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#440339 - 07/07/13 11:55 PM So, how are you to feel if he does die.
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 767
Loc: upper south
hmmmm. I sort of just feel odd. I spoke with my elderly mother tonight and she informed me that the cousin who lead me down the path at four, and so forth and so on.... well, it seems his health is failing rather quickly. He has become bedfast. His cancer is beginning what is probably its final stage. I'm sure he has a few weeks to go though. Momma began to speak with compassion, but when I didn't respond in kind and just asked, "So, where does he live now?" she answered and changed the subject quickly.

She knows I remember. She is afraid to mention it, but she knows I remember. I could tell.

The odd feeling is from almost a feeling of nothing. I don't know how I am to feel. Should I be sad and run visit and send him into eternity with remorse by just saying, "I remember, asshole." or with forgiveness, "I forgive you asshole." I won't do either. But I don't want to carry anymore guilt regarding him.

Its the greatest gift we survivors have... bring it all in and make me responsible.

Maybe I should visit and wish him well. I just don't know. I was warned some time ago on MS that I would have to face this at one time or another. But hey, he's not gone yet, so maybe i should just wait until that happens and then think about it. If I don't get it right this time, I have a couple more older guys who had me that I can deal with again when they die.

This isn't true. It is incredibly upsetting to me. Upsetting enough that tears started as I got to this point.

You know, if just one of these main three guys said, "b, I am so sorry for what I did to you as a kid/adult", I am certain the forgiveness would be theirs. I know I could give them that. But none of them has ever said, I'm sorry or expressed remorse. Not one. So I am wondering now, how is it, or why is it, that the victim of the sexual assaults is left not only with holding a lifetime of the bulk of the aftermath pain, but seems also to be readily available to claim eternal pain as well. Is that fucked up or what?

It's not to be my burden. It was/is his. To all of them. It is not my burden. Thats what I have to remind myself.
_________________________
For now we see through a glass, darkly.



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#440353 - 07/08/13 09:38 AM Re: So, how are you to feel if he does die. [Re: ThisMan]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3392
Loc: somewhere in Africa
b -

you are in a difficult spot. i don;t know what i'd do in your place. but i know that feeling of nothingness. that is what they treated you like - as if you were worth nothing in yourself.

i didn't have to make that choice of how to act in this situation. the step-dad died unexpectedly when i was in my mid-30s - and i was relieved to never have to see him alive again or speak to him or hear his voice or pretend that everything was normal between us. i could just deal with my own feelings - when i finally started to feel something - and not have to do any give and take or relating.

i don't know which is better or worse - it is terrible either way - probly doesn't make much difference. maybe i am just a coward - but i was glad that i didn't have to face him again - i had absolutely NO HOPE that anything would be resolved. i had earlier tried to settle another issue between us - and even apologized to him for something that wasn't my fault - hoping it would bring us together - but unsuccessfully. i got no response at all. later i mourned - not for his death - but for the loss of what never was - a safe and happy and normal childhood.

the other perps were too random and unrelated for me to even have a ghost of a chance of any "closure." yet i always dread visiting my brother because he still lives in the place where it all happened and i am afraid that i will see one of them on the street and... you know how that goes.

only you can decide what to do = and i believe that whatever you do will be the right thing for you. it's not that there are some sort of rules for this situation. if you do go to see him, i will see you as a superhero!!! regardless of what you decide - i wish you grace for the way you treat yourself. you owe them nothing - you deserve to heal in the cleanest and least painful way possible. i - and i am sure, many others here - are with you whatever you do.

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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#440356 - 07/08/13 10:05 AM Re: So, how are you to feel if he does die. [Re: ThisMan]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
TM,

Since its a cousin (not immediate family) and he's about to pass anyway.... you might perhaps consider asking him to apologize to you. Or roundaboutly saying "you and I have unresolved business...." and setting the stage for it. If it goes badly, there won't be too much blowback because he's dying anyway. Either way I don't think perps deserve the privilege of deference to special social circumstances ie weddings, death, etc. What they did is foremost.

