A Letter I wrote, Please give feedback on

Discussion area for adult survivors who are afraid they might hurt others physically, sexually, emotionally, and/or verbally. Also an area for those who have harmed someone physically, sexually, emotionally, and/or verbally and want to heal. Sexual addiction can also be discussed.

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SpiritTornApart
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Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:04 pm

A Letter I wrote, Please give feedback on

Post by SpiritTornApart » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:34 pm

To (Name removed),
Some of what I’m going to tell you, others have probably already said to you, and although I don’t expect me saying it will have any meaning for you, I mean them. What I will say is the truth, and comes straight from my heart. No one is telling me what to say, if anything, they do not want me to apologize. I’m going to tell you the truth, but the only one who can decide to believe what I say is you. No one can tell you what to believe.

I wanted to apologize for the pain, trouble and trauma that I’ve caused you. I don’t think there’s any way to make it right, because there is nothing right about what happened. I don’t even know how to apologize because I feel if nothing I say can erase what happened, then the words are not enough. You did not deserve what happened to you, you did not do anything wrong, or do anything to make it happen. You gave me the best gift I have ever had in my life when you protected yourself. The gift of having all my past suppressed trauma resurface, and the strength and motivation to confront it to find understanding and change. No other gifts can compare with that.

Don’t feel ashamed about what happened. You are unfortunately not alone, as I’m sure you already know. Don’t be afraid to talk with people about it. It’s hard at first, but it does get easier the more it’s done. There may always be people who may look down on you or crack jokes about what you’ve been through, and I apologize for putting you through that. Those who really care about you though, will be supportive and compassionate. Know that if anyone gives you crap or a hard time about it, I would be willing to be the first person to stand up for you (and in a way for me as a victim), and I would kick their butts (and possibly other areas). I don’t care if it would be considered a violation of my parole and getting me possibly life in prison. To me defending you is worth it.

I wish to tell you how it happened and allow you to make your own opinion. What happened was the result of triggers which caused some mental health problems that I was unaware of at the time to over ride my core personality. I was not aware of my actions when they were happening, but only when you spoke up and brought me back from the state of disassociation I was in did I become aware. All I perceived and knew at the time was one moment we were just sitting there, the next your voice was upset with me and I was in a position without knowing how I got there. I did the first thing I could think of and withdrew and curled up into a ball. I want to emphasize that you did nothing wrong (I’m sure you’ve heard that enough, and even realize it yourself), though it may mean nothing coming from me. You did the right thing and I’m proud of you for being strong enough.

The problem as I learned through much self reflection stemmed from trauma I incurred as a child myself. This trauma started resurfacing because of your actions. It was very painful to relive and endure, but it was needed.

I initially thought what happened was just a result of sexual abuse I endured myself as a child, which is something that’s been researched and proven, but it was more than that. It was a combination of many troublesome experiences I had as a child, which prevented me from being able to develop trust with adults, an issue which I still trouble with to this day.

Right now it may seem like I’m blaming it all on the trauma, and trying to evade responsibility. I really wish I could do that. The truth is, there was a point in my life where I made a conscious decision, which turned out to be the wrong one. When I decided to cower and hide the sexual abuse that I went through, I unknowingly set this up to happen down the line. For that I beg forgiveness. It’s not fair that a decision made about ten years before you were born led to you being hurt. I can go into all the negative ways what I went through affected me, but the important thing is I hope with the counseling you received (by what they told me), you can be spared the life of emotional pain and suffering that I endured. Not a day goes by that I don’t regret that wrong decision. I failed you, your mother, and your family. The trauma on my spirit is severe, and everyday I feel myself screaming internally in agony and pain, feeling myself crying inside. Sometimes I find my inner self crying out reliving the trauma calling for my parents to protect me and save me. I find myself wanting death almost every day just hoping the pain would go away. I don’t even know words to express what I’m going through. It’s not just the injured child in me that I hear screaming in agony. I hear my inner self screaming out for you as well. Crying out things like “what have I done”, “I’ve destroyed her life”, “She’s going to end up like me now because of me.”

