Saw Abuser After 15 Years

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I recently saw my sexual abuser after 15 years. My pop passed away last Week, I went up to see him in the hospital and say my goodbyes. While I was there my uncle showed up, I havent seen him since I was 9 when he stopped molesting me. He molested me from ages 6 to 9 on and off. Seeing him there just bought it all back to me, and it’s been messing with my head ever since, I can’t sleep or eat and I just feel really crap. I wanted to stay with my pop, but I couldnt be around him so I went home. No one knows that he had done those things to me, so the rest of my family were telling me hoe horrible I was for leaving. But I just couldn’t be near him, It made me feel physically sick. I thought I’d moved on, Its always there, but I thought I was managing, I feel like its all come to the surface now and I can’t cope. My friends and family just think I’m so sad cause im greiving for my pop, but I can’t even do that because what he did to me is all I can think about. What should I do, I can’t do this anymore.

A. As time passes, your feelings about the abuse may diminish. The reason it may bother you is because you have never appropriately dealt with the abuse. As you said, it’s always “been there” in the back of your mind but you may never have addressed the issue in any systematic or purposeful way. Instead of seeing this as a negative problem you may want to consider using this as an opportunity to work through the abuse. Maybe you thought that there was nothing to work through. Perhaps you were not ready to deal with it. This may be the moment in time in which you’ll have no choice but to deal with it.

If it continues to bother you and you don’t feel like you can cope with the feelings and emotions that these memories have brought up then it may be time to see a therapist. You may only have to see the therapist temporarily until you no longer feel as though you cannot cope. You may believe that going to a therapist and talking about the abuse is the wrong thing to do because it means having to talk about the memories and events that brought you so much emotional pain. But sometimes and especially in the case of abuse you may have to work through the painful memories in order to ultimately feel better. It may not be an easy or pleasant process but therapy may be needed for you to get past the abuse.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Jun 2009

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2009). Saw Abuser After 15 Years. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/06/01/saw-abuser-after-15-years/

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