it), are you able to forgive them?

    Those with SA................can you believe a taunter has changed?
    Those with PTSD.............what about your abuser?

    I know it's hard to discern change. Sometimes it's merely a manipulation and one more game. But it is possible for a complete change.

    Those who have been hurt in some way................... are you willing to give someone a second chance? Do you think people can change?

    Thanks for answering,

    Cindy
    The Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about

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    P0pcorn's Avatar
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    This is hard one.

    My abusers - never.
    My mum. I have tried for years to just have some kind of a relationship with her, but time and time again she push me away. So I give up on that. She is also a big part of what is currently going on with me. She was abused by her father and she left me to stay with her parents for a couple of years and we visited the often..... So you can think to yourself what happened to me. My mum could tell my aunt to keep her daughters away form her father but she did not protect me from him?!?!?! At the beginning of the year I decided that she need to know everything. So I sat down with her and told her and after I had given up on her, now she wants do build a relationship with her. I will give her a change, but will watcher few carefully.

    I think your brothers hurt is very big and can not see past that as yet. Only once he can understand why you did what you did there might be a possibility of a second change.

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    My boyfriend gave me a second chance, I am so grateful of that as he is as of now the only person I truly love and trust.

    I forgave my mum after I learnt I am somewhat like her and started to understand that it is hard for her to talk about emotional things, even if my life was in danger.

    I did forgive my dad after I learnt to stand up to him and he put some effort in to stop shouting at me. But at the moment he is starting to pick on me again. I forgive him for calling me stupid and not discovering I'm dyslexic.

    I will never forgive my aunt who accused me of something pretty bad it has torn our family apart. My mum, her sister, refuses to have anything to do with her and I feel ay fault....even though I did nothing. She was meant to be my god mother.
    life---> <---me

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    Quote P0pcorn View Post
    This is hard one.

    My abusers - never.
    My mum. I have tried for years to just have some kind of a relationship with her, but time and time again she push me away. So I give up on that. She is also a big part of what is currently going on with me. She was abused by her father and she left me to stay with her parents for a couple of years and we visited the often..... So you can think to yourself what happened to me. My mum could tell my aunt to keep her daughters away form her father but she did not protect me from him?!?!?! At the beginning of the year I decided that she need to know everything. So I sat down with her and told her and after I had given up on her, now she wants do build a relationship with her. I will give her a change, but will watcher few carefully.

    I think your brothers hurt is very big and can not see past that as yet. Only once he can understand why you did what you did there might be a possibility of a second change.
    I think it's easier to give people a second chance if they're not only apologized and taken responsibility for their actions, but have also shown that they aren't the same person who hurt you. I know some people are able to forgive people who have never apologized. Like I know I need to let a couple of people off the hook.......people who will never apologize. I'm sure they don't even see what they did to me. I know that letting that bitterness and resentment go will help me.

    It's just really hard unless they're actually shown me that they are sorry and have changed.

    But then I think..............how many people have I hurt in my lifetime and don't even realize it. I'm sure there are people on this earth, still steaming about things I've done to them and will no way in hell give me a second chance if our paths cross again. I would want them to see that I'm sorry and I've changed.

    I guess it works both ways, huh?

    Darn.

    Yep, POpcorn, this is a hard one to think about. I agree.

    Cindy
    The Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about

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    Quote lasair View Post
    My boyfriend gave me a second chance, I am so grateful of that as he is as of now the only person I truly love and trust.

    I forgave my mum after I learnt I am somewhat like her and started to understand that it is hard for her to talk about emotional things, even if my life was in danger.

    I did forgive my dad after I learnt to stand up to him and he put some effort in to stop shouting at me. But at the moment he is starting to pick on me again. I forgive him for calling me stupid and not discovering I'm dyslexic.

    I will never forgive my aunt who accused me of something pretty bad it has torn our family apart. My mum, her sister, refuses to have anything to do with her and I feel ay fault....even though I did nothing. She was meant to be my god mother.
    Is it better to forgive and give a second chance to people who have apologized? Like has your aunt admitted what she did and feels true remorse? It's just so hard to do that whole let it go, turn the other cheek (sorry for the spiritual reference) and stuff like that.

