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#208093 - 02/29/08 04:09 PM Advice for a concerned brother
ConcernedBro Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 2
I just recently found out that my younger brother was molested a few years ago by a pedophile who has since been caught and charged in relation to over thirty cases and now, my brother's being called into court to be a witness.

I was shocked when I first found out from my mother and I just learned that my brother will be starting therapy soon. I'm away from home at college right now, but I just need some advice on how I should approach him about the topic and help him through it.

Any help would be appreciated.


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#208100 - 02/29/08 04:29 PM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: ConcernedBro]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2586
Don't pressure him to tell you anything he isn't ready. Just be there for him. Let him know that you love him, that you believe him, that you'll be there for him.

Really, just be there in every capacity that you are able to be and let him know that.


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#208102 - 02/29/08 04:34 PM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: ConcernedBro]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Hey guy I am so impressed that you came here to help your brother. That is so wonderful. You are a really great guy to have as a brother.
To your question the first and formost thing is to believe him. Nothing hurts more after something like this than to not be believed. Obviously you do cause your here but keep in mind others may not and be there for him if that should happen.

Second it is not unusual for a victim to assume blame for the abuse. Reassure him that you do not blame him and he is not to blame himself either.

Third. Listen to him if he wants to talk. Don't pressure him if he doesn't. Just be there for him. He will probably be confused, ashamed, feeling dirty and less than in some form or another.

Keep the pity level to a minimum and just love him like you always did. No more no less. He will already feel like a freak, and different but you need to reasure him he is just the same kid brother as he always was to you. Try not to make him feel different as he related to you.

Love, acceptance and support as he goes through this from you will mean more than you can possibly know.

Thanks again for caring and being there for him.



Edited by Freedom49 (02/29/08 04:36 PM)

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#208108 - 02/29/08 06:05 PM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: Freedom49]
KENKEN Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/25/07
Posts: 762
Loc: NOTHERN COLORADO
You are an awesome brother to be so concerned about your younger brother. I echo the suggetions mentioned above. I might just add that telling your brother what he tells you will be held in confidence, just between him and you.

I can only tell you from my experience that developing trust is so very important. He needs to know he can trust you. He needs to know he can lean on you for support. He needs to know how much you love him.

I wish your brother and your family well.

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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#208119 - 02/29/08 07:22 PM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: KENKEN]
sabata Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1948
boy this is so different than what i am use to--------------------concerding my brother was the one who was abusing me--------------------------------your brother is so luckey to have you------------------------------------maybe let him know about this site------------------helping him know he isnt alone-------------------steve


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#208143 - 02/29/08 09:03 PM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: sabata]
KeithR Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/06
Posts: 363
Loc: Georgia
I wish you had been my brother.

Make sure he knows you love him. Make sure he knows if there's anything he ever needs to talk to you about you're there to listen.

Remember, this isn't what he is. It's something that happened to him. What he is, is your brother.

Keith


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#208158 - 02/29/08 11:19 PM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: KeithR]
ConcernedBro Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 2
I just wanted to thank everyone for responding to my questions and for their kind words and I'll work on incorporating all the advice that's been offered.

But I have another question (and I hope I don't offend anyone because of its sensitive nature) and that is "How do victims try to deal with this?"

Since I'm going to help him through this, I'd like to get an idea of what would run through his head.





Edited by ConcernedBro (02/29/08 11:19 PM)

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#208159 - 02/29/08 11:32 PM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: KeithR]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

It's so great you want to help and support your little brother. That's going to be very important to him to see he has you on his side. Here are some thoughts you might find useful:

DO SAY: "I believe you". Abusers keep boys shut up by telling them that if they ever say anything no one will believe them. Telling your brother you believe him invites him to break the silence and talk to you.

DO SAY: "It wasn't your fault". Again, abusers often tell boys that they were in on it, that they liked it (because their bodies responded), and so on. And so often a boy will think it's all his fault anyway. He needs to know this is absolutely untrue. It is never the boy's fault. The blame always belongs 100% to the abuser.

DO SAY: "It's okay to cry." What has happened to your brother is a terrible thing, and as he faces it he may well become overwhelmed by his emotions and feelings and need to cry. Let him know that it's a male macho bullshit myth that "real guys don't cry".

DO SAY: "You're not alone and you can talk to me." One of the most crushing burdens of abuse is that feeling of being utterly alone. Many boys have no idea that others have been abused too. They think it's only them, which in turn reinforces their feelings of shame and guilt. Your brother needs to know that one out of every six boys in the USA is abused before he reaches his 18th birthday. He is not alone.

There are also some things you should watch out for:

DON'T SAY: "Why didn't you say no/make him stop/tell/run?" Even if you ask these questions only out of curiosity and interest, they will sound to your brother like he is being blamed. More than 90% of the time a boy is abused by someone he knows and trusts, and when it happens the first time he often freezes and cannot respond - everything is happening too quickly. Thereafter shame and guilt take over and keep him silent. Quite often the boy feels worthless and thinks he deserves the abuse. All of this is of course false.

