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Closure and burying the hatchet, or just let it go?

Yeshe2019Yeshe2019 Australia Explorer

I’m at a crossroads. I’m unsure if I should reconnect with a man whose brother took advantage of me nine years ago. The situation at the time resulted in me being held against my will and assaulted. I had to escape barefoot, dressed in only summer pyjamas and drive back to my place an hour away. This said, I ceased contact with both brothers. However, because the man and I cared deeply for each other and knew each other at that point for already fifteen years, and I knew the brother just as long(they were in their 50s, I was mid-thirties-9 years-ago); I would like to explain to the man why I stopped contact with him, even though I told him what his brother did to me. I just couldn’t continue seeing him after the assault as I was so hurt and ashamed at the time.

Buddhism helped me to forgive his brother’s actions and saved me from destroying my inner peace, however, I feel I need to speak with the man I cared for all those years ago, before I can truly move forward. My decision is, should I arrange to meet with him knowing he may not wish to see me, he is in the entertainment business and former politics, or should I let it all go and accept what is and free myself from any further trauma. I feel buddhism has healed me and allowed me to make more sense of what appeared to me as a very traumatising event where I couldn’t trust or be around men and now I can, although certain triggers do still effect me. Any advice is welcome. Thank you.

Shoshin1JeroenlobsterDagobahZen

Comments

  • IdleChaterIdleChater USA Veteran

    Did you get counseling after the abuse?

    Shoshin1VastmindDagobahZen
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think The liminal space Veteran

    I'm sure there are skillful and unskillful methods in which to approach him and broach this subject.

    I'd like to give good advice but I really don't know what the good thing to do is. I think if you do approach him via email or social media, spell out your intentions (that you're looking for healing and possibly a reconnection?) and leave it totally up to him whether he wants to engage as it is asking quite a bit from him too.

    Yeshe2019
  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    @IdleChater said:
    Did you get counseling after the abuse?

    Not sure what relevance that has, although counselling now may provide another, non-Buddhist point of view on the question whether to resume contact.

    It feels to me like the answer to your question has to do with how mature your peace is. If you still feel that contact with this man and his brother are going to trigger you to relive the event, then you are likely still carrying trauma from back then, and should seek professional psychological help. There are good therapies for dealing with trauma and flashbacks like EMDR, which can help relieve these things. Or you could try somatic experiencing. There are also good books on the subject, like ‘The Body Keeps the Score’ by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk.

    Buddhism is very good for finding inner peace, but trauma is generally seated at deeper levels of the body-mind complex. You may find that your Buddhist peace gets sorely tested if you resume contact.

    Yeshe2019lobster
  • Yeshe2019Yeshe2019 Australia Explorer

    @IdleChater said:
    Did you get counseling after the abuse?

    I did, a rape counsellor was in the doctor’s surgery that morning. I saw her for about six months, but after a while I felt it was doing more damage when the counsellor ( as lovely as she was) wanted me to talk about my parents and childhood. I felt it was irrelevant to my experience.

    Jeroen
  • Yeshe2019Yeshe2019 Australia Explorer

    @Jeroen said:

    @IdleChater said:
    Did you get counseling after the abuse?

    Not sure what relevance that has, although counselling now may provide another, non-Buddhist point of view on the question whether to resume contact.

    It feels to me like the answer to your question has to do with how mature your peace is. If you still feel that contact with this man and his brother are going to trigger you to relive the event, then you are likely still carrying trauma from back then, and should seek professional psychological help. There are good therapies for dealing with trauma and flashbacks like EMDR, which can help relieve these things. Or you could try somatic experiencing. There are also good books on the subject, like ‘The Body Keeps the Score’ by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk.

    Buddhism is very good for finding inner peace, but trauma is generally seated at deeper levels of the body-mind complex. You may find that your Buddhist peace gets sorely tested if you resume contact.

    Thank you, what you said makes a lot of sense and I appreciate the book recommendation. I agree my buddhist beliefs would get tested, and they certainly did when three years after this incident a man tried to harm me at a train station, but it would have been a lot worse. I realise this is all my karmic seeds ripening, but it can be overwhelming when it’s constant.

