Newest Members
DT, kk90, Austintexan, Cancan, LS
12257 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
Blank (36), christx (41), Heartonfire (38), Nathan LaChine (31)
Who's Online
7 registered (Andreas, Jay1946, pete1973, Steve J, Austintexan, 1 invisible), 23 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12257 Members
73 Forums
63126 Topics
441435 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#27086 - 03/07/05 03:40 PM It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
vassillios Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 12
When I was 14 years old I my parents were divorced and my mother took my sibblings and I to live with her family. My mother's brother was helpful in trying to get me adjusted to my new life. Some would say that he was a good male role model for me, despite him being an alcoholic. A few months after he gained my trust, he molested me. I had since forgiven and somewhat forgotten. I never told anyone about him. Now seven years later I am engaged to be married. I do not want this man at my wedding although the rest of my family seems to think that he is a "father figure" to me but I do not. My fiancť is the only other person who knows about him. The problem is that I'm not sure how to not invite him, without others knowing about him and without them being upset with me for not inviting him. Obviously I have a right to not want him there and I don't think it is necessary to let the cat out of the bag this late in the game. What my fiancť and I came up with was an 'immediate family only' ceremony and an open reception. I would feel very uncomfortable with him watching me take my vows but I don't care that much if he's at the reception with 100 other people. The problem is that no one understands my reasoning for making the ceremony 'immediate family only' and I'm getting a lot of shit for it. I really don't think it would help if my family suddenly became aware of his deviance when he's just discovered he has cancer. I'd like to think that I can be a good person even though he was not. 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. What do you think I should do? Should I keep the secret and resist the pressure I am getting and make myself look like an asshole? Should I tell someone and have people be more understanding of what i want?

_________________________
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
#27087 - 03/07/05 04:48 PM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
Curtis St. John Offline
Past President
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/20/04
Posts: 1796
Loc: Westchester, N.Y.
I can only tell you what I would do.


I would have a conversation with him and explain why you do not want him there but how you will be sending him an invitation.

I would tell him if he doesnít want the entire family to know that you donít want him there and more importantly the reason why you donít want him there, then when the invitation arrives, he will mark on it that he will not be able to attend.

Hope that helps,


Top
#27088 - 03/07/05 04:48 PM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
Rustam Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 466
Loc: UK
Hi Vassillios,

Sounds like you are between a rock and a hard place. I donít honestly know what you should do. It sounds like the Ďimmediate family onlyí option comes closest to what would feel best for you. Itís your wedding and you have every right to have who you want at it. I guess you may have to stick to your guns in the teeth of the opposition. I donít expect that could be easy. If there are some people who are giving you hassle who you think would understand then maybe you could consider telling some who would be able to take your side without rocking the whole family boat too much.

Here is a link to an article on the site that may help you in thinking about this.
http://www.malesurvivor.org/Survivors/Adult%20Survivors/Articles/singer3.htm

Sorry I canít be of much help, but welcome to the site,
Rustam


Top
#27089 - 03/07/05 07:43 PM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
TM Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 6
Loc: Miami, FL
I have to agree with Roland, Vassillios. Your wedding day should be everything you want it to be. Everyone with whom you wish to share that day should be there and support you.

Asking your abuser to simply decline to attend when he RSVPs is a good idea. It also leaves the responsibility for coming up with an excuse in his ball court.

Congratulations! Many wishes for a long happy marriage.


Top
#27090 - 03/07/05 09:43 PM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
vassillios Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 12
Thank you for the welcomes and the responses. I read that article about disclosure and confrontation and I am wondering if this is an appropriate reason to disclose or confront? I am sure that if I weren't getting married that it wouldn't come out, does that make this a selfish way of getting what I want? I have gone 7 years with successfully keeping this to myself and dealing with it alone with exception to my fiancť. I really don't want pity or sympathy or for anyone to hate him now. I just don't want him at my wedding. Can I have it both ways?

_________________________
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
#27091 - 03/07/05 11:30 PM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
FLRich Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/21/04
Posts: 1404
This is just my opinion, Vassillios, but I think Roland hit the nail on the head here. Think about his advice and then think about the others' advice, too. It has to be your decision, and it is a tough one.

Maybe you can put the wedding off a few more months and then he won't physically be able to attend. I know that sounds heartless, but it is no more heartless than what he did to you, his nephew.

Seven years is a long time to have to keep this shit bottled up, but know you did one thing right. You told your fiance up front. This is a good thing, no secrets, no lies. You're starting off right!

