For as long as I can remember until I was about 10 I was sexually abused by my Uncle. I think the earliest instance I can remember in detail was when I was about 4. I never told anyone when it was happening...I thought that I would get in trouble, after all, my parents trusted him, he was my dads brother, I was just a kid....I think my mom suspected something because I remember her telling me, "If someone ever touches you in a way you don't like, I don't care who it is, you need to come and tell me."...but I didn't, I was too scared. He always found ways to seperate me from my family, and even with them he would have phrases he would use, that seemed playfully harmless to most, but for me I knew exactly what it meant. Phrases like, "You're gonna get it."...phrases that will forever be scarred into my memory. When I was 11 my prayers had been answered, my uncle went to prison for arson, and with that, the abuse had stopped. It turns out he was mentally ill. Everyone in my family was so upset when they found out and found it absurd that I wasn't upset since my uncle and I were so, "close". I cried secretly in my room the night he went to jail, not because he was going away, but because I was relieved that I no longer had to live in fear of being around my family. I would no longer have to cry everytime my mom pulled a dress out for me to wear because I knew what would happen with his hand the second he got me alone with my dress. I could finally be myself....I could finally start healing. All of my family would write him letters in jail, at first I didn't, but on my way to healing I decided to write him a letter. Just a casual little letter about how I was doing in school... you know, usual stuff. So we began to write and it seemed like everything was normal. A normal Uncle/Niece relationship. When I got into high school, the letter changed. He started talking about how sexy I was. how he wished I wasnt his niece so he could be with me. How he wanted to see my hot body naked. It brought me right back to the beginning. I was so ashamed and tortured by these letters, I did not know what to do. I stopped writing him, and he became suicidal. My Grandma never knew what was going on and never will, it would kill her; so she guilted me into writing him letters again to help cheer him up. His letters kept geting worse and worse so I finally showed my parents the letters, but thats all I did, I still did not tell them about the past. Once I showed them the letters, it was about 1 year before my Uncle was going to get out, they told my Godfather the letters and he told my uncle if he didnt stop that he would be turned in and have to spend another few years in prison. So he stopped. He sent me one last letter about a month before he was released. In the letter he said he had something to tell me, but he couldnt write it in the letter because "shit would hit the fan". I had no idea what he meant by that, posssibly an apology? Who knows.
When my Uncle got out of jail (right after my senior year of high school) every single time we went over to my grandmothers house, where he lived, I had to deal with him. I had deal with him looking at me like he was undressing me with his eyes. I had to deal with him constantly walking by me and grazing his hand across my back, or my arm, or my leg. I felt like everything was going to happen all over again. i would stay up at night, crying and shaking. I would have nightmares of him touching me, kissing me...and of the punishments I recieved from him the times I tried to fight back. I stil have the burn scar on my wrist. I had to tell somebody.
I finally told my parents when I was about 22 years old. They cried for what seemed like hours. My dad and my brother had to be persuaded out of going to my grandmothers house and killing him. They didnt know what to do, they felt powerless. They sought console from my dads other brother and his wife. So now more people knew than I ever wanted to know. Now I was living in fear for a different reason. He would find out that I told them. What would he do to me when he found out. He would try to kill me, or take me, or rape me. I couldn't stand the thought of what was going to happen. I made my parents swear to me that they would not say anything to him, and they promised. They never did.
I am 24 years old now and the memories of what happened still haunt me, and i continiously thought about that last letter and what he wanted to say to me. So I decided to face my fear and confront him.
I called my grandmothers house and he answered the phone, I told him I wanted to come and visit and he said ok, but he was the only one home. So I said good, thats perfect because we really need to talk. Right away, 6 years later he knew exactly what I wanted to know. He said, " You want to know what I wanted to tell you in that last letter I wrote." I said yes, so he told me to come over. Of course I did not go alone. I brought my boyfriend with me. Of course my uncle wouldnt say a single thing in front of him, so we went outside to talk alone.
I was finally going to get the apology I needed. The closure I longed for. Or so I thought.
When we go outside, he is acting like a school boy with a crush. It was sickening. He was smiling, and laughing and blushing and he kept saying, " you already know, dont make me say it." I really had no idea what he was talking about, then he finally said, "I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU. I ALWAYS HAVE BEEN AND ALWAYS WILL BE. I DONT KNOW WHY, BUT I DONT LOVE YOU THE WAY AN UNLCE SHOULD LOVE HIS NIECE. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT." I seriously thought I was going to throw up on the spot, I couldnt even speak. I looked at him and said, " Are you f***ing kidding me?!" And he asked me what I was expecting, and I told him an apology. He had the nerve to say, "FOR WHAT??" I just looked at him and said do you really have to ask? At this point he got quiet and finally said, "You remember what I did to you when you were a little girl, don't you?" How could I not?!
Never once during that conversation did he show any remorse. Never once did he apologize. He was trying to justify everything he did to me. Saying he thought I liked it, to which i responded, " If I liked it, then why would I keep trying to push you off of me? Why would I keep telling you to stop?" His resonse? "I dont know...Foreplay?" He was more concerned about the fact that my parents knew. Scared that they would tell my Godfather and he would be out on the streets or back in prison since he is still on parol.
I just don't know what to do anymore. I come from a very Catholic background, and it is stated that one should not harbor hatred, and that one should forgive. I want to badly to forgive him, but how can you forgive someone who isnt even sorry for the pain they caused you? I hate harboring this hatred towards him. I just want it to go away.
How can I learn to forgive him?