I was a very poor friend for you, and I see that now. I should’ve been wiser and able to give you better advice in life. I don’t know how life can be with counseling for victims of sexual abuse, so I want to believe you are doing well. All I know about life after abuse is the pain. I fear that you are now condemned to the fate of pain as I have to live with. Though I pray every day that I’m wrong.

It’s not just the immediate effects that pain me. Knowing that because of my weakness and failure, your father got custody of you. I can’t say if that was a good or bad thing in the end. All I can remember is the days when you would come home from your father’s house in tears, and the times you would ask to come home early because of how things were over there (although I don’t know any details). I also know that your mother loves you very much, and I believe you loved her the same. Now that is ruined because of me. It’s not just you with your family that I hurt. You had to leave your friends, your self defense and gymnastics classes, Sea World, and so many things that you seem to enjoy, because of what I did. On top of all that, I violated your trust in me. To have caused all this damage and not even have been aware of what I was doing. I hope there’s a part of you who understands that if I even thought I presented a danger to you, I would’ve left and never put you, or your family in danger. I think there was a time when you would know that, I would not blame you that seems like bull crap and you think of me as a manatee (is that what you used to say), or worse.

I have used my pain and remorse from what I did to you as strength to undergo my own therapy and push harder than mental health doctors say I should’ve pushed even under ideal conditions. The confrontation of my trauma was done by myself in a way that experts say should never be done. All this reflection has caused huge changes in me. Even in ways I can’t believe. I thank you for yelling at me and creating the emotional shock-wave that forced all the suppressed memories to the surface. I wish you didn’t have to be the catalyst for this though. No matter what anyone tells you, what happened was not done out of any sexual or lewd desire. I have no sexual desire for children. All that was verified by an intensive forensic psychological evaluation that I underwent in jail. Three separate tests were in agreement based on subjective and objective analysis. I can see now all the red signs and realize how my situation was worsening, I was becoming a bigger threat almost every day. Now the threat no longer comes from me directly, but from those who would seek to hurt me to get “justice.” No matter what you think of this letter, know that I will not seek out a friendship with you for fear that you may get hurt in the crossfire.

As for my new mindset and perspective. I have logically challenged the stigmas of society to see the core corruption of our world. I’ve even started to be able to show a few others my realizations and have them see the correct true views. No matter what views I now have, I have found nothing that can even come close to making what I did to you right. I do want to apologize for myself though. Adults tend to treat minors very disrespectfully to the point it has become the norm. I am no exception. Although I was always told I was good with kids, I still treated children wrongly and disrespectfully. I can not apologize on behalf of society, but I apologize for my behalf. Proof of my new understanding and advanced recovery comes in the fact that when I am in my court mandated sex offender treatment, I end up teaching the facilitator things he never thought of, ending up into 40+ minutes of material and treatment techniques they find better than their material. The course material and other members are effectively in kindergarten in terms of their treatment, while I play the role of college professor. Even my clinicians in the prison mental health programs were learning from me, despite their expensive degrees. The therapist that does the weekly group at this program house I’m in is also learning from me.

I don’t know what shape I will be in if you ever get this. I’m sure people will not even let you know I want to apologize, something which is very disrespectful to you, and the strength you have inside. I will try though. If this only reaches you after my death, then rejoice for I will then be free of the pain finally. There’s so much more I can tell you, but that would only be if you choose to hear it, for some things I have realized could be too hard for you to bear and I wish no more pain on to you.

Wishing you a life that I never had.
(Name Removed)(The Monster, The Friend, or the Protector, or insert your title for me here)

PS: I don’t request it, and may not be around anymore if you get this. You deserve the option and choice to decide if you want to try contacting me. I just don’t want you in the crossfire between me and those who would seek to harm me. I’ve hurt you enough. My information is added and correct as of February 2019 in case you decide you want to learn more. That is your decision, and your right.

earthhorse
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Posts: 1842
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:12 pm

Re: A Letter I wrote, Please give feedback on

Post by earthhorse » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:50 pm

Hi SpiritTornApart,

I am sure an apology will always be welcome. And I know I would like to know why the people who hurt me hurt me.