    EMDR and TRTP are two therapies I’m considering.

    Thank you again. 🌹

    Jeroen
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I’m at a crossroads.

    Whenever I am at a crossroads, I go somewhere else. Off-road, digging or flying. Surprisingly, you only have your dukkha/sukha/path. Amazingly, we all cross roads to get to the far shore. Chicken or roadrunner ...

    Beep Beep ...

    Yeshe2019
  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Veteran

    @Yeshe2019 said:
    I’m at a crossroads. I’m unsure if I should reconnect with a man whose brother took advantage of me nine years ago. The situation at the time resulted in me being held against my will and assaulted. I had to escape barefoot, dressed in only summer pyjamas and drive back to my place an hour away. This said, I ceased contact with both brothers. However, because the man and I cared deeply for each other and knew each other at that point for already fifteen years, and I knew the brother just as long(they were in their 50s, I was mid-thirties-9 years-ago); I would like to explain to the man why I stopped contact with him, even though I told him what his brother did to me. I just couldn’t continue seeing him after the assault as I was so hurt and ashamed at the time.

    Buddhism helped me to forgive his brother’s actions and saved me from destroying my inner peace, however, I feel I need to speak with the man I cared for all those years ago, before I can truly move forward. My decision is, should I arrange to meet with him knowing he may not wish to see me, he is in the entertainment business and former politics, or should I let it all go and accept what is and free myself from any further trauma. I feel buddhism has healed me and allowed me to make more sense of what appeared to me as a very traumatising event where I couldn’t trust or be around men and now I can, although certain triggers do still effect me. Any advice is welcome. Thank you.

    What do YOU think YOU should do @Yeshe2019 ?

    What will bring YOU peace of mind ?

    Closure and burying the hatchet, or just let it go?

  • Yeshe2019Yeshe2019 Australia Explorer

    @lobster said:

    I’m at a crossroads.

    Whenever I am at a crossroads, I go somewhere else. Off-road, digging or flying. Surprisingly, you only have your dukkha/sukha/path. Amazingly, we all cross roads to get to the far shore. Chicken or roadrunner ...

    Beep Beep ...

    Great advice. I wish I could go away for a few days, but I’m forty-five moved back with my parents and gave two dogs and a cat, lol. However, even a day at the beach, or maybe in the rainforest might do me some good. Thank you again 🙂

    Jeroen
  • Yeshe2019Yeshe2019 Australia Explorer

    What do YOU think YOU should do @Yeshe2019 ?

    What will bring YOU peace of mind ?

    I probably need to figure out what ‘closure’ I’m after and if it’s realistic. I don’t want to ruffle and feathers, or cause any issues as… okay this is the most in-depth thinking I’ve done about my situation. Perhaps I should stay away and let go of my attachment of seeking closure when I can find it for myself in other ways by moving on and staying in the present moment.

    Thank you, person of short words, you helped me think more deeply!

    🌹

    Shoshin1lobster
  • Yeshe2019Yeshe2019 Australia Explorer

    @how said:
    A couple of practical notes come to mind about your thread.

    At least as far as I understand from what you have explained...
    One of these brothers is a rapist, while the other brother who had this rape situation explained to him, still chose to protect this perpetrator over the criminality that was committed against you, the victim. That makes him an accessory.
    I would be hesitant to renew your contact with either of these individuals as they might reasonably perceive you as a credible threat to their current lifestyles, despite how benignly you think you might be able to present this renewed interest in them.

    Your forgiveness of them does not really depend on renewing contact with them unless **you **make that contact a condition of your forgiveness.

    I am not presuming to know if you should contact them or not. Just that if it's a "letting go" that you really seek, why should it depend on you deliberately re-entering this karmic arena with them again?

    Be safe.

