Step 18 (summary) : "I resolve my abuse to the extent acceptable to me."

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C.

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STEP EIGHTEEN

I have resolved the abuse with my offenders to the extent that is acceptable to me.

This step involves making a decision about resolving the issues left over from your childhood abuse with those who abused you and/or failed to protect you: your parents/abusers. The important task in this step is to resolve the abuse with your family in a way that is acceptable to you. You have the right to choose how to do this. It is not mandatory to confront your parents, family or abusers, although many survivors find confrontation valuable. However, you want to maintain a relationship with your parents/abusers without hiding your recovery efforts or denying your new identity as a recovered survivor, you probably will need to do something. And, if there is to be a continuing relationship, your parents/abusers will need to accept you as you now desire to be accepted: with respect, consideration and acknowledgement of the burdens you have overcome.

You must remember that, because you are dealing with people who may never have faced or changed their own abusive behavior, the degree of resolution will depend on the extent to which they can acknowledge the abuse. For this reason, there is a wide range of possible resolutions which, ultimately, will determine whether you can still have some kind of relationship with your parents/ abusers. If you decide to confront them, it is critical that you go into it fully prepared for whatever responses or consequences follow. If they do not want to hear your experience or accept the person you are becoming, then you must face the question of whether ongoing contact will be healthy for you.

This step presents the big issue of whether to forgive your parents/abusers. In a sense, resolving the abuse means coming to terms with what was done to you and accepting the feelings you have toward the people that did it. For some people this means forgiveness, but not necessarily for you. Those who were very sadistically and severely abused may never be able to forgive their parents/abusers. Accepting that the abuse occurred and putting it all behind you once and for all may be the only resolution that makes sense and feels right. Deciding whether to forgive or accept is your choice and no one else's.


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Kizzie

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And, if there is to be a continuing relationship, your parents/abusers will need to accept you as you now desire to be accepted: with respect, consideration and acknowledgement of the burdens you have overcome.

My FOO never gained any understanding of the trauma I endured so there is no respect, consideration or acknowledgement - period.  Thus I went NC/LC rather than having to enforce boundaries, and deal with triggers and the constant pull to focus on them rather than me and my FOC. Too much them and not enough me and mine, and always and forever will be, I accept that now.

And while I do not forgive nor will I forget (put it behind me), I do have a sense of compassion for them knowing that they developed PDs because of their own trauma in childhood. 

I am also ready to focus on the present and future and not continue to drag around that heavy ball and chain that is my past. 

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bee

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I'm not sure that I can accomplish this.

Confronting a NPD/BPD/ASPD person would be suicidal. Even a letter would provide too much information that she would use against me. So I "choose" NC.

What would be acceptable to me is to make the whole world see what she did, who she is. To show them the horrible vile evil monster. But, I know that the world would turn a blind eye. It is not possible to make people see what they do not want to see. I want to live in a world that would put a person who has done what she has, in jail (preferably with no human contact) for life. That would be an acceptable resolution.

I'm not sure I will get to a point when I don't feel angry that she got away with it.

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VeryFoggy

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Bee, I have to say the way I did it, I don't think it was suicidal.  I copied so many people that the truth can never be hidden again. I mean they can deny it, which they do, but they can't actually do anything about it.  Because if they do?  I have all the documentation. And there are people now who would ENSURE I was avenged.  My T, and my son, and my daughter, and my ex bf for starters. Probably two other friends and my uncle as well if it became a matter of my life being taken.

And I KNEW I would never get to a point that I would not be angry that they got away with it.  So I went public. And I have already plotted it out.  If this still does not stop it?  Then, their attorney is next.  And if that doesn't stop it? Then their entire church will be informed. And since that is how NPD dad makes his living, the church pays him?  It's bound to have an impact at some point. My sister's employer has already been informed.  He's also my uncle.

The good part is, all of mine is documented.  Every bit of it is in emails. And I have a professional with a PhD standing by my side who says, yes, every bit of this is true, and if you all don't stop it and leave her alone?  She is never going to get well.

So I am extremely glad I did it. If I die now?  I die happy, knowing that the truth is out there.

