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#167443 - 07/18/07 10:14 AM Meeting Face to Face with My Abuser
amayn Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 14
My abuse happened not very long ago at my last job. I endured it for a little over a year and then left when I could not take it any longer. My boss at the time (who was my abuser) knew that I was at a vulnerable place because I had recently been in the hospital for psychiatric care and he took advantage of my emotional instability. I've now been out of that job and that situation for over a year and have been in therapy and, just recently, coming to these boards. My therapist has been talking to me about the possibility of facilitating a face-to-face meeting with my abuser in the future. This is not an immediate thing, but something that she believes I should consider. She has now talked on the phone with my abuser and knows how slippery and manipulative he is. I've only really started to deal with the abuse in the last month or so by opening up to my therapist about what happened and telling a few select friends (mostly women). The thought of confronting my abuser is frightening to me and fills me with a lot of anxiety and anger. I keep telling myself that if I see him I will kill him, that I'll just lose control and attack him. I have yet to slow down for even a minute and really sit with what happened to me and what I need in order to get better. I'm just constantly moving and running to the next thing and looking forward, which is healthy on one level, but detrimental on another. I can't even cry. I feel like meeting my abuser would shatter everything again and send me reeling back to where I started.

Does anyone have experience with facing their abusers? What have you done? How did you handle it?


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#167445 - 07/18/07 10:22 AM Re: Meeting Face to Face with My Abuser [Re: amayn]
pain4ever Offline


Registered: 04/05/01
Posts: 1032
Amayn,

Confrontation is difficult and you have to be in a good place to do it emotionally. Under control. It was very difficult but worth it. But I found I was stuck in my recovery until I did confront one of my abusers.


I will say this, I made huge strides afterwards!!

Also,

"I feel like meeting my abuser would shatter everything again and send me reeling back to where I started.

Keep in mind that you will go forward and at times backwards. Or as some put it....its a rollercoaster. Don't get down on yourself if you go through the ups and downs, its normal.

_________________________
Peace and Tranquility all depends on your frame of reference.

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#167457 - 07/18/07 10:46 AM Re: Meeting Face to Face with My Abuser [Re: pain4ever]
amayn Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 14
How did you handle the confrontation? Didn't you want to inflict some kind of physical pain on them?

I just can't imagine sitting down in a room and actually talking to them. I don't feel like I have any words that will convey my pain and make him understand how much he fucked with me. Worse than the physical pain is the mental anguish and all the fucked up emotions that come with it. He has ruined so many elements of my life and I feel like he's walking around without so much as a care in the world (even though this is certainly not true). Still, I can't imagine having to curb my self in a regulated way. How did you manage?

And what was their reaction? I can imagine him trying to manipulate me, make me admit to liking it or say that it was my idea or some bullshit that will just set me off.

I'm already getting pissed off just writing about it!


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#167473 - 07/18/07 11:50 AM Re: Meeting Face to Face with My Abuser [Re: amayn]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Amayn,

First of all, have you seen Ken Singer's excellent article about disclosure and confrontation here on the site? It's very good and will give you some orientation and things to think about. Here's where to go: http://www.malesurvivor.org/ArchivedPages/singer3.html

One thing I think I can see in your two posts in your thread here is that you are not really ready for a confrontation yet. It may be something you need to do, but I would suggest you prepare for it emotionally and go in with eyes wide open, otherwise the result could be further harm rather than positive benefit.

If I were in your position (and I'm not - the man who abused me died years ago) I would be thinking of the following. I would be asking myself what do I want from the confrontation? Do I want to shout and accuse? Do I want reconciliation? Do I want an apology? In sum, what the hell am I doing - why am I going down this road?

And if I get any of the things I want, how will that help me in my recovery? Get a bit selfish and ask "what's in this for me?" It takes time and energy to prepare properly for a confrontation, so it makes sense to ask if what you want from it is really stuff that you need.

Then I would ask myself how I would feel if the confrontation goes badly. The abuser could deny everything. Or he could say he only did what I wanted. He might even say I started it all. He might tell me so what, get over it. There are all sorts of negative possibilities, and how would those affect me if that's how the meeting goes?

Basically, bro, look at this as a huge investment of your emotional resources. Ask yourself how great the risk is, and then, are the possible benefits worth that risk? Put yourself first, think of what you want and need, and then plan with that in mind.

