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#384444 - 02/05/12 11:22 AM An abuser's apology? Survivor input, please!
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
In a recent post, a survivor said that a perpetrator should never ask for forgiveness...?

This confuses me, and I wonder, for the sake of the person who received this statement (and her survivor), if survivors would please provide input?

Assuming an apology is sincere, remorseful and given with the intention of assuming responsibility for wrongs done and absolving the victim of any and all responsibility:

- Isn't an apology something ALL abusers should offer?

- Would a sincere apology have helped relieve you of your own misplaced shame and guilt?

- If your abuser would offer a sincere apology now that you are an adult, would it help you?

_________________________


For I know the plans I have made for you. Plans to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11


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#384448 - 02/05/12 12:26 PM Re: An abuser's apology? Survivor input, please! [Re: herowannabe]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1782
I think this is a very good question. I do not know if I want to hear one--abusers rob one of their life, create pain and loss of self. How sincere can such an apology be if one must seek the apology from the abuser, the abuser does not come forward unless confronted, is it fear that drives the apology or is it sincerity?

Abusers in my mind tend to see themselves as doing no wrong, denial rules their life, and they rationalize their acts as not causing harm to someone--especially when repeat over and over.

I don't know if I would believe the abuser and fear more memories would come to the surface--. I have spoken with some victims who have received an apology but they said it did little to heal and some felt worse because they did not believe the apology to be sincere.

I hope to hear what others have to say.


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#384451 - 02/05/12 01:36 PM Re: An abuser's apology? Survivor input, please! [Re: KMCINVA]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3621
Loc: South-East Europe
This is hard question. Let me say that answer depends on many things. Firstly it depends on damage done to victim by abuse. And secondly on ability of abuser to see proportion of his misbehavior and consequences left to victim. Additionally it depends on possibility of abuser to feel some empathy to victims and to feel grief for his wrongdoings - this is something that I'm not sure that is usually possible. Otherwise abuse would never happen.
I'm not sure that apology can do anything if it is not honest. And in such case it is in my humble opinion very difficult for victim to know...
Abuse is always very destructive action and victim needs for own survival much more than one apology can offer...

_________________________
My story

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#384453 - 02/05/12 02:08 PM Re: An abuser's apology? Survivor input, please! [Re: herowannabe]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Originally Posted By: herowannabe
In a recent post, a survivor said that a perpetrator should never ask for forgiveness...?

This confuses me, and I wonder, for the sake of the person who received this statement (and her survivor), if survivors would please provide input?

Assuming an apology is sincere, remorseful and given with the intention of assuming responsibility for wrongs done and absolving the victim of any and all responsibility:

- Isn't an apology something ALL abusers should offer?

- Would a sincere apology have helped relieve you of your own misplaced shame and guilt?

- If your abuser would offer a sincere apology now that you are an adult, would it help you?


Great question.

1. He and she is dead. I hope they died violently.

2. Nope. Glad they are dead so I didn't have to kill both of them.

3. Nope. Glad they are dead so I didn't have to kill both of them.

Note: I'll forgive my sperm donor for his child abuse when he's dead.

I forgave them when I found out they were dead. Good riddance. Some survivors might find it helpful. Maybe if it was just a short time after. If they found out after a long time like me (23 years later now 40 and I never got any help but here at MS), I don't know if it helps. Survivors like me look at the cost of what they did. If it didn't cost as much and help was a short time after, I think it might. Yeah, they should make an effort to apologize and realize most would wish them dead or a life in prison.

No offense at all -- Ask yourself this question: if you were raped last week and the rapist apologized, would it matter much? Sick question but it makes it relevant. That question also tells how bad CSA is. I think you know that already since you have a husband struggling with it. Keep it up, your hubby is lucky to have you. Peace.

_________________________
Phoenix

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

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#384480 - 02/05/12 07:00 PM Re: An abuser's apology? Survivor input, please! [Re: phoenix321]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3509
Loc: somewhere in Africa
I would have welcomed any apology from any of the half dozen or so active abusers and at least that many passive enablers/accessories/collaborators. Even if it were self-serving and insincere, it would show me that they know that what they did was wrong and see the need to at least pretend to be remorseful about it. It would acknowledge that i am a person with feelings and rights and that those were violated. I know that it would also be an excruciatingly painful thing to receive, whether genuine or not.

Lee

_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#384481 - 02/05/12 07:35 PM Re: An abuser's apology? Survivor input, please! [Re: traveler]
americasjim Offline


Registered: 02/05/12
Posts: 2
My experience in recovery is I shouldn't expect my abuser to ever approach me again especially if he is also in recovery. Many learn not to seek amends of those they hurt because it could hurt them more to be approached, called or contacted.

