Fort Refuge - Abuse Survivors Support Group

My abuser and me:
So much in common

by Jane

To my abuser.

Have decided it's time to get a bit of balance into my thinking about me and you. Truth is we share so much...sometimes reacted to some of it in different, sometimes in similar ways.

Both grew up without the parental support we deserved - you because your father died in the Spanish flu epidemic and your mother did not cope well on her own...tended to put her kids second as she sought to find a new husband and life for herself. Me? Don't really need to go into details about your and my relationship (you know that well enough) but, it was not all down to your mother, my mother (your wife) did not always cope with the situations she found herself in. Tried her best I am sure but did not, or chose not, to see (at the time the limited options) to protect my sibs and me.

I often wonder did you really not care for me as much as your behaviour would suggest or like me did you learn to tough things out rather than express your pain to a world that seemed not to care? Did you as a child dream that someone would save you...take some of your too heavy burden on their shoulders? That you could be as carefree as the other children around you appeared to be.

Did you like me fear that your mother would leave you, worry how you would cope? In my case I was luckier than you were. My mother did not take my sister and leave 13 year old me and my younger brothers with a step-father who barely knew us...move overseas...set up a new life with a new partner...never contact her children again.

I understand about coping mechanisms. So it appears do you. Alcohol; you turned to that early. Suppose seeing you drunk turned me off that instead I became addicted to denial and dissociation. Seemed that both of us turned to things that dulled our reality and minds...helped us to live with our pain.

Who knows without our tough beginnings (beginnings neither us deserved) how we would have developedíKthe sort of people we might have been. I suspect pretty similar.

For you.

To him who is in fear everything rustles.
~ Sophocles
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