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Would you / Could you establish a relationship with somone that abused you?

I was verbally, physically and sexually abused by my stepbrother from the age of 11-14 (he was 15-18 at the time). I confronted him when I was 16 and told him how much it affected me and my ability to be close to people. From that point on, I was in a position of power and he's never hurt me that way again.

25 years later and 7 1/2 years of therapy under my belt, there's a recent death in our immediate family has me rethinking the line I drawn to kick him out of my life. Given that life is so short, does it make sense clear the air and find a way to have my brother back in my life?

So, would you or could you ever find a way to forgive an abuser when the abuse occurred when both of you were kids?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 6:22 PM on Jan. 3, 2010 in Relationships

Answers (12)
  • NO

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:23 PM on Jan. 3, 2010

  • You can forgive him but I wouldn't forget and I certainly wouldn't want to have any kind of relationship with him.

    Answer by ceallaigh at 6:25 PM on Jan. 3, 2010

  • no I don't think I ever could. And I would never let them anywhere near my children

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:27 PM on Jan. 3, 2010

  • No way. i shut people off very good. I dont let bad negativity in my life or near my children. If i were you i would stay away

    Answer by aeroslove at 6:31 PM on Jan. 3, 2010

  • Follow your heart.. doesn't matter what anyone else would do in this situation. Maybe the same thing happened to him as a child and he acted out on you.. doesn't make it right, I'm just saying.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:37 PM on Jan. 3, 2010

  • I would forgive, but forget HIM. you dont need someone like that in your life.. he was practically an adult when he was doing those things to you.. he was very much old enough to know better.. its very good to forgive people, but i wouldnt want someone like that in my life or around my children (if you have any) good luck to you

    Answer by maybebaby83 at 6:41 PM on Jan. 3, 2010

  • Some verbal abusers of mine I understand now through my life's other experiences and my own intelligence, have mental illness that made them do that. Sometimes mental illness involves physical security of someone and sometimes mental illness affects others emotional security.

    i can not forgive them to be good friends with them. My life though has gone on for good that's allowed me to randomly be near them without fear emotionally anymore. I've taught my children to speak firmly of bullying and to someone who bullies.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:42 PM on Jan. 3, 2010

  • I really don't think that I could I have never been in that situation thou

    Answer by mom2fivekids579 at 7:06 PM on Jan. 3, 2010

  • Forgive but be very careful. Predators like him will misunderstand your kindness and will take it to mean that you want to start it up again voluntarily. Please protect yourself. Don't let all that you have gained go down the drain. You have a good heart but you are dealing with a sociopath who doesn't care about you or your feelings. He's a monster and won't change. He probably thinks he did you a favor by teaching you to be a woman. Men like that are dangerous.

    Answer by admckenzie at 7:12 PM on Jan. 3, 2010

  • I have been abused by a relative also... And when I read your question, this came to mind... "If he did it to you, why would you want him anywhere near your children? Ever?" Usually people that do things like that re-offend.

    PS- Not only have I been in a vey similar situation, I am a Criminal Justice major and have had contact with many people that have been innapropriate with children (including family) since they were teens.

    Answer by itsjaimiehere at 7:54 PM on Jan. 3, 2010

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