    Like where's the line? Does a person who is constantly getting abused go back over and over and over? It's hard to tell when to give a second chance. But then I hope for myself that I keep getting them.

    And with your dad. If your dad hurts you, and you try to talk with him and he says something like, "that's just the way I am," or "get over it" do you still give him chances.

    I know this world is messed up and we keep breeding messed up generations because it just seems not many people apologize for their actions or take responsibility. But what's the limit of giving second chances?
    The Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about

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    Quote chantellabella View Post
    Is it better to forgive and give a second chance to people who have apologized? Like has your aunt admitted what she did and feels true remorse? It's just so hard to do that whole let it go, turn the other cheek (sorry for the spiritual reference) and stuff like that.

    Like where's the line? Does a person who is constantly getting abused go back over and over and over? It's hard to tell when to give a second chance. But then I hope for myself that I keep getting them.

    And with your dad. If your dad hurts you, and you try to talk with him and he says something like, "that's just the way I am," or "get over it" do you still give him chances.

    I know this world is messed up and we keep breeding messed up generations because it just seems not many people apologize for their actions or take responsibility. But what's the limit of giving second chances?
    I think a simple sorry goes a long way -it would mean so much - of the three people I listed none have done that or recognised the impact of their actions or if they have haven't let me know, if you get me? It is important to understand people make mistakes and we need to try and understand where their head was at that time when something went wrong.

    I have not spoken to my aunt in over four years. She really really hurt me (I'm close crying now), I don't know if I could let it go without her coming to me and explaining why things went the way they did. What she did to me doesn't hurt me as much as it hurts me that my mum will have nothing to do with her any more.

    The only thing I have said to my dad is to stop shouting at me, talk to me, explain to me what you think I should have done instead of insulting me. He doesn't say things like he can't help it- if he shouts at me now he does say sorry, only because I refuse to talk to him - the last time he lost it at me over the phone he shortly after text sorry. I can forgive him because, even though his shouting has scared me, he is my dad and making some an effort....
    life---> <---me

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    i am not the same person i was 20 years ago, so i try and give people second chances. In my whole life there is only one person who i just can not forgive, not because of the effect of that persons actions on me, but the effect on other peoples lives

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    Quote lasair View Post
    I think a simple sorry goes a long way -it would mean so much - of the three people I listed none have done that or recognised the impact of their actions or if they have haven't let me know, if you get me? It is important to understand people make mistakes and we need to try and understand where their head was at that time when something went wrong.

    I have not spoken to my aunt in over four years. She really really hurt me (I'm close crying now), I don't know if I could let it go without her coming to me and explaining why things went the way they did. What she did to me doesn't hurt me as much as it hurts me that my mum will have nothing to do with her any more.

    The only thing I have said to my dad is to stop shouting at me, talk to me, explain to me what you think I should have done instead of insulting me. He doesn't say things like he can't help it- if he shouts at me now he does say sorry, only because I refuse to talk to him - the last time he lost it at me over the phone he shortly after text sorry. I can forgive him because, even though his shouting has scared me, he is my dad and making some an effort....
    I can see people who at least apologize after they've done something............or make the effort. What about the ones who absolutely refuse to even admit the part they played. Yeah, I can see that all relationships are two-sided, meaning we feed off each other's problems. But sometimes you can just see that you're wrong, but are too stubborn, proud, scared to admit it. Then the other person is left with the fact that you just aren't sorry.

    Would that be somebody who deserves a second chance? I'm really trying to wrap my brain about this because I want to treat people as I want/need to be treated. Plus I want to stop judging people. It's not my place to judge others.

    So would you say 100% of the time give 2nd, 3rd, 4th chances? Where's the line of no more chances.

    This helps to hear what other people think on the subject. Lots to think about.
    The Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about

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    Quote life View Post
    i am not the same person i was 20 years ago, so i try and give people second chances. In my whole life there is only one person who i just can not forgive, not because of the effect of that persons actions on me, but the effect on other peoples lives
    I can see where it would be hard to forgive someone who did something horrendous to a lot of people. Like does Hitler deserve a second chance? Like I asked Lasair.............where do you draw the line on just letting it go and taking the leap to trust them again. Or talk to them. Or even just let go of the anger?
    The Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about

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    I think every person and situation is different, as are all other influencing factors. Religion, morals, beliefs, who the person is , where they sit in your life what happened. Can everyone be judged the same. I am not one to judge or hold a grudge easily.
    If someone can truly forgive they will feel.

