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30 Mar 2007

HOW DO I TELL MY ABUSERS
I am 43 years old. As a child I was sexually abused by my father, brother and some family "friends". Virtually all aspects of my life have been scarred by this and I have been left with no self esteem. I have been depressed most of my life, had relationship problems and generally not had a good life due to the conditioned pattern of silence and fear that I have had to live with. Recently I did a lot of research on adult survivors of child sexual abuseand have decided that it is time for me to speak out about what happened to me and to try and help other survivors. I'm still not sure of how I plan to do this but I do want to tell the abusers of how terribly their actions affected my life, rendering me a depressive misery as I have had to deal with the loss of my innocence and of ever having a full and normal life. BUT how do I tell them?
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Sorry to hear of your unpelasant and unfortunate experiences in the past. Fortunately, it is not inevitable that one remain scarred by them, and counselling of the CBT format could help a great deal, including helping you to reach a more realistic and positive level of self-esteem. I understand the urge to speak out and help other survivors of abuse, but I do believe it is essential to first of all enter proper realistic therapy and set oneself free from the negative ways in which those experiences have influenced you, as then you would be most able to help others.
Sadly, though it feels important to tell the abusers what a terrible thing they did, they generally are not as ashamed and regretful as we might expect or as would be appropriate. It is important no to expect too much from such confrontations, which are almost inevitably less satisfying and useful than one might expect and hope.
And Echelle makes a significant point about involving the resrt of the family in your revelations, so the perps have less opportunity to ignore your complaints
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