Post # 1
I’m wondering if I’m overreacting, being to emotional, selfish or what. I’d really apprecaite your opinions. This is my story. My brother, who we will call, John, will be walking me down the aisle since both my parents have passed away and there really is nobody else that could walk me down the aisle from my family. My oldest brother lives in South America and he can’t afford to come to Canada for my wedding. My brother John lives at the other end of Canada and before coming to my home in preparation of my wedding, he is spending some time in another province where we have aunts and uncles. One of these uncles, (my mother’s brother) attacked me many years ago. While I was alone at my mom’s house, he came one unexpectedly one morning and stormed into the house, pushed me against the kitchen counter and tried to undress me. We fought boy did I fight to get out of this situation. When he saw how pissed off and mad I was, he left the house. Never in my life had I been so scared and frightened. I immediately called my mom (she was at the camping ground) and told her what her brother had done to me. I was crying so hard I could hardly talk. My mother confronted her brother and of course he denied everything. Ever since that day, I have never ever talked to that uncle again. I told my brother John about what this uncle had done to me. I’ve always been closed to my brother John. Always been there for him. Always. He also was attacked sexually by a family member and when he told me about it, i destroyed every single picture, reminder or anything else that belonged to the person who had attacked my brother John who, when he told me about what had happened to him, said ” I’m afraid you won’t love me anymore because of what happened”. As any other child who has been sexually molested, my brother John does believe that he might been the person responsible for what happened to him. He feels guilty about it. I have repeatedly told him he should go for professional help but he doesn’t want to. What happened to him has affected his life in so many ways. So, my brother John calls me tonight while he’s on the other line with the uncle that attacked me. It was the first time I was hearing this uncle’s voice in years and it made me sick to my stomach hearing him. My brother John must have noticed this cuz he immediately said I’ll call you back. He did and I told him I did not appreaciate hearing this pig’s voice. But what made me most upset is that this gross uncle was making plans with my brother John for supper, and talking about the restaurant where they would meet to eat. Every time my brother Nelson goes to our hometown, he does visit this uncle. I’ve told him that it did upset me that he was still visiting this uncle and being friends with me when he knew damn well what this pig of an uncle did to me. It hurts me that my brother (he’s older than me; i’m the baby of the family) is not protective of me and has never confronted this uncle about what he did to me. I was really looking forward to seeing my brother John next week. Looking forward to having him walk me down the aisle but tonight I’m so upset at him, knowing he is still talking to this ignorant uncle and that he totally ignores my feeling. My brother John has told me he wants to give me money as a wedding gift. I was going to accept his gift but right now I just feel like throwing it back in his face and tell him what a fu.k.n a..s…h..l.e he is to see this uncle! I’m so mad at my brother. Am I overreacting? How will i be able to have him walk me down the aisle knowing he has hurt me and totally ignored my feelings. Its too late now to tell John that I don’t want thim to walk me down the aisles and I really don’t know when I’ll be able to talk to him about my feelings while he’s here the week before my wedding.
What would you bees do? How would you feel if your brother still befriended a man that has attacked you?
I really would appreaciate your opinions on this matter.
Post # 2
- Wedding: September 2014 - Dallas, TX
I would feel betrayed and hurt. I would ask your brother why he thinks it’s ok to be in contact with the uncle when he knows what he did to you. I’m so sorry for what you went through and the hurt you are feeling now. Your reaction is completely warranted.
Post # 3
Thank you kimmo for replying to my post. I’m so hurt right now; all I want to do is cry and I’m working tomorrow morning. Ugh! How will i ever sleep tonight. I really think you have a good point about asking my brother why he thinks its ok to be in contact with this uncle when he knows what he did to me. The times I did talk to my brother about my situation, and that was years ago, I was always kind of confrontational and kind of started the conversation with: ..” you know what he’s done to me; don’t talk to me about this pig. This time i will ask him right out: Why do you think its ok for you to be in contact with this pig! If it weren’t for the wedding, I would totally get into it with my brother to the point where I wouldn’t care if I ever talked to him again!
