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CPTSD and Others => Our Relationships with Others => Family of Origin (FOO) => Topic started by: Eris on January 24, 2020, 10:12:31 AM

Title: My abuser is publishing a book about how great he is...
Post by: Eris on January 24, 2020, 10:12:31 AM
Yeah, so I found out yesterday that my abuser, my father, who I have publicly accused of pedophilia is now releasing a “vanity book” on his amazing life and what a generous person he is. I had originally thought that I would have to deal with my father being turned into an icon when he passed possibly; but not before. I know enough about myself to not read the book when it comes out. The title of the book is along the lines of “I got away with it because I’m lucky, tough, and shielded.” I knew to expect some backlash to telling my truth publicly but I never imagined this type of hubris. Especially not within months of speaking my truth. I have every certainty that for as long as this man lives and he has the support of my step-mother, family, extended family, and a global company ... and even after his death that he will never “die.” Therefore I feel like the abuse will never die. Not only is this man going to get away with it, he is going to be idolized as a hero of a human being. I simply do not know how to exist in a world where this type of bullying BS seems to be the norm.

A lot of the strategies that I usually employ to keep my mind in tact are failing. Throughout my life I’ve heard the saying that I should just try not to make sense of any of the abuse or the injustice that followed. And if nothing happened for any reason and is inexplainable, then I feel like there is no foundation for me to build in the past present or future. Men are unsafe, women are unsafe. Authorities and judges and the justice system is not there for survivors like me. It does not feel like there is a place for me in the world. What kind of existence is it when there is a total breakdown in the boundaries, checks, and balances in your life? What is life then really? I was a bright, creative, intelligent, charismatic woman and the world didn’t want that. Maybe because I’m a lesbian. Maybe because I’m just unlucky. I don’t know how to wrap my head around letting go of having any hope and accepting that I’ll be bullied and slandered for the rest of my life. Just so that some man, who has lied his whole life, can sell a product and make a profit.

I realize that just because others find me expendable, it doesn’t mean that I have to. But I feel expendable. My life seems nonsensical and without value or purpose. My life seems like a series of senseless abuses. I stood up for my rights, and I got smushed. I lost. It is pretty horrifying to feel like you lost through being abused, but also losing by telling the truth about the abuse... that is just crazy making. And depressing. I have no idea what to prepare myself for in the future... movies about this man glorifying him?

I know that I can possibly at some point be able to focus less on what this man has gotten away with, and more on other things. Right now, I feel like my past has been defined by this man, my present is a complete struggle to make it about something other than this man, and my future is severely limited job wise, mentally, physically, because of this man. I feel like this man is stamped all over my life. He has taken my past successes and ideas as his own. I feel gullible, easy to steal from, not fit to meet new people or have a proper life.

When my mother died, who also abused me, I felt safer. I felt closure. She messed with my mind, but I was able to get free of that. I just do not have the same hope of that happening with my father. I think it is best to strive for apathy. To just not hate or love the man. I tell myself that I can’t wait for him to die to feel safe and get over it. But because he is pseudo famous, there will be reminders of him out there always. Posters of his little beady eyes and snarly smile and too tightly pulled back plastic surgery on his bald head.

The world is broken, and I feel forced to live in it. I have been given talents that have been stolen and misappropriated. So why even have the talents? Why any of it? I used to try and say “there is a lesson in this.” Or “I can use this experience to foster more empathy and gratitude” or “I can use what happened to me to heal others.” And quite frankly that all seems like self help BS right now. Just another lie that I’ve told myself to make it through another day.
Title: Re: My abuser is publishing a book about how great he is...
Post by: Kizzie on January 24, 2020, 05:00:00 PM
Unfortunately when our abusers are famous/rich/powerful they have the means to suppress the truth, conduct smear campaigns, etc. Perhaps it would help to get some help in making your voice heard. Have you considered legal avenues for holding your F accountable? 

There are others in your position who have gone up against famous/powerful parents like Christine Crawford (daughter of Joan Crawford and author of Mommy Dearest)  and Martin Miller (son of renowned child trauma expert Alice Miller and author of The True Drama of the Gifted Child). I think there will always be backlash unfortunately, it's not right or fair but it is a reality to consider and be as prepared as we can be if/when we go ahead. (E.g., coming here, telling your story and receiving support and validation is a start).

