Probably my biggest forgiveness misconception came in believing that forgiveness was a feeling, when it is actually a choice, a deliberate decision. I first learned this on page 6, of Fr. Scott Hurd's Forgiveness: A Catholic Approach when I read:
"It's a decision because by forgiving we choose to let go of any desire for revenge or retaliation, and we free ourselves of the bitterness and resentment that harden our hearts."
In my particular situation, I alternated between hurt and mad. I kept anticipating that would day I would just wake up and feel different. That somehow, I could make myself feel those emotions less and that would equate to "being over it". Yet, while I waited for that feeling to come -- I would rehash conversations we had, rehearse possible future encounters, and endlessly second guess both the past and the future moves. Not only was I a "monkey with an orange", at times I was a hamster stuck on a wheel, spinning in my thoughts over and over...and over - but definitely not getting anywhere.
Honestly, after a while, I was pretty content in that state. Even though I was miserable, I was comfortable in that misery, because I knew what to expect there. My bitterness and I had become very close, and the longer we hung out together, the harder the idea of being free of it become. We were cozy, bitterness, anger, sadness and I - best buddies! It never entered my thoughts to choose to forgive - that seemed like giving in, or letting them off the hook for what they did. Nope, forgiveness was not an option, nor even a necessity in my mind (validated by my not 'feeling' ready to forgive either) ... until I read Matthew 18:21-35. The Unforgiving Servant. That was a serious game changer!