Letters to My Abuser
I didn’t steal the idea from Introspective‘s post about her soon-to-be niece or nephew (I had thought about it a lot in the past and simply felt compelled to write it on Wednesday), but clearly some of the terminology is very similar, so apologies (and big hugs) to her for thieving her material and I hope she won’t mind too much.
Dear MMcF’s husband
I hope you are well. I am reasonably well given my present dire circumstances, other than a feeling of dread that unfortunately I cannot shake off.
This is not entirely a pleasant letter to write and frankly I am fairly sure I will not send it. However, I felt a visceral compulsion to write it nonetheless, so here we are anyway.
I will cut to the chase. I remember what you did to me when I was a child. The sexual incident in the outhouse at your home premises that desisted only when you heard one of your granddaughters approaching. I was about 10 at the time making you, I would guess, about 53 or 54 (frankly, I don’t know your present age, but I am guessing just short of 70). I also remember the less serious incidents where you would inappropriately stroke or otherwise touch me.
I have no idea of whether or not you have recollection of this or not, or whether you would even admit it to yourself if you do. Nonetheless, it was real. Perhaps were this out in the open you would either accuse of me of hallucinating or creating an elaborate web of lies out of sheer malevolence, but it is not out in the open so that doesn’t matter. Even if it were, with all due respect, I really don’t much care what you think.
Anyway, I did not set out to turn this missive into an invective against you. I have only one concern, and that concern is your great-grandson, MW.
I had always believed until recently that your behaviour towards me was little more than inconvenience. However, my increasing neurosis about MW and my ongoing therapy have suggested to me that that is not necessarily the case.
The point is this, MMcF’s husband. I am not prepared to allow MW to experience a similar fate. I have worried for the past 15 years that you perhaps behaved in this fashion towards your myriad of granddaughters or even grandsons, but as a child and very fucked-up adolescent I was not in a position, mentally or even logistically, to put this into action. I am an adult now, albeit still a very messed up one (a situation you helped created, indeed), and if I have the slightest suspicion that you are behaving in any way towards MW like you did to me I am going to take the matter further.
As you are aware, I am presently involved with a number of mental health professionals who, if made aware of yours and MW’s identities, will have to contact social services. Not only will I allow them to proceed, I will personally contact the PSNI and report not only my suspicions about MW, but also the sexual abuse meted out to me at your hands. I am sure you do not need me to advise you on the seriousness with which cases of historic abuse are taken.
Rest assured, MMcF’s husband, pursuing this course of action is not in any way my wish. For the record, I don’t really have anything against you. Part of me in fact feels sorry for you; like me, you are mental, which could cause you to behave in an inappropriate fashion. (Incidentally, I find it hilarious that you feel qualified to advise on how to improve my mental health when in fact you were partly to blame for its lack of existence!). [He does this all the time. “I take Drug x; I really feel it would help you, SI…”]. Indeed, having lived in the environment and with the personnel you do for the past 50 odd years, your own mental ill health does not surprise me, and in fact I can even go so far as to understand your sexual frustration. Paedophilia is reprehensible – and make no mistake, I do consider you to be a paedophile – but I can understand your frustrations, as I say, especially given your circumstances.
Furthermore, as you will be aware many of our two families our very close. I personally am pretty indifferent to this, but I know the others – most notably, my mother – are not. I have no desire whatsoever to screw up the lives of my mother, your wife, your various descendants and any other individuals with any interest in our family. You and your family are important to my mother, and I do not want to ruin that dynamic.
As such, I hope I am making it clear here that I am not going to act on this matter in and of itself. But be assured that should I have reason to suspect that MW is at risk, my multitude of rationales for thus far keeping quiet will go out the window.
I trust that should you feel the desire to behave in an inappropriate fashion towards MW, you will instigate the necessary measures to ensure you do not act on your compulsions.
I am assuming you do not want to die in prison. I am assuming also that you don’t want to potentially kill your already-ill wife with the shock of these revelations. I yet further assume that you do in fact love MW in a normal paternal fashion and do not want to see him in any way harmed or condemned to a life of misery like mine has become.
I’m sorry if this letter upsets or surprises you. It is not my particular intention to cause you distress, but given the circumstances MW has to be the first priority. I am sure you can understand this.
Thank you for reading. Please feel free to contact me should you feel the need to discuss this matter further.
I showed the foregoing to A, who felt quite categorically that I should not send the letter. His belief is strongly that there is no risk to the baby.
His view is that I have no evidence whatsoever that anyone other than I was approached inappropriately by MMcF’s husband, and, especially given the baby’s different gender, that there is therefore absolutely no logical reason to believe that any abuse towards him is likely. He wondered why MMcF’s husband would “anew his activities at this late stage in life”.
He further contended that, if as is possible, MMcF’s husband didn’t keep the letter quiet (for I am quite honestly not sure that he remembers the incident(s) at all and may well think that I am shit-stirring), that I was bringing about precisely the sort of family break-up I have been seeking to protect my mother from. Should MMcF’s husband do that, A’s view on the consequences is indubitably correct.
In essence he felt that I wrote this as nothing more than an act of catharsis, in much the same way the proposed email to GA was considered. He didn’t actually say this, but reading between the lines, I would say his view is that psychotherapy has proven to me how seriously I did take the incident with MMcF’s husband, having hitherto considered it a mere inconvenience. Thus I am creating a paranoia regarding MW.
This would probably be a fair view, and I agree that the risk to MW is, rationally, probably low to non-existent. Nevertheless, wouldn’t it be irresponsible of me to not at least consider the possibility? Hasn’t it been irresponsible that I did not consider it properly with the earlier generations of the McF dynasty?
A suggested thatif I really, really feel that some sort of warning to MMcF’s husband is necessary, that I do it anonymously to protect the family unit. He suggested a letter reading something like, “I know that you have abused at least one child. If for any reason it comes to my attention that you are abusing any children at this time, the police will be informed.” However, he advised strongly against any letter at all. If I have any real evidence that there is untoward behaviour ongoing, he said I should simply tell C or someone, who is / are legally obliged to act on the information, should they have the identities of the individuals concerned.
Perhaps A’s most reassuring point was that MMcF’s husband wouldn’t understand 30% of the letter. I don’t know whether it’s because this makes me feel clever or whether it just makes MMcFs husband look stupid, but either way, it works for me 😉
I want to discuss all this with C, but obviously that has to wait until Thursday. In reality I am very unlikely to send this or any other letter, but I do want to discuss the matter with him, if only for therapeutic reasons. In the meantime, if anyone has any further thoughts, I’d be glad as ever to hear them.
And apologies again to Introspective. I kind of feel rotten about this as her situation is so much more serious than mine, and her concerns about the baby in her life are based on something much greater, and here I am ripping off some of the most important material she has ever written. All I can say in my defence is that her letters were so well crafted and postulated the ideas to be conveyed so well that they seemed wholly appropriate for this cathartic communication too. I hope she will not be too angry with me.
This entry was posted on Sunday, 7 June, 2009 at 1:23 pm and is filed under Context, Everyday Life, Moods, Triggers with tags abuse, anger, anxiety, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, bpd, clinical depression, depression, insanity, insomnia, madness, major depressive disorder, mania, manic depression, mental health, mentalhealth, panic, panic attack, psychiatry, psychology, Psychotherapy, sadness, sexual abuse, social anxiety, therapy, worries, worry. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.