I just found out that our abuser died. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to react to this kind of news. My first thought was, “At least he can’t hurt anyone anymore.” That thought of relief is not entering my body though. Right now I feel like my stomach is being twisted in knots. My mind is racing.
- What does this mean for me?
- I know that I’m happy he’s dead, but how do I change my mind-frame to feel it?
- Was I holding on to hope that he may one day be brought to justice?
- Was that hope really such a big part of my healing?
- If so, how far will this set me back?
- What do I do now that he won’t have to pay for his crimes?
- Have I really depended on seeing him pay?
- He’s getting the easy way out.
- So far my safe place has been that even if he isn’t brought to justice, I may still one day be able to face him. To look him in the eye and tell him that he may feel like he’s been able to fool the world, but I KNOW what he did to me.
- How do I cope now that this is no longer a possibility?
- Why didn’t the prosecutor take our case more seriously?
- I’m so mad that the worst kind of crimes are often the ones that can’t be proven without solid evidence.
- How reasonable is it to expect a 9 year old child to know that they should gather evidence while enduring abuse? And, that they are held responsible to face their abuser and prove the abuse happened?
- Our justice system is so messed up.
- Why is the justice system set up to protect the abusers?
- I have had to suffer almost my entire life without feeling my rights were protected.
- I no longer have the opportunity to write him a letter or express to him the consequences of his actions.
- Will I ever be able to get past the triggers of my PTSD when I hear about him?
- I thought I was so much further along in my healing to still be impacted so deeply.
- He died one day after my birthday.
- I already get triggers every fall (when the abuse first started). Will I now be triggered on my birthday too?
- How will this impact his other victims?
- Do they feel like I do?
- Our goal in pursuing a case wasn’t just to get justice for us but for all his victims.
- Will they be able to heal?
His funeral is tomorrow. I haven’t been able to bring myself to read his obituary yet. I’ve been told it says so many nice things about him. This upsets me, but what should I expect it to say? That he spent time in prison for sexual abuse? That he has not paid for all his crimes? That he’s an evil man? That his life is not worth celebrating? Should I feel guilty for thinking such horrible things about another human being? How do I reconcile that others may view him in a positive light?
I’m sick. I hope that this too will pass. This ignites my desire to speak up even more, to help change the world for other victims.