My question is: I have forgiven my perpetrator and lately I've considered contacting him to let him know. I woke up yesterday and it was on my mind. I told him I forgive you, I bless you, I release you and I'd like to encourage you to do whatever it takes to make sure you're connected with God.

Any thoughts?


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#384525 - 02/05/12 11:34 PM Re: An abuser's apology? Survivor input, please! [Re: americasjim]
Castle Offline


Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 734
Loc: NJ
An Apology and asking forgiveness are two totally different things.

Ill just use an example thats close to the reason I said what I said.

Lets say you have a survivor whom also is a perpetrator, whom acted out against his sister for multipe years in the teen years. In this example, the "offending survivor" goes to his sister adn asks for "forgiveness".

The sister might feel preasure to forgive her brother for what he did even if she doesn't want to:

a) Parental pressure to "fix" or "bring" the family back together.

b) feel thats she needs to give the forgiveness so her brother can heal from his abuse.

c) not far enough in her process to know if she wants to give forgiveness and then feel badly down her road for giving something she doesnt either feel or has a different feeling twords.

Further....He could write her a letter or offer her a sincere apology via another method, where he takes full blame for the actions that he did, and things he doesnt even knows that effec her....What he cant do is ask her for forgiveness...That is for the survivor to offer for THEM, how and when and if ever.

the offender has no right to ask for or put the survivor in the position of "giving" forgiveness.

I'm not big on forgiveness, it cant change what i deal with..I do totally understand and Im sure Ill hear about the fact that forgiveness is for uss and that holding a grudge or resentment only hurts us....It's an interesting complex, perplexing issue for sure...I'm also not much for an apology, again it won't help me much with issues and I feel it would be more for him than for me... but I would like an acknowledgment of abuse and wrong doing...I think I would read an apology, if it ever came LOL almost 2 years and counting, but I'd much rather hear "I take responsibility for the abuse I inflicted to you, and all the associated effects known and otherwise, unknown...It was always my fault, and I take full responsibility"

Language as aways is very important.

BTW...the "not allowed to ask for forgiveness" thing, Isn't something I just pulled out of the air, it came from a very good T who sees both survivors and offenders.

_________________________

My posts can self destruct at any time..read them while you can.

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#384548 - 02/06/12 07:27 AM Re: An abuser's apology? Survivor input, please! [Re: Castle]
misscrespo Offline


Registered: 12/15/10
Posts: 45
i've asked my partner if she would sincerely apologize, would he take it? He said NO. he said he wants to see her on her knees begging for forgiveness, but a) he knows that aint gonna happen anytime soon and b) it will never be enough. he will live the rest of his life dealing with her abuse and others, and she thinks she can get away with an apology?furthermore he has tried to make her apologize and all he got was an insincere, half apology on which she refused to take responsibility for many of the things he wanted her to apologize. So, would an apology be ok now? NO WAY!! he says. I can easily see his point. even if she was honest, does her behavior deserve forgiveness? I HIGHLY DOUBT IT. somethings are just beyond it.


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#384556 - 02/06/12 08:22 AM Re: An abuser's apology? Survivor input, please! [Re: misscrespo]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1782
I cannot agree more. Castle makes an excellent point about an apology and forgiveness. Abuse is probably one of the most horrendous acts against another person. I believe abusers, be it sexual, physical or emotional abuse, all have a need to hurt, control and cannot recognize the destructive and devastating effects the abuse has on the victim. The abuser continues with their lives as though they have done nothing wrong, making the victim guilty and pushing the victim to hide the abuse or escape into a world that the victim believes will eliminate the abuse and pain. So how can an apology from someone with these mental defects be capable of extending a sincere apology. Even if an apology is made forgiveness of destroying the human soul and spirit is something one cannot forget--forgiveness can be given for many actions, but for abuse when one's life is altered and destroyed, is something I cannot fathom.


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#384558 - 02/06/12 08:42 AM Re: An abuser's apology? Survivor input, please! [Re: herowannabe]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
Originally Posted By: herowannabe
.... Would a sincere apology have helped relieve you of your own misplaced shame and guilt? If your abuser would offer a sincere apology now that you are an adult, would it help you?


no. and no.

and here is the reason: "IF" my rapist had cornered me in his kitchen and only had just started his molestation process but pulled away when i was hitting him to get off me.... and he backed off as i ran away, and then later or the next day whatever, he apologized and said he was a terrible person and was wrong and sincerely sorry etc. etc. then, yes under such a circumstance i could see myself coming to the conclusion "yeah, ok, forgiven, whatever -- stay away from me."

but when a man plans months and years to calculatingly prime his prey for exactly the right moment to go in for the kill -- and acts on it and gets his jollies, no. there is absolutely nothing he can say or do that changes the outcome, in my view.

_________________________
Jeff

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