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Concerns regarding restorative justice and apology

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:04 pm
by SpiritTornApart
I am looking for a program or entity that can help me by reaching out to my victim in a safe manner too see if she's even willing to receive an apology (see letter I wrote). A new concern has arisen for me, and this one is more related to the abuse I endured.

If somehow she forgave me, does that mean I'm a fake if I don't forgive the one who abused me?

I just think of all the trouble and pain not just me, but those I care about that came from what he did to me. I want to know why me, but I really don't think I will ever know. It causes me to feel jealous that my victim may have at least the choice and power to decide if she gets those answers and I don't. Does that make me a bad person? Will that hunger to know ever go away? WHAT WAS SO IMPORTANT THAT HE HAD TO DESTROY MY LIFE FOR?

Sorry for the Caps outburst. Has restorative justice and answers really helped others? I hear research supports it, but I'm just so afraid about it. It's scary to give someone else power over me, especially when it can put me back in prison for just trying to help.

I'm also so sure it would be ignored that I'm more afraid that she would want more information. It's still hard at times to talk about what I've been through.

Sorry for rambling on. I just feel lost.

Re: Concerns regarding restorative justice and apology

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:33 am
by Booklover
Hi spirtTornApart I can understand why you want to contact your victim to say sorry but sorry to be blunt is this really going to help her or is it about you. Maybe you could give the letter to your solicitor to hold on to then if she ever wants to know why the letter is there also it then gets it out of your hands and gives someone else control over it.
I don’t know if I will ever get to confront my abuser as when I tried to press charges 25yrs ago cps said there was not enough evidence and that they would not win the case but would keep my details so if anyone else came forward we could do it together and have more chance of winning. Even if I do ever get my day in court I’m not sure I would be interested in why as it don’t help me and know he was abused as well which sure he was as he and his father would abuse me together when ever the could.

I think what you do need is to find someone who will help you deal with your own abuse so you can move on.

Re: Concerns regarding restorative justice and apology

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:37 pm
by SpiritTornApart
I'm very sorry to hear that CPS did not take you more seriously. It seems to be that the judicial system is only about what they can prosecute nowadays instead of actually helping and protecting people.

One of the worst parts about what happened to me is really when I look at all its led to all the extra pain and hardships. As I try searching to find some resemblance of a possible more normal life for me, I keep finding more and more evidence that the Outlook is really far worse than I even knew and understand. I don't think most of the public out there really knows what's involved and what restrictions are placed pretty much for the rest of someone's life once they have to register. I've had a few people tell me what's the big deal, you go in every so often you give them your information you go on with your life. But that's not really the case.

It is very difficult and almost impossible for me to see receiving any real benefit from being able to apologize to my victim outside me feeling like I actually was able to try doing something that may help. Looking at my own situation I could only theorize that for her, it could possibly bring some missing answers to questions that may or may not help her to release some of the questions that I at least have. Perhaps bring or even closer to having complete closure if the whole situation. I also possibly hope that it can help to avoid some of the blind prejudicial hatred the kids created in the situation like this. Or at the very least I hope just giving her the knowledge and options and choice of whether or not to accept, or even to see or receive the apology, could give her sense of having some more control or power restored in her life that I fear I may have taken from her.

I guess on the side note maybe you could help me find some closure as well. The reality is for my situation I really want to let go of the past and what I've been through and move forward, the problem is when I try to let go it grabs hold of me and it won't let me go.

I guess one other good thing it could do for me, is it could tell me that I'm actually someone who may be worth forgiving. Which could help me to learn to forgive myself because I still feel like I allowed myself to be abused. And when you're trying to break decades-old mindset of not feeling like you're worth anything, and you're basically being treated like you are less than human, it does not make for good conditions to try changing a mindset to a better value.

Re: Concerns regarding restorative justice and apology

Posted: Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:52 pm
by Ndu
(I know what I am about to say is unpopular but it is what I think)
Hi, I know this is a whole year late, but I think you are worthy of being forgiven, even by yourself. I guess as a victim it's sometimes hard to imagine that your abuser could be remorseful about what they had done, but we are all people who sometimes do really hurtful things to people that we can't take back or undo. I've noticed that offenders who were also victims of the same offense are judged really harshly because well "they should've known better" since they've also experienced the devastation that offense may cause, but I've also gotten the opportunity to realise how much the offender (who is really apologetic) actually also beats themself up for the same reasons.

Perhaps apologising may not seem like a big thing but I think it is helpful (even if it's in a small way), to the victim's healing journey and your own. And I agree with your reasons for offering this letter. Confronting your abuser is painful and takes enormous strength to do, and admitting your offense takes just as much. And what I learned after speaking to my abuser and having him apologize and answer the questions that I had was that, him apologizing and explaining does not excuse what he did to me and it does not make it less painful or impactful but I did get to reclaim my power and heal in the areas where unforgiveness had robbed me of peace and joy. It took me hurting someone else just as bad to realise this, although I do wish I had learned compassion in a different way (without guilt involved), I am however thankful for learning it. I too am still learning to forgive myself for all the hurt I've caused others (just because I wasn't imprisoned for the things I've done, doesn't mean they were less devastating to me and the recipient of my actions - I understand that now). So in both your journey and that of your victim, I wish you both so much healing.