Maybe frame it positively: "I could have such good memories of you if only we could resolve this, if you could see that it was wrong. I don't hate you - it is because I don't want there to be lingering hate that I'm giving you the chance to understand this and to do the right thing. Nobody would ever want to hurt a kid on purpose, would they?"

Easy for me to say. But it's an option.

Whatever you do, I believe in you.


Matt

_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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#440361 - 07/08/13 10:40 AM Re: So, how are you to feel if he does die. [Re: ThisMan]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1343
I think it comes down to really being about you, Bill, rather than him. If forgiveness is part of who you are - part of your intrinsic character - then you need to be true to that. On the other hand, if you feel this must be a necessary punctuation mark at the end of a long sentence, then you must tell him what you must.

Everything I say here is only what I have found to be true for me. But I share it, because that is what this place is all about.

Mark Twain said it perfectly: Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds upon the heel that has crushed it.

Ultimately, our reactions - forgiveness included - reflect more about what is inside of us than what was done to us. The forgiveness is not about the heel, it is about what comes out of the violet. Just be true to your deepest self, and that is the most appropriate final word you can possibly give - because it comes from a part of you deep enough that it never got tarnished by what he did to you. That is your truest strength.

Even as children when we were being abused, that same truth applied. He reached in and took the nectar of my youth. I responded and for years afterwards felt only shame and embarrassment that my body returned to him the pleasures he took, until I realized that I was just a violet - like everyone here. Like that violet, my body forgave him on every trespass because that was all that was within me for him to take. And he left ME holding - as you put it - the burden of his crimes. But holding his crimes did not mean I owned them. And in holding them, I learned I was stronger than him - since he could not own those crimes himself. The rest is just time, which ultimately sifts justice properly over the passing years. Forgiveness is along the same continuum as the abuse - but merely an endpoint. And that is what YOU get to define. YOU have the final word. Perhaps just knowing that you have out-survived him in so many ways is enough. Perhaps just to stand there and let him see you standing tall and healthy is the only statement you need to share with him. Perhaps having him see you turn and walk away while he withers is the best thing you could possibly say. Perhaps. My truths may not be yours.

Another quote worth thinking about is attributed to Thomas Jefferson, although I remember first reading it in Kennedy's Profiles in Courage where I believe he attributed it to Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri: When the Lord puts His hand on a man's shoulder, I take mine off. Are you a religious person? I am not, but am very respectful of those who are. If you are, then perhaps you can find peace in just letting God handle it from here.

I have mentioned very little about my meeting with my abuser last April. I suppose I will end up telling it in snippets like this, buried in other threads, doled out in pieces appropriate to share with others in similar predicaments. It is not meant to hijack this thread in any way - in fact I think my experiences can apply to you.

In that meeting - where I was given controlled, guarded access to him in a highly secure psychiatric facility - I thought I would be able to vent some anger, let him know how much he hurt me and my sister - and no doubt all the other little girls he touched. Yet when I walked in there, looked into his eyes for the first time since he last molested me, and saw a broken man aged far beyond his years, I just could not. The words just stopped in my throat, the venom never spat. Perhaps like that Jefferson quote, I realized on some intrinsic level that vengeance had already been wrought. The dragon that once breathed fire now could not even produce a puff of smoke. The man who so thoroughly consumed us as children was himself consumed by the smoldering nastiness of his own affliction.

And I followed my heart and let that be. I needed to say nothing more - I had my answer, and he had his. I stepped back out into a cleansing light of bright sun and blue sky, and he stayed locked up in cold storage.

Quote:
So I am wondering now, how is it, or why is it, that the victim of the sexual assaults is left not only with holding a lifetime of the bulk of the aftermath pain, but seems also to be readily available to claim eternal pain as well. Is that fucked up or what?

It's not to be my burden. It was/is his. To all of them. It is not my burden.

