- 8 years ago
- Wedding: July 2011
I think your mom already knows. There’s no way her boyfriend could have put him in therapy at 14 without his mother knowing.
I think your mom already knows. There’s no way her boyfriend could have put him in therapy at 14 without his mother knowing.
Anyways OP – your email is way too nice and apologetic. All of the “right nows” make me squirm. There’s no working on you right now, and then worrying about him later. He screwed up, he’s messed up and there should be no “understanding a brother sister relationship” type thing going on here. You need to be much more blunt. He’s going to think you will be ok with him the day after the wedding. Not cool – make the email more to the point and less about feeling sorry for him and what he’s going through.
Treat yourself with the same protective love as you do your daughter. You deserve it. I understand not wanting to hurt people’s feelings, but honey you cannot speak so gently to your brother about the matter. Be firm and give yourself free reign to be rightfully angry! Also, your therapist is totally unprofessional, and you should find yourself a new one. It is not his job to angrily push you to do anything.
As for your mother, if she doesn’t already know, I recommend you tell her. She may feel guilty and hurt, but she can only help you in keeping your brother out of your life and, most importantly, away from your daughter. My story…
I’m a survivor of childhood sexual abuse by my mother’s youngest brother, and I never told her or anyone else in our family. What was the point since he’s in another country. Well, things change, and like your brother, my uncle has been making plans to move to the USA with my mother’s blessing. She dropped this bomb on me during Thanksgiving, and I slowly began to lose my mind. I nearly had a full on nervous breakdown when I realized she’d bring him to my wedding! After a lot of thought and with FI’s loving, patient support, I finally decided to tell her last month. Yes, she was heartbroken to hear about it, and yes she felt guilty. However, she really surprised me by being so strong and just taking charge of the situation. She contacted her other brothers and had them talk to their daughters. My worst nightmare that he went on to abuse my younger cousins has, luckily, been proven wrong. It has been a huge weight off my shoulders.
((Hugs)) A mother’s loving support can be such a balm when it comes to something as horrific as childhood abuse. Please do consider it. Please also do not hesitate to message me if you want to talk in private.
And you have a daughter, and she looks just like you, and your brother clearly is not 100% over all his issues, because your fiance knew something was up. Put two and two together. She could easily become the new you. Do not let him near her, and do not teach her that he is a safe person. And you need to do this for you, too. This person should not be near you. He does not have the right or priveledge to be close with you. That was shattered long ago.
And he has two daughters? Does he live with them? Honey, if he was “confused” with a sister, he could easily become “confused” with them. You know what he did and that he has this sickness.
I really think you need to contact someone. Someone that can keep them safe. Since you are the one that knows about what he did, I feel like you kind of have a responsibility to those girls to prevent them from undergoing a life of sexual abuse at the hands of their father.
This is an odd first post, but after two years of lurking I’d like to add my (hopefully, helpful) two cents. So hello all—especially you, @girlwithadog!
I have a very similar story wrought with most types of child abuse (physical, sexual, and an odd form of neglect). The most difficult to deal with was/is the sexual abuse that cycled its way through my family down to me; in my case, it was also my brother during the same age period as your own. The hardest part was talking about it. My brother stopped when I finally told my mom after the sheer terror of being left alone with him one more time finally dawned on me (and was just too much) after a long period of disassociating myself from the abuse. However, my mom could/would not believe me after he denied it. It wasn’t until I was in high school that it resurfaced and he admitted to it, much to my mom’s dismay. He has a wife (who he told prior to me telling her pre-marriage) and a son now, and I still see them once in a while. When it officially came out, my family and friends were up in arms about what to do (some contacted authorities, others suggested therapy, while there are still a few who ignore/don’t believe it). I do not know if it was the right decision or not to forego criminal charges on my part, but I hope dearly that full disclosure was enough for everyone’s sake.
