Former abusive relationship


#1

I have had a hard time forgiving myself for being in an abusive relationship at a younger age and that affects my feelings about the Church. When I was 12 I had a friend who was tragically killed and the following year I went on vacation and met this guy who seemed nice - he was 50 years older than I was - and I cried on his shoulder about the death of my friend, b/c he was asking me why I looked so sad and etc. he then spent time with me that included sexual assault.

I then went home and didn't see him for the next 4 years until I was 17 and graduated from high school. he asked if I was still being abused which I was, and he broke down and had a psychotic episode which was real but he took that opportunity to drag me with him and abuse me overnight. he obtained a weapon quickly and deviously and we would have been killed. then he started a 'relationship' with me in which we saw each other every so often. when he felt like it. I had to do everything he said and he - the whole thing was about serving him and about terror.

I was talking to the police, at least one psychiatrist, and a therapist - he had promised to pay for therapy for me. however after his death I found he never paid for more than one session or two and my therapist treated me b/c she realized I was in a very dangerous situation. my parents refused to help. I was not sure I would survive this b/c he was not sure - his mood changed from day to day and maybe from hour to hour. fortunately I saw him only every so often. he had always been extremely unstable, though brilliant, but at the end of his life it got worse, in large part b/c of envy that other people were living and he was not. he threatened his daughter, my sisters and other people but he was a genius so different rules applied.

there is a lot more but I still feel guilty b/c I was over 18. I have never resolved my feelings about the Church and what they say about sex outside of marriage. fortunately he was not able to have children, so I did not get pregnant.

when I think about how scared I was I am amazed I've lived this long. but I'm thinking that maybe the rosary will help b/c that's calming.


#2

The Church doesnt teach that it is a sin if you have sex while being abused or raped. You shouldnt have any sins on your soul from the abuse. The abuse wasnt your fault. As far as the Church is concerned, you should be in the state of grace baring any other mortal sin not related to the abuse.

You were clearly in an abusive relationship. Age doesnt matter.

You need to come back to God. Someone gave you wrong Church teaching. You should talk to a priest. No priest I know would say you committed a sin since you were abused.

I have family that went through similar things. All you can do is to try to pick up the pieces and try to live a normal life.


#3

Dear silentstar

Thank you for your courage in sharing some of your story.

The fact that you were a victim in the past doesn't mean you still have to choose to remain a victim, by remaining full of guilty feelings as this just keeps your victim-hood alive, and it keeps the effect of this man alive and active in your life.

Why submit the loved Child of God that you are to this man in any way or form now? Remaining stuck in the guilt locks you up as affectively as anything in the past.
It does sound that to some extent you admired him for his 'genius' but there was nothing admirable about this paedophile. Yes, to some extent you chose to be victim as you didn't even live with him. You could come and go. You surely were capable of thinking for yourself at least sometimes when you were alone and hadn't seen him for a while when you were older.

However it only continues the business if you hang on to guilt. And it is God's word that the Church upholds, not its own unsupported word so your argument about fornication is with God not the Church, dear soul.

You can choose to cleanse yourself by going to Confession, and leaving that past to God. Actually it is very important and necessary for you to go to Confession for your spiritual and emotional health, but that is entirely your choice. I hope you will, but that's up to you.

God bless you. :)


#4

Jesus is the Healer and loves you infinitely. When you say the Rosary you can picture Him healing you of your hurts from this abusive relationship. God bless you on your journey!


#5

[quote="silentstar, post:1, topic:223036"]
I have had a hard time forgiving myself for being in an abusive relationship at a younger age and that affects my feelings about the Church. When I was 12 I had a friend who was tragically killed and the following year I went on vacation and met this guy who seemed nice - he was 50 years older than I was - and I cried on his shoulder about the death of my friend, b/c he was asking me why I looked so sad and etc. he then spent time with me that included sexual assault.

I then went home and didn't see him for the next 4 years until I was 17 and graduated from high school. he asked if I was still being abused which I was, and he broke down and had a psychotic episode which was real but he took that opportunity to drag me with him and abuse me overnight. he obtained a weapon quickly and deviously and we would have been killed. then he started a 'relationship' with me in which we saw each other every so often. when he felt like it. I had to do everything he said and he - the whole thing was about serving him and about terror.