You may find that you don't really need a confrontation after all, and that would be okay. It's not an act of cowardice or weakness to turn your back on the prick and decide he's not worth another moment of your time.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#167475 - 07/18/07 11:59 AM Re: Meeting Face to Face with My Abuser [Re: roadrunner]
amayn Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 14
Larry,

You're right. I'm not ready to face him. I may never be ready. I am considering the possibilities.

Regardless of whether I confront him or not he is still tied into my life. He worked with my father and they have not entirely severed their business communication (which is another issue). And now he has also spoken to my therapist which came about after I urged my father to confront him on my behalf. Of course, the prick wouldn't agree to meet with my dad and even went so far as to say he's mad at me for what I did to him. What was that exactly!?!? Stop the abuse?

In any case, he actually agreed to talk to my therapist, but then when he got on the phone with her all he wanted to know was what I had told her. He used to tell me that we had a "cone of silence" and that the two main rules were I couldn't write about this (I write poetry) and I couldn't talk to my therapist about him. Obviously I broke his fucking rules but now he's trying to get back at me by finding out what I told her and probably spinning it so it sounds like it's my fault.

I'm angry. I'm actually so full of rage that I sometimes fly off the handle (mostly internally) when I hear his name.


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#167478 - 07/18/07 12:03 PM Re: Meeting Face to Face with My Abuser [Re: amayn]
Happy Birthday Brian Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 05/03/01
Posts: 1563
Loc: Upstate NY
amayn,

A face to face confrontation with your abuser can be helpful when you reach a point in your recovery that you can deal with it. If you are not ready, a confrontation can be very harmful to you. Don't let anyone rush you into something that you are not ready for. A confrontation must be done on your own timetable - when you have a clear plan and goals for the outcome.

Brian

_________________________
Recovery is Possible!

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#167479 - 07/18/07 12:06 PM Re: Meeting Face to Face with My Abuser [Re: Brian]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
I just want to add that if and when the time comes you are ready to meet face-to-face - take someone with you that you trust. Whether or not they "attend the meeting" or are just where they can watch from a safe distance - it will make a big difference.

M


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#167485 - 07/18/07 12:23 PM Re: Meeting Face to Face with My Abuser [Re: amayn]
pain4ever Offline


Registered: 04/05/01
Posts: 1032
Okay first off...I have been in counseling for 5 years, went inpatient for a while and still took 18 months after the hospitalization before I could do it. I was in a place to do it, again like others have said...you have to be ready...and it sounds like now is not the time.

Okay so to answer you questions...

How did I handle it. The perp was my step-father...i saw him twice a week. I got him away from my mother and told him we had to have a talk.

Did I want to hurt him...in the beginning of my recovery I did but now I feel sorry for him to be honest. Not that what he did was okay or anything like that but I know he was brutally abused as a kid too. No excuse for what he did though.


His past is what made me have control and helped me manage....knowing he was going through the same pain I was. It helped me realise the he understands what he did to me and he understands the ramifications.

His reaction...tears..bawling...he had been wanting to appologize (and he knew that was no payback or anything) for what he had done. He tried no head games. Besides that his head games would no longer work with me....

Thats where we get to the part where you probably arent quite ready for that. you have to be prepared for what they might say and be strong enough NOT to listen to that BS.

It takes strength and faith in yourself to do it.....but it is so vindicating when you do!

_________________________
Peace and Tranquility all depends on your frame of reference.

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#167492 - 07/18/07 12:32 PM Re: Meeting Face to Face with My Abuser [Re: pain4ever]
amayn Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 14
I should clarify that I am not about to go out and have this meeting. I know I am not ready. I think everyone around me who knows what I'm going through would also agree with this. That said, I want to have this meeting when I'm ready for it. The hardest part will be taking his BS because I know that he will not be sorry for what he has done. I know from the conversation he had with my father, and the conversation that he had with my therapist that he is not sorry. He is in denial. He is scared. But he is not sorry.

I don't know what I will want from an eventual meeting. An apology? A recognition of what he has done to my self image? What he has done to my ability to be intimate with somebody and what he has done to my ability to relate to men.

I guess I just have to keep at it. I'm not a patient person so the thought of waiting another year or two to actually be able to have this meeting seems like too long. I want everything to be immediate. And that's part of my problem.


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#167503 - 07/18/07 12:47 PM Re: Meeting Face to Face with My Abuser [Re: amayn]
pain4ever Offline


Registered: 04/05/01
Posts: 1032
Yes that is a big problem because in this journey...nothing is immediate or quickly gained...you have to work for it and thats why it is such a difficult journey!

_________________________
Peace and Tranquility all depends on your frame of reference.

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