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#49361 - 02/18/06 06:48 AM Forgiveness...for the abusers?
melliferal Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/03/05
Posts: 1159
I've heard or read it suggested, in some non-CSA cases involving a victim versus a perpetrator, that one necessary component of a victim's finding peace of mind is to forgive the perpetrator. This advice, it seems, is put forth by some very established psychologists or therapist. Does this reasoning apply to CSA? Do I have to forgive my abusers? I don't know. But I'll tell you one thing - I really don't think so.

As long as you don't let it consume your every waking moment, I don't think a grudge is necessarily a bad thing. Maybe my life hasn't been a walk in the park, but I take something a little like comfort in the idea that maybe my perps' lives have been a little worse.

I don't think I mentioned it here, but I spent the last week of this past January in Las Vegas. I was attending a science/skepticism conference. I was given some help, money-wise, by friends I had only known online. I met them, and met other people I've admired for much of my life. I had so much fun - and it didn't occur to me until quite lately, but I don't think I thought about abuse, or my perpetrators, even once for the whole entire week. You think my perpetrators can go a whole week without humoring their paranoia? Think they'll ever forget about what they did? Ever stop wondering just how much evidence is left that they didn't get rid of, or wondering if that new program really wipes their hard drive's data beyond recovery? Or wondering whether their new online "associate" is actually a cop in disguise? Wondering if they will ever be able to trust anybody for the rest of their lives? Gods, they must be miserable. I could almost feel sorry for them...but I don't. In fact, it almost gives me a sort of comfort. In a way, a child abuser is like a Slinky. For all intents and purposes they're useless; but somehow, seeing one get pushed down the stairs just makes you feel good.

So no, I haven't forgiven my perps - I don't see myself doing so, and I don't see it being necessary. Maybe one day I'll change my mind about that, but as things stand right now, I'm fairly resolved. They say that to forgive is divine - well, maybe. But I'm not a god, nor do I particularly aspire to be one. And my refusal to forgive my perpetrators may not make me a "better man". But it makes me a happy man. And the way I see it, there's enough other things that make me a better man than my perps, that I don't mind allowing myself this one tiny little sin.

_________________________
Children cannot consent; they can only comply.

Oprah's resources for male survivors

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#49362 - 02/18/06 09:43 AM Re: Forgiveness...for the abusers?
Whicker Offline
Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 117
Loc: Pastures of Oregon
Forgive?

Never.

I only wish that, one day, I cross paths with them again. I've always wondered how difficult it would be to tear a human body apart, barehanded?

Whicker

_________________________
Esse Quam Videri
(To be, rather than to seem)

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#49363 - 02/18/06 02:48 PM Re: Forgiveness...for the abusers?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Melliferal,

My own view is that what adult abusers do to children is beyond forgiveness - well beyond. I don't see me forgiving the man who molested me for four years. He was feasting on other boys the same time he was abusing me, and so far as I know he continued to the time of his death in 1994.

I don't consider myself a cruel, unforgiving or bitter man. If I encountered an abuser who was willing to take responsibility for what he had done and showed genuine regret and contrition, that might be something else. Personally, I also find it difficult to fault a young or teenaged abuser, who himself has probably been abused and is acting out what he has been taught about himself.

At the same time, I have learned to stop investing precious emotional resources in the man who abused me. I have raged and thrown fits lots of times, but now I am done. He simply isn't worth it. I need my resources to heal myself and make up for opportunities lost in the past because of abuse. I choose to become a happy and integrated person who can give and receive love without pain and trauma, and that takes a lot of work.

I have learned to invest only this much in fretting about the abuser - nothing. Today I am back in the States and will go see his grave, but that is only to show Little Larry that he really is gone and that there is nothing more to fear. His power over me is gone and I am through with him forever. Or at least, that is the goal I am aiming for.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#49364 - 02/18/06 08:08 PM Re: Forgiveness...for the abusers?
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
how can anyone forgive without somehow saying hey it wasnt that bad i forgive you ,bullshit it was that bad! forgiving implies that i somehow understand what my perp did ,i'll never understand nor do i want to. to me it almost means taking some of the blame ,you know ? like saying well maybe i shouldnt have trusted my perp so easy if i hadnt then he would not have been tempted by me. maybe he just couldnt help it ,was my innocence my fault ?i dont think so adam

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

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#49365 - 02/18/06 08:13 PM Re: Forgiveness...for the abusers?
ak Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/10/04
Posts: 1491
I do not believe forgiveness is at all necessary to healing. To think of it, our healing has nothing to do with our abusers. It is OURS. Yes, their actions make it necessary, but how we heal, it is has nothing to do with them, because it is not for them, it is for us. Why allow them to have any further control on us, specially in such a way to direct how we get better of things?

I had four abusers. One is dead now, and I regret that. I wish I could told him before he died that I give him forgiveness, because I know, somehow, just that he is decent man inside. Why he did what he do with me, I don't know, but I know he is decent. I just do. One is in prison, and I hope forever, because he is most close thing to real evil I can think of. But one, the one who 'arrange' the others to abuse me, and abuse me himself, he was one I was most afraid of still. And I forgave him, and told him I forgive him, last year. It was unreal thing, sometime I still can not believe I did that. But even that, face to face with him, it was for me, not for him. Him and his needs, him and his feelings, they had nothing to do with it. Recently, I have felt anger at him for one certain thing he do, which I did not do before. But it does not take away from the fact I forgive him, and I would the fourth man also if I know how to find him. Because that is what I felt I wanted and needed for healing. Not because anyone tell me I have to do it. Most people I knew were telling me no, you don't have to do that, and did not want me to.

