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#27096 - 03/10/05 04:05 PM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
vassillios Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 12
Don,
You really made my day. \:\) I feel a lot better about this whole situation just from reading your post. I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do but I know that whatever I decide will be the right thing.

I do have one more question for you, however. I do not live near my uncle. I will not have an opportunity to have a face-to-face conversation with him for at least a few months. After reading the article about Disclosure and Confrontation, I realized that the method is important. Would you recommend waiting until I see him face-to-face for this confrontation or should I tell him now while my feelings are still fresh in a letter or phone call? I know you can't tell me what I should do, but I wonder what effect each would have. Anyways, thank you so much, all of you, for taking the time to talk to me. I really feel better about it all. I know I still have work to do to get back to "normal" (if there is such a thing) but I feel like I'm ready to begin healing and rid myself of his burden.

_________________________
sleep... tune out...
its not my fault you cant
tune out
your thoughts turn cold to me
and i cannot get out from here
but I will get out
you'll see
it'll be a wonderful day
when i get out of here
it'll be a wonderful day

Top
#27097 - 03/10/05 05:16 PM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
Vass,
Quote:
Besides, I happen to know that I have a good chunk of change coming in his will. So I really don't want to make any rash decisions that could jeopordize what I already have going.
You will certainly risk losing your inheritance if you confront your 'uncle'. Your choice.
Peace, Andrew

_________________________
there is no courage without anxiety

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#27098 - 04/27/05 10:01 PM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
vassillios Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 12
Hi everyone,
I'm back. I was hoping that I could elicite just a little more advice from some of you. I am considering giving my uncle a letter next time I see him that asks him to a)pay for counseling sessions for me so that I can get professional help and b)not come to my wedding.

At first I wrote a long letter of confrontation by following the guidelines of the article that Roland sent me. But I didn't feel that it was neccessary to get into all the gruesome details. I thought that I should just send a short letter that directly states my intentions.

Anyways, here's the letter I have written:

Quote:
I've been thinking a lot lately about what you did to me when I was 14. I realize that I have been ignoring it and not dealing with it, which is now causing problems with me emotionally. I am getting married soon and I want to get this problem taken care of, sooner rather than later. I remember you telling me that you weren't going to let me break up your marriage... well the same goes for you. I want to make sure that my relationship with my fiance remains solid enough to build a marriage on. My fiance and I have been talking about it and we feel that I should begin talking to a therapist so I can rid myself of this burden and we feel that you should pay for it. I think it's the least you can do at this point. I'm confused about a lot of things right now and I'd like to have a professional to talk to about it. I'm not sure how you'll want to work it out but at this point I can say that the only person that knows is my fiance and neither of us have any intentions on telling anyone else. So if you want to keep it secretive I suggest you might want to come up with a way to not let your wife find out. I'm sure she might get a bit surious as to why you are spending $xx every month to some clinic in another state. It's totally up to you though.

I also want to let you know that I don't think I'd be comfortable with you at my wedding. I don't know if you were planning on coming anyways but we'd prefer if you didn't. We are beginning a new life on that day and I think it'd be best for me if I didn't have to worry about awkward feelings that your presence may bring. In order to keep others in the dark as to why you aren't invited, we will be sending an invitation to you and your wife, which we expect you will decline with a respectful excuse. Your wife is still welcome if she wants to come without you but I expect you'll find that you might not be feeling well around that time... or whatever excuse you come up with. Again it's up to you. If you want to keep it a secret then you'll think of something.

You should know that my intentions are not to attempt to hurt or punish you in any of this. That is between you and God. I've kept qiuet for seven years and I don't really plan to break that now. I simply want to feel better about myself and my life and I think I deserve that. I hope that you feel the same way. Please respond to this via email to let me know what you decide.
I know it's not anyone's elses place to tell me what to do but I was wondering if anyone sees a reason why maybe I should give him a letter of full out confrontation rather than this one? Personally, I thought that I would talk to a professional before actually confronting him with my true feelings. I'm also wondering if this letter reads the way I intended it to? I want it to sound assertive yet respectful. As far as he knows I don't have a problem with him. I've seen him many, many times since then and have gave him the impression that it's no big deal to me. Anyways, I'd appreciate a little feedback.

