Newest Members
gdj, Db, dspwilson, Won'tGiveUp, sillyputty
12386 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
4gettingthepast4 (32), DougL (53), Jeff38 (48), lfp (27), pats121 (75), Texan (57), zer0sleep (35)
Who's Online
4 registered (help4aCSAspouse, Bardo, don64, 1 invisible), 20 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12386 Members
74 Forums
63655 Topics
444546 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#279234 - 03/12/09 07:51 PM problem with blame/reason for forgiveness
DannyT Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 402
Hi Guys,

A couple of recent threads on forgiveness prompted this alternate take. I'm surprised how strong my feeling are on this. It might be triggery because of that. I know how touchy an issue this is.

The abuser is responsible for the abuse itself. I am responsible for my response to it. Of course I知 angry. Of course it hurts. Of course I知 bitter. Of course I hate. So many terrible feelings. So many years of terrible feelings.

But I知 the one who makes that pain.

My abuser did some really terrible things. But once he stopped molesting me, his part in this story ended. Once he stopped messing with me, I started the next stage of the abuse. I refused to talk, I refused to seek help, I withdrew. He didn稚 do those things to me. I did. For I don稚 know how many years, I made myself miserable holding on to anger and hatred and fear.

We値l all seen how abuse locks people into a post traumatic holding pattern where they mull over things. That mulling, which I did to myself, kept me in victim mode. It kept me screaming in anger and fear and self-doubt. My emotional clock was always set at 的致e been abused!

That痴 why blame and hatred and anger are poison. They池e a trap. They remind us, yet again, 滴e did this to me! Motherfucker! I want him dead! And there we are, or I am, crying again about 杜y ruined life! I can so easily hear myself: 滴e stole my childhood! 滴e took it from me! 鄭sshole! Why can稚 I have a sex life like anyone else?! There I am abused again, thirty years after the fact, only this time, I知 the one creating the pain anew.

So, my truth is, he abused me. But I知 the one wrecking my life by dwelling on it. Not him. He痴 dead.

To me forgiveness means admitting it happened and that it痴 done. It means finally letting go of the inner voice that screams and cries all the time. The voice that hates the unfairness. It means saying 的知 strong enough to stop screaming. 的知 strong enough to stop blaming. 的知 strong enough to get over it and get on with my life.

To me forgiveness never means saying, 妬t痴 OK that you abused me. It never comes close to that. It simply acknowledges that the event happened, that it痴 over and that the grudge has to be gone.

If we mix this up and make it out to be some kind absolution, we have it all wrong, and we keep ourselves from a really important truth. I say this strongly because it痴 my experience, my truth: the anger, the hatred, the self-image, the misery are mine, not his. And they were the real worst thing. My dad doesn稚 think my thoughts for me or make life. So I have to take responsibility for clearing my head of all the garbage I put there. And to me, the best way to do that is to recognize my own part in making it happen by letting him go.

Forgiveness makes that clear. It makes the event in the past. It says the event is over. Now I can deal with the patterns of mind that I create and that are my reality. It means: I am committed to putting in the past.

The best thing about it if you can do it: The abuser isn稚 really in your life anymore. That is a blessing. I知 no longer his victim.

Danny


Top
#279247 - 03/12/09 08:51 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: DannyT]
Charlie24 Offline


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 562
Danny thanks so much for posting this topic and information. I find this be blatantly honest and open. Kudos buddy, good job. What you've described I've felt so many times. Getting out of that "victim mentality" I so often fall into when life is getting to me. The easiness of just falling into verses trying to get out and live my life. These words are truth to me buddy. What you've described I seem to deal with when I get stressed or overwhelmed in life and this just says STOP!. Thank you.

Charlie.


Top
#279248 - 03/12/09 08:57 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: DannyT]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
Danny,

You make some excellent points. Of course one has to be careful of taking on too much blame, i.e. your statement:
Quote:
Once he stopped messing with me, I started the next stage of the abuse. I refused to talk, I refused to seek help, I withdrew. He didn稚 do those things to me. I did. For I don稚 know how many years, I made myself miserable holding on to anger and hatred and fear.