    Yes, you got the story exactly right. Seeing in written down by someone other than myself, has made me realise now that it would definitely not be a good idea to make contact, as I feel it could endanger me somewhat and do more detrimental damage, rather than good. I will work on myself with letting go/ attachment and heal myself without making further contact. Thank you for your wise and profound words. Bless you 🌼

    lobsterDagobahZenmarcitko
  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    Another thing is, I wonder how these incidents have affected your overall love life? Have you been able to be romantically involved since the incident? You say you knew one brother, the accessory, very well for 15 years, perhaps some remnant of that closeness is what you are really looking for in thinking to renew contact. Perhaps it is a sign that you are ready to move on romantically with your life.

    Just a thought…

    Yeshe2019lobster
  • DagobahZenDagobahZen Ireland Veteran

    @how said:
    A couple of practical notes come to mind about your thread.

    At least as far as I understand from what you have explained...
    One of these brothers is a rapist, while the other brother who had this rape situation explained to him, still chose to protect this perpetrator over the criminality that was committed against you, the victim. That makes him an accessory.
    I would be hesitant to renew your contact with either of these individuals as they might reasonably perceive you as a credible threat to their current lifestyles, despite how benignly you think you might be able to present this renewed interest in them.

    Your forgiveness of them does not really depend on renewing contact with them unless **you **make that contact a condition of your forgiveness.

    I am not presuming to know if you should contact them or not. Just that if it's a "letting go" that you really seek, why should it depend on you deliberately re-entering this karmic arena with them again?

    Be safe.

    Your safety is of the utmost importance here. I would not recommend physically making contact with a rapist and his accessory. This is a terrible crime at the worst end of the spectrum. Has the rapist faced the criminal justice system for his crimes - it sounds like from the way you have told it that he hasn't. My strong advice would be to protect yourself and don't go next to near these two individuals. I wish you every peace and happiness and continued healing. You are so strong to be dealing with and overcoming such trauma. ❤️

    VastmindShoshin1Yeshe2019lobster
  • Yeshe2019Yeshe2019 Australia Explorer

    @DagobahZen said:

    @how said:
    A couple of practical notes come to mind about your thread.

    At least as far as I understand from what you have explained...
    One of these brothers is a rapist, while the other brother who had this rape situation explained to him, still chose to protect this perpetrator over the criminality that was committed against you, the victim. That makes him an accessory.
    I would be hesitant to renew your contact with either of these individuals as they might reasonably perceive you as a credible threat to their current lifestyles, despite how benignly you think you might be able to present this renewed interest in them.

    Your forgiveness of them does not really depend on renewing contact with them unless **you **make that contact a condition of your forgiveness.

    I am not presuming to know if you should contact them or not. Just that if it's a "letting go" that you really seek, why should it depend on you deliberately re-entering this karmic arena with them again?

    Be safe.

    Your safety is of the utmost importance here. I would not recommend physically making contact with a rapist and his accessory. This is a terrible crime at the worst end of the spectrum. Has the rapist faced the criminal justice system for his crimes - it sounds like from the way you have told it that he hasn't. My strong advice would be to protect yourself and don't go next to near these two individuals. I wish you every peace and happiness and continued healing. You are so strong to be dealing with and overcoming such trauma. ❤️

    Thank you for your insight and kind words. I will most definitely be staying away, as I am now taking active steps to close the chapter of that book indefinitely. Many blessings to you ❤️

    DagobahZen
  • Yeshe2019Yeshe2019 Australia Explorer

    @Jeroen said:
    Another thing is, I wonder how these incidents have affected your overall love life? Have you been able to be romantically involved since the incident? You say you knew one brother, the accessory, very well for 15 years, perhaps some remnant of that closeness is what you are really looking for in thinking to renew contact. Perhaps it is a sign that you are ready to move on romantically with your life.