Sometimes in life we are asked to bear much we do not deserve. I would imagine that I know this as deeply as anyone here. But that does not define us. What does is how we carry it. Grace is the final word.

I can only share my own feelings, thoughts and experiences, but I hope that helps you, Bill.
_________________________



Click my pic to see why I'm here

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#440365 - 07/08/13 10:53 AM Re: So, how are you to feel if he does die. [Re: ThisMan]
CafeMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/18/13
Posts: 150
Loc: Chicago
Interesting situation. I often thought that we carry the burden based on what others did to us. Their deviant acts make us go through a lifetime of emotional roller coasters. Yet, we have to figure out how to stay strong and move forward.

Your post made me wonder if my abuser was to die, how would I react. For certain, I would not shed a tear. However, I would say a prayer for his soul. It may sound odd. I am at a point where I'm tired of hating or feeling bitter.

I never was a bitter person. I've had moments of experiencing pain, etc. But I guess I cannot go through life being an emotionally worse person than my abuser. That's not the message I want to experience due to all this stuff. And by letting go of certain issues, I can be more at peace with myself.

I don't care about the complex, materialistic world anymore. The only thing I want more than anything is to experience peace. Nothing more and nothing less. Am I at peace with myself? Well, to a certain point, but I know I have ways to go . . . One day I will experience the pure joy of life the way I experienced it before my abuse. Because everything comes back to full circle. So in the end, despite my depression, anger, fits, etc., I know that I'll be fine. So that helps me to a certain degree.

All my best to you . . . Nick

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#440370 - 07/08/13 12:03 PM Re: So, how are you to feel if he does die. [Re: ThisMan]
bodyguard8367 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""
Bill,

(((Bill))),

Perspective is everything.

I compare your abusers to my family who hurt me badly.

THIRTY YEARS AGO.

They haven't apologized because they are not going to. I used to think that they would have to accept the truth if I proved it. If I gathered enough evidence it would help. It doesn't.

For thirty years I hoped and prayed for a change. BUT I always looked at them.

I am getting the hoped for and prayed for change, but THEY aren't changing, I am. I have learned that the most important thing about my abuse history isn't how severe it was, but the amazing fact that I survived. It isn't important WHO did these things to me, it is important that I became willing to live in TODAY. (which by the way is thirty years into the future of where I used to have my zipcode).

Talk it over with a T, see if they agree that your past isn't a blueprint for your future.

I hope this helps a little.

Love Geoff

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#440435 - 07/09/13 07:37 AM Re: So, how are you to feel if he does die. [Re: ThisMan]
Lancer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
My immediate response to your post, TM, is that it's not a matter of how you SHOULD feel. You feel the way you feel. There's no right or wrong.

My perp died in 98 and I was unaware of it until almost 15 years later. What I learned well after the fact was that his life really went into the crapper, lost his family and ostensibly died alone in a neighboring state. What I took from that was that he created his own karma...and it had nothing to do with any sense of revenge I might have had. It was completely out of my hands.

Perhaps a little more similar to your current situation, the Mommybitch abuser is approaching 90 and I'm waiting for her to kick off or (Wizard of Oz reference) for a house to fall on her. I suppose my approach the past 20-25 years has had less to do with her and more to do with me. I cut her off. I was able to share my story with a couple relatives who now have the full perspective.

You've heard me before on this, TM, but I'll share for those who haven't. Forgiveness just isn't in the equation for me. In the case of the Mommybitch, I understand the dynamic. That's all Lancer needs. Her behavior at the time - and since - was/is outrageous, selfish, etc. And, like my perp, she's reaping her own karma. Has nothing to do with me.

My satisfaction is that I haven't had to do a thing except take care of Lancer. That meant cutting the bitch off because she was toxic. Whether or not she gets it isn't my problem. It's not up to me to set her straight, likely just an exercise in futility anyway. No pay off. Anecdotally, she's continued to badmouth me with falsehoods, twisted stories, etc. Phine. The stories say more about her than they do about me. I'm not defined by her opinion. Today there are much better people in my life who don't have her pattern.