The only thing I think about this apology is it is probably something that was good for you to do, and not so much about the person you hurt, even though I hear you recognizing a lot of the pain you caused. Have you already sent it?

I think I would have tried to separate explaining from the apology. Edit through things so you don't excuse your behavior in the same sentence or paragraph as you are recognizing the pain your caused. Give this full room without excuses or reasons. List it out, and take full responsibilty as you do. Then you could just talk about your story in a separate section. Everything you tried to explain about your background and mental health issues, all of that is not the fault of the person you hurt, or anything to do with them beyond the fact this is what motivated you to do them harm. So it would be good to also give this separate space.

It is good to let them know how hard you are working and how grateful you are to them. But in the end that is still just about you. And especially if they are a minor - your appeal for forgiveness, self adulation (even if just about proving how desperately hard you work in therapy) and even kindness might come across as deeply confusing, produce guilt for having been the person who reported you, or as simply manipulative. You are not a nice, trustworthy person to them. Loving safe people don't hurt children this way. Even though I hear you are becoming safer and are embracing love as you heal... you were not safe, you were not kind, you did not show care.

That you want to defend them now is noble. But be careful there will be no redemption in that. Being a 'nice' person who destroyed and disrupted so much in their lives, just makes it worse, more easily make them feel like it was 'them', not you who was at fault since you constantly underline your own victimhood. You know how that goes as a survivor... its not the bad guys that hurt the most, you can see them coming form a mile off, it's the ones that appear good, that we learn to depend on, that we empathize with that destroy our sense of self and force us to dissociate and introject the harm...

I am so sorry there was no space earlier in your life to deal with your abuse as a child,. Everyone failed you too. You deserved to be protected, as an adult survivor you deserved every support. I commend you on striving for some kind of restorative justice, I know you will get there, whether it is reconciliation with the person you hurt or through the way you choose to be in the world. There is a lot of healing in righting wrongs.

I thank you so much for sharing this here. The way you describe dissociating really reminds me of my primary abusers. I know they were both hurt terribly as children too.

I really don't like the way everything is hyped to demonize people who hurt children. Yes hurting children must stop. But the only way is, 1. we put the needs of survivors first, 2. if it becomes safer to seek support to recover as someone who perpetrates abuse. Too much is invested the silence otherwise.

You are very brave. And i am glad you are ending the cycle. I hope you will continue to have much support. Life has so many beginnings and I wish you a truly fresh beginning lived in truth.

Take loving care of you,
EH
"One kind word can warm three winter months"

SpiritTornApart
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Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:04 pm

Re: A Letter I wrote, Please give feedback on

Post by SpiritTornApart » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:54 pm

I have taken some of your feedback to heart. While I have not changed the content of the letter, because it is meant to be in my own words. I did rearrange a few parts so it is more linear. I do have a problem with things I'm trying to explain seeming to jump around a lot. I agree we need more emphasis on the survivors, but just recently getting out of prison in California in November, it seems as if most people (including the mental health system in prison and outpatient care) seems to ignore the fact I am a victim from my childhood also, and just wants to portray me as some perverted predator. This only serves to fuel my own conflict because on one hand, I feel like a monster after what I've done, and I don't want to live like that anymore. I've become that which I have always hated, and even feared (though I didn't recognize the fear before the memories resurfaced) the most. On the other hand, I have discovered who I really am. Someone who is a very good person. I have not sent the letter because I fear how it could affect her, and there's problems as to how I can send it (all her mail is being screened). As mentioned in the letter, I don't think the letter will ever be good enough because I want to be able to erase what happened, and I don't know how to do that.

I have shown the letter to:
  • My Sex Offender Program clinician
    A family therapist student who does one on ones and groups weekly at the program I'm currently at
    My mother, who I have learned was also abused as a child without counseling
    I tried reading it to a NAMI Mental health support group facilitator and one other group member who volunteered to hear it
    Now this forum
I admit that I didn't even make it half way through reading the letter out loud before I was falling into tears from the pain it brought up. It just seemed more real hearing my own voice say the words. So far no one has had really any issues with the content, and have all had great reviews. Most were left speechless. The feedback you gave me seemed more about the presentation than the content, though if I misinterpreted your advice, please let me know. I did remove the title protector from the signature, because I don't really feel that applies. I also changed the suggestions from or, to and at the advice of my HOPE (court mandated class) clinician advised saying there could be a chance she may see, or have seen me as both.

