Many people say you should never forgive those who have hurt you. That is not entirely an unwise statement but needs serious reshaping. First and most important, you need to understand yourself. Forgiveness does not mean you erase memory. It also doesn’t mean that memory chases you forever like an enraged beast. We are afraid of forgiving anyone because we do not understand the consequences. Forgiving doesn’t mean that you give in to the kind of person who wounds you over and over again in the same kind of way. It doesn’t mean becoming more vulnerable to attack. Forgiveness does not let you be a victim.
You need to uncover why you surrenders to mistreatment. Even that you seek it out. This compulsion comes from mistreatment during your early years. For example, I had a lying, bloviating father who spoke with fervor and would attack me if I questioned him in any way. Fast forward to adult mistreatment. I tend to give in to people who present themselves as experts and are hurt if I do not agree with them. The more I give into that person the harder it is to stop. I feel inexplicable fear. It is like sliding into emotional, physical and financial hell. It is the hell of my childhood.
Know your wounded inner child. See how the people you allow to wound you resemble the original wounding one. When such a person gets into the I am going to hurt you mood for doing or being this or that, take courage. Force yourself to act courageous. Call attention to what they are doing and if they cannot stop or even do not understand what you say, it is time to leave. Probably for good.
It is like a dog that bites the extended hand. Of you know the dog is a biter, do not extent your hand. Do not reach for the dog in hope the dog has changed. If the assaulting adult seems to like or even love you after you surrender to the kind of wishes which do you some kind of harm, even to your spirit, what kind of love is that? Expecting a close relationship with an assaultive person has nothing to do with forgiveness. It is accepting misery as your lot in life.
You learn how far to go with a person who intends to hurt because they have done it before. Your spirit, your everything will be damaged by surrender. Your boundaries in terms of what you will allow need to be based on experience. Do not apologize for setting limits. Restraint is your right and privilege. Forgive the biter for attempting to bite because they are a biter but do not forget that they bite. A proper distance creates forgiveness. If the attacker will not accept your restraint and attacks you for it, feel free to take your leave. Forgiveness is not slavery.