I believe in forgiveness. Yes, even for a sociopath. I do not however, believe in forgetting when it involves a sociopath and I don't believe that the Lord would want us to. Forgive them and move on? Yes! Forget and be a repeat abuse victim? No! Never.
Now let me add that forgive and forget is perfectly sound advice when dealing with healthy people who may hurt or offend you. I want people to both forgive and forget the mistakes I've made and I certainly want the Lord to do the same for me, so I must offer that to others as well! The rules are different when you are dealing with a sociopath, however, and only because you must defend and protect yourself and your family.
I saw on Facebook where a woman, trying to heal and move forward asked how she can forget the sociopath. She was wisely advised not to. While continuing to dwell on the sociopath and the havoc he wreaked, will only empower him or her, it is very important for us to always remember the lessons learned.
She also asked how she can forgive herself. Come again? She was a victim! There is no forgiveness of self required unless she continues to remain a victim.
One way to pave the road toward forgiveness is to remember that the sick, evil games that sociopaths play can and will be played on anyone and everyone. It's not about you, it's about opportunity as they see it. You are just a game piece in this game they call life. You were merely an opportunity to attain something they wanted.
Don't take it personally. Easier said than done, right? It is tough to do for me as a mother, but I recognize that my son would hate anybody that had been his mother. He would hate anybody who stood in his way and called him on his crap.
It is a proven fact that forgiveness is good for you. There are definite health benefits such as lower heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels resulting in lower risk of depression for you, the forgiver. Many find that once they forgive another, that many of their health complaints are relieved. It is true that feelings buried alive never die- they just pop up in the form of physical ailments! So do it for you. Find forgiveness in your heart, but don't ever forget lest you be victimized again.
"Being mistreated is the most important condition of mortality, for eternity itself depends on how we view those who mistreat us."
- The Peacegiver