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#464128 - 04/15/14 06:01 PM Forgiveness & the toughest 16 inches *trigger*
I Want 2 Thrive Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 79
Loc: Florida, U.S.A
I have been in therapy for over 20 years now. I almost slugged a therapist who told me I needed to "forgive" my abuser back in 99. Four years ago, when my preacher asked if I would step forward as a deacon candidate, I initially said no. He pressed me for a reason why. I told him about my journey in CSA. He told me my journey, was not a negative, it gave our small church a knowledge base that he could not provide. When my candidacy went before the congregation I told them of the abuse in broad strokes. I received nothing but love and support.

I recently made the "mistake" of telling my preacher, I wish I came forward in 74 instead of 88, and I felt responsible for every single one of Thomas's subsequent victims. If I only had the courage to stand up and speak. My preacher told me my therapist had been correct in 1999, that I needed to forgive Thomas, not for him but for me. He went one step further by telling me I needed to forgive one other person, myself. I asked him forgive myself for WHAT! He replied feeling guilty about surviving. He told me I was a good man, if wasn't I would not be hurting so badly for the other victims (I hate that word). He reminded me evil existed long before I entered this mortal coil, and will survive my eventual departure from it.

How do I forgive the man who sold me as a whore, to so many? What kind of hypocrite am I? My head knows my preacher is right, but my heart... It is the longest sixteen inches in creation, the distance from the head to the heart.
_________________________
Izzy

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind" C.S. Lewis
My Story: Short / Long version. *TRIGGERS*

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#464142 - 04/16/14 01:22 AM Re: Forgiveness & the toughest 16 inches *trigger* [Re: I Want 2 Thrive]
TheBobcatAgain Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 506
Loc: AZ, U.S.A.
This is just my opinion. I'm no expert, just another survivor.

I've heard some survivors say that forgiving their abuser(s) gave them a little peace of mind. I've also heard other survivors say the opposite - allowing themselves to hate what their abuser(s) did gave them some relief.

Which is the right choice? I think that's for each one of us to decide for ourselves.

I would like to add something: you said that your recovery was a "journey". I agree. But I think your journey should be at your pace, not someone else's. If you want to get to the point where you forgive your abuser(s) - and I agree you should do it for YOU, not for them - then it should be when YOU feel ready, not when others feel you are ready.

Again, just my opinion. Hope it helps you, bro.

Take care, and welcome to MS.

Bobcat
_________________________
You don't have to be perfect to be wonderful.

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#464146 - 04/16/14 07:14 AM Re: Forgiveness & the toughest 16 inches *trigger* [Re: I Want 2 Thrive]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1550
Izzy

Many talk about forgiveness. I believe the first person you need to forgive is yourself--the guilt and shame the abuse left me with created this secret, and silence can be controlling and destructive. With much pain and hurt, I began to forgive myself. It was a slow process, my first public disclosure was accidental, I thought I was posting to a private site on Facebook. The outpouring of love and support was overwhelming, quite the opposite treatment I received from a few I initially told--their treatment and reactions set me back and served to silence me. But the accidental posting, after I recovered from the shock of my "mistake" made me realize there are more good and loving people in this world. I continued to tell others and the reactions were the same except for a few who judged without knowing facts. I did not let the reactions of a few set me back. I forgave myself for my silence, it nearly destroyed me.

As for forgiving the abuser, I believe it is quite difficult. Once I overcame the shame and forgave myself I had a neutral feeling towards my abuser and abuse. I learned revenge and hate only eats at a person, making the individual incapable to truly live instead they are held captive to the past. Will I ever forgive I do not know, but I no longer let him or the abuse control my life--this puts the abuser and abuse in a neutral place--void of negative emotions.

It took time, pain and talking to many from doctors, therapists, Jesuit priest, wise regular people, people in the Diocese where the abuse occurred and finally myself. This is how I have learned to live with the past and not let the past keep me in the past.

Does the lack of negative emotions and feelings toward the abuse and abuser mean I have forgiven-I really do not know the answer because I do not believe my emotions toward the abuse and abuser were voluntary or intentional but rather evolved over time and self discovery.

Kevin

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#464155 - 04/16/14 12:55 PM Re: Forgiveness & the toughest 16 inches *trigger* [Re: I Want 2 Thrive]
On The Fringe Offline


Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
Vengeance is mine says The Lord.

I have turned it over as any vengeance is for God to do. Not that I forgot....

It helps me not be bitter on a personal level a bit.
_________________________
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

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#464179 - 04/16/14 07:17 PM Re: Forgiveness & the toughest 16 inches *trigger* [Re: I Want 2 Thrive]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3018
Loc: O Kanada
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#464187 - 04/16/14 08:41 PM Re: Forgiveness & the toughest 16 inches *trigger* [Re: I Want 2 Thrive]
I Want 2 Thrive Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 79
Loc: Florida, U.S.A
Thank you Victor. Much to think / pray on.
_________________________
Izzy

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind" C.S. Lewis
My Story: Short / Long version. *TRIGGERS*

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#464610 - 04/26/14 06:19 PM Re: Forgiveness & the toughest 16 inches *trigger* [Re: I Want 2 Thrive]
OCN Offline


Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 217
Loc: Western Europe
It remains a great read with lots to think about! Thanks for sharing your story and insights Victor and all who have contributed!
_________________________
Trust me, you are worth it to love yourself!

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