There wasn't much to go on in your post so I hope this helps, I don't know if I have forgiven the person that abused me - I have accepted that they had their problems which doesn't excuse what they did. I saw a psychologist and he helped me deal with the memories that I had at the time - are you getting any help?
There are a lot of different techniques that can help you deal with memories - I tried thought field therapy (That's TFT and EFT - same thing) and that let me let go of a lot of the anger, fear and desperation that I felt - it's like acupressure - you tap on pressure points on your face and hand - sounds nuts but it helped me even though i didn't believe it would.
I don't know if any of this helped - I hope so - this is a great place to find things out and to talk to people who have had similar experiences - don't be worried about saying what you think - like someone said to me once - you are not alone - MBC
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond, I've never used one of these sites before so didn't know how much information to reveal. I have been told that I need to forgive my abuser, but really believe that some people don't deserve forgiveness, especially those that hurt children. My ex husband physically and emotionally abused me for years, and the relationship finally ended when my sister disclosed he had sexually abused her as a child. She had kept this secret for seventeen years. I had no strength to leave him before this as he repeatedly told me I wouldn't survive, was useless etc. I thought i had moved on but had to see him at a function recently and it has brought up all sorts of issues for me.
It's good to know i'm not alone, I hope I can learn from your bravery and strength.
Good to hear from you. Is this a psychologist that's told you that you have to forgive? I said the words at one of my sessions, I didn't mean it and I told my psychologist that and he said that was ok - just saying the words would help me - that was the important thing - it wasnt to help the abuser - it was to help me in letting things go - while I still had all that anger and rage for him my getting better would be delayed - this and the fear I felt and the shame that I couldnt protect myself were/are all the things that I have been and am working through. I still don't know if I have forgiven him - but I feel I have lessened the power over me that the memories had. It's not an easy road, but I'm getting there and you can too. Only do what feels right for you - if you don't feel you can forgive him now then that's ok. Deal with what you can at the time - that's enough.
As to your ex saying that you wouldnt survive and were useless - he sounds like a bully - you have survived so he's wrong on that one! and him saying you were useless is just his attempt to control you - you are not useless - you are strong - you left him - and that took a lot of courage - you saw him and you didnt go back to him - well done! I hope you are getting help and that you're sister is getting help- things like this are hard to deal with on your own - take care MBC
Luise Hey's Anger release tape helped me some. Write and burn the letter to abuser may help too. I may forget, but never forgive. My friend think it depends on a day of person birth if he or she is able to forget. I can agree that it depends on a character. I can't change myself.
I read a book called "the courage to heal" it has lots of exercises in it and one of them is writing a letter to the abuser and saying everything you wanted to say- that was good to get all those things out of my head and onto paper - then you write another and answer it from both sides - this is harder to do - and I wrote some horrible things from both sides - neither willing to give ground - both sides thinking they were right - but it made me a little free-r - then I had to write a letter to myself - that was hard - I was very hard on myself and reading the letter back I believed every word - the final part was to write the same letter but as if you were writing it to your best friend - Wow - the change - I was so much kinder and more understanding - then it said - now treat yourself as if you were that friend - and that's what i try to do (don't always succeed) I don't know if any of this will help- you have to find what works for you - take care MBC
Forgivness? hmmmm . . . . . . "quite over-rated as a healing tonic" in my view it simply doesn't deliver the desired outcome. i.e peace and healing.
But. . . . .for me I do not think forgivenss is part of the way I view those who abused me as a child, I do not think of them as people to be forgiven, but rather view this not as people, but instead as events to be understood.
My understanding and in my own expereinces, is that people who abuse are infringing on society's social and moral boundaries, and they engage in this behaviour because they thmselves are feeling socially isolated, marginalised, inhabiting the fringes of society and even possibly ostracised by their peers. Connecting with children is the abusers way of feeling 'connected with others' to feel themselves connected through activites with those who will not reject them' - or are less likely to reject them. They're weak and frightened of exposure in engaging with their own peers perhaps for a range of additional reasons unknown to us. The other reason I feel perpetrators do this is to satisfy a need to feel powerful rather than vulnerable and power-less.
And in my own personal experience, these people come from all stratas of society, not necessarily only those you may immediatley think of.
I mainly think of these people as being 'social isolates[', isolated by their enmeshment in lofty competitive professional circles devoid of nurturance or a sense of familial saftey.
other abusers were just opportunist rat-bags who groomed a child's parents into trusting relationships in order to get close to those children. In my view these are the more deviant as they 'manipulate' others so cleverly it's completley astonishing. And I'm still astonished when I witness it happening even today. But of course as someone who had an 'unconventional childhood' (this is my newly acquired euphemism) I am always on high alert and hyper-vigillantly scanning who is around any given place, function, or school event.