While that is true, I reacted to the abuse in the only way I knew how, by withdrawing, making myself miserable, etc. The way I look at it, some of those things are still a result of or an extension of the abuse and the abuser.

A child who is abused often does not have a good support network available to him in the first place so those problems and reactions to the abuse are compounded multi-fold. There's no one to guide him through the aftermath of the abuse. He's left twisting in the wind so how can he accept the responsibility for how he handles it? He's not capable of the adult minded thought that could help guide him through the mine fields.

So..... While I agree that as an adult I'm the one that's responsible for making the decisions that will get me out of the mess the abuser left me in, little me can accept no blame for being there. My reaction to the abuse is no more my responsibility than was the abuse itself.

Now that I'm an adult the picture changes. It's now up to me how long I'm going to stay broken. It's now my decision when to put an end to being trapped there and begin the recovery process. The journey can be life long for some, and some progress further along the path than do others, but the journey is infinitely better than the brokenness and we're all equals on the path regardless of our progress.

You said it well when you stated that the blame, hatred, and anger are poison. There comes a time when we need to dispense with that and move forward with what we have. As you say, to do otherwise just keeps us stuck in victim mode.

Forgiveness? I'm not sure I even like the word in this context, but if it means letting taxi guy be dead and gone and not spend a moment's thought on him for weeks at a time, and if it means working on the things I can change and if it means understanding that some things I cannot change and if it means having the wisdom to know the difference, then yes, I can and have forgiven.

_________________________
鏑ife痴 journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting 践oly ____! What a ride!樗 ~Hunter S. Thompson

Top
#279270 - 03/12/09 10:52 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: WalkingSouth]
1islandboy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 861
Loc: washington
Danny,

I have, on more than one occasion tried to compare/contrast/associate the word "pardon" as it relates to forgiveness.

I think you said it better...


More than Words (Extreme)

island

_________________________
Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

Top
#279271 - 03/12/09 10:59 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: WalkingSouth]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
DannyT,

Great post.
I totally agree with about that he (Mr Candale) was responsibile for the sexual abuse he did to me as a child.
But I am responsible to how I chose to allow it to effect my life today.
Survivor or victim it is my choice each day of my life.
He or his actions have no power over my life unless I chose to allow it too. Took me along time to get here but here I am.

Thank God.

Mike



_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

Top
#279291 - 03/13/09 02:26 AM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: DannyT]
Survivinguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 310
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: DannyT
It kept me screaming in anger and fear and self-doubt. My emotional clock was always set at Ive been abused. Thats why blame and hatred and anger are poison. Theyre a trap. They remind us, yet again, He did this to me! Motherfucker! I want him dead!; And there we are, or I am, crying again about my ruined life!; I can so easily hear myself: ;He stole my childhood!; ;He took it from me!Asshole! Why can;t I have a sex life like anyone else?!; There I am abused again, thirty years after the fact, only this time, Im the one creating the pain anew. To me forgiveness means admitting it happened and that its done. It means finally letting go of the inner voice that screams and cries all the time. The voice that hates the unfairness. It means saying Im strong enough to stop screaming.Im strong enough to stop blaming.; Im strong enough to get over it and get on with my life.


I think I agree with your definition of forgiveness but I can't help but recognize that for myself and I think for a lot of survivors - there are a few natural and I think necessary steps between the abuse and forgiveness.

I do hope to reach a stage of forgiveness but I can't imagine there's any real way to get to forgiveness without screaming, crying, blaming, raging, hating, etc.

I don't think you are suggesting that but for me, having just accepted that I was abused by someone else in my life that up until this week I didn't really piece together all the different times - for me to try to skip ahead to forgiveness without feeling and expressing the anger and deep sorrow I suffered as a child and couldn't express then - that'd be no less than abusing myself in a way.

