All survivors want to be strong enough to confront their offender. We work long and hard to be brave enough. We rehearse what we will say. We imagine what they will say and how we will reply over and over in our heads. And then… hey what happened?
They didn’t say what I expected!
They didn’t apologize!
They blamed me!
They called me a liar
They told me to shut up and stop talking about it!
They said get over it, it was a long time ago!
They called me names!
I didn’t practice any of that!
Any of the above fit your situation? Any combination ring true? Personally I think confrontation is very important. However, it is not to be taken lightly. If you are not ready it can be turned on you and hurt you.
Rarely do survivors hear any magical word from their perpetrator that makes it all go away. Mostly it is a disappointing experience in that regard. Your inner child is waiting for the words, I’m sorry and I love you and I see your pain. But the adult self may find them empty. You must be clear about what your needs are.
I didn’t go through this process totally alone. I had counselors and group to discuss my thoughts, needs, wants, deepest desires and the reality of what I would probably hear.
There is great healing in being able to say, “You hurt me.” It takes strength to not let their blame and guilt shifting affect you.
Be ready to hear anything, and be strong. You can do it.
8 thoughts on “Confrontation~~ Be ready, Be strong”
thanks for posting this
“OMG!’ Three years ago I confronted my eldest brother who beat, tortured and raped me repeatedly beginning at 4. I did it via letter sent by email, because you can say everything you need and it will have an impact on your offender. If you do it in person or via phone, they can run, hang up, yell,etc. Last year I found my father after not knowing his whereabouts for more then 20yrs. He’s out of state. I tried to confront him on the phone, but he’s a coward so he lied and told me he was coming to see me. Of course he didn’t, so I wrote him. Two weeks ago I confronted my aunt by phone and 4 others and my sister by letter. I suffered abandonment, neglect, torture, rape and sexual abuse. Incest resulting in concieving a child by my brother at 14. Stockholm syndrome, false imprisonment, bullying, etc.I’m writing a book about this and have my own cause(Lets Get Congress to Bail Our Children Out Now! Almost 6,000members. I’ve been trying to get other causes or groups to band together with me with little success. In my book I will show the steps I took to be able to confront my abusers and my journey to heal.
Thanks for sharing Toni.
This is one of the hardest parts of life for me and you have stated it clearly. Confrontation, if approached in the right way, is supposed to be cleansing and therapeutic. Personally, I have never found it to be that way. Deniers, liars and toxic people do not magically change when confronted. They just continue to be who they have always been and deal out more hurt. You have just given them another opportunity to deal out another layer of damage. Good confrontation only works with decent people. I have found that saying my piece or writing it down and then removing all contact with the toxic person works best for me. The point of getting it out is to help unload my burden of anger or pain. There is no response required from the abuser, because it will usually be something that just makes the pain and frustration worse, negating any good that you could get from the whole interaction. I have learned to throw these people out of my life like a piece of rotten food. I wouldn’t make myself sicker by continuing to eat a piece of poisonous meat. Why should I continue to interact with poisonous people. As I say, it works for me. They won’t miraculously change.
When my mother finally died, all I felt was shock and an overwhelming sense of relief. I was shocked at the sudden release from unrelenting torment and felt guilty for being so relieved. Everyone thought I was crying from sorrow but I was crying from the huge sense of pressure being lifted. I know how long term prisoners feel when they first get out of jail. Overjoyed, overwhelmed and terrified of the hugeness of the release.
Well said! Thank you so much for posting
Sent from my iPhone
I knew confronting my stepfather about his sexual abuse would not get him to own his filth,but I did not care.I asked my MOTHER to come in Her home,while I confronted her husband,The convicted pedophile she married.She refused,her words,”That is between you and arthur. Joe Arthur Valdez is now dead,so is the woman who gave BIRTH to me,and DEATH.Thanks “MOM”.
Death set me free too. In so many unexpected ways. Thanks for sharing your story.