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Abuser not remembering their abuse

I want to try to heal the brokwn relationship between us.
That's a great goal. And, sometimes it works out that way too. But, if it's going to work out, BOTH parties have to want it to work, and they have to want it to work for the right reasons. So, if one person wants to "reconcile" so they can continue to take advantage of the other person, it's not going to work. (Unless person # 2 decides it's ok to be taken advantage of.) From what you've said, I'm not real optimistic about the situation with your father.
But it's rather saddening to me that my family is so uninvolved with me.
You're right, it's sad. (Mostly because they're missing out on knowing a young person who seems like they're very worth knowing.) Sometimes it works out that we. Some families just aren't great families and some people get stuck growing up in them anyway. It's not fair and it's not right, but it's true. My suggestion would be to look for support and guidance outside your biological family. We're not totally stuck with the families we're born into. We can create our own chosen families from the people we meet.

Any chance you can talk to the therapist WITHOUT your father there?
 
That's a great goal. And, sometimes it works out that way too. But, if it's going to work out, BOTH parties have to want it to work, and they have to want it to work for the right reasons. So, if one person wants to "reconcile" so they can continue to take advantage of the other person, it's not going to work. (Unless person # 2 decides it's ok to be taken advantage of.) From what you've said, I'm not real optimistic about the situation with your father.

You're right, it's sad. (Mostly because they're missing out on knowing a young person who seems like they're very worth knowing.) Sometimes it works out that we. Some families just aren't great families and some people get stuck growing up in them anyway. It's not fair and it's not right, but it's true. My suggestion would be to look for support and guidance outside your biological family. We're not totally stuck with the families we're born into. We can create our own chosen families from the people we meet.

Any chance you can talk to the therapist WITHOUT your father hi

Hi there,
unfortunately no because it's techinqually his therapist. She saw how nervous I was during the session. So Im pretty sure that she knows that Im not lying.
 
hello caricat. welcome to the forum. sorry for what brings you here, but glad you are here.

i don't care to speculate on your father's specific case, but not remembering is common with mental illness. it goes deeper than garden variety denial, but memory blocks and blackouts are fairly common mental illness symptoms. i would trust your pro to determine if it is so here.

whether that be the case with your father, or not, welcome aboard. steadying support while you sort your own case.
 
@Movingforward10 what do you think is going to happen? She said last week that the focus was going to be on me feeling comfortable because of my PTSD. She told my dad that it's up to me at the pace I want to go. And that he needs to respect that

hello caricat. welcome to the forum. sorry for what brings you here, but glad you are here.

i don't care to speculate on your father's specific case, but not remembering is common with mental illness. it goes deeper than garden variety denial, but memory blocks and blackouts are fairly common mental illness symptoms. i would trust your pro to determine if it is so here.

whether that be the case with your father, or not, welcome aboard. steadying support while you sort your own case.
Arfie,
thank you so much for your support! It's so nice to be seen and having others hold space for me. I appreciate you doing that
 
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She said last week that the focus was going to be on me feeling comfortable because of my PTSD. She told my dad that it's up to me at the pace I want to go. And that he needs to respect that
That right there sounds promising to me.

The therapist is in kind of a tricky position. At least it seems that way to me.. I'm not a therapist and don't know all the details of professional ethics or the law, so maybe I'm wrong. (But) She's hired by your father, so the therapy is intended to be about him and whatever he's working on. I'm pretty sure ethics demands she also look out for you, at least as much as she can. Sounds like she's doing that which is great. If she's been seeing your father for a while, she's formed some ideas about what he's like. And what his diagnosis might be, if he's got one. So, she knows more about what he's like and where he's coming from than we do. It's hard to know what to expect without knowing more about him. (I'm fighting the tendency to assume he's like "other people I know". He may or may not be.)

If he's really sorry for past behavior and really wants to reconcile, he should say that. He might say it anyway, trying to manipulate the situation, knowing it's what he's "supposed" to say. Also, if he's sincere, he should abide by the idea that you set the pace. If the pace you set is "Not now, not ever!" he needs to accept that too. How he handles it when you stick up for yourself and don't easily go along with his wishes will maybe tell you something about how sincere he is.

My old therapist never really encouraged encounters with past abusers. Usually they haven't changed. It's tempting to go in with grand ideas about fixing things and "they all live happily ever after" etc and it can be pretty disappointing. It can also be hurtful. Seems to me the main way it can be dangerous is if you end up reestablishing a relationship with someone who's still going to be abusive.

