If you could have your choice, should an evil abuser rot in hell or get recovery from their trauma?

This is something I have very much struggled with. Because I'm a Quaker, and a huge part of this is the commitment to pacifism/non-violence. My meeting go and sit with prisoners as a part of trying to make the world a better place. I don't, because it's too much for me. I truly don't believe that people are inherently evil. They make evil decisions. If someone is sorry for what they've done to another human being then they have to find a way to atone. They can become a better person if they want to be, but they also should be held accountable for their actions.

I've been raped and I've read the book. The section didn't bother me. Because it is not a clinicians job to hold a patient accountable. It is a relationship built on trust. First of all, the patient may well have eventually unburdened himself to the relevant police authority afterwards. We simply do not know. It is not the clinicians' job to frogmarch a patient to the police (save for if he were hurting someone else whilst being treated). Their job is to heal the person in front of them. That's it. The story is unsatisfying because the man isn't held to account in the retelling. But that isn't the point.

What I took from it was a person cannot begin to atone if they themselves are traumatised by the despicable thing they've done. Soldiers can easily be traumatised by the killing they do - it's unnatural and scary.

Criminals seem to live in a self-constructed fantasy, where they justify their actions to themselves as 'the right thing to do' or that they had to do it, or because it was the victims fault etc etc. 'Healed' for a criminal doesn't mean they will live happily ever after. They should suffer the knowledge of what they've done. They shouldn't get to take the cowards way out and dissociate their way out of it. They should have to bring out into the light and truly accept the terrible things they've done. And then having to live with the appropriate guilt/shame for the rest of their lives. There is no true peace of mind for a truly repentant criminal. And nor should there be. That's what the prisoners who sit with the meeting tell us.

That's in no way the same healing we are aiming for as victims. We can strive for peace of mind, we can have happy endings - we didn't do anything wrong. Their healing is also not punishment/being held accountable by their peers either (an entirely separate criminal law matter).

My rapist won't ever be held to account. It is a deeply unsatisfying fact for me. But. I truly wish he heals. Because his healing will Rob him of his undeserved peace of mind, joy and happiness. And he will have to carry the burden of what he did to me whilst off his face on coke. Maybe then he will atone. But it's his problem, not mine.

I also wish him uncontrollable flatulence so he is an object of ridicule and disgust wherever he goes. I'm not a saint, and I don't have to be.

/r/CPTSD Thread