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#174387 - 08/20/07 12:36 AM Confrontation and cowardice
peer345 Offline

Registered: 06/09/07
Posts: 35
Loc: australia
I am way too much of a coward to confront my abuser. I have trouble confronting myself....I feel bad about this...I feel if i came face to face I would just disappear inside.

I am scared because I can't easily believe myself about very much actually...I doubt a lot and it paralyses me. I think it may be a form of dissociation. I mentioned the abuse to my (aging) parents a few years ago and had just the worst response. As close to total indifference as you could get... made me feel very isolated and feeling a bit mad.

I feel like bits of me work okay and other bits really don't...trouble is you need the whole lot.

I guess I wonder how others feeling about this issue of confronting their abuser(s)?

Any thoughts really welcome.


"Our life's work is to use what we have been given to wake up." Pema Chodron

#174392 - 08/20/07 12:49 AM Re: Confrontation and cowardice [Re: peer345]
dannym Offline

Registered: 03/25/07
Posts: 543
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
Hey Dan. I have had the same thoughts - your words "disappear inside" rang true for me. Even when I try to get angry with him, I just go numb and cold - like all life has drained from me. Then that hate and anger turns back on myself.

I have thought a lot about confronting him. I actually saw him several times a year for 20 years after the abuse ended. He was at my wedding for God's sake! But once I told my family about the abuse.. once I had let all those feelings come out, I couldn't do it. Once, he drove up to my parents summer cabin and I ran into the woods... I just couldn't even look at him. But I don't know if it is cowardice. I feel like I haven't healed enough on my own yet. I still have too much blame toward myself - I realize that blame is misplaced, but it still exists, and until I can work through that and start forgiving myself, I can't imagine looking at hime let alone confronting him.

I know there are many men here who have confronte their abusers and they can give you more insight into that experience, but you are not a coward. You are here, you are healing and that takes a hell of a lot of guts.

About the bits working... I think we all feel like pieces of us don't function correctly, but again, here we are, trying to get the whole thing... happiness and peace - and I think it is within reach for each one of us. I know it is.


"You should listen to your heart, and not the voices in your head."

Marge Simpson

#174394 - 08/20/07 12:57 AM Re: Confrontation and cowardice [Re: dannym]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

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

I really feel for you on this one. But remember that those feelings of fear we have for the abuser are emotions that have stayed with us from childhood. They don't mean we are cowards; they mean that recovery from CSA is a tricky difficult business in which we learn that so many things are NOT as they seem.

A lot of our feelings won't make sense to us at first. I remember that in 2005, 11 years after the abuser's death, I could still melt down and say to my Dad, "I'm scared it will happen all over again; I can't make him stop." But that's not me talking - that's Little Larry, the 10-year-old scared to death of what's happening to him.

Like I said, bro, there's no cowardice in play here. Just old feelings.

Much love,

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)

#174400 - 08/20/07 01:20 AM Re: Confrontation and cowardice [Re: roadrunner]
trusty Offline

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 167
Loc: Indiana, USA
Dear Dan,
Two weeks after I confronted my big brother, my perp, I saw him again on a golf outing with all of my brothers. And, he acted like our conversation two weeks earlier never even happened...they all acted that way. It hurt really bad. So, I've waited almost three more years, after avoiding him at all costs, and I've tried it again. This time, I sent a really hard-hitting letter to him and my six siblings. All hell has now broken loose, and, once again, the onus seems to be placed on ME to make peace.

It's hard--really hard--the work WE have to do, even though we are the victims.

So, I really feel for you in this difficult situation. It's hard to tell what will happen when you do muster the courage to confront him. There are so many variables that affect every aspect of our situations, and predictability is not an ingredient. I advise you to make careful plans when you feel you are getting ready. My T said that these confrontations almost need to be>
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." - Ralph Waldo Emerson


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