Thanks

_________________________
sleep... tune out...
its not my fault you cant
tune out
your thoughts turn cold to me
and i cannot get out from here
but I will get out
you'll see
it'll be a wonderful day
when i get out of here
it'll be a wonderful day

Top
#27099 - 04/28/05 01:19 AM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
Muldoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: St Paul MN
I think it sounds great and you are doing the right thing. You have put every thing in there. He doen't feel that you are going after him but you just want the help you need to heal.

I think that it is good that he pays for your T and that way you don't have to go to health insurance to get help. Sometimes when you use health insurance they control your healing process. The Archdiocese of ST.Paul is paying for my T and I love that no one is tring to control my healing

You have every right to ask him to not come to your wedding. It is good that you send a invite that way there are no ???????

I would send your letter to his work if he is still working that way he doesn't have to open it in front of his wife. If you have to send it to the house put it inside a 2nd evelope so that his wife will not open it.

Good luck on your wedding and your HEALING . Tom

_________________________
Teach the Children to Never Hide in the Silence

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#27100 - 04/28/05 03:07 AM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
vassillios Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 12
Thanks Muldoon,
I plan to give him the letter in person in a sealed envelope so that he won't be tempted to read it in front of me.

Anyways, thanks for your response. That's the type of encouragement I was looking for. \:\)

_________________________
sleep... tune out...
its not my fault you cant
tune out
your thoughts turn cold to me
and i cannot get out from here
but I will get out
you'll see
it'll be a wonderful day
when i get out of here
it'll be a wonderful day

Top
#27101 - 04/28/05 03:54 AM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
DannyT Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 402
Dear Vassillios,

This sure is a big and complicated question, and you've had some very good advice here.

I'd like to add my two cents just because there are a few points that I think have yet to be raised (especially about your letter).

1. Weddings are family affairs, as well as deeply personal things. Do you want your wedding to be affected by the emotions of disclosure (which are as you are discovering, very strong). It seems the wedding is triggering your need to speak to your Uncle and confront him. That's totally understandable. It's a new beginning, so you want to sever ties to the past. However, in this case by severing now, you risk marring the joy of the beginning. You can write to your Uncle at any time. All you really need (in my opinion and experience of confrontation) is a plan of action: "I know I want to confront him, let me think about how and when." Then give yourself a time frame. These things are best planned out, and you have a lot on your mind. Maybe make promise to your fiance that you will deal with the situation during your first year together.

2. Beware of a confrontation that leads you to further secrecy. In your note you basically promise to be quiet if he pays for your therapy. This is dangerous...at some point you may want to tell others in your family about your trauma, so be careful here, don't promise things you're not sure you really want to deliver. Your note mentions secrecy and continued secrecy in a way that seems problematic to me. Don't enter into covert deals with your abuser...that seems sure to get you into deep trouble.

3. I think you're doing yourself a disservice by asking him to lie about his attendence at your wedding. In a sense you may be subconsciously using your wedding as a way to injure him and to put him into a terrible situation. The fact that you claim the opposite so clearly in your letter shows you were thinking about it that way on some level. Sure he deserves it...but it's dangerous to use your wedding as a means to hurt someone. Just don't go there. To me nothing about the disclosure process should involve dishonesty of any kind. If you want to force the issue of his attendence, then force the issue by disclosure. If you don't want to go all out in that way, then wait. After all, you have made the conscious choice to wait thus far...wouldn't it be better to wait a while longer so that this big event isn't involved?

4. If I were you I wouldn't ask for anything from him in your letter or in a conversation with him. Nor would I let the inheritance be an issue. The money just clouds the larger picture of your own healing. If you word your letter properly, he may be willing to engage in dialogue with you that could be very helpful. And he may offer the therapy to you. It may become a way for him to help you, and in that very help he may heal you of some of your pain. If you specifically ask for these things, that healing can't happen. People in our situation (abuse by family member) have the added problem that our abusers might actually really love us as well as be in fact emotionally and mentally ill. And we may actually have (or may still) love them. Try to write your letter with that in mind. You will doubtless find out all kinds of crazy things from the response to it (I know I did!)...from the bottom of my heart I suggest you give this fact it's proper weight. Don't cut off the healing dialogue in the rush to get it over with.

Also, you really do have your family to deal with. This should be a time of joy. Making them all ask questions now is only likely to lead to pain and a sense that the abuse is coloring even this wonderful thing (though it already is, I know). I strongly urge you not to let that happen. From my own experience, disclosure has a ripple effect (my abuser was my dad). It took me weeks to get over it even though it was actually a very positive thing. I was able to do it very coldly and honestly, and I think that's very important to the healing. Ask yourself: are you ready for that cold honesty?