Title: Re: My abuser is publishing a book about how great he is...
Post by: bluepalm on January 24, 2020, 10:06:11 PM
Eris, I feel deeply moved by your words. Your dreadfully difficult situation brought to my mind Congressman Adam Schiff's moving words in the Senate yesterday: if right doesn't matter, we're lost; if truth doesn't matter, we're lost.

You say: I realize that just because others find me expendable, it doesn’t mean that I have to. But I feel expendable. My life seems nonsensical and without value or purpose. My life seems like a series of senseless abuses. I stood up for my rights, and I got smushed. I lost. It is pretty horrifying to feel like you lost through being abused, but also losing by telling the truth about the abuse... that is just crazy making. And depressing.

You are articulating at a personal level the same fundamental plea and my heart goes out to you and I hesitate to try to say anything in response lest it be inadequate, but I want you to know that I hear you in your suffering.

All I can say is that, although I have never had to endure your particular circumstances, in moments of feeling my life 'seems nonsensical and without value or purpose', in moments of feeling utterly lost in this world, the only things that have cut through my despair are immersing myself in music - singing, making music, listening to the notes of music made by others - and somehow cutting myself off from all the turmoil of being human by immersing myself in nature. It comforts me to cling onto knowing I am a spark of life in animal form amongst many other life forms - my lovely dogs, the singing birds on my bird bath, the ants walking together on my terrace, the tree in my garden. Music and the natural world somehow enable me to feel that insofar as there needs to be a purpose to my life this is it. I exist. I didn't ask for my existence. My existence will end.  There is no rational reason for my existence. There are no fair rules of the game governing my existence. At some fundamental level I take comfort from knowing I share my aliveness with other life forms around me and I can sing my life into being just as the birds do. And I try to retreat for as long as I need (in emotional as well as practical ways), to disengage from all the horrors that humans inflict on each other, and comfort myself that we are all equally just brief sparks of life on this earth. Once I can get to this bedrock comfort, I find I often slowly regain the strength needed to re-enter the fray - to try to deal with the injustices and abuse and pain of living amongst other humans. May I say it again - my heart goes out to you in your struggles.
Title: Re: My abuser is publishing a book about how great he is...
Post by: Not Alone on January 24, 2020, 11:03:06 PM
I just want you to know that I hear your deep pain.
Title: Re: My abuser is publishing a book about how great he is...
Post by: Eris on June 10, 2020, 02:05:07 PM
Thanks for all of the responses. I wanted to address a couple of questions and amazing alternative ways of living and relaxing that were given in response to my post. Even though it is months later I wanted to share some clarity that I have had, and some of it was because of the generous responses to the original post.

First off, I want people to understand that they legally have a choice, and that choice comes with a lot of sacrifice. I want people to be informed about those sacrifices and what they entail so that they can at least attempt to make educated choices. But even with educated choices, I do not know if one can ever be prepared for the emotional toll that a legal battle enacts. When I wrote this post I had been involved with a global company for almost 15 years and in and out of legal contracts, mediation, threats, letters, and the like. I was and I still am tired, exhausted, and over it. These people at the very least owe me a lot of money, but at some point I could chose between sanity and possibly losing all the money I had... and sanity seemed sort of like a no-brainer to me.

When I first started posting publicly on my social media I got a lot of "just sue them" type of feedback. Some of the feedback was very articulate and encouraging, and some was from people who just seemed to want to watch a trash fire that someone else started. Suing people takes time usually years. Even with ample evidence. I was up against a global company of multi-billionaires backed by a multi-millionaire family. I was given hard to hear, but amazing advice from my attorney that these entities were not going to sue me first (they would look bad and that would make me a martyr). Yet they were waiting for me to sue them and take that to federal court where I would be served with years of injunctions, paperwork, etc that would slowly eat through my nest egg. Basically, I wouldn't even get to my day in court.

