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#465780 - 05/25/14 03:05 PM Need help\advice apologizing
blockade Offline


Registered: 11/10/13
Posts: 20
Hi guys, I've posted on here before talking about how I'm feeling guilt and shame about acting out on my younger brother. I was much older than him so I feel I truly betrayed him with my actions. I'm really cut up just thinking about what I've passed onto him.

Thing is now I feel like he is remembering the past just as I have recently. I live far away from him currently but can feel a coldness almost when I do be in contact. I really don't know how to act now, I want him to know I'm sorry but I don't know how to breach the subject or if I should maybe just wait for him to bring it up? Waiting might seem like I'm not sorry, whereas bringing the issue to him might affect him even more. I'm just asking for any advice on this very tough to navigate situation.

Thank you

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#465810 - 05/26/14 11:19 AM Re: Need help\advice apologizing [Re: blockade]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1045
This is a tough issue, and usually not one we talk about much here. It is understandable that one could act out and pass along the abuse at a young age before having the understanding of the damage it causes.

The simple answer is that you should bring it up. Tell him you are dealing with your own abuse issues, and that you now remember abusing him, and how sorry you are for hurting him.

Of course, you can't do this from far away. It must be a face-to-face conversation.

Cant
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#465811 - 05/26/14 05:16 PM Re: Need help\advice apologizing [Re: blockade]
onlyakid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 1552
Loc: New Jersey
Blockade,
Can't is correct, it is understandable how a child could act out before he/she knows what the effects are. That being said, you need to be careful so you are prepared for his possible anger. It is probably best if you can talk to a T about this, preferably someone who has CSA experience. My older brother abused me and I have thought about the possibility someone abused him. If my brother were to apologize to me, I personally would probably accept his apology but it may not go that way for you. Again you really need a professional to sort this out and prepare you incase he is not as forgiving.
_________________________
"Being with people that understand you...Priceless"

"and i don't want the world to see me, cause i don't think that they'd understand"

"You don't know what love is...you just do as your told"

"My life has changed. What you take as a simple thing, is not so simple for me anymore"


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#465812 - 05/26/14 05:21 PM Re: Need help\advice apologizing [Re: blockade]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3488
Loc: somewhere in Africa
it is not enough to say you're sorry. i read a book about forgiveness and apologies recently because i felt wronged and wanted to know if i was at fault for not forgiving more easily. i learned that many times an apology is perceived as incomplete or inadequate unless it includes these elements:

there should be an admission of wrongdoing.
the wrong needs to be identified and named and owned.
there should be a recognition that damage was done to the offended person.
the offender should ask what would bring resolution and offer to make restitution.
the offender should ask for forgiveness.

off course, you also need to be as gentle and sensitive of the other person's feelings as possible.

also, be careful not to justify your own actions or give excuses.

i hope this helps,
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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#465819 - 05/26/14 08:09 PM Re: Need help\advice apologizing [Re: blockade]
Castle Offline


Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 733
Loc: NJ
I don't believe the offender has the right to ask for forgiveness...Especially in a first meeting.
That puts too much pressure on the survivor to do something they might not be prepared to do. There have been survivors who forgave thier perpetrator and they were not ready or prepared and were revictimized.....It also takes it away from the survivor, as that forgiveness is more for the offender.

I believe Ken Singer's book addresses some of what you want to know.

I would also look for a T who works with offenders and survived, if available, as they will have the best advice.

I certainly wouldn't do ANYTHING without taking to a qualified therapist.
_________________________

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

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#465821 - 05/26/14 08:15 PM Re: Need help\advice apologizing [Re: blockade]
newground Offline
Chatroom Moderator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 786
Loc: michigan
I would suggest that you do the work with a therapist that you trust if at all possible. often the survivor will confront a perp with the therapist there and I think it may be helpful in this situation as well talk to them ahead of time and talk to brother as well so that he is not totally blindsided. it is a REALLY hard situation but I think it is good that you want to make it right as much as it is possible.
good luck man
Jeff
_________________________
Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
Philip Sidney

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#465840 - 05/27/14 08:12 AM Re: Need help\advice apologizing [Re: Castle]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3488
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Originally Posted By: Castle
I don't believe the offender has the right to ask for forgiveness...Especially in a first meeting.


i would humbly suggest that it is important to ASK for forgiveness - but perhaps not EXPECT it - at least not right away. it may even be a good thing to state that one has no right to forgiveness. in one situation when i had been badly betrayed - that request seemed to swing the balance of power in my favor. i now had something that the offender wanted - that i could either grant or withhold. it helped me to know that he realized that he was in the wrong. without that request, i would not have taken his apology seriously.

maybe that is just my way of thinking, and maybe others feel differently. what is most important is how the victim feels in any given situation.
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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#465843 - 05/27/14 09:15 AM Re: Need help\advice apologizing [Re: traveler]
Castle Offline


Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 733
Loc: NJ
Which is why he should consult a therapist who has experience with these situations.

My first therapist treated both survivors and offenders and suggested that the offender didn't have the right to ask for forgiveness. He also wrote a pretty good book about this topic.

That's not to say forgiveness isn't possible, but it MUST be on the survivors terms...when they are ready and not "forced" into it based on the offenders need to be forgiven.

I think to start, accepting responsibility and telling him you understanding you might have caused him harm and allowing him to process the feelings associated. I'm sure it will be an overwhelming experience, I would want to reflect and figure things out .

You seem genuine in wanting to let your brother heal, keep it about him and maybe you heal at the same time.

The best advise though, is to get the best therapist you can find to work through this process so it's successful for both of you.

I like both Ken Singer and Richard Gartner and know both have had positive experiences working through these issues...it's possible you can get a reference to somebody in your area.
_________________________

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

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#465844 - 05/27/14 09:28 AM Re: Need help\advice apologizing [Re: blockade]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1744
Blockade

This is a very difficult situation. You have admitted what happened and have remorse. I believe you should seek the guidance of a professional who has experience in this area. He/she will be better able to guide you and your brother through the path of accepting and recovery. Your brother too needs support and counseling.

I am sorry for the situation you are facing--first your own abuse and the repeating of the abuse on someone else. I am saddened of your situation and the emotions that you are dealing with but you must take care of yourself in order to help yourself heal and for your brother to heal. However I believe I do not have the experience or knowledge to provide what steps you need to follow, except seek professional support.

I hope you and your brother find healing.

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#465845 - 05/27/14 09:41 AM Re: Need help\advice apologizing [Re: blockade]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1443
A couple of thoughts...

Being "too young" to understand the impact? I truly believe most perps, regardless of age, simply do not understand the damage of their selfish and twisted indulgences. I didn't understand or appreciate the damage my own perp did to me well into my adulthood. And I have a professional degree - so it's not an issue of intelligence. I suspect most perps probably only look as far as their next orgasm - I truly believe that was the case with our neighborhood molester. I don't hold him responsible for not seeing the long term damage. I just hold him responsible for doing something we all knew was wrong. If I was twelve and knew it was wrong - even if I didn't have a clue about long-term damage - he HAD to know it was wrong. He went ahead anyways - and that's just being a pig.

On forgiveness, that is at the power and discretion of the victim. It is not improper for an abuser to ask for it - in fact it shows a realization of the crime and a willingness to apologize. I wish my abuse would ask me to forgive him, because frankly he needs it as much as I need to give it. But the choice of the victim to forgive must be respected absolutely and not questioned. It is perfectly reasonable for the victim to set a bar for the abuser to meet before conferring such forgiveness.
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Eirik




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