I don't know the details of your situation, and I don't know if you even want to do what I did.  But I knew it was going to kill me NOT to do it. So I did it in a way that felt safe to me.  With many, many witnesses who are all involved one way or another, and many, many documents to support what I did say.  I did not say one single thing that is not documented somewhere. And my T and I coordinated our emails.  Mine went first.  As soon as she got it?  Hers went next.

Now I am free.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 11:51:24 PM by VeryFoggy »

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bee

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VeryFoggy
I think it is wonderful that you found a solution that works for you. It is heartening to see that resolution is possible.

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VeryFoggy

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Bee - All I know is that is a lot of anger to carry around inside of you for the rest of your life.  Your post was strong and passionate, the punishment desired harsh and forever. And there is no shame in that, thinking of those things.  Thoughts are not actions.

But, for your sake, for the sake of your happiness, I hope you do give serious consideration to doing something. Maybe not a confrontation, but something where your anger can be channeled into some positive actions that will bring you peace and where you will feel some justice has been served.

I wish that for all of us.

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Kizzie

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It's tough, just dam tough and utterly awful it is that we have little to no choice in the end if we are to survive.  We are forced to take some sort of drastic action like going completely public as you did VF or going NC/LC like I did. It didn't feel like much of a choice and it's crappy and unfair and I hate that I have lost my family. But like you VF I finally feel free to live, not fight for survival, to keep my head above water every single day.



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C.

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I feel like I'm trying to figure this out.  My abusers are inconsistent.  So, sometimes they are entirely appropriate.  My mom visited a few weeks ago and was able to provide me with empathy, fun and some intellectually interesting topics.  There was one unpleasant comment, but I asserted myself.  She didn't understand, but she wasn't inappropriate.  The important thing is I felt good after the visit.  One ingredient to our visit was it was just us, no other family members.  So, although I like the idea of a clean break and the truth of my history I value mostly focusing on the here and now, which have changed somewhat.  Time will tell.

I spoke w/my T. about all of this and he simply said that writing is helpful and that learning to be assertive w/my parents is something with which he can help me.  So, that's my current focus.  Learning to say "No, I'm not _____" or "I see your point, but I continue to think ____" or "I am _____".

He thinks that my mom mirrors me.  So, in order to feel close she tries to imitate me.

If I learn to be assertive w/my parents and they learn to respect my "No" then seeing my mom weekly could work.  My dad I'm not so sure.  I just feel awkward around him due to the gender part.  And he can be verbally over-the-top paranoid/angry about political issues...I kind of wish he would hang out w/my son and ex-husband which seems to be happening some.  He's been a better father to my ex than to me or than my ex's father was to him.  However, I don't think this is necessarily my father's preference.  I do not like to be around both of my parents when they're together.  That always includes tension and conflict at some point between them.  I'm done being a witness to it.

This is definitely a work in progress for me although writing a letter about not being interested in fulfilling my parent's needs helped.


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Kizzie

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A lightbulb just went on - that whole mirroring thing can be a great tool when it comes to PD parenting (e.g., healthy parenting mentors to help PD parents mirror appropriate behaviour).

Anyway, not to go off on that tangent, I'm glad to hear you had as good a visit as is possible with your M C and that much of that has to do with how many gains you've made in recovery.   :applause: 

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C.

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Thanks Kizzie about my mom and relating it to recovery gains.  I hadn't thought about that.

The most powerful part of the visit was that my mom for the first time I can remember expressed empathy.  In the past she always tried to fix, or change the subject, or "wish she could help".  I'm pretty sure that was my early childhood experience as well, painful emotions were either met w/her focusing on herself ("I wish I could help", keeping too much of a physical distance) and feeling inadequate, I was isolated, or I was ignored.  These are not what sad or scared child needs.  She just needs a hug and some reassurance.  So  This time I was feeling very sad (with good reason, a new reality w/my ex) when she visited, I accidentally cried, and my mom said she wanted to help but wasn't sure how...this time I was able to assertively say "nothing really mom, just a hug and being here w/me."  so she did that and I felt better.