Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: In a southern state of mind
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Trying to recover - am I overreacting?
I'm sorry to come and post this here but I'm confused and lost. *Warning light mention of physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
My sister called me earlier b/c my father is in town and having a family dinner with the grandmother and other relatives. He wanted her to come and ask me and my brother to come and bring our families as well. He was very violent and abusive when we were younger and no one other than my sister has talked to him in years. This isn't the first time she has told me of him trying to contact us or invite us somewhere but talking to her about everything today got me questioning myself.
The backstory: When I was 12 he got messed up on drugs and became extremely violent and abusive. He abused and made attempts at killing and kidnapping my mother. As I was 12, brother was 5 and sister was 7 I was more aware of it all then they were. He also abused me and tried to kill me as well as her. The graphic scenes don't matter but it was a horrible few years with him breaking in and otherwise harming us. Things calmed down a little as the years went on since my parents had separated and he eventually stopped bothering us as much. As time passed we had fewer incidents where he would show up and cause more scenes. At 17 I tried to visit with him to talk things over and see where we stood. During that trip and some violent family outbreaks with extended family I found out about him having sexual contact with my cousin when she was a child. This just further upset me and I left. I'd already been in and out of therapy for years but at that point I had a breakdown. I went back into therapy as well as being put on meds. I've been on and off the meds and therapy for the last 10 yrs or so.
I have felt fine for a long time and mostly recovered but the talk with my sister today made me question myself. Am I out of line? I haven't talked to him in years with no intention of changing it but should I? The cousin that he was in contact with as well as the rest of the family ignore everything and carry on like they're family and live goes on. Why can't I? Why is it that I seem more disturbed by what he did to her than she is? Even with what he did to me all those years is it worth me exiling myself from my family forever? I'm not sure I even want these people in my life but it made me question myself. Maybe I'm overreacting and being crazy. Has anyone else here been through abuse and managed to forgive and carry on life around their attackers? Is that even something we should want to do? I wonder if I shouldn't try to see these family members including him and see how I felt about things now. I'm not sure if I'm right to seclude my children from so many of their relatives even though I'm protecting them by not having them around potentially dangerous people. I will say that I am much better now than I was for a long time. I have recovered enough that I don't have outbreaks and anxiety attacks. The night mares are gone. I've even come to the point that I no longer hate him for what he did and I suppose I have 'forgiven' him in a sense. I just don't know that I can ever be around him again. I don't know that I should either. I'm sad about the loss of so much family but they weren't healthy people either. I guess I'm just confused about how they can all still be 'a family' even after all the things they've put each other through and yet I can't. I feel like something must be wrong with me or maybe I'm holding a grudge that I shouldn't be anymore. I'm sorry this went on for long so if you read it all you're an angel! I'm just lost and confused.
Last edited by crazyms; 07-12-2014 at 03:17 PM.