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Childhood abuser ill, don't know how to feel. A listening ear would be good.

(35 Posts)
Cowardice Tue 28-Aug-07 08:10:52

Sorry, me name changing again. Sorry for the serious post at this hour of the morning, but I am in turmoil.

A family member abused my sister and I from childhood and I hve had counselling to come to terms with it but I stopped going when the counsellor pushed me to prosecute him.

It's hard to explain how I feel. I love him as he is a family member but I hate him for what he has done to us.

Today he is facing a life changing operation and he could die. I don't know how I feel. I have been up all night just thinking and talking to my sister. She is in bits. She feels the same as me.

I know through the counselling that feelings like mine towards an abuser is quite normal, and I don't feel guilty for still loving him, just strange.

Dh knows all about it but he just doesn't get me. He can't understand why I feel upset about him maybe dying, so I don't really have anyone to talk to.

Children are fighting and I am ready to blow a gasket!

I don't want any condemnation like the last time I said I love and hated my abuser, I know what I mean and why I feel like it. It's very hard trying to justify it to myself without trying to explain to others.

My sister feels the exact same so I have someone to talk to honestly about how I feel.

Is there anyone who has been abused in childhood who feels hate/pity and lots of other unexplainable feelings? Can you talk to me?

Roseylea Tue 28-Aug-07 08:16:33

Sorry Cowardice, no words of wisdom as it's so outside of my experience, but I just wanted to let you know that I read your thread and really feel for you.

Emotions are, at the easiest of times, very complex.

startouchedtrinity Tue 28-Aug-07 08:24:32

Cowardice, I realy don't think you need that username, you sound very brave to me.

I too have no experience of this, so forgive me if I am miles off. But I was reading a dialogue in a book recently between a counsellor and a woman who'd been abused by her stepfather. Her emotions were very similar to yours and pity was one thing she felt - to be a person who can do these things to little girls must be horrible. As for love, this man is a family member and we are programmed to love our near ones, it is hard to break that programming.

The book is a self-help book that helps to get rid of negative thinking. It's called Loving What Is and is by Byron Katie. I have issues inmy life that are nothing like what you have to deal with but it has helped me.

I will be thinking of you today. Take a few deep breaths and play with your dcs. Hope you get some peace soon. xxx

Mindles Tue 28-Aug-07 08:24:40

I know what you mean about the love/hate thing. Not sure if I'll be any help to you but I am here in case.

Cowardice Tue 28-Aug-07 08:40:18

Thanks for replying ladies.

I want to hate him because of what he did. He has never shown any remorse, though he did say sorry to my sister a few years ago when she confronted him.

But, this sounds strange too, I do love him. My heart breaks for him even though I know it shouldn't.

My sister believes he was abused as a child and therefore thinks what he did wasn't wrong, but I don't fall for it. I was abused and this didn't make me an abuser, if anything it made me even more protective of my little family.

startouchedtrinity Tue 28-Aug-07 08:44:08

Why shouldn't your heart break for him? There is no excuse for what he did but you love him. Why hate him? That won't bring you peace.

Nemo2007 Tue 28-Aug-07 08:46:01

I can understand while I hate and loathe my SF for what he did I also miss him as aside from the sexual abuse he was actually the better parent. I know that can seem a bizarre thing to say but he was.

Nemo2007 Tue 28-Aug-07 08:46:02

I can understand while I hate and loathe my SF for what he did I also miss him as aside from the sexual abuse he was actually the better parent. I know that can seem a bizarre thing to say but he was.

Cowardice Tue 28-Aug-07 08:57:03

I know. Hating him won't help me, or him.

I just remember all the small things he did for us as children.

He wrote us poems and always brought us treats home from the shops. He made toast on the open fire with real butter. He borrowed money for me to go on a school trip when he didn't have the money.

I keep telling myself it's normal, but today I am so confused. Have cleaned the whole house as I have been up so early, waiting on news. I don't know whether I want to be on my own or with my sister.

I love him for the good times, because despite the abuse, he was good to me. I know abuse isn't the way to show it, and I keep telling myself I am not wise, but I have had counselling and I have come to terms with how I feel, I just wish I didn't feel so guilty also.