    Just a thought…

    It affected it in a huge way. I found myself in a toxic, sexually violent relationship with a friend. I have never really had a stable romantic life and I know deep down this is because it probably was not the path for my authentic self. Here I am, single, unable to have children and living with my folks who are retired seniors 😝. Although raised to be a ‘house wife’ and have babies, I opted for university and degrees, but no stability in love- life or career, as it never all really meant much to me to tick the boxes, Only now have a realised maybe it would be nice to share moments with someone else, but I’m unable to do this living at home again. So I’ll just wait and see what happens realising nothing is permanent 😊

    Shoshin1lobsterDagobahZen
  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Veteran

    So I’ll just wait and see what happens realising nothing is permanent

    Change is inevitable ...Suffering the change is optional...

    Every 'moment' the great unknown is gradually opening up its secret to us...The unknown becomes known in each passing moment... and the past shapes the present and the present shapes the future...which is always found in the present moment...where change is happening...

    In quiet breath, the world stills its sway,
    Mindfulness blooms in the heart's soft ray.
    Each moment a dance of light and shade,
    In presence's embrace, worries fade.

    Listen, the whisper of the breeze's song,
    Feel the earth's pulse, steady and strong.
    Here, in the now, where time suspends,
    Peace unfurls, and the mind amends
    .

    Yeshe2019DagobahZen
  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran
    edited March 30

    @Yeshe2019 said:
    It affected it in a huge way. I found myself in a toxic, sexually violent relationship with a friend. I have never really had a stable romantic life and I know deep down this is because it probably was not the path for my authentic self.

    The thing to realise is, this is the past. People who end up in these kind of situations often wonder if they are somehow drawn to it, but I think that is just in the mind. The first step to healthy love relationships is learning to love yourself, which is a darn sight harder than it sounds.

    Here I am, single, unable to have children and living with my folks who are retired seniors 😝. Although raised to be a ‘house wife’ and have babies, I opted for university and degrees, but no stability in love- life or career, as it never all really meant much to me to tick the boxes, Only now have a realised maybe it would be nice to share moments with someone else, but I’m unable to do this living at home again. So I’ll just wait and see what happens realising nothing is permanent 😊

    Well, love life in your mid-forties is different from love as a twenty-something. A lot of prospective partners have their own jobs, children, living space, and expectations. I think waiting to see what happens is a lot to do with being in the right places, giving off the right signals. Perhaps try a Buddhist dating service?

    I had a phase in my late thirties where I tried some online dating about ten years ago and it was quite a learning curve, after a lot of time dedicated to work and living on my own. People come with a certain amount of baggage, but it is nice to connect.

    Wishing you all the best…

    lobsterYeshe2019DagobahZen
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I think @federica, our missing in action moderator would be proud of our advisement. She would regularly keep dangerous lobsters and other confused individuals safe with excellent counselling skills.

    Just another thought. Happy Easter! Death and renewal! I like it already, especially the lambs. <3

    Yeshe2019DagobahZen
  • Yeshe2019Yeshe2019 Australia Explorer

    @Shoshin1 said:

    So I’ll just wait and see what happens realising nothing is permanent

    Change is inevitable ...Suffering the change is optional...

    Every 'moment' the great unknown is gradually opening up its secret to us...The unknown becomes known in each passing moment... and the past shapes the present and the present shapes the future...which is always found in the present moment...where change is happening...

    In quiet breath, the world stills its sway,
    Mindfulness blooms in the heart's soft ray.
    Each moment a dance of light and shade,
    In presence's embrace, worries fade.

    Listen, the whisper of the breeze's song,
    Feel the earth's pulse, steady and strong.
    Here, in the now, where time suspends,
    Peace unfurls, and the mind amends
    .

    The words were so comforting and true in nature, thank you for taking the time to post. 🌹🌹🌹

    Shoshin1DagobahZen
  • Yeshe2019Yeshe2019 Australia Explorer

    @lobster said:
    I think @federica, our missing in action moderator would be proud of our advisement. She would regularly keep dangerous lobsters and other confused individuals safe with excellent counselling skills.

    Just another thought. Happy Easter! Death and renewal! I like it already, especially the lambs. <3

    I remember @federica always write insightful advice a few years ago when I first joined. Happy Easter and I think of the little lambs also.

    lobsterDagobahZen
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