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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Writing a Letter (handwritten correspondence) (10/21/10)

TITLE: Confronting My Abuser
By Melinda Todd


I took a deep breath. Pen in hand, paper set before me. It took me eighteen years to write this letter. How exactly do you start out a letter like this? ďDear so-and-soĒ didnít exactly seem appropriate. He wasnít
to me and this wasnít going to be a friendly,
how ya doing
, kind of letter. My stomach coiled and churned as I contemplated what precisely to say. And then I started to write.

I asked the hard questions. How could you? Why did you take my innocence? What did I do to deserve this? Do you know that you changed me forever? Donít you have any shame? Why me?

And as the accusations rolled, so did the facts of how his abuse had changed my life.

You took something precious from me. You changed who I am in my marriage and with my husband and let me tell you, it has not been good. What should have been special between a husband and wife, often feels dirty and shameful to me. My husband deserves a whole wife, but that is not what he got. Thankfully, he is the right man that God has put in my life. Willing to work through it all with me.

Youíve been at every family function, forcing me to face you and pretend everything was fine. Everyone always pretending. I honestly thought maybe I was crazy. Maybe I had made it up. Why was our whole family so comfortable with a child molester sitting among us? Did anyone even care about me? My pain? My loss? Why wasnít anyone angry enough with you to want to wring your neck?

As my pain poured forth and the truth was written in black and white, I began to feel relief. I mailed the letter right away, afraid Iíd lose my gumption if I sat on it. To finally address the ghost that haunted my life, always darting about and popping up when least expected, was a heavy burden finally lifted.

I didnít expect a response. It is not the norm to address your abuser. They will normally deny and/or place blame on the victim, further victimizing them. But he did respond and he did admit to what he had done.

He did not ask for forgiveness. He apologized, profusely. He told me how he does not believe God will ever forgive him because he caused a child to sin. He shared about his drug use, suicide attempts, and self hatred. And God gave me the strength to believe and forgive him.

Through a hand written letter, I was able to find peace with a demon that had taunted me my entire life.

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This article has been read 3938 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mildred Sheldon10/28/10
What a powerful letter. I could truly feel her pain. Facing our giants can set us free and I thank God that freedom and peace of mind came as well as the strength to forgive the abuser.
Cindy Tuttle10/28/10
Powerful letter. Yep- we must have been on the same page.

With Love,
Cindy Tuttle
DK Landers10/29/10
This letter is heart-wrenching. I felt the victim's pain and shared her anger at not only the offender, but also the insult of the pretense. Good job of broaching such a horrid subject.
Very well done. I have been there and done that. Writing the letter/letters can be very healing. It touched my heart to read the outcome. God Bless You.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/30/10
Thank you for sharing the most painful of all types of abuse. Your words speak for every little child who is too afraid to speak out on their own. Let the healing begin.
Jan Ackerson 10/31/10
Painful to read, but written very well.

I felt just a tad let down at the end; instead of telling us what the letter did, it might have been more effective if you showed us. You're a very good writer--just a little bit of work on 'show, don't tell' will really polish this gem up.

I hope this will help many people in similar circumstances.
Nancy Sullivan 11/04/10
Congratulations on your HC, Melinda. You tackled a difficult subject and did so
very well.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/04/10
Congratulations for placing Highly Commended in your level!
Melinda Todd11/04/10
Thank you all! I know I left the end with a little let down but it's because I wanted to finish the story on my own blog. I so appreciate everyone's encouragement and comments! This has been very enjoyable!