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Posted by: DUDESS | 2007/03/30

HOW DO I TELL MY ABUSERS

I am 43 years old. As a child I was sexually abused by my father, brother and some family "friends". Virtually all aspects of my life have been scarred by this and I have been left with no self esteem. I have been depressed most of my life, had relationship problems and generally not had a good life due to the conditioned pattern of silence and fear that I have had to live with. Recently I did a lot of research on adult survivors of child sexual abuseand have decided that it is time for me to speak out about what happened to me and to try and help other survivors. I'm still not sure of how I plan to do this but I do want to tell the abusers of how terribly their actions affected my life, rendering me a depressive misery as I have had to deal with the loss of my innocence and of ever having a full and normal life. BUT how do I tell them?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Sorry to hear of your unpelasant and unfortunate experiences in the past. Fortunately, it is not inevitable that one remain scarred by them, and counselling of the CBT format could help a great deal, including helping you to reach a more realistic and positive level of self-esteem. I understand the urge to speak out and help other survivors of abuse, but I do believe it is essential to first of all enter proper realistic therapy and set oneself free from the negative ways in which those experiences have influenced you, as then you would be most able to help others.
Sadly, though it feels important to tell the abusers what a terrible thing they did, they generally are not as ashamed and regretful as we might expect or as would be appropriate. It is important no to expect too much from such confrontations, which are almost inevitably less satisfying and useful than one might expect and hope.
And Echelle makes a significant point about involving the resrt of the family in your revelations, so the perps have less opportunity to ignore your complaints

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Britty | 2007/03/30

CS is so right - get yourself sorted out first so you can live with what happened to you and improve your future life as you have spent just too long in pain. Personally I don't think I would confront my abusers as such people rarely feel remorse and if they did they would have asked you for forgiveness by now. But I would tell everyone else in the family - no matter how far away your abusers are they will get to hear of it and don't forget their friends, pastor etc and shame them!!

Reply to Britty
Posted by: bret | 2007/03/30

you go girl, punish the bastards, you've had your years, now they shoud have a little bit of hiding in the shadows too. What they don't want to talk about it in front of the family... 'of course they bloody don't do they".

Reply to bret
Posted by: DUDESS | 2007/03/30

Tks Rick and Bret. Rick I will got to the sexual abuse forum, thanks for the advice, but before I did that i wanted to hear from CS.
Bret, your words made a difference, why should they be allowed to forget and lead their happy little lives, well exactly! i would also like a villa in France, a chauffer, 2 child minders and chef (my brother has all this) but I was never able to achieve anything in my life due to my total lack of self esteem. now I want to take control back, I really need to do this. They can have their wealthy, happy lives, I JUST WANT A LIFE free of pain and shame.

Reply to DUDESS
Posted by: bret | 2007/03/30

I completely agree with Echelle, she is not suggesting TV or anything pubic, but it is important from a personal closure prospective to let the purpetrators know, that a) it isn't forgoton and b) the damage they did to their own family. I'm not suggesting their embarrasment and the nature of the meeting will in any way come near to your years of mental anguish, but pushing it back in their face will give you some satisfaction and lead to you being less timid and more assertive in fact you will be claiming back your self esteem. Look at is as if you are giving them back and reminding them of some of the misery that they handed you. and occasionally ask the question..... WHY SHOULD THEY BE ALLOWED TO FORGET and lead their happy little lives?

Reply to bret
Posted by: Rick | 2007/03/30

Dudess

First, it is sad to hear about your abuse. Secondly, I suggest your post on the Sexual Abuse Forum. This is a peer forum and perhaps you may be positively helped by those who truly understand what you have went though. As for the dramatic and somewhat sensational recommendation by Echelle is concerned, I would suggest that you be cautious in adopting this approach. It might make for good TV but is probably an ill-advised course of action in real life. It is difficult to see the therapeutic benefits of such melodrama.

Do visit the peer forum - it is likely that their own experiences may prove to be a more practical path to follow. They have some excellent people there and will welcome your participation.

Reply to Rick
Posted by: DUDESS | 2007/03/30

Tks Echelle. Problem is they all live far away, my brother is now a very sucessful eye surgeon in England, my dad lives in another city and the rest, well I would have to find them.
Do you thnk sending my dad and brother an email would be the right thing to do?

Reply to DUDESS
Posted by: Echelle | 2007/03/30

Invite EVERYBODY to your place and let EVERYBODY know about what they did and confront them infront of all the other people! Just stay calm during the whole thing...

Reply to Echelle

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