I’ve been in similar situations and my experience has been that forgiveness does nothing. Forgiving someone is you telling your thoughts that you don’t feel the way you do. So is it any wonder why you struggle to forgive? This person caused you pain, changed your life in a way you could but have predicted or prepared for, and for all the horrible things you’ve gone through they take no responsibility.
So you’re hurt, you’re angry, it’s unfair. These are all normal, expected emotions. There’s nothing wrong with you for experiencing them.
Now you’re hitting a point where you don’t want to experience them - that’s great! That means you’re ready to move on. Moving on is difficult for everyone. It isn’t a switch you can flip, it isn’t a mantra you can tell yourself until you believe it. It’s hard work.
I can’t tell you how you can move on, that’s something that will beer unique to you. I can tell you what helped me move on :
- I wrote a time line of my career to prove to myself that in spite of my breakdown I have been successful.
- I wrote down all the hardships I experienced during and after the breakdown. I put a start next to the ones most people will never experience and cannot understand.
- I compared these two side by side and proved to myself that I’m not only amazing for surviving this, but I’m pulling myself out if the muck more and more. It helps me to remember how far down I was so I can appreciate where I am now.
- I realized I’d done all this by myself. Despite that manager and that job shattering me, I put myself back together and I’m going out there every day, or most days. I’ve won.
- I considered how this was a good thing for me. This was really hard. How could being unmade be a good thing? For me, the answer was that I’m resilient in a way I wasn’t before: I put more effort into ensuring I won’t go back into a situation let that, and if I find myself in one I get out. I carefully screen my potential employers, I have certain questions I ask in every interview, and I know what the wrong answers are. When I get into a job, I spend my first several months analyzing things and just filing odd things away in case they show a bigger picture later. I’m increasingly less surprised when things go wrong.
- I thought about what I would say to my old manager if I encountered him in the world. Once I had done all the other steps, I realized I would just laugh in his face - because he could never understand my journey and his life is so much shallower for it.
I hope that gives you some ideas. This is not an overnight process, it can take months or years. You can do it, you’ll get there.
Specifically in dealing with the anger, Dr. David Burns’s book “Feeling Good” is unquantifiably helpful. Discovering the root of my anger helped me to understand it, and once I understood it, the power was gone. Like how learning a magician’s secrets makes the illusion boring.