John-Michael discusses the challenges that male survivors face when it comes to forgiveness. He explains that societal expectations of masculinity often discourage men from forgiving and instead promote anger, grudges, and the need to fight back. However, holding onto anger and resentment can have negative impacts on one's health. John-Michael also acknowledges that survivors may feel conflicted about forgiving their abusers, as they may worry that forgiveness condones their abusers' actions. He emphasizes that forgiveness is a personal process that survivors need to approach at their own pace, and that forgiving oneself is an important step towards forgiving others. John-Michael encourages survivors to acknowledge what happened to them and seek professional help if needed, and to ultimately make the choice to forgive if they feel ready.
Why forgiveness is a challenge for male survivors this has been a topic that has been on my mind ever since I could remember um and as I've had done a lot of research and interviewing people and talking to people there's very little about why males have a struggle with forgiveness there has been a few researches which say that men feel that it is um an effeminate process and we are taught that we can't be forgiving we're not supposed to be empathetic we're supposed to fight back we're supposed to hold grudges these are all these ideals that we have been told as boys growing up as an into a teenagers to young adult to adults that men are supposed to be this is our ideology this is what we see in the movies this is what we see in in books and magazines men are strong and we can't forgive because and then that's a sign of weakness but unfortunately what is really sad about not being able to forgive is that we hold that inside of us that that anger and and what happens is that if we don't get the anger out the the the inflammation that is built up from this can lead to diseases and possibly death and we've also seen that as survivors worry about if I give someone forgiveness does that condone what that person did to me and does that let them off the hook and we have to realize that forgiveness is for ourselves first we have to learn to forgive ourselves before we can forgive someone else and many times like in my case the people when I was to the point that I was ready to forgive and that's something we need to make sure we all understand each Survivor has to go at their own time and their own pace to get to that point to be willing to forgive and when I was able to say okay I think I need to forgive I first gave myself for for thinking that it was my fault that I caused this that it was my responsibility that this happened to me and once I was able to wrap my head around that and say uh you're for given for this it's not your fault I was able then to look outside myself do I want to forgive these abusers and unfortunately for me a lot of the abusers had passed away by that time because they were already in their 50s and 60s when I was being abused and so I never got the chance to really to contact them where a lot of people say we should and so I I realized that this is something that is personal and this is something that each Survivor needs to do we also have the pressure from our churches and from the spiritual worlds that we have to forgive and there are a lot of people feel that this forgiveness idea is really kind of an evil a cloak that is trying to get us not to talk about it because if we don't talk about it then we can't make allegations or anything against the church or anybody who is a part of something so it kind of suppresses the Survivor so what I really tell you to do is first you need to acknowledge that this happened to you and once you were able to do that you can do that through journaling from artwork from pottery from writing poetry and you start to discover it yourself then once you have an idea inside yourself that you understand and that this happened to you then you could reach out to someone and share it like a partner or a parent or someone that this happened to you because by that point you've already understood and owned the fact that it happened to you and you don't need the validation from someone outside to tell you that it was okay or that we hear you or we understand because you've already did that for yourself and then what you need to do is forgive yourself and that's a process that takes time and you may need professional help to help you do that and that is a a vital thing because a lot of people say that if we don't forgive we are then trapped within ourselves and then once you're able to forgive yourself then you have the choice and the power if you choose to forgive the people who abused you it's your choice