    Does someone still feel hurt once they have forgiven. It is a choice, something you have to work on or does it just come, you dint feel the need to hold it against them anymore

    Sorry if I don't make sense, 2am, just woke after 3 hours x
    life---> <---me

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    I always get in trouble on the topic of forgiveness because even tho everyone says it's a choice, I think forgiveness is a feeling. Specifically, one where you feel the anger melt and leave your heart and the bond with the person is restored.

    Unfortunately I haven't felt that too many times. But when I do, it's so nice!

    As far as anyone forgiving me, I don't know. I feel so unimportant, I don't believe I've had any impact on anyone, positive or negative, so I don't ask to be forgiven and don't even know if I hurt people. I just assume I don't cuz I just don't matter enough anyway.

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    I think it's possible that I never understood the view that forgiveness is a choice because I can't force myself to not be mad or hurt through sheer will. That's how I always took it, but maybe that's not what they really meant. IDK.

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    Depending on the transgression I believe in giving people a 2nd chances at most. Sometimes people are slow to realise how they've hurt or harmed you. But if after the 2nd chance they continue to hurt / harm you - despite you having communicated clearly your expectations of them, your interpretation of their intentions / behaviour, and the effect of their actions, leaving no ambiguity - then it's time to let them go for good. Giving them anymore chances is just you being a doormat.

    Whether you give them a second chance at all depends on the nature of the transgression - how much pain they inflicted and if you think their intentions were genuinely bad. However the latter part is risky since people who are socially / interpersonally unskilled (which a lot of us on a forum like this are), can be quite off in attributing intentions to other people. We may also have trouble understanding how our behaviour may be interpreted by others. The fact that you didn't know until decades later why your brother was holding a grudge against you is an example of this. It shows how important it is for people to communicate when they feel someone has transgressed against them. On some level your brother may have assumed you knew you had 'betrayed' him, ie. he assumed your intentions were bad, rather than that you were just oblivious.

    I don't really forgive people often unless they did something minor. I am the type who holds grudges and as a result I've dropped many people throughout my life. My own view of forgiveness, is that it's mostly tied to forgetting. I don't mean that a forgiver entirely forgets a transgression that happened, but they forget the pain it caused, it no longer feels raw, and then they are able to progress to a state of forgiveness. I don't really ever forget the pain a transgression causes, hence I won't forgive. The only thing that could possibly change that is if the person expressed genuine remorse and did not repeat their transgression, and even then it's still iffy.

    I also relate to what Pam said about not feeling like I have much of an impact on people - both good or bad. I usually feel inconsequential and it surprises me and never really 'clicks' when someone indicates I've upset them, or pleased them in some way. I think this mentality causes further problems in accurately gauging the effect of your actions on other people, or what intentions others may attribute to your actions.

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    Quote chantellabella View Post
    I can see where it would be hard to forgive someone who did something horrendous to a lot of people. Like does Hitler deserve a second chance? Like I asked Lasair.............where do you draw the line on just letting it go and taking the leap to trust them again. Or talk to them. Or even just let go of the anger?
    (not on the scale of Hitler) im not angry, just sad,id rather not go into details, but the damage caused by this person to 2 innocent people is beyond my comprehension, there potential, personality, life chances all damaged= how could i ever possibly forgive that

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    Quote lasair View Post
    I think every person and situation is different, as are all other influencing factors. Religion, morals, beliefs, who the person is , where they sit in your life what happened. Can everyone be judged the same. I am not one to judge or hold a grudge easily.
    If someone can truly forgive they will feel.

    Does someone still feel hurt once they have forgiven. It is a choice, something you have to work on or does it just come, you dint feel the need to hold it against them anymore

    Sorry if I don't make sense, 2am, just woke after 3 hours x
    You make a lot of sense at 2am.

