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#467513 - 07/12/14 11:22 AM Re: (trigger) Should I send this letter to my abuser? [Re: Ocellaris]
Ocellaris Offline

Registered: 06/12/12
Posts: 23
Loc: New York
Thanks for everyone's responses. I have decided not to send the letter at this time -- and perhaps not at all. I did think about the possibility of a defamation suit, but I'm prepared to defend one as I have kept several artifacts from that time including letters he wrote to me, my high school yearbook (and what he wrote in it), etc. I also considered the possibility that he might interpret the letter as blackmail and go to the police, so I wanted to make clear that wasn't the purpose.

Ultimately, however, I'm not sure what the purpose of the letter is other than to vent and put this guy on the defensive. I'm not convinced those reasons are good enough. I read a story yesterday about a teacher who managed to keep his job after grooming a student, and it really set me off. (I've posted the story to the U.S. & World News section of this forum.) My letter was in part a reaction to that story and the sense of injustice I felt reading it. I think just writing the letter and having a good night's sleep has made some of the rage dissipate, so I feel less need to lash out at this guy right now.

Anyway, thanks again to everyone who took the time to reply.
That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear.
-- Stephen King, "The Body" (from Different Seasons)

#467515 - 07/12/14 01:24 PM Re: (trigger) Should I send this letter to my abuser? [Re: Ocellaris]
Chase Eric Offline

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2953
I think you made a very wise choice, Ocellaris. I suspect you derived quite a bit just by writing the letter and getting it out in front of you. And who knows- this may be the first indication that maybe you do have something to say to him. If so, give yourself the space to find your true voice.

If you - or any of the readers of this thread - are contemplating a confrontation or communication in the future, a few words of wisdom from a friend who pursued that same path really proved true with me: expect the unexpected. I had my confrontation last year. Nothing went as expected. Nothing. And I was prepared for about 10 different scenarios - although what I considered the most unlikely scenario actually turned true to a degree (my letter to him was intercepted and read by his wife - but I had worded it for that possibility). The only thing that really kept me on track and able to roll with the punches was the reason I set for doing it in the first place. I was very clear in my mind what I wanted from this guy. Had I just done it to vent or prove a point, I would not only have failed, but would have been devastated all over again. And I would have disrespected all his other victims in the process.

For anyone contemplating reaching out and contacting your abuser, my own experience suggests: (1) have a clear goal which can serve as a guiding light when nothing you anticipated occurs, and (2) expect that nothing you anticipate will occur.

#467531 - 07/12/14 08:46 PM Re: (trigger) Should I send this letter to my abuser? [Re: Ocellaris]
WriterKeith Offline

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 980

Another option....

Set up a blog and say what you need to. Tell about your struggles, your victories, your journey, encouragement and links to resources for others. You don't have divulge your name.

If you do so, keep in mind:
Do not identify the perp in any way or give details that would lead to identifying him.

At any point, you could simply send him a link to the blog.

With this age of technology, as long as we protect ourselves from defamation lawsuits, we are empowered to make these monsters squirm.

As far as the statute of limitations, it's a matter of time until things change. And what will make it happen is guys like us getting the word out...any way possible...that statute of limitations laws sentence us to a lifetime of suffering in silence.

Turn the tables.

#467544 - 07/13/14 05:08 AM Re: (trigger) Should I send this letter to my abuser? [Re: WriterKeith]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Another opinion?

I think that sending a confrontational letter has the potential of being very healing.

However it has to be prepared quite carefully and probably viewed by legal counsel before you send it. Your letter is good and I would make a few changes. I think for now you probably made the right decision. His only come-back seems to be that he could attack you for defamation of character (yes,sadly) so yo have to be able to withstand that.

There are guys on the Board of MS who could advise you on this. There are previous discussions on this Board about this subject. There is advice in the pull-down menu at the head of the main web-site for MS. If you look for them, there will be previous examples of letters and their effects. It's late tonight and I don't think I should try to look for you. But if you want me to later I can try to do so.

I greatly admire the book written by the first victim of the Penn State abuse of Jerry Sandusky. He is a hero as far as I'm concerned. He substantiates his claims with details and the help of other people involved with him.

Silent No More: Victim 1's Fight For Justice Against Jerry Sandusky, by Aaron Fisher

Writing a book can be a tremendous way of gaining justice. It can be a type of "letter" to a much larger audience.


Edited by pufferfish (07/13/14 05:11 AM)

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