Having To See An Abuser
Having to see your abuser is not an easy thing to do. There are several reasons why you would do this.
- You still socialize with them; family member or other
- You still have contact with them as they are a member of your family, immediate or extended
- They are a family friend which you feel obligated to stay in contact with or see
- Or you are facing your abuser with your abuse and taking them to court.
- Or perhaps you have another reason
Seeing your abuser regardless of the situation brings constant reminders that you would rather try to forget. It also brings feelings of guilt, rage, hate, even love if they are a family member, in many instances. You may even have feelings of revenge or violence.
Your emotions will be conflicting, as at the same time as wanting what could have been, you have the feelings of betrayal.
Dealing with these emotions and feelings does not get easier in the short term, without cutting your abuser off and having nothing to do with them. This is not easy to do either, however the benefits are rewarding.
If Your Abuser Is A Family MemberSocialization or Contact
Many victims of child sex abuse still have contact or socialize with their family, including their abuser. This is understandable, as cutting contact with family is a difficult thing. There are bonds tying you together regardless of the problems you face. In most cases the relationship is strained.
Molested victims would love to have a normal, family life. One where they can have family gatherings, BBQ's, and get togethers. Unfortunately in most cases it doesn't work like that. Even when you do see each other, things are not easy, you more than likely don't feel like you fit in. You feel like an outsider, uncomfortable, and you can fight this all you like, it generally doesn't work.(This section applies to where your father/step father/mother/family member was your abuser.)
Seeing your abuser will make you feel uncomfortable and uneasy. You may get the feeling they would like to continue to touch you in a sexual way if they could. It may be the way they look at you, touch you, or hug you. Are they hugging you because they are pleased to see you? Or because it is one way they can have bodily contact.
Whether you admit it or not, these thoughts will cross your mind.
Do You Have Contact For Short Periods
If you don't see your abuser very often it is still difficult to face them. Not only does it bring up many of the emotions mentioned above, you have had time to feel a little more comfortable without them being around. Unfortunately when you do see them or even speak on the phone, your negative feelings and emotions will surface very quickly.
This can affect you for the next week or so. In fact you can be so over whelmed by your emotions, that you can be difficult to be around. This can be difficult for your partner and very confusing as well if you have not fully explained the situation. Agitation, anger, frustration, despair, sadness, the reminders, your betrayal (especially intense if they have never apologized for the abuse) are only a few of the emotions that will bring turmoil to your mind.
This has a yoyo effect as you have contact, then after contact you can settle down with time, then the process starts again.
It is very difficult to recover from child sexual abuse if you have the constant reminders from seeing your abuser, especially if they have never apologized.
Facing Them With Your Abuse
If you are seeing your abuser to face them with your molestation, then of course it is necessary to see them. You are far better off not doing this on your own, in fact it is advisable that you do not. Take your partner or a trusted friend. What is even better is, to face him/her with a lawyer.
For your benefit, do not look into their eyes. Pick a point on their face and look there. Once you look into their eyes, they can try to manipulate you, or try to make you feel extremely disconcerted and off balance.
If you are seeing them in court, then use the same tactic. In this way you will be able to keep your composure and strength.
Your abuser would like nothing more than to have you extremely uncomfortable. Once again he will have manipulated you and you really don't want to give them that satisfaction.
A body language tactic that can be useful in these situations is to look about half an inch above their eyes in the center of their head. This look is imposing and shows that you are not being submissive. You might like to practice on a close friend first. If you are doing it right, your friend should feel uncomfortable.