As for me, it was a stranger who abused me while I was in an inpatient treatment program for depression.

I'm including the revised letter now for further review. If anyone wants more perspective, the victim is now in her mid-teens. She has received counseling (thought it was police department provided 13 weeks so I don't know how good it was), she has had very strong support from her parents. I'M ENVIOUS OF HER! She has everything I needed and still don't get.

Anyways, here is the revised letter:

To (Name Removed),
Some of what I’m going to tell you, others have probably already said to you, and although I don’t expect me saying it will have any meaning for you, I mean them. What I will say is the truth, and comes straight from my heart. No one is telling me what to say, if anything, they do not want me to apologize. I’m going to tell you the truth, but the only one who can decide to believe what I say is you. No one can tell you what to believe.

I wanted to apologize for the pain, trouble and trauma that I’ve caused you. I don’t think there’s any way to make it right, because there is nothing right about what happened. I don’t even know how to apologize because I feel if nothing I say can erase what happened, then the words are not enough. You did not deserve what happened to you, you did not do anything wrong, or do anything to make it happen. You gave me the best gift I have ever had in my life when you protected yourself. The gift of having all my past suppressed trauma resurface, and the strength and motivation to confront it to find understanding and change. No other gifts can compare with that.

Knowing that because of my weakness and failure, your father got custody of you. I can’t say if that was a good or bad thing in the end. All I can remember is the days when you would come home from your father’s house in tears, and the times you would ask to come home early because of how things were over there (although I don’t know any details). I also know that your mother loves you very much, and I believe you loved her the same. Now that is ruined because of me. It’s not just you with your family that I hurt. You had to leave your friends, your self defense and gymnastics classes, Sea World, and so many things that you seem to enjoy, because of what I did. On top of all that, I violated your trust in me. To have caused all this damage and not even have been aware of what I was doing. I hope there’s a part of you who understands that if I even thought I presented a danger to you, I would’ve left and never put you, or your family in danger. I think there was a time when you would know that, I would not blame you that seems like bull crap and you think of me as a manatee (is that what you used to say), or worse.

Don’t feel ashamed about what happened. You are unfortunately not alone, as I’m sure you already know. Don’t be afraid to talk with people about it. It’s hard at first, but it does get easier the more it’s done. There may always be people who may look down on you or crack jokes about what you’ve been through, and I apologize for putting you through that. Those who really care about you though, will be supportive and compassionate. Know that if anyone gives you crap or a hard time about it, I would be willing to be the first person to stand up for you (and in a way for me as a victim), and I would kick their butts (and possibly other areas). I don’t care if it would be considered a violation of my parole and getting me possibly life in prison. To me defending you is worth it.

I want to emphasize that you did nothing wrong (I’m sure you’ve heard that enough, and even realize it yourself), though it may mean nothing coming from me. You did the right thing and I’m proud of you for being strong enough.

I wish to tell you how it happened and allow you to make your own opinion. What happened was the result of triggers which caused some mental health problems that I was unaware of at the time to over ride my core personality. I was not aware of my actions when they were happening, but only when you spoke up and brought me back from the state of disassociation I was in did I become aware. All I perceived and knew at the time was one moment we were just sitting there, the next your voice was upset with me and I was in a position without knowing how I got there. I did the first thing I could think of and withdrew and curled up into a ball.

The problem as I learned through much self reflection stemmed from trauma I incurred as a child myself. This trauma started resurfacing because of your actions. It was very painful to relive and endure, but it was needed.

I initially thought what happened was just a result of sexual abuse I endured myself as a child, which is something that’s been researched and proven, but it was more than that. It was a combination of many troublesome experiences I had as a child, which prevented me from being able to develop trust with adults, an issue which I still trouble with to this day.

