Seeing Abuser is Rough for Abuse Victims, Especially When Abusers & Enablers Blame the Victim: Annie’s Mailbox
From No Gifts From Her Abuser, 2/10/13:
Dear Annie: I am 39 years old. For the past 20 years, I have had ongoing therapy to recover from the sexual abuse I suffered as a child. My abuser was my half-brother.
When I finally said something at the age of 13, my family did not believe or support me. Since then, family gatherings have been especially difficult because my family expects me to attend when my abuser is present.
I can’t even tell you how difficult it is to be around him. The flashbacks are unbearable. Five years ago, with the support of my counselor, I decided I didn’t need to subject myself to that kind of torture and stopped going to these family functions.
The problem now is that no one mentions the abuse, especially to his wife and two daughters.
His wife, who is clueless, sends me Christmas and birthday presents, which makes me extremely uncomfortable, especially when I see his name on the card.
Is it OK for me to ask her to stop? I don’t want to insert myself into their lives or cause problems, but I can’t deal with this. — Still Healing
Comment #3, from Shasta:
You should inform her right away about what was done to you and then stay clear of that family from this point on.
People who protect, defend, ignore, or (God forbid) blame the victim are just as bad as the abuser themselves. They are justifying evil, which makes them evil too.
Also see It’s Perfectly Normal to Dread Seeing Abusers Again, Fighting the Darkness: Seeing the abuser again, Needing to Feel Safe: Going to same church as abusers, and Fighting the Darkness: Mutual Friends.