- 9 years ago
Sorry for a sock puppet account but this is extremely personal and I don’t want this linked to my happy wedding planning account.
Just as a warning, I’m briefly discussing child sex abuse – if this is a touchy issue for you, please take care!
I was sexually abused by my brother for about 12 years from the time I was in preschool until I was a teenager. I’ve made peace with what happened through a lot of counselling and my partner is generally aware of this issue (although I never explicitly told him it was my brother). I have never told my parents or any other family member, and have no desire or plan to do so, ever. It’s over, I’ve dealt with (and am dealing with daily) the emotional repercussions of this, and I can’t handle telling them, because I suspect it’ll lead to a lot of blaming me, or straight up not believing me. I have never discussed it with my brother, even while it was happening, and I believe he thinks I don’t remember at all. He continues to carry on as normal and attempts to be in my life. He also has several psychological/sociopathic issues, for which he is now seeking treatment, but I don’t believe those issues ’caused’ the abuse.
I made the decision several years ago more than ten years after the abuse stopped that it was unhealthy for me to maintain any relationship with my brother, and I have not seen him in several years, I avoid returning to my hometown for this reason, and I do not respond to phone calls, texts, or emails. I will when necessary say hello when I’m speaking to my parents on the phone so my parents are not fully aware of the extent to which I have cut him out of my life. This has never been a big issue until we began wedding planning.
Due to this issue as well as having large extended families, we chose to plan a destination wedding. I had generally skirted around the issue of who, specifically, was invited with my mother, but the wedding is less than a year away now and my mom has been pushing me about inviting my brother. I’ve tried not responding to her when she discusses inviting him, but she has continued to bring it up on the phone. This evening I tried politely to say we were only inviting those who we knew could attend (this is not strictly true) but she kept bugging me about it until I finally said “We just really don’t get along at all, okay? We’re not close, so I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
My mom keeps acting very hurt about this issue. She knows I am very uncomfortable around my brother but I believe she thinks it’s due to his mental illness. I don’t know how else to keep her off my back on this issue. I really cannot tell her why I refuse to have contact with him, especially with other stresses in my life. Does anyone have advice about how to handle this as politely as possible? I don’t want to flip out at her and I don’t want to hurt her, but I refuse 100% to have him at my wedding. Part of me thinks that because I know he can’t afford to come that I should just give in and send an invite to keep the peace for my mother. The other part of me (as well as my FI) believes I can’t give on this, because I can’t risk my emotional health for this. Has anyone else had to deal with a similar issue?