My two cents


_________________________
Survivinguy

============================================
I have to survive and I hope to thrive.

Alumni Dahlonega WoR May 2010
Alumni Sequoia WoR March 2012

Top
#279295 - 03/13/09 03:46 AM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: DannyT]
jazzaheadandbehi Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 22
Loc: California
Great topic! Why does the past have to get in the way of the future and decide what I do!


Top
#279357 - 03/13/09 04:49 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: jazzaheadandbehi]
DannyT Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 402
Hi Guys,

Thanks for the responses. This has been on my mind, and it's great to talk it out.

Walkingsouth, I don't presume to know what it's like for you, but for me it really helps to take full responsibility for my actions even as a kid facing the effects of the abuse. I don't do it to blame myself for it, just to know the reactions were mine. I made them, he didn't. That I hid away by my choice, even if the choice would have been almost impossible not to make. I think this way because I hate the idea of being someone's passive victim. I'd rather be an active screw up trying to make my own way. And if I don't take the responsibility then, I can't understand when control ever becomes truly mine. As an adult, I could still say I wasn't ready yet.

It's because of the fact that I was twisting in the wind that I want to give myself ownership of the choice. Then I can look with compassion at myself as a strong person trying to make do and failing, and I can forgive myself for that fact. And in the forgiveness there are no strings attached. I can then recognize that it was a bad choice and seek the help I need without any out of blaming someone else for my problem. Otherwise there're always the strings leading back to the abuser, and I can then point my finger at him and say "He's why I'm still so messed up!"

Forgiveness as I think of it is for everyone involved in the situation. It lets the world go back to spinning.

Survivinguy, I totally agree that there are big and necessary steps between the abuse and forgiveness. Yes, we need to scream and yell and cry for a while. It's like we have a deep, pus-filled wound and the scream, etc. lances it. It may need to be lanced many time. The real danger to me is the point where the screaming and crying become a habit. That's the time for forgiveness the way I see it. The habit can be the worst rut of the whole abuse story. The continued misery just keeps us abusing ourselves over and over. I bet most of us have experienced the difference between these two states of mind, I know I have.

I think forgiveness lets the habit die.

Danny



Edited by DannyT (03/13/09 04:53 PM)

Top
#279366 - 03/13/09 06:46 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: DannyT]
blueshift Offline
Guest

Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 1242
Loc: infinity
I don't think the word "blame" necessarily has to mean not taking responsibility for what one can and should take responsibility for. For me, blaming my abusers instead of myself is an important part of my recovery that gives me the self-acceptance to deal with the things I have control over and not beat myself to death for all the things I still have very little if any control over.

I wish I could just take responsibility for my PTSD symptoms and just stop with some great effort of will, but that didn't work for me. I still have nightmares, flashbacks and sexual problems despite my greatest efforts to control them. I don't know if I will get control of all of them in the future or not, but if it doesn't happen, I do not plan on blaming myself for that.

I'm not trying to invalidate the point, which is a good one regarding some aspects of recovery, but there are often two sides to a story and I feel it's important to see both sides of this one.


_________________________
My Story
My Art

Top
#279378 - 03/13/09 09:11 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: blueshift]
ericc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 1962
Good points of view in this thread. I agree that there are things in my life that clearly stem from the abuse/violation. I also agree that there are many things that I have to try and take control of because no one else will and for that matter I wouldn't want anyone else to.


Top
#279418 - 03/14/09 10:32 AM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: ericc]
DannyT Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 402
I think blame brings comfort because it makes a clear separation between us (the abused) and them (the abusers).

The danger in it to me is that blame keeps the abuser in clear sight. Especially if there's dwelling on the problem.

I also don't think taking the responsibility for this problem means blaming oneself. It just means saying I did whatever I did. It's more like unbiased open-minded acceptance. I could put it another way. I could accept the fact that the abuser did things to me that led my mind to work a certain way. But then I'm still the one who needs to change the way the mind works, and blaming would still get in my way.