Post # 4
Our feelings are never wrong. You are feeling betrayed and hurt by his actions. He should know better than to do what he did. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love and care for you however.
Will you have time before the wedding to have a heart to heart with John? Is there any chance that this uncle is the person who abused John (as well as you)? If so, that could explain John’s inability to stand up to him. Or, possibly this uncle knows about what happened to John and John is unable to stand up to him for that reason?
Post # 5
Hi julles, that you for your reply. No, this pig is not the person who abused John and no he does not know a thing about what happened to John. But you know what, your post has just got me thinking about something. John has completly forgiven the family member that abused him. John has told me the entire story of what happened to him and there is no way in this world that John is responsible for what was done to him. I have told him repeatedly that he was a child when he was abused and the person who abused him was an adult. that person should have known better!!! Even before I knew what happened to John, I always felt sorry for him. I was always there for him when something bad or hurtful happened to him. However, over the years, I’ve noticed how he has not been there for me. As a matter of fact, my resolution this year was not to be at his command all the time and to detach my self a bit from him because I’m noticing more and more how mean he can be to me sometimes. My problem is that when he is mean to me or not nice, I don’t say a word. I keep it in and then I resent him. Only once in the last couple of years did I send him an email after he had told me something that really hurt me, telling him that I truly did not appreaciate what he had told me. He wrote me back saying he was really hurt by what I had told him! For once, I stood up for myself and told him he had better think a little bit more before saying things to me like what he had said. We went to Brazil together a few years ago. A few months before going, John lost his job he had had for more than 30 years. He was totally devasted. I spent hours and hours and hours with him on the phone for days and weeks encouraging him, supporting him, etc etc. So while we were in brazil visiting my other brother, John tells my brother how devasted he had been, how depressed he had been etc. etc over losing his job. He says to my brother: ” Its a good thing my friend Dale was there to help me cuz I really don’t know what I would have done. I was so damn depressed about losing my job”! I was sitting right beside him when he said this. I could not believe it. I thought, u f..k.r! You don’t remember how many times I talked to you, how many times I suported you during that time etc. etc. Man was I pissed off. I finally found the guts say to him right in front of my other brother: Dale, what are you talking about. Don’t you remember how much time I spent with you on the phone discussing your job loss, etc. etc. He replied: oh ya, that true, you were there too!
Three years ago John had a really serious operation to the heart. I left my job, took all my vacations days and went and took care of him. All his friends thought he was so lucky to have a sister do what I did. I did it cuz I felt sorry for John, he is alone; not married; no children. While I was taking care of him, I cannot tell you how many people told me how John can be a jerk. That hurts me when I hear that I’m of the opinion John can be such a jerk and so rude and so mean because of what happened to him when he was young. I really think I’ve got to let go of this feeling and not be there for him so much slowly but surely. But I’m so afraid to do so because I feel so sorry for him. Holy macaroni, am i ever rambling on. Sorry. I think its because I’m really upset at John and I just wish now he wasn’t coming to my home next week!
Post # 6
If he has never had therapy to deal with what was done to him, it will affect the way he behaves and thinks for his whole life.
These are only some of the possible effects of childhood sexual abuse:
- Loss of confidence, dignity and self respect
- Low self-esteem and poor self-worth
- Loss of hope for the future
- Adverse effects on both physical and mental health
- The inability to trust others even close family and friends
- The inability to relax and enjoy life
- Loss of innocence and childhood
- Anxiety, guilt and fear
- Sexual dysfunction, withdrawal, and acting out
- Difficulties in relating to the opposite sex.
And may also lead to:
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Obsessive behaviour and strict routines
- Anxiety states
- Self-harming e.g. cutting, scratching or burning
- Depression and suicide.