    And I agree that people can't be judged the same. Maybe assess the situation. If the person continues hurting with no indication of remorse. .............. idk. Here's the judging part again. What if a person who keeps hurting over and over again does it as a defense mechanism. Or because they are scared. Maybe those malice at all. Just cluelessness even after they've been told that it hurts someone. For instance, a lot of us refuse to go out with friends. I cancel going out with co-workers all the time. One of them may feel I just don't like them and have an entire scenario in their head about how cruel I am.

    I guess like you guys said above ......... it's important to tell someone. Maybe give them examples or show them. Then it's easier to tell if they truly want to stop hurting you.

    Quote pam View Post
    I always get in trouble on the topic of forgiveness because even tho everyone says it's a choice, I think forgiveness is a feeling. Specifically, one where you feel the anger melt and leave your heart and the bond with the person is restored.

    I like that. Forgiveness is a feeling. It's when anger melts, leaves your heart and the bond with the person is restored. That's a perfect way to describe it!
    Quote pam View Post
    Unfortunately I haven't felt that too many times. But when I do, it's so nice!

    As far as anyone forgiving me, I don't know. I feel so unimportant, I don't believe I've had any impact on anyone, positive or negative, so I don't ask to be forgiven and don't even know if I hurt people. I just assume I don't cuz I just don't matter enough anyway.
    You make a big impact on me.

    Quote Antidote View Post
    Depending on the transgression I believe in giving people a 2nd chances at most. Sometimes people are slow to realise how they've hurt or harmed you. But if after the 2nd chance they continue to hurt / harm you - despite you having communicated clearly your expectations of them, your interpretation of their intentions / behaviour, and the effect of their actions, leaving no ambiguity - then it's time to let them go for good. Giving them anymore chances is just you being a doormat.

    Whether you give them a second chance at all depends on the nature of the transgression - how much pain they inflicted and if you think their intentions were genuinely bad. However the latter part is risky since people who are socially / interpersonally unskilled (which a lot of us on a forum like this are), can be quite off in attributing intentions to other people. We may also have trouble understanding how our behaviour may be interpreted by others. The fact that you didn't know until decades later why your brother was holding a grudge against you is an example of this. It shows how important it is for people to communicate when they feel someone has transgressed against them. On some level your brother may have assumed you knew you had 'betrayed' him, ie. he assumed your intentions were bad, rather than that you were just oblivious.

    I don't really forgive people often unless they did something minor. I am the type who holds grudges and as a result I've dropped many people throughout my life. My own view of forgiveness, is that it's mostly tied to forgetting. I don't mean that a forgiver entirely forgets a transgression that happened, but they forget the pain it caused, it no longer feels raw, and then they are able to progress to a state of forgiveness. I don't really ever forget the pain a transgression causes, hence I won't forgive. The only thing that could possibly change that is if the person expressed genuine remorse and did not repeat their transgression, and even then it's still iffy.

    I also relate to what Pam said about not feeling like I have much of an impact on people - both good or bad. I usually feel inconsequential and it surprises me and never really 'clicks' when someone indicates I've upset them, or pleased them in some way. I think this mentality causes further problems in accurately gauging the effect of your actions on other people, or what intentions others may attribute to your actions.
    I hear you and tend to believe that way. What's the saying? "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." But then I look back at the 100x I made the same mistake or the 50 x and now as I look back I see where I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Some people I have found to make amends. Others I have not. But if ever that one or two people who I have hurt shows up in my life, I would hope after decades of anger, if they would forgive me. Would one apology make up for a lifetime of hurt?

    And to those who have hurt me in such life changing ways..........if I met them today and they sincerely apologized............would I be able to forgive them or give them a second chance? Yet I would want the same. That's called two-faced, huh? Not good.

    Quote life View Post
    (not on the scale of Hitler) im not angry, just sad,id rather not go into details, but the damage caused by this person to 2 innocent people is beyond my comprehension, there potential, personality, life chances all damaged= how could i ever possibly forgive that
    I can understand this, especially if the two people were children or people incapable of defending themselves. Were these people able to talk to their aggressor? Say they were hurt?
    The Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about

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