Post # 17
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
You don’t owe your brother anything. He was older and old enough to know what he was doing was wrong but he continued to do it for 5 years until another family member stopped it (meaning he would have continued doing it longer if he had the opportunity.) I would have zero contact with him because he refuses to acknoledge what he did was wrong and atone for it.
If you truly think he might hurt himself, call the local authorities to do a well being check but honestly you do not owe him a single moment of your time, thoughts, or energy.
Post # 18
Other Bees have given you great advice, and I just want to add that while your mother may wish to blame herself and feel terrible, and that is understandable, but she is also a parent to you, which means taking responsibility and looking out for their children’s wellbeing and safety. If you do choose to tell your mother about the abuse one day, maybe a way to get her to think about what she can do now to support you, rather than dwelling on the past and detract the focus (which should be about supporting you and being clear to your brother that what happened was wrong).
I guess I feel quite strongly about parents’ roles in all this because I have a good friend who was in similar situation as you, except her mother just goes into a huge drama (crying, blaming self) if the past events were ever raised. The father just refuse to talk at all because “it’s bygones.” It was very difficult for my friend, because she wasn’t receiving the support that she should be receiving from her parents.
Post # 19
(Earlier answer removed in light of some other details you’ve added about his adult behaviour – I am so sorry you have to deal with this).
Of course you can still exclude him from your wedding but that’s your choice, not your fiance’s.
Post # 20
Wow this is heartbreaking. I have no words… I just wanted to say I am so sorry this happened to you. I would understand if you never talked to your brother again.
Post # 21
Thank you all for so much support, I really appreciate it. I didn’t know if I would have comments geared toward me that were belitteling me or something and was afraid to post but knew I needed an outside perspective. Thank you all. I’m still reading through all of the comments but I am so thankful for each and every comment I’ve gotten
Post # 22
I was in this precise situation – a brother who did such things for a long period of my childhood, and had never told anyone other than my therapist and my husband. I wrote a post about this awhile ago and got some useful advice.
It stopped about 12 years ago and I’ve never said a word to him about it, nor him to me, although we lived in the same household for another 5 or 6 years. Since I left home, I gradually distanced myself and finally cut him off completely, but I’ve never explicitly made that clear to my parents. We were having a small, family-only wedding and it eventually became necessary to clarify to my mother that my brother would not be invited and was not welcome. I haven’t spoken to my brother in years, but I expect it was not a surprise to him that he was not invited. I have never addressed it with him. I had a hard time with my family, as I was trying to gently tell my mother I didn’t want him there, but finally snapped and told her that we weren’t close and he would not be coming, end of story.
I have long since moved past what happened to me as a child, and in my brother’s case, he has been diagnosed with very serious mental and social disorders, which may have affected his behaviour. My therapist also talked to me about the fact that when sexual abuse begins at very young ages, the abuser has often experienced some form of sexual abuse – I don’t excuse my brother’s activities, but I do suspect that this may be the case.
Your fiance wants to protect you. If you want to continue a relationship, however distant, with your brother, this is your choice, but it does affect your fiance as well. If you do not want to invite him, then don’t – I know it’s very difficult to navigate the issues of hurting your mother/upsetting family dynamics in the midst of coping with it yourself. I never told my brother, only my parents, and I assume it was filtered through to him. I believe my mother thinks I no longer communicate with my brother due to his mental health issues, and I was content to leave it at that. In your case, you may want to address it with him, in whatever words you feel comfortable using.
Post # 23
I call BS. while maybe it is or is not true that their parents could or should have known, her brother is still responsible and should be answerable to his actions. He was old enough to know it was wrong, especially by 9th grade. it may not be pretty to think a child could do something like this, just like no one wants to believe it when a 14 year old is responsible for a shooting at his middle school. It happens, and most of the time, those responsible know what they are doing is wrong.
Post # 24
I wrote this on notepad and will show it to my fiance but wanted to post it here as well to see what everyone thinks… Does this sound OK? I tried not to make it mean, hopefully he wont freak out or have a breakdown of his own when I send it
I have been having a hard time dealing with the things that happened when we were younger. You coming back into town caused an emotional breakdown. I went to therapy for it and right now I’m trying to work through a lot from when I was a kid, and as much as it saddens me to say this, I think that for now we should keep our distance. It’s been really hard for me to confront certain issues and I’m finally being able to work through those parts and it makes things harder. You are my older brother and I appreciate the brother sister relationship but right now I’ve got a lot of work to do on me. I can’t live my life constantly anxious and freaked out about these things and for now I need time to sort this all out. I wish it was long before or after the wedding that I was dealing with this but it’s not and I am sorry to say but I don’t think you should come to the wedding. It’s not that I don’t want my brother there, it’s that some of these issues have been really hard for me to deal with and the last thing I want on our wedding day is to be thinking about the past when we are working on building a future. I don’t want to hurt mom by telling her what I’ve been working on, I know that she would blame herself and I don’t want to break the family as we’ve all been through a lot together, so it would be nice if perhaps you “can’t get off work” or something. If you haven’t since you were in highschool, I’d suggest you get therapy and cover these. It can’t just be swept under the rug. I tried for years and it’s gotten me into a very bad state mentally. I hope one day things can be “normal” between us but for now, I’ve got a lot of work to do on myself and really need the space to do it. I hope you understand.
Post # 25
I’m so sorry you had to go through that.
