Positive thoughts toward your abuser(s)

You missed my point entirely.
Quite possibly.

My own answer could have gone the other way: I hate all priests. They are the root of all evil in this world.

If someone responded to that with something along the lines of: be a better person…on my very best day that would make me incredibly angry. I am a better person, but I have PTSD and the way I perceive that group of people is a symptom of an illness, and there’s no amount of good intentions can fix a mental illness.

Which, I think, is what the thread is about? (Please correct me if I’m way off there @OliveJewel ): given we have ptsd, how do you get a more balanced opinion of the person (or group) who has caused your illness?
 
@Aprilshowers you were responding to a poster and telling them that they were wrong to feel the way they did toward the medical field. Your opinion was that they were wrong and contributing to
hate, violence, turmoil, and distrust in our country today! We'll go after police, teachers, doctors, postal workers
In *your* experience the medical field has some redemption despite the pain it caused you. In the poster’s experience every experience has been beyond horrible. You don’t understand their point of view, which is fine, but why tell them their experience and perspective is wrong and not only wrong, hurtful to the entire society? If you don’t like someone’s perspective you can ignore them.

Both of you have a similar perspective of being able to see the positive in your abusive fathers. Perhaps seizing on the commonality would be
one huge lesson- Be A Bridge Builder
 
I view my abusers neutrally. They aren't all good or all bad, they just exist among the muddy grey soup of mediocrity that the rest of us swim in. My judgment of them is as objective as I can make it.

They committed acts of violence against children. They participated in a system of corruption that enabled this behavior to continue. They are wrong. These actions are egregious and harmful and should never happen. I judge them as being wrong and bad for having contributed to the global institution of human trafficking and civilian drug wars that prey on little kids.

But on some level I try to have hope that maybe, somewhere, someway, there might come a time when some of these folks will start to feel genuine remorse for their actions and work on making themselves better people. To put out good actions and not abusive ones.

If I had an opportunity to sit down with them I might do it. I know I've always had an open heart to anyone I have victimized who has ever felt that they needed closure for the things I have done to them. I don't wish my abusers ill will. I do not require revenge - I have spent 16 years reforming myself to be a pacifist.

But I do wish them justice, in as restorative a definition as I can make it.
 
Can I try again?

As someone who has suffered all kinds of abuse - spiritual, medical, sexual, etc. - I get that people with PTSD deal with trauma. Trust me, I GET IT. I have also suffered tremendously from the stigma of mental illness. I cringe when I hear news reports like these:
A man with a history of mental illness just shot several coworkers at a local Walmart.

A recently released mental patient is holding several postal workers hostage at gunpoint.

Several medical personnel lost their lives today when one of the doctor's patients ran through the building with an AK47. He is reportedly suffering from mental illness.

Another school shooting from a student with a history of mental problems!


I joined this site to get help with my healing. I WANT...no, I NEED...encouragement in the right direction. Encouraging each other that it is okay that tear about good, decent people in our society is not helping me. Yes, this is a place to discuss our trauma, our pain, and the specific people that hurt us. The pastor of my church hurt me - not everyone in the pastoral profession. Just that one man. Are their other bad apples? Sure. But I came to discuss my bad Macintosh - not the entire religious community. One bad pastor doesn't spoil the whole bunch. One bad doctor...or several...doesn't mean they are all out to get you. We need to change our messaging! It is okay to say my mother, father, priest, doctor caused my PTSD and trauma and I am ANGRY. It is not okay to hate on good people who are out in the world doing good. By encouraging that bad behavior, are we guilty of putting a gun in some mentally ill person's hand? If this community is here to encourage negative thinking, I came to the wrong place. I've enjoyed the people I've met here - especially Rachel - but I need to heal and spread kindness. Even with my PTSD - no, especially because of my PTSD - that's who I am. Love and healing to all of you.💜
 
Are their other bad apples? Sure. But I came to discuss my bad Macintosh - not the entire religious community.

It's important, though -> for us as religious individuals, to be aware of the systematic harms that proselytization and colonialism have caused others. You may be there to discuss your specific things, but others may need to frame their experiences in a much different manner. Especially for those of us who have been traditionally harmed by populist religious institutions.

I have a lot of LGBT friends who are atheists. My first instinct is not to tell them that they should have a more open mind, and not all religious institutions are bad -> my first instinct is to recognize the nature of their systemic trauma at the hands of religious institutions. It starts with listening, not forming my own judgments and opinions on the matter, and respecting the other person's inherent right to spiritual sovereignty.

@Sideways is 100% within her rights to criticize the fabric of the current Catholic governance (or whatever it is - I'm Jewish, sorry, I don't know what exactly that all is) most especially within the context of having endured trauma at its hands. The phrase actually is, "one bad apple spoils the bunch." The intention being, where an apple has rotted, it will leak out CO2 and methane and that will cause the other apples to start rotting more quickly.

That is the metaphor. A metaphor which historically has proven true more often than not. (It is also somewhat off-topic, but I digress.)
 
I don’t know if it’s a positive thought, but I understand why one of them did what he did. I understand that frenzied need to make the mental pain stop. We had a strangely similar upbringing, same place and same stuff but different time. And as a result I turned it inwards to self destruction and he turned it outwards with a need to destroy others.