Congratulations to you both, and I hope you can come to a workable decision that is comfortable for YOU on your wedding day.


Top
#27092 - 03/08/05 02:06 AM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
Curtis St. John Offline
Past President
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/20/04
Posts: 1796
Loc: Westchester, N.Y.
Iíve been thinking about this one and I may have been wrong.

You are starting a new life, and something to ask yourself is if you want to start this new life with such a big skeleton in the closet.

Now may be the perfect time to disclose to your mother and begin the healing that you really do need to be free of this thing.

I told my wife what happened before we were married, and she knew it wasnít going to go away and we would have to face it someday, and if you plan to have kids then you are going to need to deal with this before then.

I already messed up one marriage and had a drinking problem (although at the time I didnít think it was a problem) and as my son edged closer to ten years old things really began to go down hill in our family. All this time, I just thought life really sucked and that I had a kid that was causing trouble. Sure I remembered the abuse happened, but for the life of me I couldnít understand how that could affect me now.

It turns out it was all me and my abuse. What pushed it to the brink was that my son reached the same age I was when I was abused.

The drinking, the depression, the anger, and yes my son. I was angry that he had a protective family that watched out for him and protected him from sexual predators, took care of him, made sure he did his homeworkÖ all these things that I did not have. I found it easier to push him away with my anger because although on one level I was sure I would not ďdo to him what was done to meĒ but on another level I had no education on what makes someone a sex offender and had no idea if I was ďtaintedĒ in some way that would automatically make me an offender later and if he hated me, then he would stay far enough away from me.

So yes, I understand why you donít want to bring all this up now, but now may be the time, because you are going into this new life and you donít want these secrets to follow you. Plus, there are guys here that will never have the chance to face their abuser and I think almost all of them wish they had said something before it was too late.

Iím glad you read that article about disclosing, you are ahead of the game that way, you acknowledge this is causing you some angst and you are dealing with it.

I canít tell you which road to take regarding the invitation, only you can weigh the options and make that decision. But what I can tell you for sure, without a doubt, is that you will need to deal with the effects of the abuse sooner rather then later because later may be too late to save your marriage.

If you click the bottom quote below, it will take you to my survivor story here on this site. It will sort of show you that life can be better then you ever thought it couldÖ but you have to clean out that closet.


Top
#27093 - 03/08/05 06:17 AM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
Don-NY Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 546
Loc: Long Island, NY
vassillios,

First of all, congratulations on your marriage and the fact that your fiancee knows about your past. I wish you the greatest of joy and happinesss.

I have a somewhat different take on your situation, and somewhat different advice. I hope it will be of some help. I realize that some of my questions or ideas below may offend you, and I apologize in advance. I'm just trying to look at all angles; maybe make you think some more.


Quote:
Can I have it both ways?
This is a question that only you can answer. In spite of your statement that you "had forgiven and somewhat forgotten", I don't think you have really done either, certainly not forgotten.

The only way you could have it both ways is to elope, hold the reception as planned, and then have a formal (church?) ceremony on some future anniversary after your uncle has passed.

I'm sorry that your wedding is being marred by all of this, but I see this situation as an opportunity for you to take a stand and to be free of some of the fallout of what your uncle did.

If you forgive, then you forgive, and an inheritance or him witnessing your vows should make no difference.

This seems to me to be an important test or turning point for you. For seven years you have kept this from the family, and only you know why you have done so.

But the result is that they see him as a father figure for you, and I can't help but think that you have been a part of creating that perception, actively or passively.

You must decide whether you have truly forgiven and what that means. Your mention of his will seems significant. Do you think the inheritance is a form of repentance for your uncle, or is it hush money?

If it's repentence, or restitution, and you accept it as such, then why must you punish him by keeping him away? If it's hush money, then is it worth it?

If I were you, I would speak to your uncle privately, and tell him what is going on and why. If you forgive him, tell him so. If he must do something for you, like stay away from your wedding ceremony, in order for you to truly forgive him, then tell him. If you can never really forgive him, then tell him that, and tell him to just stay away.

I personally think that this is not the time to disclose the past to your mother or anyone else. Perhaps a year ago, or a year from now, or ten, but I wouldn't do it now. There is too much going on, and the results and fallout just now could be far worse than any benefit you might gain.

Just talking to your uncle now could have all sorts of results that no one can imagine, especially now that he is ill. You cannot predict how he will act; who he will tell or confess to.

