(Closed) Do you believe past sexual abusers can change?

posted 8 years ago in Emotional
Post # 47
Member
2545 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I would be inclined to say perhaps he could change, if these occurences happened while he was about 12-13. At that age, children/pre-teens don’t normally understand exactly the consequences of their actions, or their hormones are raging, so they don’t have the strength or control to stop themselves. However, it is still abnormal behavior at any age, to sexually abuse another person, especially a sibling, I would think.

He was 16 or 17, so he should have known knew better, alot better, regardless of a mental disorder going on. If he is able to have a wife, and chidlren, and responsibilites of the sort, he cannot be that mentally disabled to know to not sexualy abuse his younger sister, at late teens, early adulthood.

I do not give him the benefit of the doubt just because he apologized, and I think it is your duty to protect those beautiful little nieces of yours, despite what your brother says, mother says, family says etc. Yeah you might feel terrible, and yes he might have changed. But, what if he hasn’t? The regrets and repercussions can be much much worse.

Sorry you had to deal with that, I understand how upsetting sexual abuse can be.

Post # 48
Member
2268 posts
Buzzing bee

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@Roe:  I agree with this. It is better safe than sorry. My dad trusted his brother to be alone with us and he shouldn’t have. There is nothing “off” about his brother at all. There is nothing to indicate that he’s a monster. You really can’t trust any man around your kids alone. Their father is hopefully ok but not any other man. Women can sexually abuse children too, but men do it most often.

Post # 49
Member
2909 posts
Sugar bee

OP, do you have a therapist you could talk to about this?

If it were me, and I thought I could handle it emotionally, I would talk to my brother about it. I would say, “The fact that you suddenly called me up and apologized again for the things you did when I was little has stirred up a lot of concern in me. Can I ask why you felt the need to do that now? Is there something going on that made you feel like it was something you needed to do? I’m worried.” And then I would hope that his answers/our conversation would clear up things for me, so that I would either feel relieved OR feel that my concern for my nieces was warranted and that I needed to act further.

I’m so sorry that you’re in this position. It’s so unfair.

Post # 50
Member
662 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

OP, I’m sorry to read about your experiences.  I don’t have any advice other than what other previous posters have written.  Good luck in dealing with this horrible situation.

Post # 51
Member
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

OP, I think that going to your SIL would have potentially disasterous results.  It’s hard to imagine a mother not acting on your warning, so at the minimum you will introduce a lot of emotional stress to the situation. If your brother is having unnatural urges towards children, then emotional stress may be what pushes him past the limits of resistence.  Please consider carefully the potential fallout before going to your SIL.

A better approach would be to tell your brother that you cannot fully forgive him until he spends some time in therapy.  You mentioned that he has had no therapy at all, and that’s bad. At a minumum he needs to address how he feels about what he’s done to you; and there’s a very good chance he needs a lot of help to get the skills needed to not act on any urges that might come up in the future.  I don’t usually like giving people threats or ultimatums but I believe in this situation, it’s very appropriate.  You are willing to put it behind you but he needs to do his part, and get some help.  I would not threaten to tell his wife YET although that might be a reasonable thing to do, somewhere down the road, should he not choose to get therapy now. 

You may also consider some joint sessions with him, as not only do you need to heal, you need a safe place where you can be brutally honest with him.  Plus hearing in your own words how this has affected your life is going to be key in his rehabilitation (and while I know some offenders cannot truly be rehabilitated, I can’t think of a better word).

For those saying to never trust your children with ANY men, that is a sorry outlook on the world and could cause your children to grow up in constant fear of men.  The OVERWHELMING majority of men do not molest children, do not rape women, and do not wave their willies at schoolkids at the bus stop. There is no reason to treat everyone like a potential molester, and no reason to raise your kids in that kind of a mindset.  It’s FAR better to teach your children how to defend themselves (even a 4-year-old can kick a bad guy in the private bits, bite and scratch and SCREAM), teach them what an appropriate touch and an inappropriate touch is, and raise them to be comfortable talking to you when something isn’t right. 

Post # 52
Member
6737 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

OP – any update?  Have you decided on whether to touch upon the subject with your SIL or perhaps to ask your brother directly what brought up his recent apologies?