I was talking to the police, at least one psychiatrist, and a therapist - he had promised to pay for therapy for me. however after his death I found he never paid for more than one session or two and my therapist treated me b/c she realized I was in a very dangerous situation. my parents refused to help. I was not sure I would survive this b/c he was not sure - his mood changed from day to day and maybe from hour to hour. fortunately I saw him only every so often. he had always been extremely unstable, though brilliant, but at the end of his life it got worse, in large part b/c of envy that other people were living and he was not. he threatened his daughter, my sisters and other people but he was a genius so different rules applied.

there is a lot more but I still feel guilty b/c I was over 18. I have never resolved my feelings about the Church and what they say about sex outside of marriage. fortunately he was not able to have children, so I did not get pregnant.

when I think about how scared I was I am amazed I've lived this long. but I'm thinking that maybe the rosary will help b/c that's calming.

[/quote]

Even if you were 18 you weren't in full control of yourself, because of your fear, his manipulation, your past history. Prepare a full confession of anything you feel burdened with, and go to confession as soon as possible. You will feel so much better after absolution. The sin belongs to the man who abused you.


#6

It is normal for you to have the feelings that you do but know that you are loved and accepted and forgiven. Abuse is never the victims fault.


#7

[quote="Trishie, post:3, topic:223036"]
Dear silentstar

Thank you for your courage in sharing some of your story.

The fact that you were a victim in the past doesn't mean you still have to choose to remain a victim, by remaining full of guilty feelings as this just keeps your victim-hood alive, and it keeps the effect of this man alive and active in your life.

Why submit the loved Child of God that you are to this man in any way or form now? Remaining stuck in the guilt locks you up as affectively as anything in the past.
It does sound that to some extent you admired him for his 'genius' but there was nothing admirable about this paedophile. Yes, to some extent you chose to be victim as you didn't even live with him. You could come and go. You surely were capable of thinking for yourself at least sometimes when you were alone and hadn't seen him for a while when you were older.

However it only continues the business if you hang on to guilt. And it is God's word that the Church upholds, not its own unsupported word so your argument about fornication is with God not the Church, dear soul.

You can choose to cleanse yourself by going to Confession, and leaving that past to God. Actually it is very important and necessary for you to go to Confession for your spiritual and emotional health, but that is entirely your choice. I hope you will, but that's up to you.

God bless you. :)

[/quote]

Thanks for your post. I admired him for his 'genius' at first but later came to despise him. However since his death books have been written about this man saying he is wonderful. That has been very confusing for me but eventually I realized his public persona was different from his private life, where he hurt a lot of people, unfortunately. the problem with him being a genius is that he was protected no matter what. he was an extremely prominent person who was viewed as making rare contributions to the world, and anyone who tried to go up against this was dismissed.

For example he had won the Nobel Prize, and to many people that means different rules apply - you can get away with a lot. that impressed me when I was 13 but not when I was 17. b/c there were so many people who protected him, leaving was difficult b/c he had a life of, he got what he wanted when he wanted it. I did choose to stay to some extent but a lot of that was b/c he said he would find me wherever I went and he made threats against my sisters and his daughter. It was suspected that he had taken risks with people's lives that were really dangerous, and when I got into a car with him I could see why. However the saving grace is that I knew he was ill and he did not live that much longer. My therapist and I decided to wait for him to die essentially, rather than make efforts to leave. If he had been expected to live a decade or more I would have done it differently.

I agree about not wanting to stay a victim. Sometimes people have heroes and it's based on mythology. I think accepting that will help me move on.

fortunately he died just over 18 months after starting this 'relationship' when I was 19.

He was also - I had a longer version of this post - severely mentally ill. I have been mentally ill myself and that does not cause violence but he had mental illness and also was a sociopath, which basically meant he did not have empathy or a conscience and would use any weapon he had over people. for example he would say, you really humiliated me about the way you talked to (and then he'd name some famous people b/c he was very prominent) last night - when I never MET these people and the conversation never happened. then I had to convince him that I didn't wreck things. it was not OK to say, that didn't happen, he did not believe it. it was also not OK to say OK I messed up I will take the consequences. he would literally get on the phone and express doubts about issues but was smart enough to keep it vague and generic.