I've been making the assumption that you don't live with your father. Is that right? So, he's in therapy and decided he wants to reconcile with you, is that right? Do you know what made him decide to do therapy? As I've been sitting here thinking about it, there's a big difference in the situation depending on the reasons for "therapy". Court ordered vs trying to make sense of my life, for example.

If I was going to give you any advice (and I guess I am) it would be to say what you want to say, even if you're afraid to say it. Ask what you want to ask too. With PTSD, often stuff FEELS dangerous just because it reminds your brain of other times and other situations. Spend some time picking that apart. (For example, I used to dread having to make weekly phone calls with my mom. Took me a long time to recognize that that was based on the past. When I was having to make those calls, she was, in fact, a little old lady who lived hundreds of miles away. She wasn't really a threat anymore. The calls weren't fun, but they also weren't dangerous.) Consider what FEELS like a threat as opposed to what really is a threat. But trust your gut too. In the end, you don't have to reconcile with this guy just because it's what he wants.
 
MovingForward10 what do you think is going to happen? She said last week that the focus was going to be on me feeling comfortable because of my PTSD. She told my dad that it's up to me at the pace I want to go. And that he needs to respect that
I agree with @scout86 .

But I would also add some more about ethics. And also ethics is different for people depending on various professional standards/regulations etc.

But: I am highly highly sceptical about a therapist bringing in a victim into a perpetrators therapy. I'm worried about potential more abuse happening, gaslighting, manipulation etc.

My therapist wouldn't even engage my partner coming into a couple of sessions. She was so firm that my therapy was for me and me only. If I wanted therapy with my partner: that would be couples therapy. She also said she would not take a client who was a friend of mine, for their own individual therapy.

What type of therapy is this? A family therapist? Why has he asked for it?

You're scared of him and yet in this therapy session. With his therapist.
If he had said: I have done XYZ and I want to make amends. That can be done via a letter. But he isn't? He is saying he can't remember and still not apologising.

It's the very least the therapist can do to say that it needs to go at your pace and to be mindful of your PTSD. That is a very minimal expectation. One you don't need to feel grateful for.

I just think she has put herself into a very complex situation that potentially is retraumatising and abusive for you. For what goal?
 
That right there sounds promising to me.

The therapist is in kind of a tricky position. At least it seems that way to me.. I'm not a therapist and don't know all the details of professional ethics or the law, so maybe I'm wrong. (But) She's hired by your father, so the therapy is intended to be about him and whatever he's working on. I'm pretty sure ethics demands she also look out for you, at least as much as she can. Sounds like she's doing that which is great. If she's been seeing your father for a while, she's formed some ideas about what he's like. And what his diagnosis might be, if he's got one. So, she knows more about what he's like and where he's coming from than we do. It's hard to know what to expect without knowing more about him. (I'm fighting the tendency to assume he's like "other people I know". He may or may not be.)

If he's really sorry for past behavior and really wants to reconcile, he should say that. He might say it anyway, trying to manipulate the situation, knowing it's what he's "supposed" to say. Also, if he's sincere, he should abide by the idea that you set the pace. If the pace you set is "Not now, not ever!" he needs to accept that too. How he handles it when you stick up for yourself and don't easily go along with his wishes will maybe tell you something about how sincere he is.

My old therapist never really encouraged encounters with past abusers. Usually they haven't changed. It's tempting to go in with grand ideas about fixing things and "they all live happily ever after" etc and it can be pretty disappointing. It can also be hurtful. Seems to me the main way it can be dangerous is if you end up reestablishing a relationship with someone who's still going to be abusive.

I've been making the assumption that you don't live with your father. Is that right? So, he's in therapy and decided he wants to reconcile with you, is that right? Do you know what made him decide to do therapy? As I've been sitting here thinking about it, there's a big difference in the situation depending on the reasons for "therapy". Court ordered vs trying to make sense of my life, for example.

If I was going to give you any advice (and I guess I am) it would be to say what you want to say, even if you're afraid to say it. Ask what you want to ask too. With PTSD, often stuff FEELS dangerous just because it reminds your brain of other times and other situations. Spend some time picking that apart. (For example, I used to dread having to make weekly phone calls with my mom. Took me a long time to recognize that that was based on the past. When I was having to make those calls, she was, in fact, a little old lady who lived hundreds of miles away. She wasn't really a threat anymore. The calls weren't fun, but they also weren't dangerous.) Consider what FEELS like a threat as opposed to what really is a threat. But trust your gut too. In the end, you don't have to reconcile with this guy just because it's what he wants.
Scout86 yes she came right out and said that it's up to me as to the pace I want. My dad has abided by it so far...