I tried like you to cut my brother out, I still am. I stopped answering his calls, when he would come to my home unannounced I would grab my daughter and run to the room and hide behind a wall and not answer. I wouldn’t go to my moms when he was there and when he emails me, I don’t respond. But then he starts to get upset and makes me feel guilty for not responding so I’ll send him a two word text or something. But living my life hiding in my bedroom is no life to live. I wish I’d had the strength or courage to just tell him when he came back that I could not be around him. I feel like a coward. But I just don’t want to be responsible for hurting anyone.
Post # 26
I know a lot of people disagree with me on this subject but I’m not against incest. I am very much against how you weren’t with him because you wanted to. It’s absolutely digusting how he forced you to be with him like that. If you truly care about someone you don’t force them to be with you.
It is possible that he might go after his daughters but I doubt it. It sounds like he’s only interested in you and it’s been that way forever. I could be wrong but it just by the way he was talking about you to your fiance it sounds like it’s you not little girls in general. I would be worried if he has daughter that look like you or if you have a daughter that looks like you.
Your mom might know but either is hopeful he’s different or she’s ignorent. If your mom doesn’t know she deserves to know. I suggest you, your fiance, and your mom sit down and talk about it. You should do most the talking however because it’s not like you to be confrontational your fiance should be there to back you up. After you tell your mom if you think your fiance wont kill him you, your fiance, and your brother should sit down and you should tell him he’s not invited and why. The only reason why I say you should tell him is because if you send him and email he could just claim he never got it. If your fiance probably will kill him just send him an email and maybe have 1 or 2 guys standing by the entrance of the wedding making sure your brother doesn’t enter. You might want to have them standing by the entrance no matter how you tell them if it’ll make you feel better.
You have no reason to pitty him. You are the victim. He deserves to get punched in the face with a 2 by 4. If anyone, I mean ANYONE, gets upset that you aren’t inviting him they deserve to get punched as well. Cut whoever throws a fit out of your life instantly.
He is obviously insanely in love with you. He wont change. You need to make it more known about your past and cut ties from him. If he continues to come around than you need to learn how to protect yourself properly and get a restraining order.
Post # 27
I do have a little girl that is the spitting image of me when I was younger. He always says “She’s so beautiful” which makes me uncomfortable. Then I was at my moms when my fiance met my brother and I freaked out. My daughter is only 4 so when she goes potty it’s hard to convince her to shut the bathroom door all the way. Well at my moms she tells me she has to go potty so she runs back there to go and almost instantly my brother runs back into the bedroom (the one with the bathroom) to do something so I was right on his heels following him. He walked in the bedroom and I don’t know what he was doing but he walked toward the bathroom when I interrupted him and he just looked at the bed, grabbed a shirt and walked out. When he’s around my daughter I’m super hyper vigiliant. I absolutely REFUSE to let someone do that to my child. And if they ever did I just know I’d go into a blind rage and things would get really bad.
Post # 28
Cut him out of your life for good. Everytime you regret cutting him out just look at your daughter. If you don’t cut him out and he does something you will hate yourself. You will never forgive yourself. Not everyone will approve and you will have your hard days but it’ll be a billion times worth it.
Post # 29
i’ve just read everything in this thread.
you need to: 1) tell your mother what he did. because she deserves to know, and she needs to know. it doesn’t matter if she’ll feel guilty, she NEEDS to know what he did. and 2) cut him out of your life, for your own sake and for the safety of your daughter. he hasn’t changed. he’s still dangerous to others. especially you and your daughter. please, please cut him out of your life.
Post # 30
“But the therapist always seemed to be angry any time I showed any kind of sympathy for my brother.”
Jesus, get a new therapist. Your therapist shouldn’t get angry about your feelings but help you come to terms with them! In my experience, most people have to go through a few therapists before finding one that fits, and even when you find one that fits, you eventually outgrow them (learn all they have to teach you, whatever) and need to find a new one.
Just have you or your fiance send him an email that says that due to his past treatment of you, he is not to attend the wedding. Have the venue security/wedding coordinators/a few trusted friends on the lookout for him (no need to tell them exactly what he did, just that he is troubled and could ruin your day) so if he shows they can kick him out. I think the email you wrote is way too long and complicated and, honestly, all the nice stuff you’re saying to him, if he still, idk, has a thing for you, will be taken entirely the wrong way by him. He’s not a normal person, he’s not going to react like a normal person, so don’t write the kind of letter you would write to a normal person. Keep it short, clear, and really hard to misinterpret.
Honestly, I’d tell your mom. I would find a new therapist and QUICKLY get to the part where you need to tell your mother, and bring your mother in to a session and have the therapist help you guys through it. She needs to know. If for NO other reason than so that, when your brother isn’t at your wedding and she asks why, she doesn’t flip out at you for not inviting him, thus ruining your wedding day.
And yes, given what you’ve said about your daughter and him, you NEED to cut him out of your life for good. Every time you are around him, even if you are watching, you are teaching your daughter that he is a safe person to be around. You know that to not be the case. What if he picked her up early from school and did god knows what to her? How would you feel? You need for her safety to cut him out. And your mother needs to know because she can’t let him around your daughter either. If she doesn’t know, I would not allow her to babysit or for your daughter to have sleepovers with grandma that could turn into sleepovers with Creepy Uncle.
Post # 31
You need to cut your brother out of your life! I did and have never looked back.