So I learned to say, tell me how I made the mistake, and then I tried to 'turn' the conversation so that it was 'fixed' in his mind. he sounded MUCH more mentally pulled-together when talking to other famous people or loved ones than he did with me. that is how I knew he was using mental illness as a weapon to terrorize me. I have severe bipolar disorder myself and it's rare someone does that, but he did.

after a while I literally did not know which end was up any more, plus he lied about a lot of things. I think he was deliberately attempting to drive me crazy. my therapist said she would have to look long and hard to find someone else this disturbed, which meant leaving was dangerous. but I agree it is time to stop feeling like a victim, the fact that other people see him in different ways - well good for them, I have no desire to disillusion them, but that's nothing to do with me.

thanks.


#8

I don't understand where your parents were in this whole horrible time in your life. Where were they when you were 12 and first met a man 50 years your senior??? :eek: How would an encounter like that even happen? If some man were to start chatting up a daughter of mine when she was 12, he'd have his running shoes on before 10 minutes had gone by!

You alluded that you were "still being abused," was that a reference to your parents? If so, then they set you up for the further abuse by this sociopath. Many people abused as children go on to have abusive relationships as teens and young adults, I am sure you know this already if you have been in therapy.

You did the best you could with what you had to work with. Your story makes me so sad, and people like your abuser - well that just makes me angry, that a person who is not even fully human can cause so much wreckage in the world and still capture people's admiration. It's just awful. Maybe it's un-Christian of me but I hope he is burning in Hell right now.

oh and p.s. - I'm sure a lot of people did know what kind of person your abuser was, but they were afraid of him. I know someone who is like this on a much milder scale and while people do think he is charming, funny, personable at first, if they get into any business dealings with him they quickly realize just how vicious and childish he really is. People want to get him out of their lives at any cost at that point so he profits because the other person's share in the deal is not worth the grief he causes them. He is a bully and puts on a show of being likable but meanwhile he is talking about everyone in derogatory terms to others. It's really awful, but again, nothing on the scale of your abuser.


#9

Silentstar:

Listen, he manipulated you since the age of 12. The man was a psycho. Lucky for you, you made it out alive. You were just a kid and he was a sick pig.

Go and speak with a Priest. You are the victim. Blessings to you.


#10

Thanks for the responses. I met him when I was 13 on vacation in another state but my aunt and uncle didn't pay much attention and neither did my parents. This guy had a habit of picking victims who didn't have support. For example he would go talk to kids on the street and see who was vulnerable. I had told him about abuse when I was 12. My parents did abuse and neglect me.

I was lucky b/c then I went home for the next 4 years and didn't see him again until I was 17 - he showed up. From the start he showed bizarre behavior that indicated both sociopathy and severe mental illness. Fortunately I only saw him occasionally. This was before child abuse got much publicity so a lot of people shrugged off what he did. One therapist failed to report threats to me and others under Tarasoff, which is a law that says a mental health professional must protect a patient who has been threatened. He talked to her and said things like, I could just kill her (meaning me) sometimes, which was dangerous given what he was doing. She didn't report and when asked why not, she tried to evade and protect her career and eventually said, he's just too powerful. she didn't mean to say it, but it was the truth. a lot of people were like that around him.

my father had abused me and my mother who also had problems so I guess they were used to it. at any rate they didn't do anything. but I did have an excellent therapist and we talked through it and decided - he was terminally ill with cancer at that point and we would try to arrange things so he saw me as little as possible, if that could be done, by distracting him, and then hope he did not last much longer. although terminally ill he was still strong and agile until the last few weeks of his life. and fortunately I made it through everything.

However I did feel I deserved the abuse. I felt I both deserved to be abused and that I should be abused so others would not be. If I could do it over I would probably have gone to a domestic violence shelter and worked with someone to start an entirely new life until after he died, on the run basically, like Anna Quindlen describes in Black and Blue. that's what it would have taken for him not to find me but I could have waited it out until he died and then gone back to 'normal' life. Doing it over, I would try not to feel like his abuse of other people was my responsibility to stop. He threatened to kill his daughter who was my age but her mother, his wife, was refusing to protect her and the police were not doing much. At this point in my life I would think, it is not my job to save his daughter or anyone else from being hurt by him, if they choose to disregard warnings when he had a long pattern of violent behavior that had always been excused, that is a risk they are taking. I wasn't a masochist exactly, but I thought I deserved to suffer. I would not do things that way now so I think there is truth that I chose to stay to some degree. It would have taken a lot to get away from him but I could have done it. My feelings of guilt got in the way.


