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#414820 - 10/31/12 04:57 AM Forgiving Your Abuser???
M. J. Stewart Offline

Registered: 10/02/12
Posts: 20
Loc: PA
My friend shared her story with me on how she forgave her abuser. Obviously the dynamics are different with males but still I wanted to share in hopes it helped someone with the healing process:

“You play mommy, I play daddy.” That was the phrase I began to hate with a passion. It came from someone I thought was my brother. The thing was I loved and looked up to my cousin. He took care of me and the least I could do was play the role of mommy, even though it was uncomfortable. I was a chubby little girl who wanted love. A chubby little girl who thought so little of herself. A chubby little girl who was rejected by everyone except him. The truth was we both adored each other, trusted each other, and thought the world of each other. At least that’s what I thought.

I had a family that completely ignored the fact that we were growing up. We needed a true Godly definition of sex, relationships, etc. My cousin was given a perverted interpretation of sex from friends at school and concluded that “any sex” was love. Even in my young age, I knew it was wrong but I trusted him.

One day we were at his house upstairs and he began touching me strangely without saying anything. I couldn’t understand what was going on, but I just knew I couldn’t tell anyone. I knew that this was the beginning of something that I had no control over.

This progressed until literally every part of my body had been touched by him and I was forced to be silent. This went on almost every week for years.

As I too grew older, I learned really what was going on and began to become defensive. But he wouldn’t take no for an answer. I grew bitter, I thought my family knew and allowed me to be hurt. I began pretending to be sick to skip family functions. My parents forced me to go and it would still happen. I was afraid that if I wasn’t there he would hurt my sister. Each time it would progress as his school friends gave him more ideas of what him and I should do together. I was forced to do things that even to this day I wouldn’t do with anyone at the cost of him revealing our secret and making it out to be my fault. A deep hatred for my family developed because they ignored the signs. They didn’t know the signs. My family’s ignorance hurt me more than the actual acts I was put through.

Eventually, he realized how wrong he was and apologized. But deep down I was so hurt. How could a “sorry” fix a whole childhood of sexual abuse? Trying to be a “good Christian”, I tried to live my life like nothing ever happened.

The sick truth was I missed what we had even though I hated it. It was a lose-lose situation for me. Deep down I imagined him and I, and then him and others. I was too young to have to face this. I went in my own world. I became addicted to porn and masturbation. When I was lonely I would, when I was stressed I would, when it was a good day I would, when it was a bad day I would. I thought this was my own fault and tried to put in my mind that it was consensual even though I knew it wasn't.

The silence damaged me to the point where I talked very little to everyone. People knew me as the quiet kid, but this quiet kid had to keep quiet in order to not release the pain she felt to the world.

As it grew deeper my life was falling apart. I was suicidal and depressed. One day I heard something slither near me and say, “I’m going to make you my wife.” I was sad but even in this darkness I wanted to belong to someone. I felt that my cousin had handed me over to be molested by Satan after he was finished with me.

God cornered me and showed me that the God I thought I knew wasn’t really who He was. I came from a traditional church that wasn’t prepared to deal with real life issues. I learned that God wasn’t out to get me and that he could be what I needed, a real Papa. He would protect me no matter what and save me from absolutely everything. I had finally found someone to fill that void in my heart. When He came, I knew that I wanted to be a part of his Bride even though I didn’t understand the terminology. With Papa’s help he helped me turn away from the hurt and feel real love for the first time. He allowed me to get in the bed with him, be intimate with him but he would never hurt me.

The story doesn’t end here because the moment that Christ comes was really just the beginning of my healing. God sees you in danger and performs the surgery that saves your life. The next step is preventing more infection – “unforgiveness” and healing. For me it has been a process and a journey.

Forgiveness was hard. BUT IN ORDER NOT TO DIE FROM THE SURGERY, ONE MUST MAKE SURE ONCE THE WOUND IS STITCHED THAT IT DOESN’T GET INFECTED. Real forgiveness of the violator must come or it will cause you to spiritually die.
When you forgive a person it is not saying that what they did was right, it is saying that I WANT TO LIVE. Someone who violates others typically comes to a state where they know what they did was wrong and they want to be free. We have to remember that if you constantly kill your violator with unforgiveness, threats, etc. you both will die.

After taking the time to deal with the pain and forgive, we were able to regain our friendship and now have a pure relationship. I’ve written this anonymously to protect him, but I pray that my story helps those who need to learn how to forgive your violator. The moment I forgave him, I gained my childhood back. Gain your life back today!
Visit my blog>>>

#414821 - 10/31/12 05:40 AM Re: Forgiving Your Abuser??? [Re: M. J. Stewart]
whome Offline

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1743
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa

Awesome Thanks for Posting this. I still love the expression, "Bitterness is a poison pill we swallow to make the other person disappear" That's what not forgiving does to us, it keeps us bitter and hateful towards something that we cannot control.

At an AA meeting the other day someone shared on the serenity prayer. God Grant me the serenity to ACCEPT the things that I cannot change, The COURAGE to change the things that I can, and the WISDOM to KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.
Knowing what we can and cannot change is a very important step.
We cannot change our abusers, we cannot change what happened to us, but we can change us, and not harboring bitterness is a great step in the right direction.

This is a really emotive subject and has caused some heated debates in the past, but all we can do is share our journey in the hopes that it will help someone recover on theirs.

(Here I go again, always preaching)

Heal well all
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

#414952 - 11/01/12 12:56 PM Re: Forgiving Your Abuser??? [Re: M. J. Stewart]
Lancer Offline

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
Y'know whome, I always respect your posts - granted, I don't always agree with you - because you're anything but a preacher.

