Letter: Dear Abuse Victims

Hi, I sent in an article a while ago and asked for it to be be published. I realize that it’s a bit controversial but I feel that it is so important to post as it can literally save lives. I think now is a good time to post it being that the child victims act was just passed and you posted a few things about it from Agudah and Tzvi Gluck.

I’m enclosing it below. I’m pleading with you to please post it


Dear abuse victims,

I’m calling out to you from the very depths of my heart and my soul. It’s the very same soul that was stolen from me by a selfish and vicious abuser. While attacking my soul, he robbed me of my innocence and sense of safety in this world. He stifled my voice and depleted my inner core. He denied the child in me any sense of self worth and sent me on a life long journey trying to regain a sense of being, that requires little or no effort for most people.

With each attack he took away more and more from me and by the time he was done, after five years of abuse, I was depleted of any self esteem, hope and positive feelings about my life. In place of that, he injected me with awful feelings of shame and guilt, amongst a host of many other negative emotions and feelings about myself. The result of these heinous acts on my body and soul left me with a deep dark and heavy void; a void so deep that no matter what I put inside, it wouldn’t fill up. In this dark abyss, I struggled to cope with endless nightmares, triggers and flashbacks. The result of this all, was that I became a shadow of my former self, and this empty person became filled with severe anxiety, depression and PTSD.

To each and every victim that sees this, know that I know and feel the pain that you are in. I know the sleepless nights. I know the foggy days after those heavy and vivid nightmares. I know of the migraines that come as a result of them. I know the immobilizing depression. I know the feeling of trying to live one hour at a time. I know the feeling that life is just not worth living. I know the temptation of giving up.

However, I’m here to tell you that after many years of hard and emotionally draining work, I bought my stolen soul back. I’m buying back my belief that this world is a safe place. I’m regaining my voice and my sense of self. I’m beginning to feel that I am indeed deserving of love and care. I can finally say, “I am worthy.”

I’m not going to pretend to you or myself that I’m fully healed. I don’t know if it’s even possible to completely heal from emotional and sexual abuse. However, I feel the undeniable senses of new and healthy feelings and behaviors; goals that I never believed were attainable. I never thought I’ll see the light of day. My days were so dark and heavy that there was simply no room for any light to pierce through. Slowly but surely as time goes on, my world is become lighter and brighter.

To my fellow victims, I want you to know, that the only way that I was able to make that transition from being a victim to becoming a survivor was through years of therapy. Equally important was the support that I’ve received from others who “get it”. It was this support that helped me and continues to help me get through the really rough days. It’s almost impossible to go through those dark times alone.

As I speak to you directly from my broken heart to your broken hearts, I beg you not to allow yourselves to suffer alone. You don’t need to fight this enormous battle without the help of your fellow comrades. What you have been through is above and beyond what most other people can ever imagine. I have been through it and I know that there is no way you can heal your body and soul by keeping it secret and buried.

Believe me, I know the shame and guilt that’s preventing you from coming out and seeking the help that you so badly need and deserve. I’ve kept my secrets for many long and excruciating years. These are secrets that are too heavy to carry. The shame and guilt that your abuser transferred to you, belongs to him. He is the one that deserves to feel shame and guilt. Yet, in his sick and selfish way, he managed to fill you up with all these negative feelings that he was supposed to have about himself.

I also know the stigma that’s attached to men seeking help for emotional pain or trauma from abuse. I’m a man and the stigma for men is so much more profound. It goes against the whole nature of the way men are presented in the world. We are supposed to be tough and not show our innermost struggles and vulnerabilities.

However, to that I must say. There is no greater power than facing your abuse and trauma head on and dealing with it through therapy and support. The strength that it takes to open up each and every memory in therapy is enormous. I’ve had therapy sessions in which I’ve left the office sweating from the intensity of the session. If that doesn’t define strength, then I don’t know what does. The work of healing necessitates real power and strength. It’s a strength that most men don’t even own.

Let’s stop the stigma. Let’s stop this absurd idea that men are too strong to suffer. None of us asked for this challenge. You have been traumatized enough by fear, don’t let fear cripple you further by preventing your recovery. I am pleading with you, with tears in my eyes, to reach out and to seek out the help that you so badly deserve. Please stand strong and stand proud that you’ve made it through your abuse and now it’s time to heal.

I still have quite a distance to go to get to the finish line, but at least I’m on the way there. Please join me in my journey and when we get to the finish line, we will all rejoice together that we’ve been through hell and came out stronger and better. We will show our abusers that no matter how much they tried to crush us, we made it to the end of our journey. The only way to join the race for recovery and healing is to remove the masks and start running. Let’s remove the mask of stigma. Let’s remove that mask of the foolish belief that men are not allowed to suffer. Please, please come and join me in this race to living again, I will be here waiting for you!