I'm 46 years old. I have fought this company for over a decade, and my family for over four decades. At age thirteen, I watched my father decimate my mother in custody court and in effect go through her nest egg. He hired people to almost beat my mother's african american boyfriend to death, and shortly after both of them were run out of town. I think that the one thing I can learn from this past behavior and experience is when to stop when I'm ahead. If I was in my 20s or 30s maybe I would have the stamina to push forward and wait 5 years to a decade to get my day in court. In terms of the #metoo movement and the documentaries that I have access to - there is a trend that I see where one defendant is not enough. Some of these cases... like the Larry Nassar case had maybe 150 women come forward or more. Finding pornography on his computer and a victim that he did not medically treat served to push the case forward. The same for Epstein. Women waited decades for justice and were so let down when his suicide/ murder suddenly took place. For me, I'd be okay with my abusers snuffing out (not by my hand or doing) - but I am not those women who have a right to their myriad of responses.

So I looked at the facts. The only other woman that could testify with me would have been my mother who passed away in 2009. I felt like while I could prove that my abuser had access to other young girls, I had no proof that he had done to them what he had to me. I refuse to think I was the only one. I am unique and special, but not in that way. Without those women coming forward, or even with them coming forward we still might not have a case. I do not want to quash other's wants and voices. My abuser is an attorney from a small conservative town that has each other's backs (as in not mine), so I come with baggage about the legal system and whom is works for. We considered moving the venue to another state, which would have been better, but still not optimal as it is conservative as well. And a global company is you know... global. We considered a kick starter fund, but what we noticed over the course of several years was that my core support and "believer" base was either quiet and at times more than the minority of them could be duplicitous. Meaning, that what they believed or whose side of the story they landed on depended on the present company. A huge global corporation stood in the way of hundreds of thousands of promotions, deals, product distribution, awards, access to parties and events... believing me meant sacrifices that many of my former colleagues did not want to make.

A way to test your support is to launch a petition. We did that. It was interesting and disheartening that less than a fourth of my social media followers signed my petition. In a worst case scenario than meant that 3/4 of the people on my social media were there for the shitshow, gossip, waiting to be told who won in court to then make a decision of whom to believe.

As far as I can sum up my experience and getting involved in court then - it seems like more victims/ survivors/ thrivers the better. It is sad that one woman's voice sometimes is not enough. On the upside in a case with multiple survivors having someone to talk to about your similar experience my help create a community worth the trouble and trauma of going to mediation or court. Having public support and outside financing that can help with legal bills also seems needed. These are both things that I currently do not have.

When we made our decision to not move forward it was hard. It felt like a loss. I did win certain things. I won having my story out there and accessible to the public. Because the company broke their contract, and because my family broke their promises, I won the right to to tell my story and not get sued. I won the right to completely disengage from my family, and to not be held responsible or accountable for taking care of my abusers in their golden years (or making them seem like wonderful entrepreneurs in any future obituaries). I am working on disengaging so much that I can create my own closure. By not caring when my abusers pass or get sick, do well or unwell, in a way I can begin to end those relationships to the point that I can begin to work through the damage of the past. These people can be dead to me, figuratively. That can be a choice, and at times that has helped me feel less powerless and also to understand if I am still over-engaged with my abuser's present wellfare.

Being one with animals and trees, is like the best thing I've learned from this site. I've been saved by so many cats, snails, lizards, willow trees, oak trees, palm trees...

Be well and safe,
Title: Re: My abuser is publishing a book about how great he is...
Post by: dollyvee on January 03, 2021, 10:49:29 AM
I seem to have stumbled on your post and will be facing a legal battle with my (abusive) step father over my mother's estate. While it doesn't have the global reach of the company associated with your father, it brings up a lot of issues that are really hard choices and I wanted to say that I hear you and I think you've articulated these things really amazingly. Things do not always have the Hollywood ending, justice served  ending that we are told will happen. It's almost more damaging to us to continue believing in this ending and not that sometimes things just don't work that way. Even more so when it has to do with some of the things you experienced as a child.   

I think that choosing your sanity is a great choice. I want to pursue my SF to the ends of the earth for how he treated me but I have to accept that it may not be better for me to do so and a part of me feels like he will "have got away with it." It's like that is giving him power and that's a really hard thing to accept, but in choosing myself, it's giving me power as well.

Over lockdown, I came across Operation Deatheaters on Twitter. My abuse from my stepfather was mostly psychological but there are ppl out there fighting these kinds of awful things and it is a bit of sense to me in a world that doesn't make sense sometimes.

Wishing you peace  :grouphug: