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#195766 - 12/18/07 06:43 AM The Family invite I didnít want
Grunty1967b Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 823
Loc: Australia
For several years now Iíve stayed away from the annual family gathering at Christmas where my perp brother is always there. Thatís why I stay away. We donít speak and it distresses me greatly to see him. Iíve ďescapedĒ the family for 5-6 years now and my parents stopped asking me over at Christmas knowing I didnít really want to be there Ė never told them why. Nobody knows about the CSA.

Now out of nowhere my mother called yesterday and asked if I was coming, as if I always did. She wanted to know what food Iíd prefer then started listing all the people whoíd be there including perp brother. She just assumed Iíd go and didnít really ask Ė she more so informed me of the arrangements.

I stumbled on the phone and said Iíd have to check with my wife as to what other arrangements may already be in place. Thank goodness for that reprieve.

I told my wife about the call. She knew I was upset by it and reassured me that I donít have to go if I donít want to. She tried to get me to not be too upset by the call. Too late!

I didnít sleep much last night. It really upset me. I of course donít want to go but I canít even fathom picking up the phone and saying no. What will she ask? Why wonít I go?

I canít cope with the thought of seeing him. I canít cope of the thought of having to make the call. I didnít even want that damn call in the first place.

Iím really upset by this.


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#195768 - 12/18/07 06:54 AM Re: The Family invite I didnít want [Re: Grunty1967b]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Grunty,

I'm really sorry you are stuck in this bind, man. It must feel like a lose/lose situation, and this is the kind of thing that happens when a survivor is trying to steer clear of the abuser and the rest of the family doesn't know "the secret".

You say this has been going on for 5-6 years now. I don't know if this would work for you, but here's how I would handle the problem. I would sit down with my wife and talk about it, and ask myself which is more important: participating in family affairs during the holidays, or avoiding sight of perp brother?

If getting back into family festivities is important to me, then I would look at the problem of how to deal with perp brother. Are there no ways forward?

If this were my own case, I think I would consider the possibility of writing him a letter confronting him with what he has done, how it has affected me, and what I expect him to do now. Have you seen Ken Singer's article on this on the site? It's really good. You could put it to your brother that you expect him to cooperate with you on this so you can have time with the family without seeing him there.

I don't know if you feel this is something you could do, but hey, he's the abuser, not you. Right now it's you who is paying the price for what he's done. Why should that continue?

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#195771 - 12/18/07 07:12 AM Re: The Family invite I didnít want [Re: roadrunner]
evanesence Offline
Guest

Registered: 12/08/07
Posts: 119
he is the one thats screwed up ,i would tell them why you won't come,he's the perp not you YOU have nothing to be ashamed of ! why let your family think your the one that has a problem with them? not sure i'd be willing to give up contact with my whole family just because he is a jerk. he already took enough from you he shouldn't take your family too.



Edited by evanesence (12/18/07 07:13 AM)

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#195773 - 12/18/07 07:20 AM Re: The Family invite I didnít want [Re: evanesence]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
I mentioned Ken's article on confrontations and you can find it here. He gives really good advice on how to write the kind of letter I was suggesting. Even if you write such a letter and never send it, I still think it would be a good thing to do. My guess is that just sitting down and writing it all down will help you to focus and find your own way forward.

I don't mean to come down on you, but will just ask you this: Is the way you are handling the situation now really a solution? Or is it simply a way of avoiding the situation? I think it's important that we ask ourselves these questions. All of us are easily tempted to isolate - yet another false lesson that abuse taught us.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#195776 - 12/18/07 08:13 AM Re: The Family invite I didnít want [Re: roadrunner]
ChicagoSurvivor Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/07
Posts: 17
I've been working on family issues too. This has been helpful. THanks.


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#195796 - 12/18/07 12:08 PM Re: The Family invite I didnít want [Re: ChicagoSurvivor]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Hi, Bruce. Man, I sooooo understand how you feel with this, because I go through it every year when I make the trip to my parents' house at Christmas and have to sit across the dinner table from the brother who raped and abused me as a child. All the while, the rest of the family is oblivious to what all happened and my parents wonder why our family isn't close and why their grandkids don't come around, blah, blah, blah. I feel our family is the poster family for dysfunctional people. The reason I still go there on holidays is because it's easier on me than having to confront and explain and justify how I feel. Frankly, I just don't want to get into that shit with all of them, because I already KNOW what their reaction will be - "That was so long ago, can't you get over it?" I'm sure you probably understand that mentality as well.

However, I have devised a few things that help get me through this each holiday. One, is that I avoid my brother. I will say hello and be civil, but I will not sit and talk with him as though he is blameless. Second, is that we are fortunate in that my parents have their meal at 12 noon, come hell or highwater they will never change their time. As such, my in-laws across town have theirs at 1:00. So, we show up at my parents a few minutes before noon, gobble a meal down, and then leave to go to my in-laws where I spend a relaxing afternoon with the people that really DO love me. Perhaps you could make a quick trip through your parents' place and then leave for another engagement, whether real or imaginary.