In my situation, it became more helpful to see the situation as something that arose rather than something premeditated, and the metaphor is that I came into contact with a kind of virus that touched me. And I got sick. If I blame the virus, I make things harder for myself. This helps me because in taking responsibility for my actions in it and in recovery, I don't blame myself for anything either. I just accept the things as part of the process of the illness and bettering of myself and move on.

In general I think of CSA as a social illness. I think the real cause isn't the individual abuser but a system that keeps people generally silent about all mental health issues. It's hard for people even to admit being abused. I can't even imagine how hard it must be for someone like my dad to openly admit to abusing and to seek help. I don't know how he could ever have spoken his urges to anyone without being totally shunned. And when he did admit some of it to his sister, it got totally ignored (I imagine she was shocked to believe it).

So the way I see it, I got slammed by an out of control person who was himself the victim of a very bad and debilitating situation. I don't deny his part in the story, but I see him as basically passing along some horrible cooties.

It helps me to see this over all context because it makes the decision to move ahead on my own so much easier.

Disentangling the web makes it simpler for me, and it seems more true to my circumstances this way. Maybe it's like slicing through the Gordian Knot?


Danny





Edited by DannyT (03/14/09 10:34 AM)

Top
#279421 - 03/14/09 11:00 AM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: DannyT]
Letourski Offline


Registered: 03/15/08
Posts: 302
Loc: Canada
Hey guys,

I agree completely with taking responsibility for your feelings in the here and now. We all have the ability to alter our conscious minds in the present. By accepting our role in the abuse(victim) we can look passed the absuer and focus our attention on the current issues that have stemmed as a result.

This however can be perceived as accepting part of the blame which is clearly not the case. How many times have we heard it's not your fault. This has been a staple in the recovery process. As an abuse survivor we need to feel it was not our fault, this allows us to feel compassion and love for our child selves. Blame creates self hatred and anger which are poison. These emotions need to come out at some point for any progress to be made.

I believe that if we continue to focus the blame on the abuser we are simply allowing them to further control a portion of our lives. Yes they are to blame that is for sure but the more we focus on that the less we focus on ourselves. Once the blame has been clearly defined it is our responsibility to move passed it and work through the web of emotions. I will accept my role in the abuse I suffered and in a way to me that is forgiveness.


Heal Well

Dan

_________________________
I am the warrior.

Top
#279424 - 03/14/09 11:12 AM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: Letourski]
joelRT Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 1357
Loc: Qu饕ec, Canada
.



Edited by joelRT (03/15/09 12:54 AM)
Edit Reason: leaving
_________________________
My Story 1
My Story 2
The longest journey we take is to self-discovery

Top
#279433 - 03/14/09 12:17 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: joelRT]
blueshift Offline
Guest

Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 1242
Loc: infinity
I think looking at the abuse as a social disease is a good way to look at it. I try to look at it that way when I can. There are still times though when I feel like blaming myself and the only way to get out of that is to convince myself that it was my abusers' fault not mine.

I think better points of view about the whole issue will be accessible more and more to a survivor who is actively working on healing.


_________________________
My Story
My Art

Top
#279441 - 03/14/09 01:39 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: blueshift]
ComicBookGuy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/08/09
Posts: 443
Loc: London, England
My personal take on forgiveness was, my Dad wasn't my perp, and he was easier to forgive on the alcohol front because he was dead. In a sense these Al-Anon sessions are cleanup work from that forgiveness at Xmas 2001.

My perp being an outsider to the family, because I never saw him again by the end of two months later, ultimately that's the reason I had no emotions over him aside from the flash of anger that caused my reporting. If I did forgive him I sure as shite wouldn't tell him about it even if he was in my life beyond being in my head, it would be all about me.