Mindles Tue 28-Aug-07 09:07:22

Hmm. I am not very eloquent on this subject, but those memories you have are lovely. I don't buy into the idea that being abused sort of makes it ok to do it to other people. I do think though that it can make it a bit easier to deal with, if you can see a reason for what happened. Does that make sense?

Anyway, I think what I'm trying to say it sounds to me like he loved you but made a horrible mistake. If you can see like that would it make it easier for you to reconcile your conflicting emotions?

Sort of, love him, hate his mistakes, almost. I'm sorry this is such a ramble, I just hope I've managed to get across what I'm thinking!

PellMell Tue 28-Aug-07 09:19:13

Please believe me....your feeling are completely normal. They are healthy and rational.
Having nice recollections and thoughts about someone who has harmed you is your right.
It would be more harmful to you to remove happy childhood memories.
Being capable of abuse does not mean someone is incapable of showing love.

I did go through with prosecuting my father because I knew that he was still a very great risk to children.
He did serve a prison sentance and people understandably support me....but I don't have to only remember the monster.
I have a right to fondly (as do other adults)
recall the good times like you say.
It was my childhood....I was there too so why should I forget that for those moments he was the Daddy I deserved.
Although I am estranged from almost all my family and childhood friends etc, I wonder what my feelings would be once I know about his death.
I day dream that I will be told long after the event and that hurts me deeply.

Another thing I want to say is this.....loving someone who abuses you is not giving them permission to do it or saying it was o.k.
I have had the comments "well it can't have been that bad..you still went round to see him"
Actually my heart breaks for a broken pathetic little man who is discusting...I know that and I truly feel very sad for him that he is such a person.
Please talk if you need to.
all the best
x

startouchedtrinity Tue 28-Aug-07 09:31:38

Cowardice, why do you feel guilty? Is it for how you feel or b/c of what happened?

PellMell, I am sorry for what happened to you. You are amazingly strong. What you are saying is so right - there are no 'shoulds' about how people feel.

flightattendant Tue 28-Aug-07 09:54:10

Yes. you can love someone who hurt you. Not the same as a parent of course, or other family, but part of me still loves ds1's father, who used me terribly, lied, etc. and finally left us. Nobody understands why the massive love remains...it was the man he could be which still breaks my heart to think about.
I wish you peace xx

Cowardice Tue 28-Aug-07 10:12:21

Pellmell. You speak my thoughts.

I still visited him, without my children of course. I till buy him birthday gifts, send him cards. To all intents and purposes I do love him, I just hate what he did to me and I want to know why he did it.

I have been through this with my sister and with my counsellor, no-one has any answers. I actually told a friend that I wish he would die during the op, but I didn't mean it. I wanted to have a normal childhood, with a man that took me to the park, and he did this... He bought me sweets, treated me like a princess, but he also abused me. He took us to concerts, he always looked out for us.

I feel guilty, I don't know why for sure. I feel guilty that I let him "get away" with it, but I also know he has lived with it on his conscience. I also know there is an srument that people who do this don't have a conscience....

Sorry, am waffling now. Thanks for not judging me.

imasecretlemonadedrinker Tue 28-Aug-07 10:17:45

I was, my uncle asbused me any my cousin. He died three years ago from Cancer. Apparantly it was quite horrible at the end and he asked to see me and my cousin. My father knew about the abuse and said eh thought my uncle was going to apologise.

I didn't go and I am glad i didn't. I haven't had counselling and have just dealt with it on my own. I felt nothing when I heard he was dying and nothing when he died, just numb. I didn't go to funeral (I was the only family member that didn't) My cousin went as she wanted to be sure he was definitely gone.

I look back now I still just feel numb, I don't know I have no emotion either way, not hate or love.

Sorry, this probably hasn't helped but I do know what you going through.

Cowardice Tue 28-Aug-07 10:59:39

It does help lemonade drinker. Even just to remind me that everyone feels differently about their past.

My sister didn't have counselling and she handles things very differently to me. She loves him, says she feels no hate for him, just pity.

YesIAmANameChanger Tue 28-Aug-07 11:10:35

Hi
I can relate to some of what you say Cowardice. My dad abused me and it did come to court when I was 13 so he was prosecuted and went to prison. I have only seen him accidentally once or twice since then and I have no wish to see him.

