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#27106 - 04/28/05 05:50 PM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
vassillios Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 12
OK, I've just revised the letter. In this letter I am not asking for him to pay for therapy. I am telling him that I am going to pursue therapy and that I don't want him at the wedding. I think the full confrontation can wait until after the wedding. Anyways, here it is:

Quote:
I've been thinking a lot lately about you sexually abusing 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.

I want to let you know that I don't think I'd be comfortable with you at my wedding. I'm going to be hashing through my feelings and emotions about you and myself and my life during these counseling sessions and I don't want the first time I see you face-to-face to be on my wedding day. I don't know if you were planning on coming anyways but I'd prefer if you didn't. my Fiance and I are beginning a new life on that day and I think it'd be best if we didn't have to worry about awkward feelings that your presence may bring.

Iím not sure yet if I want to disclose this information to other people. But for now my Fiance and I donít feel like this is the appropriate time to have the rest of the family find out about what happened. I donít want my wedding to be the reason that I let it out. So in order to keep them 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 if she wants.


_________________________
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

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#27107 - 04/28/05 06:17 PM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
DannyT Offline
Member

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

I hope these notes are helpful and not just adding to your stress...sometimes enough is enough.

But since I got involved by writing, I don't feel right not continuing to try to help.

First of all, don't blame yourself for not dealing with this earlier. Getting the recovery started at 21 will seem to many of us astonishingly early. You've got a lot of courage. Let yourself be happy about it. It will stand by you. Also, try not to feel bad about the financial things. You don't yet know what his reasons are for them. He may really care about you. One thing I've learned is that abuse is super complicated: you won't know his feelings until you talk. I think you are absolutely right to do it face to face...I can't imagine any other effective way, given my own experience with my dad. His expression was astonishing.

You're sounding a lot clearer now, and that seems really good to me. It also seems clearer that there are a lot of complexities in your relationship with your Uncle that need to be thought through before you confront him. And confront is a really bad word for this in some cases (yours may be one of them). It sounds like the guy has tried to be there for you in his own warped way. That means this might actually be a constructive discussion.

I think you're right to want to work through some things before talking with him. That takes some time. And taking the responsibiltiy for the first step in the process will also feel great. It may not take long for you to work out what you want to do. This is one reason why your letter doesn't make sense....you're trying to combine preparing for the conversation and the conversation into one thing: that's rushing something that shouldn't be rushed. You say in your note, "I don't know if I could cut him out of my life but I want to control the relationship." Knowing what you want in these terms is vital to your meeting with him. You may not want to cut him out. You don't have to. You may just want to understand what happened. It's all up to you. Just give yourself the time to come to terms with the new pain that has arisen.

You're also right about the importance of your wedding. It symbolizes something for you. So honor that. Follow your own advice, which seems to come from your heart: tell him not to come. That kind of language takes control of the situation. It's direct and to the point. It's very strong, and the tone with which we do these things says a lot about the road ahead. Being strong now will give you strength later on.

Sometimes we think we have to do everything at once when the best course of action is to separate things and prioritize. In terms of your world, it seems the wedding is first priority, and you need to be safe and free to enjoy it. Since the preparation for talking to your Uncle will take awhile, you should plan the wedding so that that time is available. In other words tell him he can't come. If he asks why, you can say something that will let him prepare, like: "there are just some things in our past that make me uncomfortable. I'd like to talk to you about them after the wedding, but right now I just want to be happy and as best I can forget."

This may sound easier said than done. But though it may be a little harder to get the words out this way, I can assure that in the long run it will make things much easier if you speak decisively now. That decisiveness will be the break with your past that you need. All the rest will most likely seem astonishingly free.

Hope that helps,

Danny


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#27108 - 04/28/05 11:39 PM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Vassillios
Go with the second letter in my opinion.

I agree with Danny and the others, getting into keeping secrets with your abuser is a bad move, which could come back to haunt you. Leave the options to him.

Enjoy your wedding, I wish you both many years of happiness.

Dave \:\)

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#27109 - 04/29/05 03:56 PM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
DannyT Offline
Member

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

Seems our notes crossed in cyber space. I didn't see your revised letter as I wrote my response yesterday. Sorry about that!

Your new letter is much stronger. If I were you I'd cut out the lines "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." The fact is, you are already making sure your marriage will be built on solid ground. The step of writing the letter begins the process. The healing has begun! These lines reflect fears you are already leaving behind. So I'd cut them. Cutting them might also make you feel better. The new paragraph would be:

"I've been thinking a lot lately about you sexually abusing 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. 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."

Anyway, sorry for the editorial pickiness (take it or leave it \:\) ) I write as part of my living, and I can't help caring about words.

Congratulations on your wedding! I wish you the very best day ever,

Danny


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#27110 - 05/01/05 12:32 PM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
sophiesdad Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 462
Loc: Florida
Dear Vasillos:
I have read the many postings about your situation and agree that it's a VERY delicate place that you are in. Obviously, no one can tell you what to decide, but I will throw in some food for thought if I were in your place:

1. I would try to decide what is best for ME and my future wife. After all it is YOUR wedding. Too many times couples dance around trying to please everyone else who is coming and then end up not enjoying it themselves.

2. Personally, I would opt for the "only immediate family". I had a very large wedding (250+) and a lot of money was spent. In the end, I realized that the important thing was my wedding vows. The rest ends up being for everyone else. I could have saved the money and made a down-payment on a house.

3. I would also have to consider the consequences of the letter before the wedding. I don't know what his reaction would be - I couldn't assume that he will quietly accept this. Also, his wife could open the letter by accident (or being nosey)and she may not be aware of what happened. NOW UNDERSTAND, I am NOT protecting him... but she may open the "can of worms" with the family which is something you don't want before you get married.

4. Even with the letter and sending the invitation as a formality, you have to be prepared for the possibility that he may decide to show up anyway (we had an alcoholic relative crash our wedding - she wasn't invited and we had to have someone escort her out of the church).

I am just playing the devil's advocate here. Again, I repeat you need to take care of yourself. It is true that you should not continue to "Protect" the perpetrator... but it is always important to choose your battles carefully in order to win the war. Maybe a very small, intimate wedding is a compromise on your part, but it may be the best option in a very sticky situation. One thing is for sure: you are VERY lucky to have a supportive woman by your side. That is the kind of foundation that will start a long and wonderful marriage.
I hope that you are able to come to a decision that is best for you and that you will treasure that day for the rest of your life.

Sophiesdad

_________________________
There are no unresolved issues - they just didn't resolve themselves the way we would have liked. "Grinder and Bandler - Neuro-Linguistic Programming"

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