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#279635 - 03/16/09 06:51 AM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: ericc]
endlessjourney Offline

Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 518
Loc: Cincinnati Ohio
Danny, I agree with your post for the most part. It was well written and I as well appreciate your direct forwardness and I'm glad that you have realized that you are no longer the victim. It sounds as if you are at a similar level to myself in this recovery process.

Unfortunately for some, a lot of CSA survivors are newer to the recovery process than you or I and may be in a different stage that precedes the moving on stage. I agree that holding on to hatred, and blame can be destructive if you dwell on the past for too long.

However, for CSA survivors, Anger is a gift. It gives us the courage, freedom, and conviction to stand up and say "THAT'S ENOUGH!" and to take our lives back. A lot of us have worked very hard to tackle recovery issues and I firmly believe that anger is one of the main catalysts for that. When harnessed and used correctly, anger is one of the greatest tools we have to overcome our issues.

However, there is a time to let the anger go. I can't pin point when exactly it is time to let the past go and move on. However, I believe when one is ready, he'll know.


Truth is the very reason we strive to live. It surrounds and resides within us. Accepting the truths we already know and seeking out those we do not is a direct path to inner balance and joy. For life is not a means to an end, but a journey. Life comes and goes but the truth will always live on.

#279709 - 03/16/09 11:20 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: michael banks]
timothyrecovery1 Offline

Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 31
Loc: Pennsylvania
I wanted to thank you for the post. I feel stronger sharing this with others who can relate. I am on the tenth step with my sponsor. He knows about my past abuse. I shared it with him on the 4th step I believe. I still have disturbing dreams on being a perpetrator on boys. It always is me preforming oral sex on them. This still disturbs me because of awaking with an erection. I know it is just a split second dream but why don,t I ever dream of hsving sex with adults? I am happily married with two beautiful girls. 9 and 12 years old. To think if someone did something to them as myself with my step grandfather in my mind would put me in prison for killing the perpetrator. That would be something God forbid that I do not know if I could forgive. I don,t know how my mother could have made us go and see him after the years of abuse. I do not even know what he did to my sisters except when we were all together. The only thing I remember is hands on him and him on our genitals. He did make me touch my sisters who were 2 and six or something like that. I say all this to help me expose it again to take away the power and to help others. Thanks again. Keep in touch as will I. Tim k


#280104 - 03/19/09 11:25 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: timothyrecovery1]
DannyT Offline

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 645
I so appreciate all this talk about these issues. They are I think so central to our getting past the abuse.

I'm struck by Comicbookguy's thoughts on the justice system. Forgiveness, in my opinion, can't be a legal issue. It can only be a personal one. Letting people off the hook publicly is totally different question in my mind.

But I think it ties in with problem of how we define this abuse. If it is a social illness, then our rage can be directed most effectively against a system that locks abusers and abused in a circle of silence where no one can publicly address the issues. One of the reasons it became easy to forgive my dad was the belief that he was clearly also a victim passing on an illness. Thinking of it this way begins to rob the scenario of its power. I realize in saying this that my situation was a lot less violent and scary than that of others.

In some ways I believe we're abused primarily because we've been touched by "monsters". I think whenever we create monsters we deny the human side of this story. My dad was not a monster. He was a person. He was many things, and the abusing only took a few hours out of a sixty some year life. On the whole his time was decently spent. I don't know what to make of this or to think about the prison, etc. but it doesn't help me one bit to image him or anyone else rotting in jail instead of getting help for their problems.

I read somewhere: The crime is the punishment. For my dad, that sure was the case. A prison sentence wouldn't have been any worse than the years of drunkeness he endured as a result of his guilt.

I think there maybe needs to be a new kind of social forgiveness that allows for every aspect of sexuality to be openly understood as human so we can all talk it out. I think if we direct our anger toward the social system that creates this enforced silence, we can use it. If we hold onto anger at broken people, these "monsters," the "perps," we hate something so pathetic and hopeless, a life not worth living. It's like hating scum. What good does that anger do? If we can move ourselves from anger to forgiveness or even to pity, we raise ourselves out of the fear and put ourselves into power over that horrible other. We make them less threatening.

I'm thinking now of timothyrecovery's post about his dreams. Why should these dreams ever be considered troubling? There's just the natural outgrowth of an experience, and the more they can be spoken, treated with compassion and allowed to leave, the quicker this problem of abuse will fade away. And if his grandfather had been able to say what he was thinking without the fear of horror, I wonder what the result would have been.

The hatred and fear and bitterness are so destructive. I wish they could be healed with love.


Edited by DannyT (03/19/09 11:34 PM)

#280111 - 03/20/09 01:10 AM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: DannyT]
ComicBookGuy Offline

Registered: 02/08/09
Posts: 443
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: DannyT
I so appreciate all this talk about these issues. They are I think so central to our getting past the abuse.

I'm struck by Comicbookguy's thoughts on his justice system. Forgiveness, in my opinion, can't be a legal issue. It can only be a personal one. Letting people off the hook publicly is totally different question in my mind.

Changed just one word from your post to make my point. America still has a justice system that favours punishment over rehabilitation, if you fit within a statute of limitations.

We have the opposite over here in weak-arsed Britain, an abuser can create any number of victims, make a fake apology (like they're ever truly sorry), and the justice system will legally (as opposed to personally) forgive them with a five-minute sentence, and if you download child porn you might not get jailed at all - I would bracket the latter into social forgiveness though you might have meant something different Danny.

As far as I'm concerned that makes it a lot harder for UK victims to personally forgive an abuser at the end of this chain without a hell of a lot of extra work, which wouldn't be necessary had there been strong, demonstrative punishment.

It also ties in with my legal system because when I reported my perp a year ago that day onwards was when I personally stopped being a victim. That instance of anger was the only one ever directed at the perp instead of all around me to people totally unconnected with the abuse in the past.

I've forgiven myself, psyched myself up and gone on record, done my bit just in case he went on to offend against anyone else. I keep that energy for myself to develop my self-esteem because I'm selfish, I don't give my abuser that time, I understand and empathize, but sympathize? You can forget it. Doesn't make me bitter and twisted, just practical, I gave away far too much power as a child and teen and got walked all over. It won't happen again now I'm getting stronger.


#280458 - 03/23/09 01:20 PM Re: problem with blame/reason for forgiveness [Re: ComicBookGuy]
DannyT Offline

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 645

Thanks for the correction. It's hard for me to imagine a system that works the way you describe. And I can see how hard that would make it to come forward to try to stop the cycle of abuse.

Giving someone a light sentence isn't forgiveness, though, not to me. I don't think an institution can forgive. All it can do is put into practice a social or political attitude toward the abuse.

The relationship between anger/punishment/forgiveness is powerful. I see that from your post (had never thought of it before).

In my first note, it may have seemed I was pushing the idea of forgiving. I don't mean to do that at all. I just think it can be incredibly healing to do so.

I know a lot of people here want the perp punished. In my case, my dad definitely got all the punishment he needed. When you say "Like they're ever truly sorry"...I think sometimes they are. But you're right, it sure was easier to forgive my dad seeing the horrible mess guilt had made of his life.


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