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#440446 - 07/09/13 09:37 AM Re: So, how are you to feel if he does die. [Re: Lancer]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1343
I smell a consensus brewing...

Originally Posted By: Eirik
The dragon that once breathed fire now could not even produce a puff of smoke. The man who so thoroughly consumed us as children was himself consumed by the smoldering nastiness of his own affliction.

And I followed my heart and let that be. I needed to say nothing more - I had my answer, and he had his. I stepped back out into a cleansing light of bright sun and blue sky, and he stayed locked up in cold storage.

Originally Posted By: Lancer
...his life really went into the crapper, lost his family and ostensibly died alone in a neighboring state. What I took from that was that he created his own karma...and it had nothing to do with any sense of revenge I might have had. It was completely out of my hands.

And Matt, this was awesome:

Originally Posted By: Soccer STAR!
Maybe frame it positively: "I could have such good memories of you if only we could resolve this, if you could see that it was wrong. I don't hate you - it is because I don't want there to be lingering hate that I'm giving you the chance to understand this and to do the right thing. Nobody would ever want to hurt a kid on purpose, would they?"
_________________________



Click my pic to see why I'm here

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#440459 - 07/09/13 01:32 PM Re: So, how are you to feel if he does die. [Re: ThisMan]
concerned_husky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/12
Posts: 586
ThisMan,

I would think that at this point, you are trying to reconcile a very peculiar dichotomy - on the one hand, the hatred, anger, pain and suffering you've felt at the hands of your abuser, and on the other, perhaps compassion, but more likely hope. It is a dichotomy that brings forth a wide range of intense and conflicting emotions that can send one to the brink of madness. If I'm understanding the situation correctly, I think it's natural you may be trying to escape it by feeling nothing.

I'm only going to add my two cents here, because as others have mentioned before, I would not know what to do in your situation. Only you can make the best decision. I would imagine confronting him, whatever happens, may give you a sense of closure - he may (though unlikely) apologize, or he may unleash the arsenal of defenses that abusers tend to hold for themselves (denial, minimization, blaming, deflecting etc.) Perhaps the fact that he is now near death has somewhat changed your expectations of him - that somehow in his last moments he might change, that he might express remorse for what he has done, and free you from your hatred. As much as I'd wish that was the case, I would advise caution against such hopes.

Whatever happens, I wish that it will bring to you some form of peace.
_________________________
Husky

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#440463 - 07/09/13 02:11 PM Re: So, how are you to feel if he does die. [Re: ThisMan]
1islandboy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 859
Loc: washington
TM,

I can't give you any advice, nor am I qualified. All I can really do, is tell you, the similar parts of my story.

After, intensive counseling it finally came out. My T tried to help my embrace the situation, by informing me that that was "then" and this is "now", and back then he had all the power and now you do. It is totally your decision, what happens if or when, he decides to make contact.

A lot people have different views on this, and I honor those views. For me, having this resentment was like drinking the poison and expecting "him" to die. (and ironically enough I still had a hard time giving up the poison. Forgiveness, was simply a bridge I could not cross. But. somewhere along the way, I came to a point of half way crossing that bridge where I could pardon him as a person, without pardoning the act.

My uncle had a great sense of humor> And things like that and the good parts of him, will always be clouded by what he did to me. I probably have told myself a thousand times, that I don't own one ounce of shame, and by forgiving him, I honor that fact.

There was nothing that he could ever say or do, that was going to make any difference. An apology would never "unring" the bell. He simply doesn't have the power to fix what once was his, "and then broken" toy. (At best,he might clear his conscience). There was simply, nothing in it for me.

My conclusion, was to to have no contact and let him die in his own shame. (he was, in essence, already dead to me).

You have all the power now (and whatever it is that you decide)...

I honor your decision.


The Child is Gone (Fiona Apple)~and~Goodbye to Jane (Antichrisis)

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

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