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02 Oct 2006

Effects of child abuse
I was the victim of child abuse. My father and one of my brother sexually abused me as a child. From then on I became like a magnet for other abusers and suffered at the hands of other sons of family friends. As an adult i was unable to have relationships with men without becoming clingy etc. it's a long story really that has lead to a life time of depression, poor body imagine, insecurity and all the other things that seem to accompany being a victim of child abuse. I have kept silent, thus allowing my abusers to get away with what they did. My problem now is that I am angry. I have been married happily for 5 years and seemed to have conquered the relationship thing although I always look for reassurance from my husband. I have a great psychiatrist and am on anti depressants but none of this takes away the fact that I was abused and suffered for many years with the horror of my memories. My father and brother appear to be living great lives, they have plenty of money, perfect families (my father left us when I was 12 and remarried). They got away with what they did, are sitting plushly yet my husband and I struggle to make ends meet because of my medical bills and these bills are directly as a result of what they did to me. Is it fair to say that I should get some form of apology and even some form of compensation for what they did? They completely destroyed my life and i find it hard to accept that they're ok and I'm not. I am dealing with my anger but why should I forever be in this horrible place whilst they are ok?
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

It's very understabdable that you feel angry, but the question now arises as to whether this anger is useful and whether you are able to use it fruitfully. Again I recommend CBT counselling, as it deals with the problems you now have and experience, rather than embarking on detailed explorations of the past which generally make you feel much worse, without helping at all. And it doesn't take very long, and thus is far less expensive than the airy-fairy analytic forms of counselling too often used here.
I understand how hurtful it is to see your father etc apparently living hapilly 9 but do remember, that even while they were abusing you, it probably looked like a happy family to outsiders, so they are probaly not enjoying as much hapinness as it might seem to you ). That you may, morally, DESERVE an apology and even compensation, makes sense --- except that things don't work that way. Any attempt to take them to court or otherwise compel such a deal, would cost a fortune you don't have , and would almost certainly fail. That's wrong, but that's how it is. Leave them to themselves --- such evil people generally end up about as miserable as they deserve. And pursuing them won't benefit you, which is what mat5ters most. Look after yourself. Healing yourself and lioving your own happy life, is by far the best form of revenge
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