My belief is that 'forgiveness' is quite over-rated as a tonic of healing and peace as it is futile wasted effort and emotion in trying to exonerate deliberate mis-deeds perpetrated against you. But acceptance that these misdeeds severing relations of trust were done to you or involved you in some way, and quite likley to others too - just look at the number of people here on the PTSD board - that may bring some 'understanding', comprehension and awareness of how and why these events occured.
This is not forgiveness, but an insight into how you may have become the subject of interest and identifying absences of caregiver safeguards. But please be mindful, that perpetrators are expert charmeleons and manipulators, who could probably even fool Jesus himself.
just my two and sixpence worth.
waratah . . . . . take really good care of yourself
p.s. I absolutely loathed the book 'courage to heal' as it seemingly made me feel like a victim all over again. It sat in my bookshelf for nearly a year before I picked it up to read. The language used throughout was 'survivor' of 'abuse', victimhood personified. made me feel really really yucky! Sorry . . . . . I had to put it down after reading about three quarters of it.
What works for one person may not work for another as can be seen here - we each have to find our own way - but I think it really helps - (it does me anyway) to hear what others have done - sometimes you hear something that can help you and other times it's good just to know that there is someone out there who understands - I wish everyone luck with finding what works for them.
Take care everyone and let us know how you are doing Dee576.
Hi MBC, thanks for the thought. Still not in a good place at the moment though I got up the courage to tell one of my daughters a little bit of what happened. As her father recently became ill, her and her sisters are very protective of him and won't hear a negative word about him. She asked what I wanted to do about it, i.e. abuse to me and my younger sister. I said I only wanted justice to be done. She became enraged and told me that if i went to the police I would lose her and her sisters forever. I feel as if I've been abused all over again. Is there a way out? Bought the book the courage to heal, but feel it is a bit antiquated, or am I just seeking to avoid the work? Answers on a postcard please.
I must admit i thought the same about the book - and put it aside - then I went through some of the exercises and they helped me - it was hard work and I didnt like doing it - but after i had writeen a couple of the letters - I felt as if a tiny bit of the weight had lifted from my shoulders - try some - they may work - but like I said you have to find what works for you.
As to your daughters - that's hard - one of my sisters still doesnt believe any thing happened and wont hear anything about it - not that anyone wants to talk now - I would have hoped they would have understood but ;it's sometimes hard for people to believe what they didnt see - you must do what;s right for you - maybe time will help after they calm down and think about it they may be ok - I hope so - are you seeing a psychologist? or
counsellor? I hope so - I didn't get too far on my own - books are only so good and then I find I needed a person to help me sort it all out - and he did and is still doing so thank heavens - I hope things work out for you and that you get the support you deseerve and you deserve a lot! take care and keep posting MBC
Hi MBC, it is good to have a connection with someone, even from the other side of the world. I really appreciate your kind thoughts and am imspired at how you seem to be really moving on. I have to say I have done well this past ten years, made a career, moved countries etc and am now in a wonderful relationship. But I went to my older daughter's wedding two weeks ago, and seeing her father walk her up the aisle has absolutely shaken my world. I had sleepless nights before the wedding and when I fell asleep apparently I was screaming out loud. I think actually seeing him has put me over the edge and has brought up memories of what he did. The reason I found this site is because I was looking for some kind of explanation as to how I was affected. I think ptsd fits the bill perfectly. I have an appointment with doctor now and will ask for referral for therapy as I realise, stubbornly, that I don't think I can do this on my own. In the meant time much thanks to you for your kindness.
It sounds like you have made a lot of progress and not got stuck in a rut - that's really great and you met someone who cares for you and have made a life for yourself - I too moved countries I was originally from London - Have been to Edinburgh - great place but loved the highlands best.
I am glad you are going to see your dr and hopefully a therapist, yes PTSD does sound right but they will help you with that and it's just a name I was afraid of being labelled but when you need help that should be all that matters - and the important thing is that you have taken the very brave step to go and see your dr - it took me ages - I'm a big chicken and didnt want to admit I had a problem because that meant he had won - but I think getting help is something we should do for us - because we deserve it -
I'm sorry that seeing him brought up old memories but I think that just means they were there waiting to be dealt with - now you can deal with them painful as they may be - everytime somthing dragged me back to the past I felt a failure but my therapist used to say - no that's good because now it's not hidden and we can deal with it - it didnt feel like progress but I think it was - sometimes it does feel like I am going backwards - today is such a day - but you just have to keep going on and hope things will get better and they usually do, you just have to hang in there. I wish you luck and let us know how you go.
Last edited by maybecrazy; 09-26-2008 at 11:21 PM.