Feeling Sorry for Your Abuser?

Ever feel sorry for your abuser?
Or have you reached the place where you forgive?
How about have that feeling that you will never ever forgive that jerk?



I was looking up the status of my spermdonor yesterday on the sex offender’s registry and I noticed that he had been sent back to jail. I looked at the inmate registry to see why. When I got there I just stared at his mugshot, it must have been close to 20 minutes, examining each element of his face. I noticed a section on the website where you could contribute to an inmate’s bond.

That’s when I noticed that I felt sorry for him. It made me sad to see how sad his face looked and for that brief moment I even considered putting money towards his bond. I don’t know what to think of that. It’s like my experience with him goes in cycles.

When I first came out about the abuse I felt guilty and bad that I was sending him to jail. Then about two years ago I was filled with such hate and disgust towards him that my therapist diagnosed me with PTSD. Now, two years later, I find myself feeling sorry for him again.

Although, I haven’t forgiven him and I still don’t want anything to do with him and I still flinch with disgust every time I think of him, I don’t feel the hate towards him that I once did. Is this normal? What does this cycle of feelings mean?


Great question and perfect timing actually, I was just talking about this to a friend.

I can only answer from my own experience and what I’ve witnessed firsthand in others. I’ve seen two types of “feeling sorry for the abuser”.

  • One: those in denial that it happened and they are really enabling the abuser.
  • Two: those who have moved on to a place where the abuser is no longer affecting them, and they see him/her for who they are.

I’m guessing you, like me, are in the second group.

First of all, it’s totally okay to have those feelings. You are a caring human being. Just because someone was a horrible human doesn’t mean that you can’t see them for the soul that they are, learning their lessons.

For some that is so foreign and the OH HELL NO flares up immediately. I totally understand.

Once, years and years ago I was speaking to a class in a university and I made a wisecrack (who me?) about getting over my own dad, but still wanted to crack him across the face. The professor nodded and then later pointed out that I had obviously not reached the place of forgiveness yet.

I thought she was an idiot. I seriously was like who do you think you are, I will ALWAYS want to crack him across the face. What are you, nuts?

But then… YEARS later I got to the place where I no longer cared about anything violent. I had no violent fantasies about taking vengecnce. My blood didn’t boil thinking about what he did to my sister (that was the thing I had the hardest time letting go of). And I was no longer scared if I ran into him.

I actually wish him healing and wellness on his own path, because he certainly is on his own path with his own lessons to learn.


I know! I know those on the other end of this read that and think are you freaking kidding me? There is NO way in hell I will ever feel that way.

I am not one to ever tell you otherwise, I say feel what you’re feeling right now. There are many stepping stones on the path, and each are important.

If you have reached that place where you’re loving your life, you feel safe, healthy, and happy – and the thought of him/her no longer triggers anything – then I urge you to just feel that too.

It’s okay to move on.

You know I talk about the Sword all the time – even have the year-long healing course. 

Well, this is another analogy of the sword. When we are still wounded by it, any reference to our abuser is going to cause all kinds of flare ups! It makes sense, it hurts!

When we’ve removed it and healed that old wound, those triggers no longer send us into a tizzy like they did when we were wounded.

Picture yourself wounded with the sword aka all that old pain. Now picture yourself free of it, but you have the sword to play with!

I invite you to watch this video and think about transforming all that old yuk.

This is one part of the year-long course (that you can take at your own pace) during the Healing Course. Try it!

Take The Year-Long Healing Course

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  • laura

    I can forgive human normal mistakes, not abuse.

  • http://www.angelashelton.com/ Angela Shelton

    Keep writing! And you can always do it yourself, some of the ones I did myself were more popular than the one with a publisher!

  • http://www.angelashelton.com/ Angela Shelton

    I’d just focus on you right now and forget forgiveness. That is so far ahead and so in the space of “no way in hell” at certain stages that you don’t even need to think about it. I’d work with your therapist or healer or group to work on YOU and your healing first and foremost!

  • TyAnn

    I actually added a bit about forgiveness into my book about child abuse and it was the most difficult part. I debated long and hard about it but felt it was necessary and now I’m glad I did. Thank you for all you do. If not for you, I’m not sure I’d have had the courage to keep working on getting my book published. (it’s still a work in progress)