The fact that you want to give him a sealed letter so that he won't want to read it in front of you tells me that you aren't. I suggest that you reflect on that possibility. Again, timing is very important here. If you give him a sealed letter, you are beginning yet another round of secrecy. Will you wonder how he took the news? Will it be a festering wound of wondering? Who knows how long it will take for him to R.S.V.P.? Or to let you know about the therapy (something which, as Muldoon said,should be under your control, which also means "not under his control").

Since you've only just begun the process of confrontation I think you should wait until it can be well and carefully done. Your own healing will be greatly facilitated by proper confrontation, and that alone is worth one more handshake at the wedding (assuming he comes). If you have to grin and bear it, maybe reflect on a few of his positive qualities and your own generosity of spirit in allowing him to take part in something so beautiful. However, it's your self interest that really prompts my advice: this isn't something to rush because of an arbitrary deadline. Better that you postpone the wedding.

Summing up: Promise yourself you will confront the guy. And then promise yourself the decentest most safe and wonderful wedding ever for you and for your family. Remember that you are safe and in love and that you have all the time in the world to resolve your issues....it doesn't all have to happen at once.

Give yourself a break. You deserve it! Enjoy the time of your wedding. If the guy comes it may be because along with his shameful past, he also loves you, like everyone else there. These terrible abusers are also pathetically human. When I confronted my dad he was no longer a monster, just a frightened old man who desperately wished he could make the past go away and re-write it into what it had been in his dreams.

Hope this helps,

Danny


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#27102 - 04/28/05 02:02 PM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
Muldoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: St Paul MN
I agree with some of what Danny said about timing and healing but I agree with you 100% that he should not be at your wedding. There is no reason what so ever that he should come to the weddding.

Your wedding is going to be so busey and full of events that NO ONE will mess UNCLE ABUSER. Make sure he knows not to come to the weddding. No way should he be there.

About the letter, I didn't know that you would be able to give it to him personally. I would make him read it in front of you so that you can see his reactions. I know that will be hard for you but then you know what the next step is going to be. Try to go over sometime when his wife isn't there or meet him at a park .

It sounds like your uncle has $$$$ so him paying for your T would not be a big thing for him to come up with $5000 to pay the 1st year. If you want some control make him put the money in a special bank act.

You must be about 21 years old so you legally could still bring crimal and cival action againest him. You don.t want to do that but your uncle may be a little worried about that .

Make sure he knows that you don't want to do that. Let him know this is about Healing and not revenge. Best of luck.
PM me if you want. Tom

_________________________
Teach the Children to Never Hide in the Silence

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#27103 - 04/28/05 03:02 PM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
Rustam Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 431
Loc: UK
Vassillios,

You donít want him at your wedding and thatís totally understandable and you are right to prevent that. I think the point Danny is making about a pact of secrecy is a very valid one. I think that you can threaten to tell if he does insist on coming, which may be enough to put him off. You donít have to commit to anything. Whatever excuse he chooses to make to his wife is his problem. I think that the idea of him paying for your therapy is fine but again I would not promise him anything in return for that. You can do therapy whether he pays or not.

Maybe getting the wedding issue out of the way first is enough for now, thatís close to a confrontation in itself. He may just react to that and do what you want, that might be enough to deal with for now. There is no telling how he will react, and you need to be prepared. He may think the wedding is the only issue and be co-operative. You can have any further interaction with him at another time when feel you are on more solid ground.
When I semi-confronted my dad by phone he pretended not to hear what I was saying, he told me he was shaking and couldnít write down my telephone number, so I knew he was on the run so to speak. I had no idea how he would react even though he was my dad. It was something I needed to do and in a way his reaction was irrelevant. I guess I would be wary of giving your uncle any power in this at all.

Your letter is assertive and respectful and I think you do need to be as clear as possible about what you would want from a full confrontation, itís a big and difficult step you are taking and I wish you well with it, do what feels right for you.

Peter.


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#27104 - 04/28/05 03:34 PM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
DannyT Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 402
Dear Vassillios,

Sorry if I implied that you should invite your uncle to the wedding. You should only invite the people you want to have there. I only even suggested it because you were looking for such undercover means of keeping him away, and that seems worse than having him there, to me.