Post # 7
Even though (and selfishly I am glad about this) cannot relate to what you are feeling, I would have to admit that if I look at the situation, you are not being overly emotional or dramatic – you are hurt and you deserve to be. I would suggest letting him know that, at the very least you deserve to get it off your chest.
Post # 8
I would feel horribly betrayed. I honestly think you need to tell John he has to choose between having you or the uncle in his life. I just don’t see how he can maintain both relationships. I am so sorry for what you have gone through.
Post # 9
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
I understand how hurt you are and I don’t think it’s overly sensitive. On the other hand, I think it’s good to keep in mind how damaged your brother might be.
I would try to be as forgiving as possible with him. He loves you. Try to keep that front and center and not let all these many issues get in the way of your fundamental relationship with your brother.
Post # 10
Wow! Thank you so much for your reply. For the first time in my life, I can read facts about childhood abuse and believe it or not I truly believe of all the above mentionned points, at least 13 of them apply to my brother John. I thank you so much for posting this information cuz it confirms to me that I am right in thniking why my brother acts in certain ways and why I feel sorry for him. I guess the saying that goes Sleep on it is so true. Last night, I was truly, truly hurt by what my brother was doing, that is still bieng in contact with the pig of the uncle. This morning, I see it a little bit different. I’m thinking, its John’s decision to continue to continue talking to the pig. I’ve already told John that it did bother me that he does this and although I love John with all my heart, I will tell hm again when I see him next week how I feel about this, how I feel betrayed, why he thinks its ok to do this. I’ve also decided not to baby him so much and I will refuse any wedding gift he will offer me. I also decided that I will talk to my other older brother about my feelings. This other brother, which we will call Peter, how always been there for me also and has also shown alot more understanding towards any situations I have to deal with.
I really need to work on this situation. Maybe I hav et to let go more and yet not forgive.
I thank you so much Jul for replying to my post. Truly appreciate it.
Post # 11
Thank you Klara for your reply. I will definitely let John know how I feel about this. And this time, I promise myself I will not beat around the bush when I tell him. I just think he is really being selfish and totally ignores my feelings. This being said, i must realize that its his decision to continue talking to the pig and there is nothing really I can do about it except accept it and let it go, but yet not forget about the fact that I truly think John is totally insensitive to my situation.
If John wasn’t my brother, I would totally distance myself from him and never ever talk to him again. But he is my brother and I feel I’m the only one he is close to in this world. He did not tell any other member of our family what happened to him. Twenty three years ago when our mother was sick and dying, he told me someday I want to tell you something but not now cuz you will tell mom. After my mom passed away, John came to visit me and that is when I reminded him what he had said to me. So I asked him, what is it you said you would tell me one day. That’s when he revealed to me this dark secret he had been living with. Ever since then, I hae overly protected John, been there for him, etc etc etc.I, on the other hand, do not feel he has been there for me but now that I’ve read the above points on the consequences of child abuse, I kind of know why he hasn’t been as kind to me as I have been to him. Him and I will have a good talk when he shows up at my house next week!
Thank you so much for taking the time to post on this subject. I truly appreciate it. I don’t feel so alone this morning.
Post # 12
Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post. Believe me, I’v thought about telling John… you either choose to continue having the pig in your life or me! Believe me, I’ve thought of doing that many times but I’m afraid if I do, I will regret it for the rest of my life. Both our parents have passed away; our older brother lives in South America. So, John and I are really the only ones left in our family that are close to one another and who talk often and know what is going on in our lives. I don’t know that I could live in peace knowing I would hurt my brother John tremendously if i told him i didn’t want him in my life anymore. Knowing me, I don’t think I could. I will though let him know how I feel about this latest episode, believe me, I will but I will do it in such a way that the lines of communication between him and I will remain opened.
Thank you so much for letting me know that I am not crazy about feeling the way I am feeling.
