This morning I was editing my book and reread the letter that I wrote to my father 2 years ago. The letter that caused my ENTIRE family to be outraged, send me nasty letters, and then disappear into the sunset never to be heard from again. The outrage was towards me, not for me. I thought about this long and hard this morning and became outraged myself. Outraged at the lack of outrage over the abuse I endured. Lack of outrage towards the abusers. If they were going to choose to be outraged, why be outraged at me? Why not be outraged over what happened TO me? I don’t visit this question often because I already know the answer. I reread my letter from a different perspective because time does change perspective. It was written from a raw wound, a beaten down spirit trying to rise, an abuse victim saying enough is enough. I thought I would have written it differently now since being without my family has given me time for introspection and reflection. But their choice to react in anger and blame solidifies why I wrote the letter in the first place. Deep down I knew that they didn’t truly love all of me. They loved what was convenient for them to accept. My letter to my father revealed their true identities. An entire group of people incapable of supporting an abuse survivor. In contrast:
I sent a message to the man who molested me when I was at a ski school as a little girl. I sent him the message on facebook back in 2011. I sent messages to the men who abused me that I could find via Facebook. I only got one reply, from the ski school instructor. It happened only once but I detailed in the message to him what he did and how it made me feel. Here is his reply:
I am so very sorry that I acted in such a way that you have described. I can only blame myself for such a terrible act.
There are many things that we all as adults have done in the past that we would do over, if we had the chance. What you have written is now my number one Regret.
I wish I had used better judgment. Nothing I have done is as foul as you have described. I offer no excuse, for there is no valid reason to defend my action. I am truly ashamed.
This letter that you wrote to me has driven a stake into my heart. I will never forget it.
I hope that somehow you can move on in your life by putting this behind you.
I will carry the burden of this appalling act. I will carry the pain of this.
I wish there was some Magic in the world to free you of this chapter in your life.
I am sorry from the deepest part of my heart.”
I am sure different people will read into his reply in different ways. No matter how you read it, he chose to apologize. This is a pretty harsh contrast from my own family disowning me wouldn’t you say? I have a child molester’s apology, and my own family can only reply in anger and blame. How outrageous is THAT!!!
I did not expect the reaction I got from my own family after I told them how I really felt and what I really went through growing up. In the two years since I have written it I have come to understand that their reaction is a reflection of their behavior all along, I just never saw it.
We NEED outrage! Abuse victims/survivors NEED outrage! We need our family and friends and society to be outraged by abuse. My stepfather said point blank that no one wanted to hear the “nitty-gritty” details of the abuse I endured. His mentality is a mirror of most of society. Which gives me great amounts of fury. Have you ever felt fury? It is a step above outrage. Fury is an all fire volcanic explosion. If an individual who was abused felt the wrath of full fury come down on the perpetrator then a small part of us would feel vindicated. A small part of us would feel validated, protected, heard, listened to, and a small part of us would feel justice. As much as I wish I never had to think about my family again, it is hard not to, because they represent society. Maybe when I start to see changes in societies reaction to abuse, my family will cross my mind less and less. For right now, they are a reminder of everything that is wrong.
*Thank you to Serena Bradshaw’s post that brought awareness to this topic and allowed me to ponder and process my own feelings about the subject. She is a brilliant writer…check out her blog when you get a chance!