You have tough choices to make, but they will quite possibly define the man you are and the life you will have.

I would choose the truth. Be honest with yourself, and be honest with your uncle. Do you forgive him or not? Why is his presence at the reception OK, but not when you take your vows? What is the money? Is it an apology and a symbol of his guilt and remorse, or is it a payment for silence? Maybe that's the real question you need to ask him.

Everyone else is a secondary player here, even your fiancee, and while you should and obviously are considering them, YOU come first. Be sure you can live with what you decide.

_________________________
If you understand everything, some things are just as they are. If you understand nothing, things are still just as they are.

Top
#27094 - 03/08/05 03:28 PM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
vassillios Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 12
Don-NY,
Your post really hit me hard. I think you are right that I really haven't forgiven nor forgotten. I have always had somewhat of a hatred for him but I think I have been simply supressing it all these years so as not to deal with it. I feel like I'm being selfish because I am not really considering him in all this. I don't want others to know because of my fear of embarrassment and humiliation. I feel like less of a person because I allowed it to happen. My fiancť keeps telling me that I shouldn't be the one who's embarrassed because it wasn't my fault but I still feel partially to blame for it. Although,I feel like I have a right to be selfish. I feel like I've earned it somehow and that he doesn't deserve the decency I would show to other human beings. I was selfish in not telling anyone up to this point. I assumed that I could get more out of him that way. Who's to say what his punishment should be?

I do think agree with you that this isn't the right time to bring it up, although it's a bit confusing since this is the situation that brought it up. I think that there should be a greater reason to it than just getting my way for my wedding. After reading some of the comments and aricles on this board I feel like I need to do more. I feel like I should express my feelings to him and hopefully release myself from this burden.

The thing that really got me was when you said:
Quote:
But the result is that they see him as a father figure for you, and I can't help but think that you have been a part of creating that perception, actively or passively.
I do see that my actions and inactions have caused this over the years. The fact that I pretended to forgive him when I never really did is why I am in this mess now. Everyone thinks that everything is ok with us, including him. Only I know that it's not. Now that something important and special has come up, I don't want to pretend anymore. All my feelings are starting to rise back up and I don't want him to be a part of my special day, my new life. And this is where I am torn between feeling selfish or dignified. Am I being selfish or do I deserve to get what I want?

_________________________
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
#27095 - 03/10/05 03:47 AM Re: It's been over 7 years... (advice needed)
Don-NY Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 546
Loc: Long Island, NY
Vassillios,

I've tried to answer you several times. I'm a bit afraid of saying the wrong thing or giving advice that isn't really good for you and might cause you to do something that you regret.

BUt I do want to help. That's why I asked the questions I did. I worry that what is happening now is just the beginning of a huge sh*it storm for you, and I don't want to make things worse.

I can tell from your words that you're an intelligent and decent man, and I give you a lot of credit for surviving so well as you have.

I think about what I would do in your situation, and then I wonder, "Sure, that takes care of the wedding, but what about Easter, or the 4th of July, or grandma's Birthday?"

I'm afraid this is just the beginning of this mess for you, but if you ignore everything else I say, remember this: THIS ISN'T YOUR MESS, IT IS HIS MESS. HE ABUSED A CHILD. IT'S HIS FAULT, HIS SIN, HIS MESS. NEVER YOURS.

And whatever happens, Vassillios, you have the control now over what will happen and when. Not him, not me or anyone else who advises you, You have the control.

So, after saying all that, I'm going to tack on my latest reply to you below. I wish you well, and I hope that what I say helps you, but I have faith that you will do the right thing - for you and for those you love.

Remember that we're always here and will try our best to help you any way we can.

Donald

-----------------------------------------------------

Vas,

Your reply to me makes what you are feeling and thinking much clearer. And it tells me much more about

Itís your wedding, your new life, your future. This is an important event in anyone's life and again, I am sorry that it has brought this all up to a boil. Just remember that big events, even happy ones like marriage, create a lot of stress and feelings can be magnified and blown out of proportion.

It's a sh*t-storm, in plain english, but you have the control here, and I think that you can and will do the right thing to keep it under control. Remember that, above anything else anyone says to you; YOU have the control over what will happen and when.

You are not being selfish. You are being self-protective, self-caring, self-asserting, and you are taking control of your self, your life, and your future.

And I don't think you were being selfish when you were younger. It was self-protection again, and I think you did a damn fine job. What you did was survive this, and it sounds to me that you managed very well.