As for my dad he's in his 70's. He lost my brother in 2017 to an enlarged heart. My mom divorced him years ago. She died to an overdose of presciption meds. I was living with her at the time bcause we both were going through physical illnesses. I have fibromyalgia , osteoarthritis and CRPS.

My dad also lost his girlfriend Patti 2 years ago.The thing with him is that he's very intense (100% Italian, Scorpio) He's moody. He's like 2 different people. He's nice for a while but then he switches up and becomes angry and verbally abusive. I suspect that he has some kind of mental illness because he favored my brother who hd BPD. He felt bad for him. My brother pushed me down a flight of stairs back in 2014. I was in my 40's. Im 50 now and want him to know everything that he's put me through and why Im so distant from him.
 
I agree with @scout86 .

But I would also add some more about ethics. And also ethics is different for people depending on various professional standards/regulations etc.

But: I am highly highly sceptical about a therapist bringing in a victim into a perpetrators therapy. I'm worried about potential more abuse happening, gaslighting, manipulation etc.

My therapist wouldn't even engage my partner coming into a couple of sessions. She was so firm that my therapy was for me and me only. If I wanted therapy with my partner: that would be couples therapy. She also said she would not take a client who was a friend of mine, for their own individual therapy.

What type of therapy is this? A family therapist? Why has he asked for it?

You're scared of him and yet in this therapy session. With his therapist.
If he had said: I have done XYZ and I want to make amends. That can be done via a letter. But he isn't? He is saying he can't remember and still not apologising.

It's the very least the therapist can do to say that it needs to go at your pace and to be mindful of your PTSD. That is a very minimal expectation. One you don't need to feel grateful for.

I just think she has put herself into a very complex situation that potentially is retraumatising and abusive for you. For what goal?
I agree with @scout86 .

But I would also add some more about ethics. And also ethics is different for people depending on various professional standards/regulations etc.

But: I am highly highly sceptical about a therapist bringing in a victim into a perpetrators therapy. I'm worried about potential more abuse happening, gaslighting, manipulation etc.

My therapist wouldn't even engage my partner coming into a couple of sessions. She was so firm that my therapy was for me and me only. If I wanted therapy with my partner: that would be couples therapy. She also said she would not take a client who was a friend of mine, for their own individual therapy.

What type of therapy is this? A family therapist? Why has he asked for it?

You're scared of him and yet in this therapy session. With his therapist.
If he had said: I have done XYZ and I want to make amends. That can be done via a letter. But he isn't? He is saying he can't remember and still not apologising.

It's the very least the therapist can do to say that it needs to go at your pace and to be mindful of your PTSD. That is a very minimal expectation. One you don't need to feel grateful for.

I just think she has put herself into a very complex situation that potentially is retraumatising and abusive for you. For what goal?
MovingForward10 really it's for me to tell him why I am the way I am. He's very clueless about his actions he's done upon me.I need to get it off of my chest because I've been carrying this around inside of me for quite some time. He is respecting my boundaries. Although the other night he said that I belong in assisted living because of my fibromyalgia. That irritated me. I plan on bringing this up with his therapist. Because Im sure that she is going to have a lot to say about it.
 
Im 50 now
I'm just going to throw something in here. Not sure exactly what it means or if it means anything.

My assumption, until you said that, was that you were probably in your teens somewhere. I GUESS (and it's really a guess) that was because I got the feeling that your father had the potential to control your life like he would if you were a minor. You obviously weren't a little kid, so I was thinking "smart, mature teenager." The reason I decided to mention this is maybe that dynamic still exists in your relationship with him. If it does, it's probably worth thinking about.

Since you are an adult, would doing some therapy on your own be an option? My personal best guess is that your father isn't going to change, even though where he's at in life he has reasons to reflect and maybe decide to do better. It would be nice if you got what you want from him, but that's not real likely. I think it's more important that you come to terms with where that leaves you and how you go on from where you're at. JMO, I think he's messed up enough of your life, it makes more sense to try to sort out the mess and go on.
 
@scout86 Im in therapy currently. I have accepted the fact that this is who he is. But I also feel that he should know how everything has affected me. No he doesn't control my life. I'm very stubborn and at the end of the day I do what I want.

I saw his therapist again today and I really don't like her approach. Someone else had mentioned that they felt that the therapist is going to side with him. Today she did and I left feeling very defeated.
This therapy is more for him than me. He needs to listen to her and put into practice what she is teaching him. I told him that the only way he can be in my life is if he goes for therapy and learns good coping skills. Otherwise I don't want him in my life.
 
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