Sunday, June 17, 2012

Responses to DPB's apology

I posted DPB's entirely inadequate apology on this blog and on Facebook. Here are some of the responses. (If they're from people I haven't already named on this blog, I'm just going to use their initials.)

ANG: I'm speechless. I can't believe he sent that you. Sex offenders don't realize the damage they do :(

Ayelet: I'm pretty sure my mother pressured him to send it because she desperately wants to be back in touch with me. If I wrote back, it would be something along the lines of, "As an apology this is entirely inadequate. However, if I decide to report you to the sex offender registry, it will be quite helpful."

KB: He "needs" to apologise or he wants to? Who benefits from this apology? Why has it taken him so long (two decades) to apologise if he so desperately wanted to? It's a self-serving POS full of "I" statements that focus on how HE feels. Has he changed or is he relying on you being an adult (he presumes without morals or integrity as he is) to now turn a blind eye to his perversions? What an insult.

Ayelet: He hasn't changed. He's a selfish POS.

LMG: It is very difficult to understand how this man thinks but it does look as though he is wanting to make amends. We do need to forgive because it is very harmful to a person spiritually and physically. I am sure your Mother misses you very much and she would like you to come back into her life again. You may not agree with me but I believe it would be a wise decision to forgive and forget because it can lift a heavy burden and 20 years (two decades) is a long time to carry this. Give it to God! I will be praying for you dear friend!

Rabbi Zohar: Your mom wants you to be in touch with someone who shared pornography with you?! Oy.I'm not sure what part of all this is more disturbing. Not sure what the letters to the editor has to do with anything, like the rest of the magazine is ok to share?

BG, PsyD: He writes about (barely) what he did wrong, without any mention of what you experienced, then or since.

LFM: I would not could not accept this as an apology...

JDB: Oh G-d, Ayelet. The truth is that this is the best you're going to get out of him. Did he leave this stuff out for you to read? Pressure you to read it? Or was it a situation like mine where you go into ur folks bedroom and see stuff ya shouldn't see? Either way, I do know this. There is no apology on earth that is going to make your hurt go away. I wish there were but there isn't. I'm afraid you are going to have to get past this on your own, somehow. When the wound is that deep, nothing will make it up.

EB: ?"allowing" you to read... Did you ask him for permission to read it?

Ayelet: Never asked permission to read it; it was just left out everywhere. I want my mother to get rid of him, and she won't. It pisses me off that he has a nice comfortable retirement and I'll be alone.

MFC: All I can say is big hugs to you Ayelet! I am sorry this man hurt you and I am sorry that this is what he considers an apology to assuage that hurt~

And then there was brutally honest Jack, a friend from college, who had his own take on things. We exchanged emails early this morning.

Jack: So what WOULD be an appropriate apology? People really do make mistakes, even terrible ones like this one. It seems to me like your mom and DPB are trying, at least; otherwise why would they bother?

Can you imagine ANY way to get past it? You should either respond with "Thank you for trying, but I'm just unable to get over it. Please don't contact me again unless I contact you first." or "Here is what you will have to do in order to begin repairing the damage..." Either seems better than nursing your anger for the rest of your life.

P.S. My father beat me often in my childhood and emotionally abused everyone around him his whole life. I still forgave him as he was dying, because one learns to be an asshole if one doesn't learn otherwise; the hurt he dealt out was never "evil", it was simply reckless. Fine, he should have known better, but obviously he didn't. We all get hurt by people and we all hurt people in turn. The cycle has to end somewhere.

P.P.S. A threat to use someone's apology, however inadequate, as a legal admission of guilt is beneath you.

I must watch way too many crime shows. I see the apology as prime evidence.

Ayelet: I told my mother to either leave me alone or get rid of DPB. She is unwilling to do either. And as awful as your father was, he didn't ruin your life. Also, as a mandated reporter, I'm kind of obligated to report behavior like this. Especially if my sister visits with her teenage daughters.

Jack: So there is nothing DPB can do, even if he is truly remorseful?

I'm not sure if you can judge whether my father "ruined my life". What I eventually chose to do in response to his actions played at least as much or more of a role in determining that.

Ayelet: Maybe I can't assess whether your dad ruined your life, but the pornography I was exposed to, and consumed, destroyed my chances of finding a husband in my 20s or 30s. By the time I realized what I was doing wrong, it was basically too late. There is nothing DPB can do to change that. I also doubt he's truly remorseful. If you read the letter carefully, it's all about his feelings and his regrets. He's still a selfish degenerate pervert.

And the brutally honest reply that truly hurt, and makes me think, and wonder.

Jack: Our situations are not parallel, and I won't pretend that they are. However, for perspective, I was exposed to my father's Playboy collection when I was pre-teen. I played perverse games with my brother, cousin, and babysitter. I consumed my friends' porn collections in college. I still struggle with porn addiction. And I was frum from birth, I'm still frum. I used to struggle with religious guilt on all counts, and the shock of a failed belief in my father.

But I eventually owned my own reactions to this and dealt with it through rationality, therapy and occasional drugs.

I'm in no position to judge your struggles, but I can't help doing it just a little. Exposure to pornography twisted you for over twenty years? Really? A billion children around the world are exposed to pornography - and worse - on the Internet now; some of them will be twisted by it. They will only avoid responsibility by blaming the pornography (or whomever let them access it) instead of their reactions to it.

"DPB ruined your life"? "DPB destroyed your chances of finding a husband in your 20s or 30s"? Really? You don't own ANY of this? You've been to therapy and were diagnosed and took drugs, and you've never assumed any responsibility for your choices? What would you say to one of your clients who blamed his parents for twenty years of violent crime? A troubled childhood, sure, but into his forties?? When do you stop being a victim?

I've been reading your blog for years now, Ayelet. I love you, I really do. Your impetus to write a blog was to move somewhere; are you moving anywhere? You're pretty, smart, capable, literate, independent, kind, and interesting. But you blame everyone but yourself for your problems and failed relationships, even more than 20 years after the abuse stopped. I understand the impetus; if you're prone to depression, blaming yourself looks like a straight route to suicidal thoughts. But it doesn't have to be; it can be a straight route to acceptance and taking control, and control is the second greatest joy possible.

I think, if this idiot is honestly regretful, that your life will be 100% better once you have forgiven him; it will end the abuse you continue to experience even now. That doesn't mean not warning people about him, if he is not rehabilitated; it means letting go of his poisonous possession of your soul. As for his apology, I don't know if he is sincere. But a true apology is about one's own actions and regrets. He can't own your reactions to his actions. "I'm sorry for "you getting hurt" is an insincere apology. I'm sorry "that I hurt you" is sincere (or at least it is worded so).

I don't know how to respond to that, except that it's not a sincere apology and it's not enough. It's just not.

As for my own role and responsibility in ruining my life: I was already damaged when I met the degenerate pervert. I wouldn't have had a normal adolescence, I was too wounded by my father's death and too "sensitive" (i.e., prodromal, as the pros say, getting ready to develop bipolar disorder). So there's no guarantee I would have lived happily ever after even had I not been exposed to pornography.

But I didn't need to be further damaged, and I was, and now my life will never be close to what I wanted. All I ever wanted was to have a baby, and now it's too late. I was innocent, and he destroyed that innocence. I can't let him or my mother off the hook that easily. I would rather just cut both of them out of my life.

Maybe that's the only way I can forgive them. If they leave me alone for the rest of my life.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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