Letter to an Abuser

As you may know, I run a support group at my church for women who have been sexually abused or assaulted called Beyond the Silence. In this group, one of the many difficult things that we do is write a letter to our abusers. We don't give it to them. We write it for ourselves. We write it because while naming and describing the evil done to us does not ensure automatic personal healing, it does however provide clarity. If it is not defined, named or described, then it remains hidden. Telling the truth about sexual assault by acknowledging the traumatic experience is one important aspect of healing. The only way to move from denial, isolation, and self-protection is to look honestly at the assault that has been committed. Healing begins when the secret is disclosed and the shackles of silence are broken. I say this letter is for ourselves because, while confronting your abuser may seem like the right thing to do, it is different for each person. For some it might be a great thing to do. They may confront their abuser, receive an apology, and feel a sense of freedom or closure. However, for others, confrontation may only worsen the effects of the assault. For example, I wrote a letter to the man who kidnapped me but I didn't give it to him because I know that he isn't remorseful. Confronting him probably won't lead to an apology, but I don't need one from him. Would it be amazing if he suddenly was remorseful and sincerely apologized? Yes! But I don't need it to move on and continue my healing. That is something that every survivor must come to realize someday in order to continue their healing as well.

Writing this letter to your abuser is never easy. Many women find it too difficult to do. Even though they're writing it only for themselves to read, they're still reliving details from their pasts that they've desperately kept hidden for a long time. One of the women in my group wrote a letter to her abuser and she gave me permission to share it with you. I hope it touches your heart the way it did mine.

It has taken me 34 years to be able to deal with the pieces of broken glass you left me with. To be able to look in the mirror and not hate what I see; not hate how I feel; not be suspicious of everyone who tried to hug me, to love me or be my friend. It's sad to think that you may not remember what you did. I cannot fathom that a predator like you would forget the pleasure you found when you sexually assaulted my sister and I at the ages of 8 and 10. Now that I am a mother of four I have thought back to when they were 8 and 10 and it made me sick to the core of my being that someone could look at them in the perverse and unnatural way you looked at us. I couldn't bear the thought of what you did to us being done to them. But enough of that. This letter is to share some very important information with you. If you'll understand or even care is irrelevant, but I need to return to you what you left me with back in 1980; back in my sister's bedroom, on the bottom bunk of their bunk beds as you muffled my cries with your nasty hand.  
I return to you the shame, feelings of unworthiness, anger, bitterness, sexual dysfunction, fear of the dark, fear of intimacy, and self-loathing. These feelings have now been replaced. My spirit, my body, and my heart now speak a language that is foreign to you.....strength.
I return to you the 100 billion tears I've shed; the 100 billion sleepless nights; the 100 billion thoughts of hate towards you and replace them with steps towards being made whole and feeling free.
I also return to you the pain and angst that penetrated the core of my being every day. That made me question everything and everyone; which left me trusting no one and hating my future because I couldn't see anything but your face smirking at me.

I return to you that ache that sat in my womb at the thought of someone doing to my kids what you did to me.
Now that I've returned all these things to you, I am also going to give you something; something that isn't for you Emily, but for me.....forgiveness. Forgiveness because although I am working on being a better me, I cannot do this without exorcising this hate I have for you. It's been the cancer that has gone undetected and undiagnosed for years. It's the cancer which almost ended my life on many occasions. But I have found the perfect physician who offered me a cure. His name is Jesus Christ and His cure for my disease is forgiveness. You should make an appointment with Him and ask Him to forgive you too. Maybe then, when your time comes, you won't rot in Hell with the other pedophiles and sexual predators. Make no mistake, I would love to see you squirm and suffer; to hear you scream and know that no one is coming to your aid; to see what your life would be like after an experience like that, but, because of you, I've been brought to a place with some amazing survivors. With a group of women who have endured and who aren't willing to let people like you destroy our futures. I've learned that everyone isn't cruel; that I'm not abnormal; that I'm not meant to be a shell taking up space.
Writing this letter to you is me making the assumption that you're literate and capable of recognizing and admitting what you did to me and my little sister. But it is also my way of saying goodbye to your unwelcome existence in my life. I'm learning to pick up my mat and walk by faith, one step at a time.
Daughter of a King

Thank you Anne for letting me share your letter. And, yes, all that's dead inside can be reborn...even if you're worn.

"But you be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work." - 2 Chronicles 15:7


WORN by Tenth Avenue North

♥ Diana
(aka Jurney Eve)

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