Thanks chase. I am surprise how little interest members have in this post. I would have thought many more survivors had confronted their abuser.
t's interesting but one of the reasons I did not disclose this was because I didn't think there would be much interest in my confrontation. So perhaps the lack of response proves my prediction to be true. It's really a bit of an extraordinary measure to take, and one I didn't think many here could relate to - for many reasons. In a lot of cases, their abusers are no longer alive. In some - perhaps most - cases, healing is independent of abuser participation. My path is not really one I would recommend to most survivors, frankly.
did confronting your abuser help you?
t helped me. But not for the reasons one might think. My path through healing has been one which fed upon answers. For many of us, our sense of who we imagined ourselves to become as men became shattered as boys. Therapy for me was all about traveling back into the places of my past I was either afraid to look at, or didn't know how to get to. But I believe it is necessary if we wish to rewrite our roles in life. We are all on a trajectory that started in part in the tents and bedrooms and basements and rectories of our childhood. How can one change the direction of a path without careful study of how it began and wended through one's life? For me, there was no focus on healing itself; the focus is on getting to know myself - and that will tell perhaps who I am meant to be. I believe that CSA survivors are particularly challenged in this area. I can only speak for myself, but the shame of my past kept me distant not only from those I loved, but from myself as well. I suspect that is similar with many here.I
suppose that if someone were to say they wanted to confront for the purposes of berating, belittling or otherwise hurting their perpetrator, I would ask them to rethink it. Again - just what I discovered for myself which may not be true for others - all venting of anger does is release emotion, when in fact the visit should not be about releasing but about taking in - about listening to the reasons, about hearing the apology, about finding those extra pieces of a former life.O
ur confrontation was not one of anger. It was one of discussion. He had answers I needed. And I had forgiveness he needed. It was really as simple as that - a trade, and the ability to finally say goodbye to him in every way. But he was not forthcoming with answers, and as much I was willing to forgive him, he did not rise up to the level required to earn it.I
learned a few things, though. I learned I can actually be strong enough to go ahead and do that - confront him. It was really important to me, because I shrink with authority, and I am bullied quite easily. He was really my first true bully, and standing up to him rewrote that role for me in a very fundamental way. I also got a few answers. I learned how much he paid for his crimes physically, mentally - perhaps legally. He was in psychiatric incarceration, but would not tell me why, and his court records remain sealed by HIPAA laws. But when I told my sister - a co-victim - she was ecstatic about it hearing he was older than his years and locked away.M
y recovery is not just about me. This man molested many other children. I happened to be a favorite - really his only boy in what to him was a neighborhood salad bar of girls - so I have to be very careful not to be selfish. I think of those girls often. I wonder how they are, the secrets they had to grow around, who they had to become. Venting anger - if I felt that was a way to express myself - would be a selfish indulgence that would take no regard of those other victims. This was not something I realized when I visited him, but I learned it afterwards. When I told my sister and saw how happy she was to know he was warehoused away probably for life, it gave her tremendous closure. And I realized that her closure was really mine. I tried and failed to fully protect her when we were kids, so this felt like a belated gift to her, and that caused me to really be at peace with the confrontation, even if it yielded little for me personally.