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Facing Your Abuser - May 8th 2010, 06:32 PM

Iíve been toying with the idea of possibly meeting with my therapist on neutral ground, and having my father be a part of the session. I wouldnít want him knowing who she is, how long sheís been working with me or where we regularly meet. I donít want to run the risk of him showing up a) to intimidate me, which is something heís done to both my mother and I before and/or b) with the hope that our relationship can be restored, because it canít.

I donít want to talk about the sexual abuse. Iím not ready to, and Iím not sure Iíll ever be ready. What I would want to write/talk about, as Iíd probably bring in a letter to read aloud, are the lasting effects of his emotional unavailability and his serial abandonment throughout the sixteen years I lived with him all or part of the time. I then want to tell him that I want to carry on as normal. I donít want to see him anymore than I have in the past three years (not at all) and I donít want to hear from him ever again. The point, I want to tell him, is to say the three most important words I could ever say Ė ďI forgive you.Ē

My fears are that heís not going to listen to the fact I donít want to see/hear from him, and that heíll try again as persistently as he did in the first year after I stopped seeing him (he sent me birthday and holiday cards, wrote ďto meĒ through my sisterís e-mails, etc. that I sent back and never responded to); my other fear is that heís so caught up in denial, as he was in the sixteen years I lived with him, that what I want to say will fall on deaf ears, and that will hurt me deeper than I want to be hurt. Then again, saying ďI forgive youĒ at all would be more for me than anyone else, giving me the opportunity to move on from what happened and be liberated/break free from his almost 19-year hold.

Iíd also consider bringing a friend to my session, assuming they could make it, but Iím not sure said friend would be willing to do so, or how Iíd even approach the question to begin with?

Has anyone ever done this before? What was your experience like? Does anyone have any opinions, whether they've been through this or not?

Any advice is much obliged. Thank you.
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Re: Facing Your Abuser - May 10th 2010, 04:40 AM

Hey Elliotte,

Taking a friend with you to a session, if it's a friend you trust, is a good idea. I've never done that exactly, but I have thought about it. Just ask your friend, if they know you see a therapist, if they'll go with you. Don't get too worked up over it, there are only a few answers, and if they don't want to go, if their not open to that, then don't be ashamed for asking, it just means they aren't ready yet.

As for your dad, well that's your call. I don't know how he will react, you do. Talk it over with your therapist and see what she thinks, but in the end, it's your choice.If you think it will hurt you, don't do it.

Take good care of yourself, and hang in there.

She whispered to her own reflection "I will be strong."

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Sometimes things just happen.

Smile through the tears.

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Re: Facing Your Abuser - May 12th 2010, 04:24 AM

Thank you. I came close to talking to a friend about going, but backed out last minute. I got ashamed and scared and nervous because I don't want him to think I'm obsessive or mental, and I don't want to have to deal with the fact he's so last minute, the answer would probably be "I might be busy" even if he says "he'd like to." Because it seems he can't even plan a couple days early, and... Ugh. I might still talk to him about it.

But I talked to my boyfriend about the possibility of going with me whilst he's here. He said at first that he's not sure he can control the anger he has towards my father. I told him that that complicated matters and that if he went with me, all I'd need him for is moral support; despite whatever emotions he experienced throughout the course of the session, he'd need to stay quiet, holding my hand or giving me hugs, simply comforting me and making me feel protected and safe. I also told him I didn't necessarily want to go into the sexual abuse, so he would have to refrain from mentioning that himself. He agreed to all these terms and said he'd willingly go if I needed him to.

That being said, my boyfriend and I are a long-distance couple and I only have two weeks with him in June. I won't see him again until September, maybe even later in the year, and I'm not sure I even want to put a damper on the holiday like that. He says it wouldn't sour the holiday any and it's one day, but at the same time, that's one day out of 12 (excluding the days he arrives and departs) that would be spent with me most likely feeling negative the rest of the day. He said he'd do nothing but hold me and read to me and kiss me and cuddle me etc. but mrrf.

Then there's the fact I don't want him to feel as though I'd rather go with my friend over him, even though he said he was fine with it either way, and there's also the fact my boyfriend would, obviously, bring me more comfort than my friend in general, etc. I'm going to talk to my therapist more about this on Friday, but it's absolutely tormenting me.
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