Post # 13
You are so kind and yes I know my brother loves me even though he does not show it very much. Because I know that i am the only person in his life that he trusts, I’ve always kept in mind that he is a damaged person and that is why I’ve been so forgiving towards him. This being said, it seems like he doesn’t realize how much he is hurting me by keeping in contact with the pig and that is what hurts me tremendously. What about my feelings? He is not the only one hurting in this world! But thats me. I have to deal with these feelings and I know that, and I do need to accept the fact that he choses to keep in contact with the PIG! Its his decision but I will let him know that it truly, truly hurts me and that I feel betrayed by his actions. If John wants to get upset at me for telling him this, so be it! I will still love him but I will protect myself. Enough is enough.
I truly thank you for posting to my reply. Your opinion matters to me and I am so glad that you have made me realize the importance of forgiveness and the beauty of love no matter what.
Post # 14
I absolutely understand why you’re upset and I don’t think you’re overreacting. However, just something to keep in mind – from what you’ve said, John feels partially responsible for his own abuse. He also is likely receiving pressure from the rest of his family about keeping a relationship with your uncle. So he’s got a lot of layers of guilt happening, none of which have been resolved.
I’m not saying his actions are right, I’m saying that he’s hurting too, and doesn’t know how to deal with it. Your family seems to be trying to cover all this up, and being older, he was likely heavily pressured to do the same. I assume you’ve been through therapy already, it might be a good idea to go back and see if they can give you some insight on how best to handle this to both maintain your relationship with your brother, while keeping yourself emotionally safe.
Post # 15
Thank you for your reply. I truly appreciate it. Yes, I was just thinking last night that I might go myself for some help on how to deal with this situation with John. I’ll have to think about it though cuz I’ve had to go for therapy for some childhood issues myself and I don’t know if I feel like going through that process again. I’m not a young chick you know. I’m 55 lol
Its funny cuz John has told me in the past that he doesn’t really like this pig of an uncle but since John is really the only one in our family that has really kept in contact with the rest of our relatives, I think he does somehow feel pressured to stay in contact with the pig. I used to send the pig’s wife a christmas card, addressed only to her, but I haven’t sent her any in a few years. I thought she might question that, but she hasn’t. She also has stopped sending me christmas cards. I truly loved that aunt. Her and I always got along but for one reason or another I just stopped communicating with her. One thing is for sure though, I’ve always told myself that if one day that pig died, I would definitely tell my aunt what her husband did to me and to several other female cousins of mine. You see, in my family, its always been… don’t say anything, do like nothing has happened etc etc . Appearances were so important. My father was an alcoholic. He abused my mom physically and at one point when I was four years old, my mother kicked my father out, separated from him and I never saw this so called father again until I was 10 years old. He never stayed incontact with his children. He passed away and I never wanted to go identify him or be at his funeral. John did not go either but later on as the years went buy he did want to find out more about his father; even did alot of research to obtain money from investments the father had made. When he told me about this money, I refused to take even one penny that had belonged to our father. John has always told me that if he could see our father again, he would talk to him. Me, on the other hand, I’ve never ever wanted to talk to this man for what he has done to my childhood. What a difference between John and I. I dont think John realizes how much he is hurting and he doesn’t realize how mean he can be and how demanding and obnoxious he can be! And yet, I know how sensitive he is. He is very easily hurt. That’s what makes me so sad and yet he refuses to go for help. He’s 57 years old, has never married, no children, overweight, has had alcoholic problems (doesn’t drink at all anymore though); over spends and is a workalcoholic, doesn’t take care of his health at all. I’m expecting a phone call from him today. I think he will hear it in my voice that I am not a happy camper right now. I’ve decided that I will let him know today that it is beyond my comprehension that he saw the pig last night!
My mother always felt like an outcast in her family cuz she didn’t have a husband and had to raise four children on her own, on welfare. The rest of her family I always thought had not been very kind towards my mom and us. They never invited us for Christmas, never helped my mother out financially and worse of all this pig of an uncle always controlled my mom, making her feel like shit and that she owned him something. I hate him!