I've tried to answer you several times. I'm a bit afraid of saying the wrong thing or giving advice that isn't really good for you and might cause you to do something that you regret.
BUt I do want to help. That's why I asked the questions I did. I worry that what is happening now is just the beginning of a huge sh*it storm for you, and I don't want to make things worse.
I can tell from your words that you're an intelligent and decent man, and I give you a lot of credit for surviving so well as you have.
I think about what I would do in your situation, and then I wonder, "Sure, that takes care of the wedding, but what about Easter, or the 4th of July, or grandma's Birthday?"
I'm afraid this is just the beginning of this mess for you, but if you ignore everything else I say, remember this: THIS ISN'T YOUR MESS, IT IS HIS MESS. HE ABUSED A CHILD. IT'S HIS FAULT, HIS SIN, HIS MESS. NEVER YOURS.
And whatever happens, Vassillios, you have the control now over what will happen and when. Not him, not me or anyone else who advises you, You have the control.
So, after saying all that, I'm going to tack on my latest reply to you below. I wish you well, and I hope that what I say helps you, but I have faith that you will do the right thing - for you and for those you love.
Remember that we're always here and will try our best to help you any way we can.
Your reply to me makes what you are feeling and thinking much clearer. And it tells me much more about
It’s your wedding, your new life, your future. This is an important event in anyone's life and again, I am sorry that it has brought this all up to a boil. Just remember that big events, even happy ones like marriage, create a lot of stress and feelings can be magnified and blown out of proportion.
It's a sh*t-storm, in plain english, but you have the control here, and I think that you can and will do the right thing to keep it under control. Remember that, above anything else anyone says to you; YOU have the control over what will happen and when.
You are not being selfish. You are being self-protective, self-caring, self-asserting, and you are taking control of your self, your life, and your future.
And I don't think you were being selfish when you were younger. It was self-protection again, and I think you did a damn fine job. What you did was survive this, and it sounds to me that you managed very well.
Whatever you thought when you were younger, whatever you imagined or told yourself, was good and right at that time, for the boy and teen you were. Were you selfish then, trying to see how much you could get from him? Maybe. But you were a boy, and those were a boy's thoughts.
Now you are a man, and it seems to be time to do things differently. You are getting married soon, and that in itself is a great triumph over what he did.
What HE did. You asked, "Who's to say what his punishment should be?" There are answers to that in both the Law and the Bible, but I don't sense that you are looking to really harm him. This does not mean there are no earthly consequences. Missing an important family celebration like your wedding, because of HIS OWN ACTIONS, might be just the right thing.
You said you feel like less of a person because you allowed it to happen. Sorry, V., that's just wrong. You were a boy, a 14 year old boy whose parents had just divorced and whose life was in a lot of change and maybe chaos. Not to mention all the confusion that just being 14 creates.
It doesn't matter what you thought or felt or talked to him about back then. He was wrong. He was an adult who abused a child. And being an alcoholic is no excuse either, even if he was falling down drunk. He was at fault. He is to blame. He should be embarrassed. He should feel humiliation. He abused a child.
I can't say this strongly enough. It was never your fault. You are not partly to blame. You are not to blame AT ALL.
I understand the feelings you have - the fear of embarrassment and humiliation, and this is one reason I said before that this is probably not the time to "go public" with this within your family.
That does not mean that you must keep quiet and just let things go on as if nothing happened. You could do that, if that is your choice, but from what you said I don't think that's what you want.
You are right again when you say there should be a greater reason than just getting your way for your wedding. There is a greater reason; what he did. You have every right to tell him you don't want him there and why. I would feel the same way, and I'll bet anyone else here would too.
But, I think you can do this without being mean, without having to let everyone know; keeping your dignity and self-respect and control.
I would go to him in private, and I would make a point to not use the word "uncle". Unless you never use it now, then I would use it very sarcastically.
So if his name is Tom, I would say something like this, "Tom, I have never forgotten what you did to me seven years ago. I said nothing because I was a child. Now I am a man, and I am saying this. I do not want you at my wedding. I do not want to see or hear from you that day. Make an excuse, be sick, be tired, I don't care, but don't be there. If you tell anyone that I asked you not to come, and they ask me about it, I will tell them everything."
Vas, that's what I would do. I would hope for the best, that he just stays away, but I would be prepared for anything that might happen. I don't know your uncle, if he still drinks, what he might do or say, but it will be his doing, his actions, not yours.
That's my advice. It is what I would do. It may be terrible advice for you. Discuss it with your fiancée. From what you say, she sounds wise and intelligent, as do you.
There is something else very important I must say. It's about the quote from me.
But the result is that they see him as a father figure for you, and I can't help but
think that you have been a part of creating that perception, actively or passively.
That was not an accusation, or saying that you caused this or are partly to blame for this, or even that there is any blame. Your actions and inactions over the years were actually very noble, wise, and effective Survival mechanisms. You are obviously intelligent and well educated. I'm willing to bet that you've never been in serious trouble, and you're a fine, decent man.
Pretending or thinking you forgave him IS NOT why you feel you are in a mess. That allowed you to get by and to grow into the man you are now. What HE did caused this mess, and you are going to clean it from you by dumping it back on him. It's his mess, not yours. It was never yours.
All these years you have been selfless, sacrificing, hiding HIS secrets and HIS actions- HIS MESS.
Now you are being self-aware, self-protective, and self-assertive. And you do deserve to get what you want, Vasillios, you absolutely do, especially in this situation.
Now promise us, whatever you do, it will be because it is right for you and the people you love. Ask for other opinions if you want them or need them. If it gets too overwhelming, maybe there is a clergyman or doctor you can trust and talk to?
Let us know, after the wedding, how wonderful that day was.
And come back here anytime, ask us anything, just rant and rave if you want to. As I said before, dealing with this can be a huge sh*t-storm, and the understanding and support you get here is amazing.
I do hope this is the worst thing you have to deal with for a long, long time, but if it isn't, we'll be here.