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Will confronting my abuser make things worse?

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Will confronting my abuser make things worse?

Postby Briellewannabe » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:25 pm

Hi I'm new here. I wasn't sure where to post...

I'm a woman in my mid-twenties. The past 4-5 years I've been struggling with major depression and suicidal thoughts and actions, stemming from child sexual abuse I endured from my neighbor between the ages of 4-6.

Recently I took action to locate this individual. I knew him only as "Mr. M," no first name. I found two Mr. M's that lived next door to me, brothers. I didn't know which brother was my abuser. One brother, "D," had a criminal history of drug offenses and cruelty to a child, he was also deceased. I assumed this to be by abuser as the other brother, "R," was clean.

I found R. M. on Facebook and sent him a message inquiring if he was the man who lived next door. He said he was. I asked him about an non-illegal encounter my siblings and I experienced with the man who later abused me. I expected R. M. to say that wasn't him, it was his brother, D. M., but instead R. M. stated he did recall that memory. I was completely taken aback--I was nearly convinced D.M. was my abuser and had not really stopped to think it might be R. M. I asked another question for clarification, and he confirmed once again that it was him. At this point I stopped contacting him because I started to spiral into negative-town. When I thought my abuser was a man who was addicted to drugs and had past criminal history with children, that made sense. I thought my abuser was a broken man who really didn't stand a chance in society. Now I know my abuser is a successful individual (according to social media, which I know isn't very reliable), it makes me feel stupid, pathetic, and weak.

Nearly a month after he sent me that message (and of which I didn't respond), he sent me another one asking how I found him, as we had no mutual friends on Facebook. I still haven't responded, but I feel I want to, I just don't know if it's going to cause more harm than good. I don't imagine if I confront him he'd confess--who would? That's evidence that could send him to prison. But it's killing me not to do something. I was wondering if anyone else had experienced something similar and had advice. It eats me up inside that I told no one as a kids, and the idea of letting him walk away again is making me feel weak and pathetic, but at the same time, I don't want his denial or angry reaction to make things worse either, as I'm not in a super stable situation.
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Re: Will confronting my abuser make things worse?

Postby Mr1020 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:43 am

I am terribly sorry that this happened to you. No one deserves to go through that. Since you mentioned that you are not in a stable place, I would not recommend saying anything. It is going to bring up a lot, and I don’t think it will give you as much closure and peace as you think. That is just my opinion as I don’t know exactly how you feel.
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Re: Will confronting my abuser make things worse?

Postby DaturaInnoxia » Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:01 am

Find a therapist you trust (and who specializes in trauma) and decide and plan with the therapist before confronting your abuser.
His "denial or angry reaction" could definitely make things worst especially if you're not in "a super stable situation"

It could trigger you or downright traumatize you even further. It could also increase anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation and impulsivity.

Do what you want, but plan it with a therapist first.
They collect information to stock pile in their souls, saying, "I will tuck this into my subconscious for later use."  ~ unknown
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Re: Will confronting my abuser make things worse?

Postby Briellewannabe » Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:04 pm

Thank you for your suggestions.

I do have a therapist, but she doesn't specialize in trauma. I may try to bring that up at the next session...
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Re: Will confronting my abuser make things worse?

Postby IwhoHaveNothing » Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:25 pm

First things first, I wouldn't let the discovery that a person does not have a criminal history with children or addiction to drugs be a piece of information that takes away any "sense" you were trying to find to apply to your situation. Many criminals are not caught and/or get away with crimes, and drug addiction is hidden everyday, everywhere.
The idea that criminals, or people who do evil things, are boogie men and appear as such is a simplistic and naive view of human nature at best but at worst, I think it makes things and the result of criminal/bad behavior worse. Instead of the act being taken for what it is, whatever that may be, it causes for a world of additional pain and negative results that may have not been there, or might not have had as strong an impact, if not for preconceived notions of what makes a person good or bad or what a good or bad person is "supposed" to look like. It's bad enough that something bad/negative has happened so we should do as much as we can to eliminate or reduce residual effects which will ultimately act as stumbling block for resolving issues resulted from a particular act/behavior.