Socially though my real anger around this issue is not my perp, but the fact that that we've had an epidemic of forgiveness from lefty liberal idiots since the 1990s, to the point where it is institutionalized in our justice system, only the very worst crimes attract a punishing prison sentence in the UK anymore, as a result hardened criminals are running amok and using their "rights" to obstruct punishment. That would make forgiveness generally impossible for me if I knew that a CSA or just murdering perp hadn't been punished harshly enough and they'd gone on to permanently harm someone I loved. In fact the Guardian Newspaper today published an essay from some Death Row letter writer celebrating how she helped save a man - but not one sentence regarding the feelings of the victims whom she also met.

That's the problem, it's all pimp my trendy values and stuff the victims, here in England anyway. When offenders are properly punished, forgiveness can be considered much more easily regardless of faith. To be fair, life in prison for the above example is proper punishment compared to death.

Coming back to the personal side of MS, I would have major-scale problems if a blood relative had been my perp and forgiveness wouldn't have been on the table whatsoever. So I'm damn lucky in that regard.



Edited by ComicBookGuy (03/14/09 02:06 PM)
_________________________
- CBG

Top
#279489 - 03/14/09 10:18 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: ComicBookGuy]
brother2none Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/30/09
Posts: 265
Loc: Undisclosed
DannyT, I think this topic has opened my eyes to something hidden from me in my life since being abused. Today I cried tears of sorrow, the start of forgiveness I think.

I read this topic this morning and within a couple hours, I was in tears about how much I have and continue to hurt myself, in so many large and subtle ways. Its truly staggering. But this is where I am at today, and a better place than yesterday.


Top
#279497 - 03/15/09 01:00 AM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: brother2none]
wojax Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/22/04
Posts: 171
Loc: Florida
Hey Guys
You knew i could not leave this alone...I have been yelled at put on iggy for saying the first step for me was to learn to forgive.
In order to get out from being the victim you have to forgive first Yourself then the abuser/s. You will never forget. But when you forgive it will relese you from the guilt and shame and let you take the first steps to recovery.
those of you that know me know that I am a chistian Man I walk in faith but I have my days when all of this stuff comes up now I can say Lord this is on you.
I have forgiven my abuser (Ronnie Thompson) I dont like him and I dont whant him around me. But i dont hate him anymore and that feels good to me.
D your on the right track
May God Bless all of you brothers
Gary

_________________________
Jer 7:23 ps 91:16

Top
#279529 - 03/15/09 12:25 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: wojax]
timothyrecovery1 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 31
Loc: Pennsylvania
I agree that one must forgive. The hard part for me is forgiving myself. I have forgiven my abuser and my family for pushing the sexual abuse under the table and especially making my sisters and I see my step grandfather on family occasions like nothing happenned. I still think that because I sort of new the sexual abuse with my step grandfather and my sisters being abused all together that I should have told my mother. My sister told. This happenned between the ages of 5 through 8. I also feel guilty because I enjoyed it. Please give me responses. I am sort of past this. I work the 12 steps of AA and NA. Thank you for the post.

_________________________
Timothyrecovery

Top
#279534 - 03/15/09 12:50 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: timothyrecovery1]
brother2none Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/30/09
Posts: 265
Loc: Undisclosed
You said: "I also feel guilty because I enjoyed it."

In my life, I have believed the same thing. So can we assume then that our reactions are a normal reaction?

But as another brother here has pointed out, was I to know how being abused was to affect my life, from that point till now? Of course not. As an adolescent boy, I had no idea. And herein lies the seed of my forgiveness of myself.

It is still very hard though.


Top
#279582 - 03/15/09 06:12 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: brother2none]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Brother,

Excellent post!

Timothy,

Sharing those things which we are shameful of with others we trust slowly takes away the power that shame has over our lives.

It is important to look at the reasons why we feel this shame in the first place. Sometimes we take on shame from others behavior because for whatever reason they will not or cannot own it themselves. Such as the people who have abused us. We have to learn to understand that it was there behavior that has caused us to feel ashamed. So this shame belongs to them and not us and we have to give it back to them.