I am a christian and I have tried to forgive him for what he did. I think I have. But I still feel angry, not for myself now, but for the little girl that I was.

My dad developed paranoid schizophrenia and became an alcoholic. He lived on the streets for a while. I still hear of him occasionally through family members. I pity him because I know that he must live in hell. But when he dies, which can't be too far away, I don't know how I will feel or react. I don't know if I will attend his funeral. It is very complicated. A very small part of me still loves him I suppose.

I can't believe anyone condemns you for loving your abuser. It is very common and even if it weren't, it's no one else's business but yours. I am glad you have your sister to talk to, that must be a real help and comfort.

maisemor Tue 28-Aug-07 11:26:50

I don't think you are alone in thinking that way.

If you look at the Austrian girl that was captured when she was 10 years old. She has all the expert therapists on hand that one could possibly want for.

She went to his funeral as she feels sorry for him and his lost soul.

She wants to buy the house they "lived" in, so that it does not get turned into a museum.

She says that she does not hate him, but feels sorry for him.

Anyway I am by no means an expert on this matter and have never gone through what you have gone through, but I hope it helps to know that you are not alone in feeling the way you do.

PellMell Tue 28-Aug-07 11:32:56

It is also very important to remember that you are allowed to feel love, pity.... whatever one day and hate, vengeance etc the next(or visa versa)
What I think helps me is to have removed any kind of blame from myself.This has taken me years
It is very hard to fully and I mean fully excuse yourself.....even though you know as a child it wasn't your fault and your rational mind tells you you are not to blame blah blah.
Somewhere in your conscience is that bit that says BUT IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN A TEENY BIT MY FAULT....I DIDN'T RUN SCREAMING, I LET HIM
Now I am able to detach myself fully from the child who was being abused and see that I never controlled that situation.
All the sympathy in the world for the weight of conscience that an abuser carries will not help them.
I've never been as happy as I am now and I am certain that the key to my happiness is a general levelling out in my emotional state.
I understand that I was not responsible for him then or now.

maisemor Tue 28-Aug-07 11:40:27

Natascha Kampusch

PellMell Tue 28-Aug-07 11:42:08

I really don't think people understand that you are loving the other side of the abusive person.
To love your father is a far cry from loving your abuser.

starfish2 Tue 28-Aug-07 11:44:14

Cowardice, I have no personal experience similar to yours, I just want to say I feel for you sad. I wish there was a simpler way to deal with emotions. Wish I could help.

Cowardice Tue 28-Aug-07 11:47:31

That's it exactly.

Sometimes I get jealous when I see dd sitting on dh's knee. I was never able to do that, I could never be free enough. Though my sister tells me I often did sit on his knee. She says he idolised me, that I was the one who ran to the door to meet him after work. I don't remember this. I do remember the abuse, and this may have happened before the abuse did.

I try to justify it by saying it "Only" happened a few times, and always after he had been out drinking, but I know it shouldn't have happened at all. He was always drunk when it happened, ot it was the morning after a huge binge drinking session.

He did leave home a few times on a binge then come home full of remorse. I am going around in circles. I love him, but not what he did to me. He moulded me into the person I am today. My mother doesn't know about the abuse, she idolises my dad, this is what stopped me prosecuting, my sister said it would kill our mother to think she hadn't noticed and that we had been through years of hell under her roof. I can't do that to my mother. Or him.

totaleclipse Tue 28-Aug-07 11:52:51

I was abused by mt father, I dont feel an ounce of love or pity for him, however unlike your abuser, mine does'nt have a nice bone in his body, he is an evil evil man, I dont know anyone that has ever had a nice word to say about him, so for me its very very easy to dispise him, am not sure how I would feel if when he was'nt an abuser he was a loving father, it must be very hard for you, I still see him sometimes in the street as we live in the same town, and he will stop dead in front of me and glare trying to intimidate me.

Cowardice Tue 28-Aug-07 12:04:07

Mine trys to hug me when I leave, he pats me on the head, but he has also described me as a ticking bomb.

If he was out somewhere and seen something we would like, he would buy us it. If our car was broken down he would try to get the part we needed to mend it.

My dh was out of work for a while and he got him a job through a friend.

he is not a bad man. He is a good man who has done a cruel thing. If I thought about it long enough I guess I could hate him, but what good would it do me?

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