The research is unclear as to the effect of rehabilitation efforts on child molesters, but there is a very high recidivism rate for this particular crime that is a big, huge warning sign. He most likely has associated sexual arousal with children, and from the sounds of it, you. Please, be careful. The tone of your posts has me assuming that you believe he could be a danger to others (e.g. your daughter). I urge you to speak to your mom, who must already know as a child’s parent or legal guardian must be informed, by most state’s laws, about any (licensed) treatment their child is subject to. So unless you received counseling from a pastor or other unlicensed mentor, she should have an idea that a) you were in therapy and b) why (to some degree). It’s not time to parent your mom, it’s time to figure out how to benefit your health and the health of those your brother has access to. My mom (who I love dearly) still (irrationally) downplays my abuse for her own sanity, but it is important to me that she comes to grips with it because she should have protected me then and she turned a blind-eye because she couldn’t handle it. Whether or not your mom knew anything does not erase the sadness you must feel that she didn’t see it and/or protect you from it—you owe it to yourself to get that protection now, you have been alone in this fight for too long. You were her number one priority then and should be to this day in this instance. Plus, the more people that know, the more that can make sure he does not repeat your story. I teared-up when I read about your daughter—your instincts are guiding you, be brave and figure out a way to protect her and others like her. Even though he ultimately makes his own choices (and the consequences are his alone), I know how hard it is to worry over feeling some sort of responsibility for what he may do. Whatever your choices are, just make sure you can live with them regardless of his actions.
As someone pursuing their graduate degree in clinical/counseling psychology with a research thesis dedicated to the cyclic nature of childhood abuse, I can tell you that therapists generally pick a specialization based upon past experiences that drive their passion to heal. Most psych programs emphasize the importance of remaining objective during a client’s sessions (although, hotly debated), but personal bias is usually present in some way. Your previous therapist’s anger may have a root or he may just prefer to practice in a less formal nature as a caring companion—for those other poster’s concerned about this (as OP is not currently in therapy), the best solution is to switch to a research-based treatment center that outlines the formal therapy(ies) that they practice. What research does show is that the presence of a therapist (as in the person, regardless of their practice) as well as talk-therapy is strongly correlated with improved patient health on various levels.
The last comment I would like to make is about your letter. Most child abusers have an external locus of control, meaning that they believe that they are not at fault for what occurs in their lives as they perceive outside factors as being in control of their behaviors—thus, many predators think the children “wanted it” or seduced them. It is okay to be vulnerable and honest when talking about your history of abuse, but I do not suggest any passive or dismissive language or tone when talking to the abuser. Instead of saying, “I’m trying to work through what happened to me as a kid,” I would come out and say “I’m trying to work through the sexually inappropriate choices that you made and forced onto me.” It is okay to skirt descriptive language, but do not allow him to dismiss the gravity of his actions and never let him forget that said actions were in deed in his control. Trim the softness of your tone with him and let him know that you are serious about the wedding and his offenses.
It is okay to be confused and unsure of what to do—I know I am even after confronting it and receiving training on what is known about the nature of this beast. I have never been angry at my brother for choosing to repeat the horrible abuse he himself endured—I really don’t know why I have never felt anything about the abuse itself (probably because I disassociated from it as well as logically being able to see the cause and effect of this type of abuse). What I do know is that I felt fear and pain at the time, I knew something was wrong when it was happening and felt guilty and embarrassed for letting it continue as long as it did, I still grieve for myself as a little girl on occasion, I have never made excuses for my brother’s behavior (I try to understand it), I don’t particularly care either way for my brother, and I will never again let myself feel weird for speaking about my experience with abuse regardless of who objects. Oddly enough, I have never been to therapy and I do not think everyone needs or benefits from it; however, I am a big proponent of dealing with any uncomfortable issues head-on via whatever medium it takes. Be honest with yourself (like, brutally honest), dig deep, and go where you don’t want to.
Sorry for the length of this but I wanted to be thorough.