I like your idea of the immediate family thing. My sister did one of those, and it was amazing. For the same or less cost than the big wedding she had planned, she did the whole thing in the Caribbean, and rented a house for the guests so no one had to pay for their stay. We were all there for a week and then they had their honeymoon on another island for an extra week. It was by far the best wedding I have ever been to (we've all talked about an anniversay reunion). Maybe you could do something like that. It would get you entirely away from the situation you are in. And it would give everyone involved something very exciting to think about.

I mention the immediate family thing, because I think your original impulse was absolutely the right and safest one. It lets you deal with your uncle in your own time. That's way more important than getting a little shit from people (which I'm sure you can handle). I can't imagine dealing with confrontation properly when in the midst of a giant life change like a wedding. I just think giving yourself a break is a good thing here.

A couple other things about the letter/confrontation. Remember this won't be about making him do things unless you want to take him to court, which I doubt is on your mind.

This is such a delicate issue...so many terrible feelings involved. It may be that your uncle feels horrible about what happened, and that since he has this terrible illness he may be having end of life issues about past events. He may be ready to talk to you. His grief may be pretty overwhelming, in fact. I know my dad's was. He could hardly look at me or speak when I talked to him. I had thought that I was the only victim in the abuse, but the thing had truly destroyed his life fromthe inside...you wouldn't know it aside from his general alcoholism, but he was wrecked far worse than me. That's a possibility in your case, too. Here he is talked about by the whole family as this "father figure" knowing he's done this terrible thing.

I'm not saying you should feel sorry for him, but that you should consider his emotional state in all this because it will effect his reaction to your words. If you open the door to honest and face to face conversation, he may respond with deep gratitude that will help close the door on your pain (and on that of your family should the information spread). In other words, he may need to talk. He may need to apologize and not know how to begin. There are may possibilities here.

Anyway, just an idea.

Danny


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#27105 - 04/28/05 05:34 PM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
vassillios Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 12
Well, you've all certainly given me some food for thought. I guess I've got some thinking to do. I need to decide soon though because I am supposed to be visiting my mother next weekend and that is the only time I plan to see him before the wedding.

Perhaps it would be better to have a face-to-face conversation with him. I thought itíd be better to let him read it on his own but I think that was just my way of avoiding the issue more. I'm starting to realize that I need to come out and say what I really feel. I'm so torn because a part of me wants to tell him off and sever all ties with him while the other part of me wants to be the better person and try to forgive him (which I realize I never did, just ignored the whole situation). I'm not sure what I want to say or when or how is the best way to say it.

I do feel like he owes me, but then again... he was always there financially afterwards. I wouldn't say he's given me a lot of money, but he has helped financially with some things. I don't know whether he does it out of remorse or what, but I do know that I feel terrible about it. Because whether he does or not, I take it that way and to me that's the truth. I hate the fact that I let him buy me out.

I really wish I had the courage to stand up for myself back then. I think it would have made things a lot easier but I realize that it's better late than never. I know that he should know how I feel and I should know how he feels. Like you said about wondering... I hate wondering why he put me in his will, why he does anything. Does he even think about it? Is it all he thinks about?

Here is my thinking as to why that letter made sense:

1) I am not sure exactly how I feel about him and myself and the whole situation. I want to be able to talk to someone professionally and be able to hash out my true feelings before I confront him. I want to make sure that what I say to him has the effect that I want.

2) The Wedding is arguably the most important day of my life. I don't want it tainted by him. I don't want to have awkward feelings anymore. For a while, since I had ignored the whole situation, in my mind it had gone away and it wasn't all that awkward to be around him. But now, even if I don't get into therapy, just talking about this for the first time is making me realize that I haven't forgiven him. And I don't think I could see him and not think about it. And that is not something I want to be thinking about on that day. I don't want to put on a fake smile on that day.... and I don't think I should.

So maybe I should just tell him not to come to my wedding for now. I didn't really consider that him paying for the therapy would give him more power over me. That's what I've been doing all along. Letting him buy things for me just gives him more to hold over me. So maybe I should just take care of it on my own. I do feel like he owes me that much but I don't want to ask him for another thing. I don't want any 'favors' from him anymore. I don't know if I could cut him out of my life but I want to control the relationship.

_________________________
sleep... tune out...
its not my fault you cant
tune out
your thoughts turn cold to me
and i cannot get out from here
but I will get out
you'll see
it'll be a wonderful day
when i get out of here
it'll be a wonderful day

Top
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