Then there are the things that we have done in our lives that we are ashamed of doing. Whether these behaviors or actions were a result of our csa issues or not is immaterial to me. I have to take responsability for what I have done whither it was inflicted on myself or another. To acklowdege it and to make amends (whether that be just an a apology to that person or changing behaviors).
AA"s 4 and 5 steps are powerful tools in addressing our shame.
By doing them we begin to see our humanity. That we are just one of many who struggle with a common enemy called shame.

Also becareful of letting your family off the hook and acepting the blame (shame)of their behaviors upon yourself. I too have struggled their inability to accept or own their roles in my abuse.

Best wishes to you.

Mike

_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

Top
#279635 - 03/16/09 02:51 AM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: ericc]
endlessjourney Offline
Member

Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 518
Loc: Cincinnati Ohio
Danny, I agree with your post for the most part. It was well written and I as well appreciate your direct forwardness and I'm glad that you have realized that you are no longer the victim. It sounds as if you are at a similar level to myself in this recovery process.

Unfortunately for some, a lot of CSA survivors are newer to the recovery process than you or I and may be in a different stage that precedes the moving on stage. I agree that holding on to hatred, and blame can be destructive if you dwell on the past for too long.

However, for CSA survivors, Anger is a gift. It gives us the courage, freedom, and conviction to stand up and say "THAT'S ENOUGH!" and to take our lives back. A lot of us have worked very hard to tackle recovery issues and I firmly believe that anger is one of the main catalysts for that. When harnessed and used correctly, anger is one of the greatest tools we have to overcome our issues.

However, there is a time to let the anger go. I can't pin point when exactly it is time to let the past go and move on. However, I believe when one is ready, he'll know.

Thanks,
Jason

_________________________
Truth is the very reason we strive to live. It surrounds and resides within us. Accepting the truths we already know and seeking out those we do not is a direct path to inner balance and joy. For life is not a means to an end, but a journey. Life comes and goes but the truth will always live on.

Top
#279709 - 03/16/09 07:20 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: michael banks]
timothyrecovery1 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 31
Loc: Pennsylvania
I wanted to thank you for the post. I feel stronger sharing this with others who can relate. I am on the tenth step with my sponsor. He knows about my past abuse. I shared it with him on the 4th step I believe. I still have disturbing dreams on being a perpetrator on boys. It always is me preforming oral sex on them. This still disturbs me because of awaking with an erection. I know it is just a split second dream but why don,t I ever dream of hsving sex with adults? I am happily married with two beautiful girls. 9 and 12 years old. To think if someone did something to them as myself with my step grandfather in my mind would put me in prison for killing the perpetrator. That would be something God forbid that I do not know if I could forgive. I don,t know how my mother could have made us go and see him after the years of abuse. I do not even know what he did to my sisters except when we were all together. The only thing I remember is hands on him and him on our genitals. He did make me touch my sisters who were 2 and six or something like that. I say all this to help me expose it again to take away the power and to help others. Thanks again. Keep in touch as will I. Tim k

_________________________
Timothyrecovery

Top
#280104 - 03/19/09 07:25 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: timothyrecovery1]
DannyT Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 402
I so appreciate all this talk about these issues. They are I think so central to our getting past the abuse.

I'm struck by Comicbookguy's thoughts on the justice system. Forgiveness, in my opinion, can't be a legal issue. It can only be a personal one. Letting people off the hook publicly is totally different question in my mind.

But I think it ties in with problem of how we define this abuse. If it is a social illness, then our rage can be directed most effectively against a system that locks abusers and abused in a circle of silence where no one can publicly address the issues. One of the reasons it became easy to forgive my dad was the belief that he was clearly also a victim passing on an illness. Thinking of it this way begins to rob the scenario of its power. I realize in saying this that my situation was a lot less violent and scary than that of others.

