Thank you for the challenge about forgiveness. First, I am sorry that people have treated you so poorly throughout your life. No one should have to endure that. Now, let us turn to each of your five points. I will show you that in each case, forgiveness is not the bad guy here.
1. A permanent record of poor-performance is not an indication that forgiveness itself is bad. People who do not show mercy are not giving forgiveness a chance.
2. Yes, politicians and others sometimes try to hide behind forgiveness for personal gain. That is not the problem of forgiveness itself. This is false forgiveness, playing pretend with it so that one can stay in power. This is not the fault of forgiveness.
3. At school, your teachers needed to help you to see that when you forgive you can and should seek justice at the same time. To “forgive” and then be seen as weak is a failure of the teachers, not a failure of forgiveness. If they encouraged you to forgive, they needed to encourage you to seek justice at the same time. They needed to help you stand up for yourself as you forgave. They were giving a wrong message about forgiveness and that is not the fault of forgiveness itself.
4. Your mother’s behavior showed a lack of forgiveness. This is not the fault of forgiveness, but it is your mother’s choice. She seems to have had a lot of built-up anger inside of her. Had she forgiven those responsible for this anger, she probably would not have taken her anger out on you. Forgiveness is not the bad guy here because your mother did not try forgiveness.
5. Forgiving people for acts of brutality and sadism should not cancel out your right to a fair solution. You need to realize, and this is very important in your case given what you have suffered, that you should place forgiveness and justice side-by-side. As you have mercy on people, expect fairness from them.
In none of these cases do I see forgiveness as ridiculous or fake. It is the failure of people in your life to forgive and to help you balance forgiveness with justice that are the problems. In the future please remember these issues. I challenge you this way so that you do not toss out forgiveness without a very good reason for doing so.