Right now it may seem like I’m blaming it all on the trauma, and trying to evade responsibility. I really wish I could do that. The truth is, there was a point in my life where I made a conscious decision, which turned out to be the wrong one. When I decided to cower and hide the sexual abuse that I went through, I unknowingly set this up to happen down the line. For that I beg forgiveness. It’s not fair that a decision made about ten years before you were born led to you being hurt. I can go into all the negative ways what I went through affected me, but the important thing is I hope with the counseling you received (by what they told me), you can be spared the life of emotional pain and suffering that I endured. Not a day goes by that I don’t regret that wrong decision. I failed you, your mother, and your family. The trauma on my spirit is severe, and everyday I feel myself screaming internally in agony and pain, feeling myself crying inside. Sometimes I find my inner self crying out reliving the trauma calling for my parents to protect me and save me. I find myself wanting death almost every day just hoping the pain would go away. I don’t even know words to express what I’m going through. It’s not just the injured child in me that I hear screaming in agony. I hear my inner self screaming out for you as well. Crying out things like “what have I done”, “I’ve destroyed her life”, “She’s going to end up like me now because of me.”

I was a very poor friend for you, and I see that now. I should’ve been wiser and able to give you better advice in life. I don’t know how life can be with counseling for victims of sexual abuse, so I want to believe you are doing well. All I know about life after abuse is the pain. I fear that you are now condemned to the fate of pain as I have to live with. Though I pray every day that I’m wrong.

I have used my pain and remorse from what I did to you as strength to undergo my own therapy and push harder than mental health doctors say I should’ve pushed even under ideal conditions. The confrontation of my trauma was done by myself in a way that experts say should never be done. All this reflection has caused huge changes in me. Even in ways I can’t believe. I thank you for yelling at me and creating the emotional shock-wave that forced all the suppressed memories to the surface. I wish you didn’t have to be the catalyst for this though. No matter what anyone tells you, what happened was not done out of any sexual or lewd desire. I have no sexual desire for children. All that was verified by an intensive forensic psychological evaluation that I underwent in jail. Three separate tests were in agreement based on subjective and objective analysis. I can see now all the red signs and realize how my situation was worsening, I was becoming a bigger threat almost every day. Now the threat no longer comes from me directly, but from those who would seek to hurt me to get “justice.” No matter what you think of this letter, know that I will not seek out a friendship with you for fear that you may get hurt in the crossfire.

As for my new mindset and perspective. I have logically challenged the stigmas of society to see the core corruption of our world. I’ve even started to be able to show a few others my realizations and have them see the correct true views. No matter what views I now have, I have found nothing that can even come close to making what I did to you right. I do want to apologize for myself though. Adults tend to treat minors very disrespectfully to the point it has become the norm. I am no exception. Although I was always told I was good with kids, I still treated children wrongly and disrespectfully. I can not apologize on behalf of society, but I apologize for my behalf. Proof of my new understanding and advanced recovery comes in the fact that when I am in my court mandated sex offender treatment, I end up teaching the facilitator things he never thought of, ending up into 40+ minutes of material and treatment techniques they find better than their material. The course material and other members are effectively in kindergarten in terms of their treatment, while I play the role of college professor. Even my clinicians in the prison mental health programs were learning from me, despite their expensive degrees. The therapist that does the weekly group at this program house I’m in is also learning from me.

I don’t know what shape I will be in if you ever get this. I’m sure people will not even let you know I want to apologize, something which is very disrespectful to you, and the strength you have inside. I will try though. If this only reaches you after my death, then rejoice for I will then be free of the pain finally. There’s so much more I can tell you, but that would only be if you choose to hear it, for some things I have realized could be too hard for you to bear and I wish no more pain on to you.

Wishing you a life that I never had.
(Name Removed) (The Monster & The Friend, &/or insert your title for me here)

PS: I don’t request it, and may not be around anymore if you get this. You deserve the option and choice to decide if you want to try contacting me. I just don’t want you in the crossfire between me and those who would seek to harm me. I’ve hurt you enough. My information is added and correct as of February 2019 in case you decide you want to learn more. That is your decision, and your right.