Secondly, feeling stupid, pathetic and weak because he is successful is also not something you should feel BECAUSE of his "success." If he abused you and got away with it, perhaps he's a manipulator who used the same type of manipulation to get successful, we can't know. But if that were the case, then it shouldn't be a cause of you feeling stupid, pathetic or weak. He cheated and lied to get away with it, presumably...wouldn't that make him somewhat weak? He couldn't do it without an angle or a crutch, the cheating and manipulating. I assume he was older/bigger than you when the abuse happened and could take advantage of you...does this sound strong or weak to you? It sounds weak to me because it wasn't equal, or fair or just or right so in who's interest would it be to do something like that, a weak person or a strong one? Weak is the answer.
It might make sense to feel stupid if you did something stupid or unintelligent but you didn't. Perhaps you feel stupid because you think something happened to you and someone not only got away with it but ended up "successful" but again, they cheated to do it so you didn't do anything stupid...I would maybe feel angry or upset that it doesn't seem JUST but wouldn't feel stupid.
Feeling pathetic is the tricky one..again you have no reason to feel pathetic for the same reasons as stated above but there's a bit of confusion that may be occurring with this one. You are in one state of mind/development, both intellectually and as far as maturity level goes, when you are a child and in another when you are an adult. One problem with childhood trauma and events as we get older is that you really can't GO BACK to that childlike state intellectually but you can emotionally. That's why you will hear people say things sometimes like "I know it doesn't make sense rationally but...." What happens is that you start feeling things emotionally as an adult the way you did as a child but with the intellectual capacity and understanding of an ADULT. This is a huge problem and was/is not how it's supposed to work, ideally. Because allowing someone to abuse you when you know it's wrong and have the strength intellectually/physically to stop it, might make someone feel pathetic or weak. However, having it happen when you are too young to know any better or do anything about it is different. So if you are having the memory and emotions of a childhood trauma with the intellect/emotions of an adult understanding, the wires get crossed pretty good to trick you into believing you knew or could have done something about an event you really had no control over. It's like the ACTUAL memory was "photoshopped" to an adult version of the memory so it gets real f*cked up and unrealistic.

If it makes you feel any better, based on your telling of events with him responding to you and asking how you found him, it sounds like you have him on the ropes and he's probably feeling a bit anxious. If he did what you say, he KNOWS what he did and you "finding" him is no coincidence in his mind, he's probably nervous and considering "things." Or he's a psychopath and just looking out for himself or a combination of the two.
However, I can't stress this enough, him "confessing" to you is NOT going to make you feel better necessarily, at least not in the way you are probably imagining. This is probably another preconceived notion you have created for yourself to make some sense or make things more just and human in the world. It might, at least as far as the residual effects I mentioned earlier but in the end, even if he went to prison, you would still be left with the state you are in and if/when that were to happen you will realize what everyone eventually does, it's inside you and within you to heal and accept, completely independent of HIM. If this is confusing to you right now, think of it this analogy which may or may not clear it up or give some understanding. You ever try to ignore someone or something consciously? It doesn't work that well really does it? It almost makes it worse and you end up concentrating so hard on ignoring that you end up thinking more about the damn thing you are trying to ignore. Now think of when you really did ignore something because you really didn't care and it was just not even in your consideration, didn't have to try or think about it, it just happened naturally with no effort. Well believing that something happening to your abuser will "fix" you is like trying to ignore something. Understanding that "fixing" you has nothing to do with your abuser is like successfully ignoring something and not having it even be in your consideration.

Excluding outside factors and/or chemical or medical conditions, your stability is in your control in as far as you know what can/will make you feel unstable. If you stop giving your abuser all the power you have relinquished to him, you will be closer to controlling your stability where he is concerned and his "reaction" will mean nothing to you. Just think for a second, it doesn't matter if he accepts responsibility or denies everything at the end of the day because what happened, HAPPENED. At your core, you probably want something that has happened to have NOT happened and that, unfortunately is not going to happen so whatever his reaction will not change that. It might help a few residual items in your mind but even that will only happen when YOU have accepted the reality and accepted that you WILL be alright if/when that happens.
Without some form of self acceptance, I would guess that confronting will make things worse for you
and may open a can of worms that sets you back a bunch. But again, don't see this as you being WEAK, think about it like a broken bone or a cut or injury...you have to fix the bone or wait for the cut/injury to heal/fix otherwise you may break the bone further or open the cut or injury further etc. etc. You're basically on injury reserved right now and it would not be prudent to put you in the game.

Good luck!

P.S.
"social" media isn't reliable PERIOD. When the hell was the last time a person was truly having a good time had to stop or it occurred to them to stop to tell everyone else or show everyone else that they were?? I'd give a better example of an activity but I think it's not allowed by the rules of the board and I've been "moderated" far too many times on virtually every board I've written on. I'm usually much more "colorful" in my responses but the world is a bit too black and white for any rainbow bright minds, at this time.
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