I hate that you are in this position, Bruce, I know it sucks.

Edit to add: I know my methodology above is based of avoidance of the problem. But it's what I can deal with at the moment. Perhaps someday I will get further along in the whole healing thing and will finally address the problem itself - perp brother. But for now, this is where it is and how I cope.



Edited by EGL (12/18/07 12:12 PM)
_________________________
Eddie

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#195800 - 12/18/07 12:58 PM Re: The Family invite I didnít want [Re: EGL]
TJ jeff Offline

Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 3362
Loc: Northern Wisconsin
Hi Bruce,

I really don't have any advice that is better than what Larry and Eddie have given - just wanted to say that you sure are'nt alone in this struggle - this is also something that I have strugled with a great deal over the past 6 years (and am glad that this year is my wife's familys turn - so i don't have to deal with my dysfunctional family till next year) - yes I still do go to my family christmas gatherings - but... - I go because there are people at those gatherings that I do care for deeply - it is for them that I go (mostly - they don't know about the abuse) - I just ignore the abusers as best I can for that one day

_________________________
Who will cry for the little boy? - I will... - Antwone Fisher

Abuse happens in silence/isolation - Recovery happens only when that silence/isolation is broken...

TJ's History

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#195818 - 12/18/07 03:11 PM Re: The Family invite I didn’t want [Re: TJ jeff]
alexey Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 08/16/05
Posts: 1674
Loc: Moscow, Russia
Grunty,

I am so sorry you have this kind of dilemma, and of course you can call your mother and tell her that you do not go. It is just what you can do for yourself and it is ok, I think. You will have enjoyable holidays with your parents and your family when you will be sure the perp won't show up. You will have holiday on your street.

Take care,
Alexey

_________________________
(\__/)
(='.'=)
E[:]|||||[:]3
(")_(")
--------
When you feel all alone and unhappy, turn to you Inner Child and talk to Him.
You will see He can comfort you like nothing else!

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#195827 - 12/18/07 04:28 PM Re: The Family invite I didnít want [Re: alexey]
KENKEN Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/25/07
Posts: 762
Loc: NOTHERN COLORADO
Grunty:

I too know what kind of delema you are in and also how you feel about this. My older brother was my perp. too. Even though we will not be together this Holiday Season, seems everytime the occasion to get together happens, weddings, funerals etc., it brings back all those horrible memories.

I have not yet confronted him. Knowing my family like I do, all seven siblings, they will take sides and I just don't want that to happen. So until I am ready for that I just suck it up and try and move on.

This doesn't answer your question or help you in any way. I just want to let you know that you are not alone. Doesn't make it any easier for sure, just to let you know that I hear you and am with you in thoughts too.

Ken

_________________________
I AM A GOOD PERSON, I AM A GOOD MAN

From the Movie: Antwone Fisher

***WOR ALUMNI SEQUOIA MARCH 2008***

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#195828 - 12/18/07 04:38 PM Re: The Family invite I didnít want [Re: alexey]
Grunty1967b Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 823
Loc: Australia
Hi guys,

Thankyou all for your replies. It is comforting to know that so many of you can relate.

Larry, I am nowhere near being able to confront perp brother. I donít know if that will ever be possible however I will consider the letter writing for the future even if I never send it.

My brother has never liked me and never had ďbrotherĒ dialog with me. I overheard my mom asking him one day (when I was around 10) why he didnít get along with me. His answer was ďI just donít like himĒ. That hurt me so much. What did I ever do to him? Heís the one that did things to me. So, no, confronting him would achieve nothing other than give him another opportunity to hurt me more. Heíd no doubt say I was the perp, I must have enjoyed it, Iím a fagot etc etc.

I take your point that Iím also possibly avoiding the situation but I see no positive outcome in confronting.

Evanescence you are right in that my family probably think Iím the one with the problem by constantly avoiding the family gatherings and that hurts but that pain is easier to handle than the pain of disclosure that they will no doubt reject.

Eddie, like you, my family is also the dysfunction model that all studies must have been based on. They score a perfect 10!

The truth of the matter is I donít want to get together with the family. I know none of them, have no relationship with them and it only causes me great distress. Whatís more important Ė my inner peace or pleasing their request to have me there? I learnt many years ago to look after myself and protect myself. I deserve that and I have permission to do that. Eddie, this in no attack on you my friend. Iím venting how unfair it is in their eyes to expect this of me. I love the idea of a quick visit. Iíll see if I can wangle something along those lines.

TJ, there are no people at these gathering I really do care about other than my parents and thatís a whole different story if I get into the ďcareĒ definition. Sadly, it is not a season of good cheer for me.


Alexey, thanks. I will try to have a Christmas on my terms that will be enjoyable to me. I just need to have ďthatĒ conversation with my folks. \:\(


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