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#349714 - 01/03/11 11:39 PM Re: Does it help to confront &/or forgive your abuser? [Re: WriterKeith]
hospital Offline


Registered: 12/28/10
Posts: 3
Loc: Australia
I will offer forgiveness when it's asked for, not one moment before.


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#349964 - 01/06/11 08:18 PM Re: Does it help to confront &/or forgive your abuser? [Re: hospital]
Survivinguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 310
Loc: Colorado
What a great question and what a wonderful thread - I've read everyone's response and your replies - this thread will remain on my mind and be part of my recovery process - thanks for starting it.

Forgiveness is such a personal/individual thing. I fully respect everyone on here who has conveyed that for them forgiveness is not part of their recovery process. For me, for my recovery, forgiveness is an integral part and I conceive it as the last or at least part of the later steps in my journey, steps I started taking in the last few months.

My primary abuser was my father who sexually and physically abused me for about ten years (roughly from age 3 or 4 till I was 13).

For me, I have only been able to forgive one person from my childhood so far. My mother. Her role was secondary - she was not my abuser and she never knew about the abuse but I held such anger, spite, resentment against her for so, so long. I was angry for her not knowing, for not seeing the changes in me as a child, for not seeing my fear, for not protecting me, for not stopping it - so much pain for so long and she was there but never saw anything.

When I was finally able to forgive her, it was as if this great burden had been lifted from my shoulders. I can truly say I have fully forgiven her and now I can see how really, she was trying to survive him too. I feel compassion for her and I love her.

I read a book on forgivness by a christian author that helped me work through issues and actually provided a very useful manner of visualizing the process of forgiveness. I can find the book and give you the title if you are interested.

One of my goals this year is to forgive my older brother (a fellow victim who later sexually abused me for a few years) and, yes, to forgive my father. I know the release that is possible, the weight that will be lifted, the freedom that will be reclaimed. I know it will be insanely difficult, painful, emotional, gut-wrenching and I will only progress as I'm honestly able to - I'm not doing it for anyone but me and I'm not on any timeline, self-imposed or otherwise.

My dad died nearly twenty years ago. He's not waiting for my forgiveness and I know his soul's final destination was never up to me at any point.

I wrote my brother a letter last fall disclosing to him about dad and about my brother's own actions/responsibilities. He has been very supportive, apologetic and considerate. I haven't forgiven him yet but I am beginning that process.

All I can say is - do what is right for you. If you feel in your heart [not your faith/guilt/shame/misplaced sense of loyalty/responsibility/peer-pressure/etc] that you need to forgive your father as a matter of healing yourself - then by God work fiercely to save and heal YOU. If you feel in your heart you cannot forgive him yet or maybe that you will never forgive him as a matter of speaking your truth and taking a stand - then don't.

There is no universally right answer - I am a Christian and I know Christ's words but I will not impose my beliefs on a fellow survivor when it comes to something so incredibly personal. I am not here to judge, I am here to love and support my fellow survivors and that (loving my fellow survivors) fulfills the Christian law.

Heal well, stay strong and know you deserve joy, happiness and love.

_________________________
Survivinguy

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

Alumni Dahlonega WoR May 2010
Alumni Sequoia WoR March 2012

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#350368 - 01/11/11 11:56 AM Re: Does it help to confront &/or forgive your abuser? [Re: Survivinguy]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 929
Loc: southern California
Originally Posted By: Survivinguy
What a great question and what a wonderful thread - I've read everyone's response and your replies - this thread will remain on my mind and be part of my recovery process - thanks for starting it.

Forgiveness is such a personal/individual thing. I fully respect everyone on here who has conveyed that for them forgiveness is not part of their recovery process. For me, for my recovery, forgiveness is an integral part and I conceive it as the last or at least part of the later steps in my journey, steps I started taking in the last few months.

My primary abuser was my father who sexually and physically abused me for about ten years (roughly from age 3 or 4 till I was 13).

For me, I have only been able to forgive one person from my childhood so far. My mother. Her role was secondary - she was not my abuser and she never knew about the abuse but I held such anger, spite, resentment against her for so, so long. I was angry for her not knowing, for not seeing the changes in me as a child, for not seeing my fear, for not protecting me, for not stopping it - so much pain for so long and she was there but never saw anything.

When I was finally able to forgive her, it was as if this great burden had been lifted from my shoulders. I can truly say I have fully forgiven her and now I can see how really, she was trying to survive him too. I feel compassion for her and I love her.

I read a book on forgivness by a christian author that helped me work through issues and actually provided a very useful manner of visualizing the process of forgiveness. I can find the book and give you the title if you are interested.

One of my goals this year is to forgive my older brother (a fellow victim who later sexually abused me for a few years) and, yes, to forgive my father. I know the release that is possible, the weight that will be lifted, the freedom that will be reclaimed. I know it will be insanely difficult, painful, emotional, gut-wrenching and I will only progress as I'm honestly able to - I'm not doing it for anyone but me and I'm not on any timeline, self-imposed or otherwise.

My dad died nearly twenty years ago. He's not waiting for my forgiveness and I know his soul's final destination was never up to me at any point.

I wrote my brother a letter last fall disclosing to him about dad and about my brother's own actions/responsibilities. He has been very supportive, apologetic and considerate. I haven't forgiven him yet but I am beginning that process.

All I can say is - do what is right for you. If you feel in your heart [not your faith/guilt/shame/misplaced sense of loyalty/responsibility/peer-pressure/etc] that you need to forgive your father as a matter of healing yourself - then by God work fiercely to save and heal YOU. If you feel in your heart you cannot forgive him yet or maybe that you will never forgive him as a matter of speaking your truth and taking a stand - then don't.