Edited by ModTeam (11/01/12 05:35 PM)
Edit Reason: Edited by Modteam

#414983 - 11/01/12 05:25 PM Re: Forgiving Your Abuser??? [Re: M. J. Stewart]
Shyshark Offline

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 971
Loc: Canada
I had 5 abusers ... 3 of whom I have forgiven ... in my heart and soul if not aloud.
God had nothing to do with it ... he didn't protect me then and has long since lost my respect or any influence in my life.
I chose to forgive the 3 'boys' out of common sense. They were just horny teenagers in a time when the term 'sexual child abuse'
had not even come close to being coined.
They are not a threat to children today, and would never have touched me had they realized the damage they were doing.
The other 2 are dead and in hell, I hope, although I hear they would have a much harder time of it were they in prison ... where I would have had them sent were they still alive.
And so, it is only the harmed who have the right to judge those who have harmed them, so do so carefully ... even among the guilty there are those who are innocent as well.
Experience is a brutal teacher.

#414985 - 11/01/12 06:09 PM Re: Forgiving Your Abuser??? [Re: M. J. Stewart]
unhappycamper Offline

Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 754
Loc: VA
I've already sounded off about my contempt for the very idea of forgiveness in the CSA context. Letting go of the anger is a big enough challenge--I'm still working on it, after 53 years.


#414991 - 11/01/12 08:01 PM Re: Forgiving Your Abuser??? [Re: whome]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3787

Well said--I believe the hardest for me is full acceptance of what has happened and the conflicting emotions that I carry--me being repulsed and the child feeling love or a specialness for the abuser. I fear 100% acceptance of the abuse will validate the abuser. But I am making progress. I hope my visit to the church where it occurred this Saturday will help me to accept the abuse so as not effect me at my Mom's funeral this Monday in that church.

My T believes denial can cause us to suppress the emotions and memories, bottling them up, and they are released under emotional and stressful situations. I am on the road to acceptance but have a few obstacles. I have accepted I cannot change what happened or the abuse, but I still need to accept the total me--which is both repulsed by the abuser and feels special to the abuser. This is a step I struggle with and of course it impacts my healing. I have no intention of forgiving my abuser but I am learning I cannot change him or what he did to me.


Edited by KMCINVA (11/01/12 08:02 PM)

#414992 - 11/01/12 08:17 PM Re: Forgiving Your Abuser??? [Re: M. J. Stewart]
WayTooConfused Offline

Registered: 10/28/12
Posts: 48
Loc: Florida
For me.
There's no way in hell,
I'd ever forgive my attackers.
The wounds for me are too deep.
Too much was taken from me.
22 years can never be given back or erased.
Sorry, that's how I feel about these guys.
Dealing with the actual abuse is one thing,
forgiveness is something way different.
Sick and tired of being Sick and tired.

#414997 - 11/01/12 08:53 PM Re: Forgiving Your Abuser??? [Re: WayTooConfused]
unhappycamper Offline

Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 754
Loc: VA
I hear ya, WayToo. "Forgiveness" is an interpersonal relationship, and why would ANY survivor want THAT with a perp? Whether it's a relative, "friend", or a stranger, how could you possibly trust him (or her)? eek


#414999 - 11/01/12 09:01 PM Re: Forgiving Your Abuser??? [Re: M. J. Stewart]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2687
Loc: durham, north england
That is a fantastic story mj and I am encouraged by people's thoughts on this. for me however, forgiveness is, and has always been senseless, sinse you can only forgive a person. My major conviction during and after my abuse is that my abusers weren't people. They looked like people, spoke like people, but weren't people. In the same way I was nothing but a casual amusement to make a dull day at school more interesting, they were nothing but a bad, unlucky circumstance, an unnatural desaster.
I don't even remember all of their names.

Do you forgive a pack of wolves for attacking you? even if you are scarred for life you can't "forgive" the wolves sinse they are just animals acting according to their nature.

Same with my own abuse. dignifying my abusers with blaime would make them too human, something which they weren't at the time.

In the same way I am not individually angry with my abusers. I am angry at the circumstance, angry at the teachers who let it happen, but I cannot be angry at any one person or even the group as a hole.

Of course, I know this might be different for others, especially for people who suffered sa in the family or by people they knew, and I do find the stories of forgiveness there quite enspiring.

however for anyone else who suffered abuse at the hands of strangers, this is just to say that forgiveness might not always be as central a theme in recovery as it is for some, much as it is always great to hear about others experiences.

#415000 - 11/01/12 09:02 PM Re: Forgiving Your Abuser??? [Re: M. J. Stewart]
Shyshark Offline

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 971
Loc: Canada
I'm sorry if I hit some buttons here ... actually, I'm not.
I have the right to deal with my pain however it works for ME!
Forgiving for me cleanses my wounds ... it doesn't heal them, but at least they don't fester and poison me even more.
3 out of 5 ... so don't preach to me about struggle and validation.
And by the way ... I'm 58 and survived what I endured from the ages of 3 and 9 ... so I'm supposed to drag it ALL around until I die ... is that the rationale?
Heal what you can and bear what you can't. 3 not buried and forgotten but dismissed ... no longer able to affect me.
2 left.
If you think it's easier now to drag around only 2 instead of 5
think again !
Forgive me for saying this, but I don't believe in God anymore ... but if he does exist and you go to him in your church for solace ... ask him what you should do?
Check your scriptures ... the answer is there.
He does not ask for perfection ... he asks you to follow in his footsteps ...
I'll take whatever relief I can get, thank you very much.
Experience is a brutal teacher.

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