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  1. wow! you are an incredible person. may Hashem continue to give you the strength to keep running, together with others, until you reach the finish line – and then may you cross over that line, and live a beautiful, happy, healthy, whole life together with someone special, b’ezras Hashem, and have many happy simchos to celebrate!

  2. Bravo! I have spent many hours investigating these animals. I am proud of every one of them locked up and subjected to their compensation as they are rewarded in kind with relish by those of their abominal ilk. I heartfully applaud your effort to help the innocent to heal and urge them to report the very first attempts at sych abominable behavior. The statute of limitations has been removed from these literally murdurous acts and help is well funded and available legally and therapeutically. Take advantage of every path to successful healing and closure which are more available than ever before. God will surely bless you with the peace and serenity you deserve. Chazak V’Amatz.

    • You said, “help is well funded and available legally and therapeutically. Take advantage of every path to successful healing and closure which are more available than ever before.”

      Can you please expand on that? What help is available? I feel like I hit a dead-end legally and I almost went broke on therapy (which, obviously did not stop me from getting my kid help…) I would love to hear about available avenues of help.

  3. what should we parents do if we are not sure if a mechanech is appropriate with out child the yeshivas are not supportive when we are afraid that someone is being inappropriate
    do the yeshivas have social workers and guidelines to deal with this right now are we preventing kids from drugs and going off the derech because of physical abuse

  4. Amazing letter!!
    Yes , this should be posted everywhere!
    On the line “We will show our abusers that no matter how much they tried to crush us..” I don’t think that they intended or even had any clue that they were crushing us but were rather acting on their selfish desires and lusts..if only they would know 1 hundredth of the pain they inflict I think that would be a big deterrent. Besides for all the wonderful help that the abused get , there can be so much prevention if the gonna be abusers would have more awareness..

    Very respectfully,

    Also abused

  5. I’ve heard this letter powerful letter from my supervisor who apparently has worked with this hero. Yes, so many men suffer in total silence. Mental health statistics are unreliable with men, because they are under reported. But, what is known is that suicide rates are more than double that of women.

  6. So so unreal!! May you have much siyata dishmaya in your journey!!!!
    As a parent of children bh, this freaks me out. How in the world can I protect them??

  7. We read these stories and Gluck does his thing. Now that we know all these horrible acts happen why does no one ask who and why it was covered up for many years? Why are the people who covered this up still respected and still in power? Why have they not resigned or at least put out a public apology?

  8. BIG question, is there any help for abusers???? We advocate for survivors, what is someone who has an urge supposed to do???? Where can he/she get help from? A young teenager, who is he supposed to ask?

    BIG question 2: How can we protect our children???? is the only way to keep telling them that about safe touch and not safe touch? Can any professionals answer these questions?

  9. I know of a few men who still suffer terribly because of their past physical/emotional abuse. The letter writer seems to be ahead of the game as he writes that therapy has helped him get back on his feet.
    I know a number of people who have been in therapy and/or medication for the last 15+ years with mediocre results.
    Perhaps the letter writer would care to share some more technical detail as to how he found healing and support and the modalities which he pursued.

  10. To everyone saying that these monster should be locked away, in my experience as well as in studies, 3/4 of kids abused were abused by someone they know well. That means brothers, fathers, uncles, friends, classmates, vichulu. Yes sometimes even these people are “monsters” and resha’im, but generally speaking they’re just continuing a cycle of abuse. They were abused and therefore they act out on other people. Yes, its a terrible and life changing thing to be abused but we need to stop calling people monsters and instead try to get them help.

  11. Spot on! Where should these teens etc turn to, if they were abused and now find themselves abusing others, or thinking of abusing others, or not knowing what to do with their thoughts and feelings?

  12. As others have said, many of the abusers were themselves abused as a child/teen who then went on to abuse others.This is a societal problem that happens in the shadows, making it very difficult to stop. The best prevention is to create harchokos from arayos & by educating your children about inappropriate touch. The less supervision of a child there is, the higher the risk of abuse to occur.

  13. For all those parents that are concerned for their children’s sake, about all the abuse that is out there. I will tell you something I personally heard from an expert in the field of this kind of abuse. The BIGGEST deciding factor if a child will get ruined is the RESPONSE to the traumatic event. This expert has told me, that a child that was abused this past summer was recently brought to him for therapy, by the parents. But, after meeting the child and doing an assessment, he came to the conclusion that this child’s parents supportive response was enough and the child does not need therapy!

    • Terrible Therapist !! YES !!! The child will need therapy !!

      Not sure I would trust a Therapist that didn’t honor the Therapist/Patient confidentiality clause.

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