Mathew 6:14-15: For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (KJV)
Forgiveness is a sensitive topic. Many people who have been abused or wronged do not want to forgive, thinking it absolves the abuser of all wrongdoings, or means they need to forget the suffering they endured (as if that’s even possible!). However, I do not believe this at all!
Personally, I believe that to forgive someone means you do not expect them to apologize to you. You release them from that “debt” to you, just as you could forgive someone the debt of repaying you money that they once borrowed from you.
I also believe that forgiving means trusting that God will deal with that person, rather than you trying to get revenge on this person yourself.
Forgiveness also means you do your best to release the anger you feel at another person because you realize you deserve better than that. Carrying around unresolved anger also can make you bitter and mistrusting of other people, as well as give you physical problems like high blood pressure, ulcers, kidney problems and more.
Forgiving is not easy but it is possible. You start by making the decision to forgive your abuser, and accept that doing so does not nullify what was done to you. Also keep in mind that you do not need someone to apologize to you in order to forgive them. That is ideal, of course, but sometimes people (in particularnarcissists) refuse to apologize or even accept responsibility for their behavior. Decide you will forgive this person with or without an apology or admittance of any wrong doing.
Ask God to help you to forgive. God does not tell us to do something then leaves us on our own to figure out how to do it. Ask and He will help you.
Keep in mind that just because you forgive someone doesn’t mean you have to allow them back into your life. If you ended a relationship, it was for a good reason. Forgiving this person doesn’t mean you should welcome them back into your life with open arms. Use wisdom on whether or not to allow this person into your life.
Also keep in mind that forgiving and forgetting are two separate things. You can forgive someone who has abused you without forgetting the terrible things they have done to you. I have. Besides, forgetting is simply unwise! If you do not remember things, how are you supposed to avoid being in a similar abusive situation in the future?
Try not to rush forgiveness. Anger has its place, and often it is a very good motivator for change. It is much healthier to be angry for a while and work through your feelings than to try to release the anger immediately. Besides, doing that means it will come back later, since it was not dealt with properly.
I also found that forgiving my narcissistic parents was not a one time thing. I had to forgive each of them for individual times they abused me, not simply forgive them for everything in one fell swoop. I think this is because there were so very many abusive instances.
Forgiving someone who abused you is truly a process, because there is a great deal of hurt, anger, betrayal, abuse, etc. It may take a long time to work through all of the strong feelings. It will happen in time, and when you are ready. Also, never forget to talk to God about what you feel, and ask Him to help you to deal with those feelings. He will!