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#447646 - 09/19/13 02:42 PM Re: Forgiveness...for the abusers? [Re: melliferal]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 5857
Loc: O Kanada



#491732 - 11/23/15 06:20 PM Re: Forgiveness...for the abusers? [Re: melliferal]
gettingstronger Offline

Registered: 09/24/13
Posts: 296
Loc: Virginia
TRIGGER WARNINGS: Suicide reference, among others

I know this is a less-visited thread, but it seems the appropriate place to post.

I had an aunt that loved me very, very dearly. She was alone in my family in that she loved me without any agenda whatsoever. Unlike everyone else in the family, her love wasn't "contingent" on whatever I could do for her, and I can't recall a time when she was the least bit negative with me. I really don't know what I did, but to her I walked on water. Unconditional love.

Now the plot thickens. Or sickens.

I found out from my mom she had been abused over a period of years by my great-grandfather. She and my mom grew up in an alcoholic family where Dad's solution to most things was to hit the kids. Great-grandpa paid for my aunt's singing lessons (she was an amazing Coloratura Soprano) but the price was the abuse.

Flash forward. She married a toad of a man who was madly in love with his mother, even long after they married and had kids. Mommy lived with them, and he beat my aunt, probably raped her, and abused her pretty much any way possible. He and his mom ran the house, including picking out what color the toilet paper was. No, I'm not kidding. My aunt was relegated to her room and stayed stoned on valium, other assorted tranquilizers, and alcohol. She didn't drive or leave the house. He made sure she was well-supplied.

To make things worse, my dearly dysfunctional family chose to take HIS side. You read that right. His. Side. They berated her for the drugs, drinking and so on in every way possible when what they should have done is intervened. She was the bad guy, not her loser of a sick husband.

One day when my cousin and I were both in high school, I received a phone call from him that my aunt was having an "episode" and was locked in her room with a loaded gun on her nightstand, placed there by her loving husband. I raced over there in my car and he and I concocted a plan where we broke the door down and managed to get the gun away from her just before she almost grabbed it. She was making noises that I've never heard a human make before-- I guess you'd call it screaming. Luckily, none of us died that day.

So that's what sort of a man he was.

Why am I posting this, you ask? Well, he took someone away from me who was not only an uncommonly kind person, she worshipped the ground I walked on. And she was the only one in the entire family who seemed to recognize some sort of good in me.

She killed herself about a year later. Thanks to him.

So what about forgiveness for him? Well, I just received word that he died two days ago. I'm still in shock, but now I can finally realize what a pathetic mess that whole situation was, and now my cousins and I can heal and move on. He's gone now.

I don't have the energy to bear ill will towards him. He's not worth it. So I don't know if any of this counts as "forgiveness" for a real louse of a person, but it's nice to finally have him out of the picture. One of my cousins has been his enabler since my aunt died, and God willing, she can start to heal.

So I suppose "forgiveness" is a very broad term, but I'll settle for "you're out of my hair now, and we can all start to move toward normal." It's a start.


Edited by gettingstronger (11/23/15 10:57 PM)
Edit Reason: clarity
I'm normal. What happened to me wasn't.

#491734 - 11/23/15 08:58 PM Re: Forgiveness...for the abusers? [Re: melliferal]
SmartShadow Offline

Registered: 11/27/12
Posts: 217
Loc: USA
People of the Lie. Scott Peck (a book on what real evil is) it's like you lifted it from the book.

Yes, good for you to see so clearly. Forgivness in your case may be a tool for thowes who have lost perspective. You clearly have not.

Edited by SmartShadow (11/23/15 09:01 PM)

#491760 - 11/24/15 02:50 PM Re: Forgiveness...for the abusers? [Re: melliferal]
zip14 Offline

Registered: 03/20/14
Posts: 72
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I guess I can't forgive. Otherwise I likely would not have pursued a criminal complaint after all these years.

When I see him in court I wonder if I will want to kick him or scream at him. I don't know. I guess it depends who shows up in court, the 12 year old me or the middle age me.

Once I say my truth in court I hope it frees me from all of it. My goal was to not be on my death bed with this still unresolved. Hope that is enough.

#491770 - 11/24/15 08:24 PM Re: Forgiveness...for the abusers? [Re: melliferal]
gettingstronger Offline

Registered: 09/24/13
Posts: 296
Loc: Virginia
zip 14,

I've heard that even the act of telling what happened in court helps immensely, even if something happens procedurally where the case gets dismissed or the abuser cops a deal rather than going to trial. I don't know how it works legally in Canada, but there should at least be a preliminary hearing where you can outline what happened to the judge. So even that is supposed to be a very healing thing. Very best of luck to you and hope there's healing coming out of your court date.

I'm normal. What happened to me wasn't.

#491771 - 11/24/15 08:56 PM Re: Forgiveness...for the abusers? [Re: zip14]
Bluedogone Offline

Registered: 07/03/13
Posts: 657
Loc: Southern US
Hi zip14,

Congratulations for working with the Canadian justice system in pursuing a criminal complaint. It can be pretty stressful and frustrating. It takes bravery and a lot of courage to follow through.

I've always felt that trying to see that abusers deal with the court system and face the consequences is entirely different than whether or not you're able to forgive them. Too, too often they walk, or face minimum jail time, but at least they know the devastation they caused.

It seems to me that forgiveness is more for the abused, so they can be free and get on with the life deserved, not burdened with carrying around all the grief surrounding what the abuser visited on us. Forgiveness is too personal and too valuable to waste on someone who couldn't care less what they've done.

Good luck and best wishes as you tell your truth. Even if you can't forgive him, I hope this is all resolved your way. This is all about YOU and your emotions.

Never, never, never, never give up...Winston Churchill

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