Post # 53
Member
603 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I’m so sorry that you went through something so horrible. This happened to someone in my family, but she was a teenager at that time. Her brother grew up violent and unpredictable. I don’t think he ever hurt his own kids but he has always been inappropriate around young girls, to the extent that I never wanted to be around him alone when I was growing up because I was afraid of what he might do. Abusers don’t change.

Post # 54
Member
1789 posts
Buzzing bee

My boyfriends mother is a criminal psychologist for registered sex offenders, she does the court-ordered therapy for them so they stay out of jail( or that is their probation when they get out of jail) and my boyfriend works in the office too. I have heard stories about how they lie to her until they are blue in the face, with no nervous tics like a normal person would, and his mom has the file in front of her saying “Mr X did this to her, this many times, went to jail for x amount of time……blah blah blah” and he will say to her with a straight face, after being to jail 3x “I never did anything” I believe they will always be somewhat psychologically or emotionally unstable, and like people with substance abuse issues, it is hard to change. Its hard for a person to stop eating cookies when on a diet, its hard to stop smoking….you get my drift.

Im really worried for your neices…Like really worried.

Post # 55
Member
1789 posts
Buzzing bee

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@futuremrsk18:  not even uncles?

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@Cash000:If he is able to have a wife, and chidlren, and responsibilites of the sort, he cannot be that mentally disabled to know to not sexualy abuse his younger sister, at late teens, early adulthood.” Not necessarily hon, many serial killers/sociopaths/pedophiles have had professions with large incomes, wives, and children. Alot of people with mental disorders still can ‘function like a normal human being’ but have these outbreaks where their disability is presentable. Its not like in movies where they are all locked up.

Post # 56
Member
333 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

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@private1:  The thought of telling someone has to be traumatic, but each day you dont let anyone know about your brother is a new day he could potentially abuse his daughters. Even if there is a 99% chance he’s changed (I think there’s a huge chance he hasn’t changed) why even put two innocent girls at the risk of that 1%? Abuse continues due to two things: the abusers not getting caught and the victims staying silent.

I strongly suggest you seek therapy and let your DH know.

Post # 57
Member
129 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

This is a very tough situation, but it sounds like he is genuinely sorry and can’t express it enough. I think the tough part is having the conversation with him and explaining why you don’t trust him around children–communication is key. Though you may have forgiven him and try to shut it out, you can’t forget. He should understand that. 

Post # 58
Member
2545 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

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@Liss13:  

I wasn’t saying that a disorder was not present. I was stating that he most likely didn’t have a cognitive disability that enabled him to do such acts without knowing the consequences, and knowing better. Sociopaths and pedophiles, can have that ability, which is why alot of them try to cover their tracks.

I am obviously no expert on the matter, just my uneducated opinion.

Post # 59
Member
30 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2013

No, I’m so sorry that happened to you. I can’t even imagine. And while I’d like to believe that people can change, I think it’s far harder for people who have never had to fully account for their actions. In other words, he didn’t go to jail or seek therapy. He got away with it, which usually makes it harder to change.

Post # 60
Member
1733 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Hugs.  Have you suggested counselling to him as the childrens aunt you have an obligation to protect them.  You don’t want them to live the same pain that you have.  

 

Post # 61
Member
37 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2013

This is so sad to me. I don’t think people can change, not in this situation anyway. Habits change, people don’t so even if he has controlled himself, I think his problems are deep rooted and unfortunately exretmely damaging. I’ve never been in this situation, but I know people who have been sexually abused as children and have life long struggles from what happened to them. I don’t know for SURE if they can get better, but my gut says absolutely not. I think someone has to be mentally ill to do something like that to a child when they are so much older. When children touch each other, I think it’s exploratory, but for a grown, teenage hormonal boy to do that to a much younger child, he knows exactly what he is doing and he knows it is wrong. I think that your brother needs some help with his anger and more. I think therapy will help you, too and let go of what happened to you, although you seem to have done that just fine on your own. 

I am angry that he put you in this situation. Not only for the little girl you were, but for letting you know what he’s capable of doing and not being able to talk about it to anyone, especially the people who love you the most because of the rift it could put into the relationship of the family. But for the sake of your nieces, you should talk to a therapist or a counselor and seek professional advice. This is a very touchy subject and I am sorry that you are put in this situation. I hope everything works for the best and I hope that your life is nothing but happiness. Best wishes.

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