An open letter to my parents, my abusers

Subject: An open letter to my parents, my abusers
Date: 9 Nov 2017

I want both of you to know that I am not writing this letter for you but for myself and my emotional and physical wellbeing. I am not concerned about how this letter will make you feel or what repercussions it may bring you or our family dynamic as it wasn’t of any concern for the two of you while the abuse was taking place. I have lived with the burden of being a product of this families abuse for way too long and it’s not my burden to carry its yours. I told you that I was not ready to talk to anyone and the two of you chose to attempt to use religion to minimize the abuse and manipulate your children to forgiveness. I am not in the slightest bit surprised after all it has been the overall narrative that the two of you choose to spew to your children. All I see is fear, guilt and shame but it’s not ours it’s yours. This same narrative that you so kindly continue to use to look down upon us is the reason that I have ill feelings for the church. Notice I said the church, not God. God didn’t fail me you did. I am a believer. I am a person of faith but being a person of faith does not mean that I am a doormat. Yet the two of you do an excellent job of wiping your feet.
Dad thank you for taking it upon yourself to proclaim that I don’t love Jesus enough for you. Do you think that maybe had I loved him more that I wouldn’t be having problems? Are you thinking maybe if I were a better Christian I would be able to just forgive and forget? How you can cast judgment on me as a Christian insulting my love for Jesus and then ask for forgiveness for abusing me speaks volumes for where you are at today. Who are you to judge me? You are not god, you’re both sinners and will have to stand before him just the same as me. God’s word is not meant to be used to manipulate your children for your own personal agenda. You were right about one thing. You said that you failed, and I couldn’t agree more. Fact is that it takes a strong man to raise one and we teach our children to love through our words and actions. You taught me a great deal from both. You taught me that I didn’t have any right to express or trust in my emotions and was always belittled and punished for having them. We were responsible for the rage, and the horrific words that you had no control over and routinely subjected your children to. Taking pleasure in destroying my self-esteem, confidence, and my very spirit while watching me crumble before you. We were the reason for all your problems in life making us feel guilty for ever existing. You treated total strangers with more dignity and respect than your own family. What I learned most while growing up was that I did not matter, and love was conditional. All of this while putting on a great show for everyone outside of the home. I wonder who you envisioned me to be before I ever was. Obviously, I am not that person. I imagine he’s probably someone more like you. Growing up it didn’t take long to realize something was wrong with my family and well mainly you. I did everything I possibly could to not be you. Unfortunately, all my coping mechanisms that kept me safe growing up are now causing problems in my adult life. Unlike you I am taking responsibility for myself and getting help.
Mom I know that your selfish acts of betrayal were not just a momentary lapse of judgment but were a continual need for you to relive yours, to be the one in control and were played out over the course of my childhood and adolescence. As a young child you preyed upon, reinforced and took advantage of a deep seeded fear that I had of my father which you already knew existed. You told me dad would kill you and I would never see you again. You refused to take any responsibility for your actions and get the help that you knew you needed. You did all of this at my expense so that it may remain secret. The language you chose to use while performing these acts was emasculating, degrading and without regard to any implications it may have for me in the future. Just so we’re not confused about which act of sexual abuse I’m talking about. I’m referring to you performing oral sex on me ……around the age of four or five. That’s the earliest memory I have but I’m sure there’s likely more.
Did you think that I was too young to remember? Too young to understand? I know that my childhood self didn’t understand what was being said or done. Problem is that I did remember, and as I got older I realized what it is that you had done to me and what those hurtful words meant. Worse yet I remember having my friends and classmates perform the same acts on me that you had. Causing me to later question my own sexuality become depressed and suicidal. You knew I was acting out and having trouble. You knew that I needed help and instead of getting it you chose to keep it quiet. Your secret was more important to you than my health. Your own selfish needs to continue the abuse outweighed any thoughts of concern that you should have naturally had for me. You may very well have caused my sleep disorder from your sick, demented, and perverted acts of betrayal. Instead of getting us the help that we desperately needed you consciously chose to take further advantage of me.
As an adolescent, you could no longer prey upon me and take advantage of my innocence as you had already stolen it from me. Instead you decided to take advantage of my sleep disorder so that you could perform your heinous acts while I was in a dream state. You must have thought that you were safe because I wasn’t awake and even if I started to wake I would probably just think I was dreaming. Did you really think that it wouldn’t be disturbing for a teenage boy to think he was having dreams about his mother sexually abusing him? Did you think you were doing me a favor? I think it’s more than likely that you just didn’t care. You didn’t care what damage it created for me. All that you were concerned about was your own gratification. Except it wasn’t completely safe for you either, was it? I know that I started to wake on more than one occasion, realize what was happening and I hit you. Hit you hard enough that it caused you enough physical pain to be sore for some time after. Good thing for you I didn’t fully wake up. I doubt I would have any need to write this letter. I know that afterwards all you were concerned about was if I was going to tell dad.
When I started therapy you asked me a question. You wanted to know if I thought you were a bad mother. Why you would ask that is beyond me it’s obvious that you loved me more than any mother in their right mind ever should. Did you love my siblings just as much as you did me? Did you have any kind of boundaries what so ever? Do you plan on loving your grandchildren just the same? You also asked me why now? Why now am I going to go to therapy. I had to go because not going was no longer an option. I was unable to cope anymore. The emotional toll of the abuse the two of you subjected me to had physically manifested its self to a point that I could no longer ignore it. I was having night terrors and panic attacks in my sleep on a regular basis. I’ve had flashbacks during sex causing me to hit the ones that I love. I was emotionally numb incapable of experiencing any emotions. Unfortunately, I know the negative ones all too well fear, anger, betrayal, guilt, and shame. Yet I still am unable to deal with them like a normal person.
Since both of you are so concerned about my spiritual health allow me to shed some light on where I stand and set some boundaries for the future. I had plenty of opportunities to hear the word of god growing up but the actions and words you subjected us to were anything but Christian. How the two of you could parade around as god fearing Christians and knowingly subject your children to the emotional and sexual abuse that I was forced to endure is one for the books. I was barely able to cope with what was happening to me while I was conscious let alone when I wasn’t. Instead of dealing with your own demons you decided to subject your children to them. Neither one of you ever took any kind of responsibility for the abuse and neglect. Instead you enabled one another for it to continue and blamed us. Yet were supposed to be good little Christians and forgive you for what you minimize and refuse to acknowledge. All the while you unsolicitedly lecture to us about damnation, and forgiveness. What you fail to realize is that it’s just as hypocritical and offensive to me now as it was back then. Honestly it makes me question what your motives are for practicing religion. I wonder as a parent did the two of you ever ask your selves the question. Do my actions match my words? I am not seeking your approval, or advice nor do I need or appreciate your judgment. Any disappointment that you have for me is your own so keep it with yourselves. What I need is to be heard and for it to be acknowledged. I need you to take responsibility for the abuse and finally get the help that you need. You’ve asked for forgiveness, but it is not trusting, forgetting or allowing the offense to continue to take place. It is most certainly not a onetime event nor is it ceasing to feel the pain. How our relationship continues and the amount of contact we have with one another greatly depends on your response to this letter and what actions you take to better yourselves. Until then we will not have any physical contact. You may respond to this letter by email.