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#432000 - 04/22/13 01:18 AM Should I feel guilty?
DavoSwim Offline

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 397
Loc: Midwest
Tonight I told my dad I was abused as a kid and as a young adult. I had told my mom a few weeks ago, but hadn't told my dad because I was afraid of his reaction. I needed some time to adjust to letting my secret out. Anyway, tonight was the right time so I told him. My mom was there backing me up. My dad was great about it. His first reaction was what could he do to help me. He said he was sorry it happened and that if he had known he would've killed the guys. I really appreciated him saying that.

Well during our conversation, he asked if I wanted to press charges. I said I didn't want to because the two guys are dead, and additionally I didn't want my name out, because I don't want people to know what happened to me.

The thought came to me, what if I had pressed charges when it happened? Could I have prevented other boys from being abused? I feel somewhat for not doing more to help others. Is this legitimate? As it was, I could barely stand myself back then. I felt guilty and dirty just being a victim. I don't know that I could've stood a police interrogation or a trial. Am I just being selfish? Was it my obligation to protect other kids? Has anyone else ever felt like this?

Thanks for your help. DavO

#432005 - 04/22/13 02:15 AM " [Re: DavoSwim]
lbcali1978 Offline

Registered: 02/16/12
Posts: 217

Edited by lbcali1978 (04/29/13 04:49 AM)
They said

Come home

I said

I'm confused and alone

They said

We understand

I found out they don't

I'll walk the path exactly how I've always done it


#432008 - 04/22/13 02:45 AM Re: Should I feel guilty? [Re: DavoSwim]
Farmer Boy Offline

Registered: 08/23/12
Posts: 442
Loc: Australia

Firstly I am proud of you for telling your dad about it and so happy that he responded in such a powerful and protective way. He really loves you and that is plain to see.

Should have, could have, would have.......
You have to remember you were just a kid back then and can not be expected to have thought in the mature way you do now as an adult. How could you possibly stand up to those 2 adult men back then? There is no shame in that and should be no guilt. That all belongs to the perps!!! There is no point dwelling on 'what if's'.

Myself, I could still press charges against one of the perps but as he is already a convicted pedophile and on 'the list' I feel like I am off the hook. I do feel gutless sometimes ... that one of the other victims had to go through the trial etc all alone. And for the other perps - it rips me apart sometimes to think that there could have been more victims after me .... So yes I have felt that way too. Maybe it is selfish but I can't take responsiblity for their actions...I just can't.

More than meets the eye!

#432011 - 04/22/13 03:23 AM Re: Should I feel guilty? [Re: DavoSwim]
ThisMan Offline

Registered: 01/23/13
Posts: 778
Loc: upper south

Its exciting that you had the opportunity to tell your dad. How very grand that he emotionally put his arms around you to protect you. Its really good stuff !!

You mentioned the guilt that might or might not be there for not pressing charges. I mentioned sometime ago that 20 years back, I made the attempt to press charges. I wasn't doing it because of a sense of protecting other kids, or doing society some great favor. I tried to have the perp thrown in jail because I wanted him to pay for what he had done to me. No great ulterior motive, other than what he had done to me. btw... I wasn't successful in that endeavor.

Do I now feel guilty that this particular perp probably hurt others? Guilty? No. Sad? Yes. Was it part of my responsibility to protect the other children? No. Am I selfish in viewing this as taking care of me first... I don't think so. I think it is smart of me. I deserve it. No one else did or does.

Forget about the guilt and embrace the reaction you received from your mom and dad when you told them. You have two loving people on your side in healing. Now how cool is that?

For now we see through a glass, darkly.

#432054 - 04/22/13 02:02 PM Re: Should I feel guilty? [Re: DavoSwim]
csasurvivor1992 Offline

Registered: 03/25/13
Posts: 132
Loc: Texas
DavO, I believe your feeling is a natural one in the recovery continuum as I understand it. It is similar to "what would have happened if I had said something sooner?" Fact is, none of us, here, now, were ready to discuss these terrible details until now.

We are now burdened by the knowledge that silence enables this to happen at all. Silence. Saying nothing. We know that. And we know that silence is what enables the gross effects to take hold on victims/survivors. It starts that inner monologue that is so doubting and hateful of ourselves.

Thing is, this will take time. I think the question is natural, but guilt and shame doesn't belong to you, it belongs to any of the assholes who would do this at all. That we even have to think about the implications of speaking out or not is evidence that these people have plagued our minds.

Congratulations on telling your father. I was abused by mine, but I can empathize with telling your father, your example and validation of how to be a man. That takes guts, courage... you've got it man.

Rest easy. Just like telling your mom, then your dad, do things when you are ready. If you ever decide to speak out, you'll know when you're ready. If you don't, you've already helped the multitude of men who are struggling here with us on this board. I think you've done a lot already to curb the effects of CSA, be proud of that. I am grateful for you.
May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground, carry on. ~Fun.

#432056 - 04/22/13 02:22 PM Re: Should I feel guilty? [Re: DavoSwim]
Suwanee Offline
Chat Moderator

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 1340
I don't have much to add...other than way to go in telling your dad!

Don't play "what if?" It is frustrating...and like others have said, the buck shouldn't stop with a young kid.

I've got this life
And the will to show
I will always be
Better than before

#432065 - 04/22/13 03:12 PM Re: Should I feel guilty? [Re: DavoSwim]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: DavoSwim
The thought came to me, what if I had pressed charges when it happened? Could I have prevented other boys from being abused?

The answer probably is yes, other boys could have been protected if this pedophile had been stopped years ago....but man you were a kid! That guilt is not yours to take on. You were victimized by a sick pervert, and the guilt is all his. Say it till you believe it.

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

#432104 - 04/23/13 12:15 AM Re: Should I feel guilty? [Re: DavoSwim]
BraveFalcon Offline

Registered: 02/26/13
Posts: 1231
Loc: The ATL

Hi Dave. Man, I am so glad you were able to tell your father and that it went so well. After all these years, he knows, and that is huge. Kudos to you for that.

As far as feeling guilty for not stopping your perps from harming other kids, what can I really say that others here already haven't? You were a little kid. You had a large enough burden already just dealing with the fact that the abuse had happened at all. It was a burden you should never have had to bear, just as no child should. It's not an abused child's burden to also be the police for their offenders. As hard as it may be to let that guilt go, that's what you need to work on being able to do. Let it go. Release it to the universe. It is not your burden, it is not your guilt, it is not your shame and it is not your problem. Release it and let it go. Take care. Peace,



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