It’s a topic I find so hard because I find myself defending him and then I think of the vile things he did to me, and other people and there’s no justifying those acts. But I know that place and am I really better? Like can I really judge him?


Where there’s no understanding/connection for me there’s no positive thoughts. But there is for him.
 
view my abusers neutrally. They aren't all good or all bad, they just exist
⬆️ Not really the direction I meant to take this post—I have a whole other post addressing this (Do You View Your Abuser as Evil—I think you commented in it?). Im not thinking about the judgement of them but rather if you can or do occasionally have a positive thought about them (example might be “they worked really hard and believed in such-and-such passionately”. Such a thought could be about someone judged as good, bad, or neutral.)
my bad Macintosh - not the entire
Yes, I think it’s helpful to talk about individuals too, as much as possible.
👆this is generally not helpful language as it makes assumptions about your audience. Your individual needs are important. However I don’t think you can speak for others’ needs without ignoring their voices (unless they’re your dependents or part of your certain group with a specific mission statement.). But that is off-topic.

I want to assure you that I think your passions about kindness are important to me and others here but assuming that all other people (“we”) do or should share those with you, particularly people who are grieving, can cause a division, which I don’t think is your intention? Again, off topic, so if you want to continue this topic I don’t mind talking about it in your diary or another thread, just @ me.

Back to the thread…
I don’t know if it’s a positive thought, but I understand why one of them did
I get this ⬆️. Interesting how you connect the two. I see it. And I see how it can lead to making excuses for them, which seems kind of aligned with the idea of positive thoughts toward them *at the wrong time in your recovery.*

I can see why my dad did what he did and still have no positive thoughts toward him.
Where there’s no understanding/connection for me there’s no positive
This is an interesting perspective to me and resonates with me. No contact has helped me a lot with maintaining a stable mindset. And without connection anymore I no longer strive to understand him. Which has gently and slowly reduced the negative thoughts toward him. Actually, now that I’m thinking about it right now, I think I feel the opposite. The less connection/understanding I feel toward him the easier it is to entertain the possibility of a positive thought.

Though, all that said, I cannot think of one right now. When it has happened is when there’s a casual conversation going on at work about parents and I might chime in, but usually it’s a neutral statement, now that I think about it.

As I continue to process right now, I find a lot of resistance to thinking a positive thought about my dad or my ex. I did think my ex had a nice aesthetic, I guess that’s positive?

But my dad? I can’t think of one right now. And to be honest I can sense a part of me developing anger that I would even consider such an exercise. 🫤

I don’t think it’s necessary, but I’m just thinking about it.

Also, what I’m talking about is not something like, “I’m so grateful for my dad because without enduring that I wouldn’t be the strong person that I am today.” That’s not what I’m getting at at all. That’s more of like self-acceptance and seeing the big picture and embracing one’s destiny. I’m talking specifically about individual positive thoughts about your abuser, as an exercise in
how do you get a more balanced opinion of the person (or group) who has caused your illness?
 
I joined this site to get help with my healing. I WANT...no, I NEED...encouragement in the right direction. Encouraging each other that it is okay that tear about good, decent people in our society is not helping me. Yes, this is a place to discuss our trauma, our pain, and the specific people that hurt us. The pastor of my church hurt me - not everyone in the pastoral profession. Just that one man. Are their other bad apples? Sure. But I came to discuss my bad Macintosh - not the entire religious community. One bad pastor doesn't spoil the whole bunch. One bad doctor...or several...doesn't mean they are all out to get you. We need to change our messaging!
I have no idea why you'd think this is 'messaging'.

I'm glad you have beaten your cognitive distortions. That's what your post indicates. What's really bizarre here is, you seem to understand exactly the point - which is that, to believe all of any one group is anything - that is a likely indicator of a cognitive distortion.

I joined this site to get help with my healing. I WANT...no, I NEED...encouragement in the right direction.
Yes. And when you read posts that trigger you - you have options. You can
- put the poster on 'ignore'. That way, you'll never see their posts.
- put the thread on 'ignore'. You'll never need to look at the thread again.

Or, you can stay engaged in the topic and accept that not everyone's experiences are the same, not everyone's healing is at the same point in their process.

But don't go after a fellow member for being honest about their worldview.

Encouraging each other that it is okay that tear about good, decent people in our society is not helping me.
No one here is doing that.

Now, back onto topic.
 
with the idea of positive thoughts toward them *at the wrong time in your recovery.*
I absolutely agree with you on this. It’s something I’ve got to work hard on because at the moment I’m at the point of excusing what he did to me. So yep, you’ve hit the nail on the head with that one. I’m still deferring to the ‘putting him first’, that for some inexplicable reason I do for him and him only.
First I have to *believe* it was wrong, not just be told it. And that’s a messy lil box of frogs because he systematically broke me in to be this way, to see him positively&good and doing what I needed done to me, and I believe he picked me because he knew my past. And I stayed because I agreed with him that that was what I needed, when really I was just recycling trauma.
 
First I have to *believe* it was wrong, not just be told it. A
Sending gentle and steady support as you work through this. You are definitely not alone on here with this. I know how hard it is too. I’m still working hard at disentangling from one of my abusers—I’ve come a long way but I still feel the urge sometimes to slip into old views about them (the lie that parts tell myself sometimes is that my life would be easier if I just went along with their desires or listened to their perspective—fortunately most of me feels nauseated that I would even say that.)
 
Back
Top