In some ways I believe we're abused primarily because we've been touched by "monsters". I think whenever we create monsters we deny the human side of this story. My dad was not a monster. He was a person. He was many things, and the abusing only took a few hours out of a sixty some year life. On the whole his time was decently spent. I don't know what to make of this or to think about the prison, etc. but it doesn't help me one bit to image him or anyone else rotting in jail instead of getting help for their problems.

I read somewhere: The crime is the punishment. For my dad, that sure was the case. A prison sentence wouldn't have been any worse than the years of drunkeness he endured as a result of his guilt.

I think there maybe needs to be a new kind of social forgiveness that allows for every aspect of sexuality to be openly understood as human so we can all talk it out. I think if we direct our anger toward the social system that creates this enforced silence, we can use it. If we hold onto anger at broken people, these "monsters," the "perps," we hate something so pathetic and hopeless, a life not worth living. It's like hating scum. What good does that anger do? If we can move ourselves from anger to forgiveness or even to pity, we raise ourselves out of the fear and put ourselves into power over that horrible other. We make them less threatening.

I'm thinking now of timothyrecovery's post about his dreams. Why should these dreams ever be considered troubling? There's just the natural outgrowth of an experience, and the more they can be spoken, treated with compassion and allowed to leave, the quicker this problem of abuse will fade away. And if his grandfather had been able to say what he was thinking without the fear of horror, I wonder what the result would have been.

The hatred and fear and bitterness are so destructive. I wish they could be healed with love.

Danny



Edited by DannyT (03/19/09 07:34 PM)

Top
#280111 - 03/19/09 09:10 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: DannyT]
ComicBookGuy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/08/09
Posts: 443
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: DannyT
I so appreciate all this talk about these issues. They are I think so central to our getting past the abuse.

I'm struck by Comicbookguy's thoughts on his justice system. Forgiveness, in my opinion, can't be a legal issue. It can only be a personal one. Letting people off the hook publicly is totally different question in my mind.


Changed just one word from your post to make my point. America still has a justice system that favours punishment over rehabilitation, if you fit within a statute of limitations.

We have the opposite over here in weak-arsed Britain, an abuser can create any number of victims, make a fake apology (like they're ever truly sorry), and the justice system will legally (as opposed to personally) forgive them with a five-minute sentence, and if you download child porn you might not get jailed at all - I would bracket the latter into social forgiveness though you might have meant something different Danny.

As far as I'm concerned that makes it a lot harder for UK victims to personally forgive an abuser at the end of this chain without a hell of a lot of extra work, which wouldn't be necessary had there been strong, demonstrative punishment.

It also ties in with my legal system because when I reported my perp a year ago that day onwards was when I personally stopped being a victim. That instance of anger was the only one ever directed at the perp instead of all around me to people totally unconnected with the abuse in the past.

I've forgiven myself, psyched myself up and gone on record, done my bit just in case he went on to offend against anyone else. I keep that energy for myself to develop my self-esteem because I'm selfish, I don't give my abuser that time, I understand and empathize, but sympathize? You can forget it. Doesn't make me bitter and twisted, just practical, I gave away far too much power as a child and teen and got walked all over. It won't happen again now I'm getting stronger.

_________________________
- CBG

Top
#280458 - 03/23/09 09:20 AM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: ComicBookGuy]
DannyT Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 402
CBG,

Thanks for the correction. It's hard for me to imagine a system that works the way you describe. And I can see how hard that would make it to come forward to try to stop the cycle of abuse.

Giving someone a light sentence isn't forgiveness, though, not to me. I don't think an institution can forgive. All it can do is put into practice a social or political attitude toward the abuse.

The relationship between anger/punishment/forgiveness is powerful. I see that from your post (had never thought of it before).

In my first note, it may have seemed I was pushing the idea of forgiving. I don't mean to do that at all. I just think it can be incredibly healing to do so.

I know a lot of people here want the perp punished. In my case, my dad definitely got all the punishment he needed. When you say "Like they're ever truly sorry"...I think sometimes they are. But you're right, it sure was easier to forgive my dad seeing the horrible mess guilt had made of his life.

Danny


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.