Jonesy
Director
Director
Posts: 12105
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:44 pm

Re: A Letter I wrote, Please give feedback on

Post by Jonesy » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:56 pm

Hi SpiritTornApart

Much kudos to you for having the strength to share your words here with us.
I hope you continue to receive the support you need, both here and in your 3D life.
You are important

Email: jonesy@isurvive.org

earthhorse
Member
Posts: 1842
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:12 pm

Re: A Letter I wrote, Please give feedback on

Post by earthhorse » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:03 pm

Hi SpiritTornApart,

The letter reads very well, and I hope it helps you have some closure.

It does sound like to me, that's it is time to give space for the abuse you yourself experienced. To center yourself as a survivor.

I don't think there is much justice in the prison system. While, I don't see, personally, much good can come from locking people up and dehumanizing them, it's torture too, so how can it be right?

I do believe in accountability though and in restorative justice. I hope with time you will be able to help others to connect with themselves and end the cycle of pain and abuse.

But first things first take care of yourself...

All the very best to you,
EH
"One kind word can warm three winter months"

SpiritTornApart
Member
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:04 pm

Re: A Letter I wrote, Please give feedback on

Post by SpiritTornApart » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:10 am

I talked with my parole officer today about the possibility of seeing if my victim would even be willing to look at an apology letter.

He adamantly stated know they will not help with anything like that nor would they allow me to do it directly. I do not want to try and do it directly, because I'm concerned about what it could cause her to go through if one day out of the blue she received a form of communication from me. What I know right now though is I do not have the resources to pursue this task any further, and I need to do more to take care of myself at this time so I can have resources later to try this. I would like to thank those who gave me feedback on it, and it is frustrating that the intended target for this letter cannot receive it at this time. But in a situation like mind options are very limited and all I can do is what I can do without losing myself in the process.

I am not confident that I'm going to receive any sort of true Justice from California and the parole department. by that I mean being treated in judge based on the reality of the case behind it instead of the blank generic penal code that's assigned to me.

The most important thing for me though, despite facing all these negative triggers, is that I remain strong in my resolve and do not let these triggers cause of repeat of what I did.

earthhorse
Member
Posts: 1842
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:12 pm

Re: A Letter I wrote, Please give feedback on

Post by earthhorse » Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:23 pm

Yes this may have happened because you were victimized.

But you are not the victim in this relationship. The reasons the protections are there is because the person you hurt needs to be protected from you. Not because you may try to hurt them again but because the consequences for the person who survived what happened is much higher than even what you are facing now, and had to go through as a result of being charged for what you did.

Maybe one day who you hurt will try and find you. Save the letter for that day. But today keep it for yourself, it is a letter for you as much as it is for the child you harmed.

It really does sound so complicated though - not the fact that a child was profoundly and fundamentally hurt by you and that this has consequences. But because, really calculating abusers don't get 'caught' often, is my experience. Though they deserve to be. If you knew what you were doing you would have probably being able to get away with it, and manipulate silence, is the sickening reality and the nature of imbalances in power. If you think about the statistics are frightening of the few cases of rape or assault that are reported, only 1% are prosecuted. You are thus an exception to the rule, not the norm. You are being persecuted to give the appearance of justice, when there in fact is no, or very little justice for survivors of sexual assault and child sexual abuse.

Perhaps you needed to get caught SpiritTornApart, perhaps in some ways this was your way of ending the cycle. As terrible as it is, and has become. There is no way back now. Only total transformation. It's an intense spiritual crucible. Also having to face the injustice that comes with this form of justice. But now you have survived this too.

I knew this amazing person C., when I was younger. He had a white streak in his hair from when he lost everything he owned in a cyclone. He had done a lot of pretty terrible things to others when he was younger, when I met him he was on a pilgrimage to set the wrongs right, or at least acknowledge his part in it, he went to everyone he knew and offered his sincere apology. He had absolute humility. There was no taking back what he had done, the damage was irreparable. He was an inspiring person who I will never forget. He seemed to know more than anyone else what life was really about. He had quieted his ego. Thanks for reminding me of him.

A lot will be on your shoulders now. But you will become very strong as a result, and you will learn and be able to take care of you in a way that is complete. You will know peace again in this life, you have started the journey.

Take loving care,
EH
"One kind word can warm three winter months"

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