There is no universally right answer - I am a Christian and I know Christ's words but I will not impose my beliefs on a fellow survivor when it comes to something so incredibly personal. I am not here to judge, I am here to love and support my fellow survivors and that (loving my fellow survivors) fulfills the Christian law.

Heal well, stay strong and know you deserve joy, happiness and love.


Survivinguy, I felt that your comment was well worth repeating and pondering. Thanks for these great thoughts.

_________________________
Keith
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

Top
#354043 - 02/18/11 12:08 PM Re: Does it help to confront &/or forgive your abuser? [Re: WriterKeith]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 929
Loc: southern California
Thanks to everyone for contributing helpful information. As you can see by the 7-week span of this thread, I invested some thought into what may be the most important letter of my life. My letter was mailed this morning.

In taking care of myself I weighed out my intentions for writing the letter. I truly do not nurse ill feelings toward my abuser, my father, but I do pity him.

My letter merely called him to accountability for his actions. He has never taken responsibility for any of his actions, and he has taken great pleasure in the pain he inflicted on his family.

I am sure he will not change and take responsibility because of the letter, but in the name of justice the facts had to be stated in a form that did not allow interruption.

I was always a good kid, a submissive rule-follower, obedient and respectful. Bashfulness was my greatest challenge. However, when circumstances called for it, I have always been able to shed my shy nature to step forward boldly to speak out on injustice to others. For the first time in my life, I am speaking up on this injustice for the sake of myself.

My letter does not have everything I would like to say, but it does have everything that needs to be said. It is the last buoy I will pass on my way out of the unwelcome harbor of my childhood. And now I can sail freely in open waters.

What a fantastic horizon I see ahead.



_________________________
Keith
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

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#354075 - 02/18/11 05:48 PM Re: Does it help to confront &/or forgive your abuser? [Re: WriterKeith]
RecoveryReady1 Offline


Registered: 12/05/10
Posts: 433
Keith,

Reading this letter fills me with joy.........

Your words really convey the hope of recovery, I have been similar in the way of being very shy and fearful when it came to speaking up for myself...I would often collapse emotionally.....But I have been a fierce defender of the victim/underdog all my life.....So I really hear what a deal it is for you.....

And the visual of the last buoy as you leave the harbor is great....

I am filled with joy for you and I appreciate the help your words have offered me since I arrived here...

All the best
steve


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#354085 - 02/18/11 08:48 PM Re: Does it help to confront &/or forgive your abuser? [Re: RecoveryReady1]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 929
Loc: southern California
Thanks, Steve,
To clarify, this isn't the letter. The letter went out in the mail today and I may post it on the site at some point. It may help others who deal with an situation similar to mine.

Thanks for your encouragement. I appreciate it.
Keith

_________________________
Keith
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

Top
#354093 - 02/18/11 09:27 PM Re: Does it help to confront &/or forgive your abuser? [Re: WriterKeith]
RecoveryReady1 Offline


Registered: 12/05/10
Posts: 433
lol.....I know that's not the letter...
But that would be good...


Top
#354096 - 02/18/11 09:57 PM Re: Does it help to confront &/or forgive your abuser? [Re: RecoveryReady1]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 929
Loc: southern California
Someone asked, so I though I'd clarify.

You've been a great help to me since I joined. Thanks!

_________________________
Keith
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JfvAPZGjds

Top
#354107 - 02/19/11 12:16 AM Re: Does it help to confront &/or forgive your abuser? [Re: prisonerID]
Malidin41 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 140
Loc: Utah
Forgivness is not something to be forced! Forgivness should never be done for anyone or anything other than yourself. This is a touchy subject for me. When I began to aproach the idea of forgivness it was so incredibly difficult. The idea to forgive just seemed wrong, like I was letting him off the hook or something. I hated the idea. My mother cut out an articul about forgivness from a religious stand point and it just infuriated me. It made things out to be like I was in trouble for not forgiving. Let me be the first to say this is crap. Absolute CRAP. I hate religion for this very reason. God does not think that what happened to you is your fault. He does not blame you for what happened. He does not look down on you for what happened. God does not judge or hate. He LOVES!!! Let me say that again HE LOVES. Never ever please I beg you never let yourself think that because you struggle or have a hard time finding the forgivness you are seeking to give that God will judge you for that. He knows above all others what you are going through and have been through and is there for you. When people say that he is vengful and judgemental and fearsome I just have to laugh and run away as fast as I can. They are full of it. These things are qualities of the devel. They are hateful things and hateful words. Things to keep people like you and me in a living prison. Trapped with no way out. When I found God it was amazing. It helped me get to the place I am now. But let me tell you I did not find him in a church... I did not find him through all that religious crap... I found him on my own, in me, apart of me, all around me, full of love and hope and future. No fear. No hate. No hurt. LOVE. That is God. Forgivness can be very helpful but so can the hurt you feel. My best advice to you is not to force yourself into anything. Let the healing take its time. Alow yourself to feel. Don't shut it out any longer, speak and be heard. Show everyone you can your truth your words your ability to shout out I WILL NO LONGER LET THE CYCLE CONTINUE IN SILENCE I WILL SHOW MY POWER AND THIS IS IT, HEAR IT IS MY VOICE TO SAY NO MORE.

_________________________
Mother of the kingdom of silence I have obeyed you long enough!!!

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#354109 - 02/19/11 12:50 AM Re: Does it help to confront &/or forgive your abuser? [Re: Malidin41]
RecoveryReady1 Offline


Registered: 12/05/10
Posts: 433
A loving God.....Awesome....

very moving, thanks for sharing that...

Steve


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