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December 20 – Beyond Avoidance What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?) (Author: Jake Nickell)

I am supposed to write a letter to those who hurt me as a child, expressing what exactly was the hurt and how it effected me today. I don’t know why but I am deterred from doing this letter. I am not sure if it’s fear, or what, but I do know that I have started it numerous times and failed to end it. Ironically, the other side of the coin has been a lot easier to accomplish.

For each start of the failed letter mentioned above, I have successfully written a deep and meaningful apology letter to those I feel I may have hurt. I have been hearing that it is a lot easier to write a finger pointing, “You did this to me,” letter than it is an apology letter. … For me, I find the opposite to be very true. I can sit down and recount all the things I have done to others, intentionally or unintentionally. I can put myself into their shoes, and actually physically feel how that would effect me if I were them (does that makes sense?) .. I can very easily point fingers at myself counting all the negative things I’ve done.

I cannot, however, point the fingers at the one who hurt me the most. I can sit back and recall specific painful events that have shaped who I am today. But I cannot put it into writing, in a letter, to that aspect of my life I need to acknowledge and fix. I am not sure if it’s because I just don’t see the need. I am aware of what has been done, and how it has affected me today. I don’t see the point of hurting myself again by readdressing it, or hurting the person in question. I just want to heal, not cause more pain.

3 thoughts on “Avoiding

  1. I totally understand this. It’s so much easier to beat yourself up, “take it on the chin” from yourself, than to put someone else in the position of defense. You are used to sacrificing your own happiness for others, and being told that it’s your “duty” to give up what makes you happy so others can be.

    Been there, done that, still wearing those treadmarks. ack.

    But I’m getting better at the letters. It may take me forever, and a thousand revisions, but I just keep working at them. They will never be delivered, and that allows me to express myself a little more openly.

    (HUG) I hear you.


  2. Interesting – I’ve been working with this, as well. Not writing a letter, I am clearly very expressive. For me it is difficult because I own the fact that while someone once beat me emotionally and physically, I’ve picked up the stick and used it to beat myself for years.

    If I were to write a letter to the one who hurt me the most, it wouldn’t be the person who did all of the harm when I was a child. It would be to the person who chose to use that to continue to harm me as an adult: me. That’s a difficult letter to write – to realize that I have almost always been my worst terrorizer. This is my truth. Someone harmed me physically and emotionally for the first 15 years or so. They did it out of psychic and emotional pain that I can only begin to imagine. I have long since forgiven them, because they did the best they could in their unimaginable pain. Their pain had nothing to do with me – even though it manifested in my life. For the other 30 years though? That was me choosing pain. That was me victimizing myself. The universe holds up mirrors, and if I have to confront my worst abuser, that’s a pretty tough mirror to look in when my own face is reflected back.

    Thank you, by the way, for your heartfelt apology. If I felt pain as a result of your actions it was as it always has been – me abusing myself. Maybe it’s time we both put down the stick and stopped whacking ourselves with it, what do you think?


  3. Oy Vey! So much has been written in just this one sentence, “It would be to the person who chose to use that to continue to harm me as an adult: me.” I can understand the direction my counselor wants me to take in writing the letter to my abuser, I can respect that what she’s really asking me to do is grasp my inner child and vow to protect her as the main adult in her life. It’s about reclaiming “me”… but I have to stop punishing me first.

    It’s a pretty dark and daunting place to be when you are looking in that mirror and realizing that you’re only hurting yourself more.

    Karen, thank you for so many things.


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