Whatever you thought when you were younger, whatever you imagined or told yourself, was good and right at that time, for the boy and teen you were. Were you selfish then, trying to see how much you could get from him? Maybe. But you were a boy, and those were a boy's thoughts.

Now you are a man, and it seems to be time to do things differently. You are getting married soon, and that in itself is a great triumph over what he did.

What HE did. You asked, "Who's to say what his punishment should be?" There are answers to that in both the Law and the Bible, but I don't sense that you are looking to really harm him. This does not mean there are no earthly consequences. Missing an important family celebration like your wedding, because of HIS OWN ACTIONS, might be just the right thing.

You said you feel like less of a person because you allowed it to happen. Sorry, V., that's just wrong. You were a boy, a 14 year old boy whose parents had just divorced and whose life was in a lot of change and maybe chaos. Not to mention all the confusion that just being 14 creates.

It doesn't matter what you thought or felt or talked to him about back then. He was wrong. He was an adult who abused a child. And being an alcoholic is no excuse either, even if he was falling down drunk. He was at fault. He is to blame. He should be embarrassed. He should feel humiliation. He abused a child.

I can't say this strongly enough. It was never your fault. You are not partly to blame. You are not to blame AT ALL.

I understand the feelings you have - the fear of embarrassment and humiliation, and this is one reason I said before that this is probably not the time to "go public" with this within your family.

That does not mean that you must keep quiet and just let things go on as if nothing happened. You could do that, if that is your choice, but from what you said I don't think that's what you want.

You are right again when you say there should be a greater reason than just getting your way for your wedding. There is a greater reason; what he did. You have every right to tell him you don't want him there and why. I would feel the same way, and I'll bet anyone else here would too.

But, I think you can do this without being mean, without having to let everyone know; keeping your dignity and self-respect and control.

I would go to him in private, and I would make a point to not use the word "uncle". Unless you never use it now, then I would use it very sarcastically.

So if his name is Tom, I would say something like this, "Tom, I have never forgotten what you did to me seven years ago. I said nothing because I was a child. Now I am a man, and I am saying this. I do not want you at my wedding. I do not want to see or hear from you that day. Make an excuse, be sick, be tired, I don't care, but don't be there. If you tell anyone that I asked you not to come, and they ask me about it, I will tell them everything."

Vas, that's what I would do. I would hope for the best, that he just stays away, but I would be prepared for anything that might happen. I don't know your uncle, if he still drinks, what he might do or say, but it will be his doing, his actions, not yours.

That's my advice. It is what I would do. It may be terrible advice for you. Discuss it with your fiancťe. From what you say, she sounds wise and intelligent, as do you.

There is something else very important I must say. It's about the quote from me.

Quote:
But the result is that they see him as a father figure for you, and I can't help but
think that you have been a part of creating that perception, actively or passively.
That was not an accusation, or saying that you caused this or are partly to blame for this, or even that there is any blame. Your actions and inactions over the years were actually very noble, wise, and effective Survival mechanisms. You are obviously intelligent and well educated. I'm willing to bet that you've never been in serious trouble, and you're a fine, decent man.

Pretending or thinking you forgave him IS NOT why you feel you are in a mess. That allowed you to get by and to grow into the man you are now. What HE did caused this mess, and you are going to clean it from you by dumping it back on him. It's his mess, not yours. It was never yours.

All these years you have been selfless, sacrificing, hiding HIS secrets and HIS actions- HIS MESS.

Now you are being self-aware, self-protective, and self-assertive. And you do deserve to get what you want, Vasillios, you absolutely do, especially in this situation.

Now promise us, whatever you do, it will be because it is right for you and the people you love. Ask for other opinions if you want them or need them. If it gets too overwhelming, maybe there is a clergyman or doctor you can trust and talk to?

Let us know, after the wedding, how wonderful that day was.

And come back here anytime, ask us anything, just rant and rave if you want to. As I said before, dealing with this can be a huge sh*t-storm, and the understanding and support you get here is amazing.


I do hope this is the worst thing you have to deal with for a long, long time, but if it isn't, we'll be here.

Donald

_________________________
If you understand everything, some things are just as they are. If you understand nothing, things are still just as they are.

Top
#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

Top
#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

Top
#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


Top
#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

Top
#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: 466
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.


Top
#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


Top
#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
#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

Top
#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


Top
#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

Top
#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


Top
#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"

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >


Moderator:  ModTeam, TJ jeff 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.