When the abuser is a family member (Part 1): Boycotting your abuser?

If you have been through sexual abuse in your childhood, and are on a healing path , the decision to boycott your abuser, ban him/her from your life is often the toughest one to take, especially if the abuser is a parent or a close family member who you might still be in touch with. In order to feel empowered some decisions and choices have to be made. Confronting the abuser and telling him/her that he/she was wrong can be a life changing event. If that isn’t possible, then deciding not to be in touch with him/her, can really make a huge difference in your healing journey, especially if the abuser shows no signs of remorse or repentance ( which they rarely do).

When I work with clients who were sexually abused as a child, after we have worked on the traumatic events and the feelings such as guilt, shame, hurt, anger, rage, despair…, I urge them to think about how they would like to deal with the abuser because if the abuser is still in their lives, then their shameless disregard for what they did can really hurt. You can pretend to the world that you don’t care what the abuser did and have meals with him/her and sit on the same table, but you cannot deceive yourself into thinking that you have forgiven him/her when their presence fills you with anger, disgust or powerlessness. What kind of impact will that have on your body? Is that really self-care? Is that compassion for yourself? Is that what we really want to teach to our kids?

We are mistaken when we think that we need to forget and forgive the abuser since he/she  is a family member. We force ourselves to keep quiet because of what others will think. In my opinion, you need to stop hurting yourself and take decisions that are good for you and for the people who truly love you because they would want you to be ‘thriving’ and not just ‘surviving’.

When the abuser is a family member ( Part 2): Challenges to healthy boundaries

When the abuser is a family member ( Part3): Exploring Forgiveness

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About Puja

I am a Counseling Psychologist, Certified EFT Practitioner & Accredited Trainer with AAMET. In my 12+ years of experience, I have effectively used EFT and Counseling to help clients heal their emotional and physical problems.
This entry was posted in Childhood Sexual Abuse, Trauma and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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