#11

That is a shame. You did not know any better, so how could you have done anything differently? And you were being advised to stay and wait it out, out of fear of your abuser's power. Please do not beat yourself up for this at all any more!!! Many adults failed you all along the way, and betrayed you. You sound as if you have conquered a lot of hell, and come out the other side stronger for it. You did the best you could under the circumstances. Yes you would do it differently now, if you had that knowledge, but you didn't then. All of us have more wisdom having lived through this kind of horror. All we can do is be forgiving with ourselves and try to help others if we can, not to make the same mistakes that we did.


#12

I'm no Catholic theologian, but it seems to me that even if you are guilty of some kind of venial sin, there is no way you are guilty of any mortal sin. Mortal sin requires full consent of the will and nothing you have told us indicates that. Unfortunately, some people still think that only the presence of a physical weapon counts as true force or even coercion during sex, and that if this didn't happen, a "real" sexual assault didn't happen either. Or, that if a victim doesn't actively physically resist the attacker, that means the victim consented even if the attacker had a gun in her face.

But to me, you are not guilty of fornication with this man, he is guilty of raping you repeatedly. I'm sure you've read the news stories about Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard. The rapists in these cases didn't always use a gun or knife to force their victims to submit to them. In the Smart case, many people wondered why she didn't escape her captor when she had several chances to do so, yet no one (except perhaps a few kooks).has suggested that Elizabeth consented to what happened or was guilty of any sin.

Now, while this man didn't physically kidnap you, he did gain control over your mind, and coerced you into submitting to him, it seems you were (perhaps legitimately) convinced that if you tried to leave him, either your life or those of others would be in danger. How could you be guilty of sin for what you did when you thought this way? It also seems many other adults in your life, from your parents to your therapist, failed you as well. Perhaps some of the anger you say you have toward the Church, is displaced from your anger towards them?

Also, what you experienced is far from unusual among pedophiles and other sexual predators. Most of the time, they don't just snatch their victims off the street and attack them. And while many of them do give either direct or implied threats of violence if their victims try to stop the abuse or report it, many don't. Instead, they spend time carefully grooming prospective victims, often getting them involved with porn, drinking, drugs, etc. to lower their inhibitions, Once sexual contact does occur, they are very good at convincing their victims that they were the ones who did something wrong, and that if they do tell someone, they will get blamed, not the perp. You seem to be caught in the same misconception, that you are the one to blame more than him. This is NOT true!


#13

Toe, I appreciate your response. Actually he did have weapons some of the time. The first time I saw him again, when I was 17, he got a knife quickly and deviously and he told me to call his friends/family who came and took care of him with a doctor. I was afraid he would not survive a confrontation with police or hospital but more importantly, I was afraid he would kill someone else. He said he would kill whoever tried to put him in the hospital or jail. His friends/family took him home the next day but they showed no concern for me at all. it's like, we we take care of this now you go home.

I was told, don't even try to report to the police b/c he won the nobel prize and it would be front-page news I made a false accusation. That having been said I did get into therapy and my therapist tried to help as best she could. He was forced to talk to the police at one point and they said very violent, does not know right from wrong, psychotic but orietnted in self-serving ways, and violence motivated by sociopathy and hostility.

My therapist tried to help as best she could but we were working with a psychiatrist who was doing very little b/c he didn't want to take on someone this powerful. Other doctors in the area would not help. They said it's (name of person) well sorry I can't help you.

But the other thing was he convinced me I was crazy. Like he'd give me jewelry which I refused anyway but then he'd take it back b/c I didn't deserve to have it. And he'd make odd noises so that I'd think I was hallucinating. And he'd talk about conversations that never happened which I had to go along with. And he said bizarre things. I think he really believed some of the stuff he said.

It was bizarre. I was relieved he passed away peacefully when I was 19. Otherwise I really might have run away and started a new life somewhere else.

I do think I've got anger towards other people that I'm directing at the Church b/c the psychiatrist who didn't help much was Catholic. However I have never actually talked to a priest about this. That's a good idea.


#14

You actually sound quite an amazing person.
I'm glad you're speaking about this in a safe way, testing things against a variety of minds and resolving them, confirming some things you have already thought, and hopefully finding a clearer way to leave behind your harsh past and to create a wholesome future.


#15

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