Reader: my emotionally and physically abusive father is not a monster – he is a sick person

I can’t believe the timing of finding your Ted Talk video. I haven’t even actually finished it, but I’m so amazed that you have articulated what I only just began to realize through my CBT sessions myself: my emotionally and physically abusive father is not a monster – he is a sick person who needs help. Although he is very intelligent, he lacks empathy and inflicted pain and suffering on those closest to him.

I’m only just starting to unravel the pain of my childhood and was recently ‘diagnosed’ with PTSD. I don’t know anyone else who’s ever gone through this, so I am in awe that you mirrored my recent breakthrough, that was years in making, into a 17 minute speech.

I’m crying right now because I am so relieved.
Thank you very much,
Ashley from Montreal, Canada

January 10, 2018

——————

Dear Ashley,
 
Thank you for taking the time to send such a thoughtful email. It’s very gratifying to get a message like this one; it reinforces that this work is worthwhile. 
 
I’m sorry to hear about the abuse your father inflicted upon you, and I applaud you for working on your healing. And I’m very glad that my TED talk was able to help you in any way. 
 
I would like to post your letter on the Diary of a Predator blog–not identifying you of course–if that would be OK with you? Please let me know. If it is, let me know how you’d like to be identified-such as first name only, or no name at all.
 
Again, thank you for writing. It’s letters such as yours that keep me motivated to do this kind of work. 
 
All my best,
 
Amy Herdy
January 10, 3018
———————–
Hi Amy,
You are welcome to post my email, and pls identify me only as Ashley… You can include Montreal.
I read more of the letters you posted and I’m surprised by how many people suffer from PTSD as a result of abuse. I guess I’m naive, because I thought it was only something soldiers had.

I wish you success in your work, and if you ever come to Montreal for a talk, I will be sure to attend 🙂

Best,
Ashley
January 11, 2018

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