Confronting My Abusers

FreeSoul

Learning
I had been reading and researching childhood trauma. In the past 2 years, I have been able to get to the root of C-PTSD which I hadn't been able to in the previous years.
Coming to acceptance that my siblings were the main abusers, my mother allowed all this in her presence, while my father didn't give a damn about the family and was often away from home for weeks due to business; hasn't been easy.
I had been portraying anger on several other people, what my siblings and parents were responsible for.
During my recent reading of a book titled Toxic Parents by Susan Forward, I found that I should be confronting my abusers, which I hadn't thought of, and planned to avoid.
However, I now realise that I haven't been able to stop the portraying of what my siblings and parents did, onto others; and I continue to feel angry most of the time.
I have been avoiding the angering and confrontation part and hope to do it sometime soon.
I was hoping for some encouragement and support from a group or/and a therapist. My past 2 therapists sucked, and I haven't been able to join a support group due to non-availability in my city.
I do hope to build up enough courage to confront my abusive parents and siblings really soon.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
for what it's worth
i've had nothing but horrific results out of confronting my abusers, most especially my abusive siblings. i achieved nothing more than creating further trauma.

i get far better results from psychotherapy, anger channeling and peer support.

but that is me and every case is unique. . .

gentle support while you decide what is right for you.
 

Actualise

Learning
@FreeSoul get yourself a good therapist, one you’re happy with.
Confrontation cannot be rushed, only do it when you feel absolutely sure you are as ready as you can be and psychologically have to do it. I agree there is value in confronting abuses in the right circumstances. As arfie said though gone wrong it can be worse than not doing it. It takes some people many many years until they’re ready.
Take care of yourself and stay safe.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
I agree with @arfie and @Actualise. Most times in confrontation the backlash only makes things worse. You were given good suggestions as to getting a therapist if you don't already have one. And taking your time with this.

I never confronted any of my abusers because somewhere along this journey I made up mind that getting healthy was my best revenge. I did end up going no contact with all of them. I changed, they didn't.

Hope you spend a lot of time getting clear with yourself with what you hope to accomplish and if it doesn't turn out like you want and need it to, what are plans then. It's a big 'jumping off the cliff' with very painful consequences.

Glad you shared tho, and hope the suggestions help.
 

Friday

Moderator
Confrontation works brilliantly for normal life assholery, toxic people, etc.It empowering, clarifying, and often forms the foundation of either repairing a relationship or ending a relationship.

And it tends to work just as badly, when one is moving outside of normal life problems, and into actual abuse, rape, torture, terrorism, and other life threatening traumas.

***

Consider divorce with kids…

Standard advice for normal divorces where both parents despise each other and want nothing to do with one another is to get together and play nice for a coffee, a meal, a play date, etc. for the sake of making the transition easier on the children, and not putting them in the middle.

My son’s school counselor read me the riot act on how I needed to be doing exactly that with my exHusband. Until? I asked him if he usually recommended rape victims go have a coffe with their rapist? Or if a child should witness the person who beat them and abused them being loved and accepted by all the other adults in their life, as if the pain they caused the child was deserved or of no importance? My son’s school counselor? Went white, and practically fell all over himself apologising (granted I also shoved hospital records complete with photos in his face, along with 11 restraining orders, etc.).

Advice that is truly solid and helpful for normal divorce problems is THE OPPOSITE of helpful when one is talking domestic violence divorce.

Same with normal family squabbles, drama, and estrangement… versus… abuse/neglect, sexual assault, attempted murder, murder, and other capT Traumas that can happen within a family.

***
Are there exceptions to the rule? Where confrontation in a normal family makes everything worse, and confrontation in an abusive family makes things better? Of course. Just like there are times when having a coffee with your rapist is a good idea. Or one should play nice wih the person abusing their child. Outliers happen. For many reasons. But outliers and exceptions are just that; rare occurances, rather than something to depend upon so far as anyone “should” do XYZ and expect ABC.

Normal family problems? Confrontation usually makes things better.
Abusive family problems? Confrontation usually makes things worse.
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
I never confronted any of my abusers because somewhere along this journey I made up mind that getting healthy was my best revenge.
Perfect! I agree, @ladee.
I had been portraying anger on several other people, what my siblings and parents were responsible for.
Do you mean you are lashing out at others because of your PTSD, or that you feel others are abusing you because of your PTSD? There are ways of dealing with both of these situations without confronting your abusers. That usually blows up for me because the abusers know exactly how to upset me. Maybe writing a detailed letter and burning it? I've used that before and believe it or not it is helpful.
 

FreeSoul

Learning
Susan Forward did mention in her book that there is going to be lashback.
She gave examples of the abusers accusing the victim, physically attacking the victim, gaslighting the victim, etc. etc.
My own experience has been similar. My father, sibling, and my father's friend denied ever doing anything, accused me back (falsely of course), etc etc.
That's why she also suggested to not only expect anything positive from the abuser, but to also seek support from a therapist or a support group.
The reason I prefer to confront is that I cannot stop having the anger towards my abusers; which Susan said in her book, would change after confrontation. She also have several
 

Sideways

Moderator
Susan Forward seems to have really struck a nerve. Maybe I'm hearing something that isn't really there, but I remember reading books that left me breathless. Like the person was writing specifically to me, about my exact life.

And when those same books had advice on how to resolve the issue they were describing, then I was usually ready to dive in head first.

Confrontation can go horribly wrong. I'd go so far as to say that you have to be in a very niche type of situation, with a niche type of person, for confrontation about abuse they've inflicted to go well.

The anger you've described - there are other ways to confront that anger that doesn't rely on your abuser's doing the right thing by you for the first time in your life.

Even if it's just a practice run at your proposed confrontation, have you considered writing them a letter, with what you want to say? A letter you don't send. A letter where social sensibility is not required. And where your abuser can't make you feel even worse, because they don't get to speak...

When someone abuses us? Anger is healthy. We deserve to be angry on our own behalf.

You deserve your anger. You don't deserve to be hurt again. Confronting your abusers gives them the opportunity to do exactly that. And it's hard to see how that would be healing.
 

Friday

Moderator
Confrontation can go horribly wrong. I'd go so far as to say that you have to be in a very niche type of situation, with a niche type of person, for confrontation about abuse they've inflicted to go well.
This.

As someone who has confronted many people. In many situations.

Anger being gone after the confrontation? I suppose it’s happened once or twice. But not noticeably so. Far more often there’s increased rage, rather than decreased. Shrug. But that’s me. Even if the confrontation goes in the best way possible, closing the loop/ balancing the scales/ resolving whatever however, that doesn’t mean my anger magically vanishes.

The idea of telling anyone (much less everyone) do “this” and your anger will go away? Makes me very very nervous. Because people are wildly different.

Kill them, and your anger will go away.
Confront them, and your anger will go away.
Forgive them, and your anger will go away.
Make friends, and your anger will go away.
Eat a strawberry smoothie, and your anger will go away.

Shoot some heroin, howl at the moon, rise fo power, give everything you own to charity and join a monastic order, buy my book, eat this diet, achieve this degree of success, do this, do that, do this other thing… and you can pick and choose your emotions at will.

Do A & B will happen? Works for a lot of things. And not at all for others.

Anything as complex as personality & emotion? Isn’t an if A then B.

Anyone who says otherwise is naïve, desperate, or trying to sell you something, in my experience.
 
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