Thank you all for your responses. I re wrote the email (haven’t sent it yet, I was waiting till the morning so he wouldn’t be drunk when he got the email) so it was less apologetic on my end but still nice. I can’t stop thinking about what he might do (given his current mental state) if I’m mean about it and accusatory.
I have been having a hard time dealing with things from my past. When you came back into town it caused an emotional breakdown. I spent years trying to ignore what happened when we were kids, trying to convince myself that it was just a dream so when you came back I nearly had a nervous breakdown. It was bad.
Oh and as far as his daughters, they live across the country with their mom. He’s in the middle of a custody battle with their mom but he doesn’t really want custody and wont get it. Likely they will be supervised visits for now since before he left there was physical abuse resulting in bruises on the face.
I’ve debated telling his wife but I don’t know. His girls are little blonde girls with big blue eyes. But every girl he’s ever dated or been interested in has always looked much like me. Like his current girlfriend. All dark hair dark eyes and dark skin.
It should become more public, and I should tell people, but I’m just now being open about it with the therapist and my fiance, I can’t take all the questions. I still can’t say it out loud, exactly what happened. Thats why my emails aren’t exactly to the point and blunt. Perhaps for now I’ll tell his wife (soon to be ex) to be careful around him with the girls and perhaps get the girls into a therapist to see what may have happened. It can confuse them anyways if their parents ask the wrong way
And I just went to send the email (after taking out the “for nows” and”hopefully one day”) on facebook and his status says “heartbreak is hell, I can eat sleep or see”
I feel so bad but it has to be done. He’ll be at a “low” for a long time, always is, there wont be a good time to send the email so I might as well now.
My heart breaks for you. I’m so sorry you had to go through this.
Since i have never been there, I can only tell you to try and open up with your therapist and follow her/his instruction. It will be a process no doubt. But just lean on professionals to make sure you take healthy steps to better yourself.
Your brother needs to speak to someone too. Clearly something isn’t right in his head and he needs help.
I’ve been in a really similar situation to yours, but with my brother and not my cousin. It sucks and it’s really, really hard. I broke down and told my parents in a therapy session, which is what I strongly encourage you to eventually do yourself, because there’s really only two ways it will go – your mom being horribly upset and blaming herself (which was both my parent’s reaction), or her getting angry and not wanting to believe you (this was the reaction my grandparents, aunts, and uncles on my dad’s side all had.) Either way, it’s going to be a million times easier to process and spill it all out with a good therapist there to help. If you’re anything like me, I know you’d probably rather sweep it under the rug and just pretend it didn’t happen – it’s easier to box it away and not think about it than it is to tell and have it kind of spill out of the box and into all of those different parts of your life. But it’s also the only thing that is going to allow you to truly heal.
And I would tell his wife. You’ll have an even harder time gettin past this if he abuses those little girls and you speaking up could have stopped it. The reason I spoke up and told about my abuse was because I was afraid he was about to start abusing another cousin of mine. Beyond that, you need to focus on yourself – I know some people will say, “Oh, he was just a kid, obviously he needs help, he was probably abused too, etc.” But there’s no excuse for his actions, and that’s not your problem – you are the victim here and you need to worry about healing yourself, not feeling sympathy for someone who did something awful to you.
*Hugs* feel free to PM me if you ever need advice or just want to talk, and don’t feel like posting about it.
I’m so sorry you are going through this and glad you havesuch a supportive Fiance. I like that you shortened your email, but I like
“You did things to me as a child. I didn’t deal with them properly. Now that you are back, a lot of bad feelings have come up and I had a break down. I dont want to have to deal with those feelings on my wedding day, so it is best that you dont attend. I’m not ready to tell Mom yet about what you did, so please make up an excuse as to why you won’t be there. I hope that you are able to get some help to deal with what you did. I have found therapy very helpful”
PS–in your gut you know he is doing this, or going to to this, to another little girl. I know this is painful for you, but you have to think about how you can save another little girl from the pain you are going through.
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