The letter... people telling me to send it... The following will be mostly a stream of consciousness, so please don't expect it to make too much sense. Also, it may be triggering, because I'm angry and sad and talk about rape and abuse... and well... there's the warning.
I don't want to send the letter. I have lots of reasons, but I'll start with the reasons why I want to send it.
It would make other people proud of me.
Others would think I was strong, "over it", good, "recovered", and any number of labels that equal, "Other people will love me."
I feel like it is my responsibility to save the future Mrs. Curtis, or at least do everything I can.
Other people tell me it would be helpful to me, and if other people say it, than I have to do it, no matter what I think would be helpful to me.
Noticing any trends?
There's nothing on that list that is for me.
I'm all for doing things that are helpful for others, but I think in this instance it is better to think about me. I think. (And super loud in my head, I just hear, "Stupid, selfish, bitch," and it isn't in MY voice that I hear it. It's his. How horribly messed up is THAT?)
The reasons I don't want to send the letter.
I don't want anyone to tell me that I'm crazy or stupid or it doesn't matter. I'm not sure I could handle getting that feedback from the Catholic church or from Larry.
Closely related, I'm not sure I could handle getting nothing back from them.
Those fears seem like a good reason to send it. Show myself that I can handle getting whatever feedback (or lack of it) that comes back. Who knows how I will handle it until I try?
More reasons I don't want to send it, and these go deeper.
I don't want to hear anything from that man. I don't want to hear an apology. I don't want to hear that he has changed. I don't want to hear that he has worked hard and overcome it. I don't want to hear that he is sorry. I don't want to hear it, and I don't care how much he has changed or what he has done since then. I don't care who he is now - I'm too angry at the man he was to listen to ANYTHING that comes out of his face.
(This seems odd to me, especially considering that I have never felt this emotion towards him. Four years ago, I was upset with BJ and Bishop C for feeling anger towards Larry. I preached forgiveness and love and not having any ill wishes towards him. Bishop C was moved to tears by how "good" I was. BJ was moved to tears of frustration, because he didn't think it was an appropriate reaction to the way I had been treated. I am such a different person now. I like this new person. Anyway.)
I don't feel the need to offer him redemption. I don't feel the need to offer him a chance to apologize or show me that he's changed. I don't feel the need to do anything with him.
I would love it if he had to face consequences of his actions... but no matter what I say, that won't change that HE will never have to deal with PTSD, or the pain, or the confusion or the shit. Nothing will take away all that I have had to go through to just survive, and then to try to find a life worth living... And that makes me angry. Jealous. ANGRY. Nothing that he could possibly have to go through would compare with what I have had to deal with because of his actions.
There was nothing against the law about what he did when he did it. (There was no such thing as marital rape at the time. A lack of a law doesn't change how it felt, it only changes the consequences for him if I could somehow prove it, which I can't, and I don't want to.)
The leaders of the LDS church saw nothing wrong with his behavior... BJ was the first to care... and he didn't believe the doctrine of the church... do I think the Catholic church will care? No. Why should they? Most religious leaders believe in the Biblical definition of marriage: Women are property, and they have responsibilities. They may not condone raping your wife, but most won't condemn it either. Hell if I am going to put my voice out there to be thrown away AGAIN.
NO! I get to choose who I share with, and it isn't religious authorities, and it isn't Larry.
(Interesting. I'm still feeling pretty hurt and angry at the church. For
the things leaders said, for the things said in the temple that could
be used to justify his behavior, and for the continued ideals preached
about "traditional marriage". I feel pretty helpless and powerless when it comes to them.)
I still feel like future Mrs. Curtis deserves to know something... but then I think about how I would have responded if the first Mrs. Curtis (the one before me) had sent a letter like this one. He had painted her as crazy and messed up and lucky that he got away. I would have ignored the letter and it would have pushed me EVEN MORE to take care of him, to love him the way no one ever had. I hope that the new lady is not as messed up in her thinking as I was, but...
The only reason that I would send it, is for her. Even if she still married him, maybe if he treated her poorly in the future, she would know it wasn't just her. Maybe she could skip the blaming herself part and go straight to the, "he's a jerk," part. I don't know.
I still welcome feedback. I'm still trying to figure out what to do - not for everyone else, but for my own healing and progression. Still a lot of questions, and a lot of pain.
Saturday, June 22, 2013
I feel confused. (Everyone says send it, but what if I don't want to?)
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I still think it's a good idea to send it for the sake of Future Mrs. Curtis. However, I think your mental health takes precedence and you should do whatever is best for you.ReplyDelete
I agree with Jeff. Do what is best for you. As you said, your own healing and progression.ReplyDelete
Also, I think that you're right that she'd ignore the letter and that it might even backfire on you at first. But later it will resonate. So at some point, when you feel up to it, finding a way to contact her might be a good idea--but only if you're up to it. Cyber-hugs. :)
Contacting her, not the Catholic church might be the best thing. I don't know if it's possible. Also think that the Catholic clergymen all have at least some sort of professional training so they might be better equipped to handle this sort of situation than some local bishops. Do what's best for you though, if it's burn the letter, keep it until you WANT to send it or maybe even just giving it to BJ to do with whatever he pleases and not ever let you know if there was a response if it was sent or even if it wasn't sent. What ever is best for you, you'll figure it out and it doesn't have to be today, tomorrow, or even this month.ReplyDelete
Hey, in an earlier comment on your previous entry, I realised I was somehow expecting that you could prevent abuse by sending the letter.ReplyDelete
I was wrong.
You aren't in any way responsible for an abuser's actions. What he might or might not do, letter or no letter. There is no moral responsibility on the survivor for an abuser's potentually continued abuse.
I'm sorry that my previous comment implied that.
Whatever you choose to do, I hope that it's the thing that is safest and most healing to you.
Thank you all.ReplyDelete
Justin - I like your idea of maybe giving it to BJ... He said he'd be cool with that if that's what I wanted.
skinny hobbit - I didn't feel like you (or anyone else) were telling me that I had a responsibility. I feel like I have a responsibility - even as I actively tell other people that they have none; it's hard to remember that for myself.
I still haven't made my mind up, but mostly that's because aside from writing these posts, I haven't really thought about it.