So forgive for you, IF you want and need to. If not, then do nothing. It is your event, your healing, not theirs.

andrei


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#49366 - 02/19/06 01:23 AM Re: Forgiveness...for the abusers?
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
I would find it very difficult to forgive my own abuser(s) or the abuser of any child. The best I can achieve is to feel sadness for them. Peace, Andrew

_________________________
there is no courage without anxiety

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#49367 - 02/19/06 01:32 AM Re: Forgiveness...for the abusers?
Curtis St. John Offline
Past President
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/20/04
Posts: 1794
Loc: Westchester, N.Y.
Quote:
Weigh the true advantages of forgiveness and resentment to the heart. Then choose.

Forgiveness is primarily for our own sake, so that we no longer carry the burden of resentment. But to forgive does not mean we will allow injustice again.
--the Buddha

I know this is always a touchy subject... when someone suggests forgiveness can help one heal it makes some folks a little angry. Those of you who know me know I would never anger anyone on purpose.

First, let me say that if you spoke to me five years ago I would say, "No way will I even consider forgiving that...[fill in the blank]"

I have forgiven my offender but I didn't forgive him for his sake I did it for me. I am free... I have put my burden down.

You do not have to put your burden down unless you want to or are ready. I am not better then anyone for doing it but nor am I wrong for doing it.

All I am saying is that I'm more care-free then I have ever been in my entire life and part of the reason for this is I have forgiven.


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#49368 - 02/19/06 01:40 AM Re: Forgiveness...for the abusers?
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
My opinion on this will never change!

January 23rd - I went to court fully ready to give evidence against the pervert that groomed and abused me!

This was way back in 1969 - I have lived with it ever since!

I have had one major breakdown, aand several smaller ones because of what he did.

For the last 3 years of my Paternal Grandfather's life, our relationship shifted, and I did not trust him because of what the abuser did. When I went to visit him, I was just waiting to be abused (because everyone did it)!

There were many people over the years that I could not fully trust! Even now if someone does something nice, or says something nice, I have to fight against those silly thoughts that they want something 'more' from me than they say!

It's only because I can express how I feel about this to my friends that I am a Survivor. They support me even when my behaviour towards them is so bad (I test, push and challenge their loyalty).

I am healing, but the perv has no role in that!

I can understand that sometimes children will experiment with each other - what saddens me is how they reach that point.

What I can never understand is how an adult can abuse a child. What I mean by that is that you have one person that fully understands what is going on, and one that doesn't, i.e. they think they have just found a nice new friend that cares about them!

My dream is that someday this site will not be required!

Best wishes ...Rik

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

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#49369 - 02/19/06 07:06 AM Re: Forgiveness...for the abusers?
melliferal Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/03/05
Posts: 1159
Unfortunately (or, perhaps quite fortunately), I didn't know my perpetrators for longer than a few months, and I haven't seen them in years. They could be completely different people now - I don't know. They could also be even worse than they were before. Again, I don't know. And as little time as I knew them, I couldn't even make a guess. All I have to go on is what happened during those few months - a purposeful and protracted scheme to break down our inhibitions and get us to do what they wanted without telling anyone on the "outside" about it. It was sinister and intentional. And it worked, of course, but that's neither here nor there. It's this "intention" and premeditation which leads me to believe that there is no decency within these people. And to attack the defenseless shows that they are just as lacking in honor. Again, perhaps I saw something that was, in fact, a temporary stage. Perhaps they are true role models now. Perhaps they are time-traveling robots from Saturn. All I know is what I know. And what I know is that they were fully aware that what they were doing was wrong, and they did it anyway. They were aware enough to take steps to prevent discovery. They were also aware that what they wanted us to do was, as far as kids' behavior is concerned, unnatural enough that some conditioning was necessary to get us to do it. Get what I'm saying? There was just too much planning involved here. That's what prevents me from deeming these people worthy of the dignity of forgiveness, whether that forgiveness is really just "for me", or otherwise.

So, I suppose one could say I "hate" them. But it's not the rage-filled emotionally-charged storm kind of hate - I don't have a photo on my dartboard or anything, and I don't have daydreams about meeting them while having a baseball bat handy. They're villains, scoundrels - unworthy even of what little consideration I give them. If my heart were the sun, they would be sunspots - dark regions of (relatively) cold nothingness, isolated, while the rest of the surface burns brightly all around them. If I were asked to describe my feeling, I wouldn't so much call it "hate" as maybe contempt. How can I forgive someone from such a position? I can't - at least not now. As I said in my initial post, someday that might change. I'm not so foolish as to think that's impossible. But as it stands now, it's not happening.

Meanwhile, don't think I look down or misunderstand those who do decide to forgive. They're just at a point I'm not at yet. Maybe that point isn't "higher" or "lower" on the "healing scale" than where I am now - maybe it's sort of sideways, if that makes sense.

_________________________
Children cannot consent; they can only comply.

Oprah's resources for male survivors

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#49370 - 02/19/06 10:21 AM Re: Forgiveness...for the abusers?
Morning Star Offline
Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1124
Loc: Home
Today, I am at a juncture where I can say that yes I have forgiven, but I reached here only when I decided that to really move I had to forgive, or should I say, I bored carrying the emotional baggage and hurts from my abuse, so I decided to chuck it all out, one day and moved one free.In fact that was the most selfish act I have ever done.

But more important than that was to forgive myself, because till I did that my forgiving others was just a lip service. I really had a deep seated resentment against myself, just as I continued to hated others whom I had supposedly forgiven.

For I still balmed myself for all of it. and when I learned to forgive myself, I learned to forgive my abusers.

Just as love real foregiveness begins with forgiving one self first.

_________________________
~ It's over!...Let go of Thy Past, Remember Thy Self ~

Why Don't People Heal, by Caroline Myss; 30 days to clean up your vibrations - Abraham-Hicks

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