DON'T SAY: "Don't worry. You will get over it." That shows the boy that you have no idea how catastrophically he has been harmed. He won't just "get over it"; in most cases he will need professional help. Saying "get over it" will sound to him like his feelings and pain don't count.

DON'T SAY: "I feel so sorry for you." Your brother will need your care, affection, attention and love, but if he feels he is being pitied he may resent your best efforts to support him.

You might also want to let your brother know about this site. We have a great bunch of teen guys here and they have their own forum where they can talk to each other. The site is carefully moderated and our priority is safety for everyone who comes here.

If you have further questions please feel free to post them, or PM me or one of the other moderators.

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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#208162 - 02/29/08 11:45 PM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: roadrunner]
KeithR Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/06
Posts: 363
Loc: Georgia
Dear Bro,

I think Larry has excellent advice. I would also like to suggest that you may want to read on the subject. There is a book for young Adults called How Long Does It Hurt. It is supposed to be for young surivors and their friends and family.

I know that reading a similar book was helpful to me. Also when I began recovery, and even now, coming to this site and connecting with other survivors who's been there is invaluable.

I hope this helps.

Keith


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#208192 - 03/01/08 08:28 AM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: KeithR]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
I agree with everything said above; it's great advice. Thank you for supporting your brother and being concerned enough to learn about what he's going through. I'm sure you already know that the SOB who hurt your brother has caused your whole family to be in a state, not only wanting to help your brother, but wanting justice or even revenge. This site can help you and your family learn how to deal with your own issues too.

ROCK ON.......Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#208205 - 03/01/08 10:21 AM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: Trish4850]
sabata Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1948


Edited by sabata (03/01/08 10:22 AM)

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#208207 - 03/01/08 10:26 AM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: sabata]
sabata Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1948
http://www.gregoryreid.com/id51.htm Orphans in the storm-----------------------------click on the chapters--------------good read



Edited by sabata (03/01/08 10:29 AM)

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#208266 - 03/01/08 03:42 PM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: sabata]
LJA Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 35
Concerned Bro,

I have a couple of comments for you to add to all the wonderful feedback you have received. But first, I've got to restate that you are awesome to have such a proactive attitude towards supporting your brother. This stuff is so horrible that it takes courage to deal with it head on, for ALL of us.

I have been married to a CSA survivor for 20 years. My experience is with a man, therefore. I have no experience with helping a child through this. I have two teenage boys though, and they are definitely still children.

I would REALLY appreciate survivor input on my suggestions to make sure they are OK. My H has OKed them, but I know everyone's experience is different so just to be sure...

First, reading about the subject of CSA would be a helpful step, IMO. You certainly don't have to become an expert, or learn everything there is to know, but if you have enjoyed a childhood free from abuse (as I had) getting an intro into that world might be helpful. It's a cold, dark world.
Unfortunately, truth and logic often have almost no bearing on how my H thinks and feels about his abuse... and thus himself. So my use of truth and logic has negligable impact on him. We are speaking different languages.


If your brother does ever choose to share with you, it would probably be good for him if your reaction isn't shock and horror. educating yourself a bit might help with that.

Also, I think me educating myself made it a lot easier for my H to share with me. (not that the goal is for your brother to share, but the goal is that if sharing is what he wants, its available for him). When I found out that my H had been abused, I OFTEN made it clear to him that it didn't affect how I felt about him, and it was true. But the tape inside his head was playing "yeah, but you're only saying that because you dont know what I've been through, if you knew, you would feel differently".
He knew I didn't have a clue about his experience so he discounted my proclamations of love and acceptance. Once I started educating myself, that was harder for him to do. You can read everything in the world and never know what it is like to be him, true. But you can read enough to be able to say, "yeah, I know people have been forced to do X, and I KNOW it's not their fault. I know people have gone through Y and I KNOW they are still wonderful and beautiful and lovable.
Because I also know it wasn't their fault. I know you can do Z and its not your fault."

I am not saying I think you should tell him everything you are reading, but maybe him knowing THAT you are reading is a start. And then as you demonstrate understanding during conversations, he'll slowly know you really are there for him, rather than you just saying you are. this could be an extremely lengthy process (years?) and will be on his schedule. All you can do is prepare yourself not to fumble if he tosses you the ball.


Second, I think you should make sure you have support for you. This has changed your life too and you need to make sure you have help if you need it. This might just mean one or two visits to the college councellor, but if you need it, do it. It wont help your brother if part of his support system falls apart.

Third, and this is the idea that I'd REALLY like survivors to comment on because I am unsure about it. But, since you are away at college, what about writing him a letter? I know you probably talk to him on the phone and e/mail, but in a letter you could put some of the things he needs to hear (that others have posted) and he can take it out and read it whenever he needs to. For my H, reading that type of information is a lot safer and has more impact than hearing it. In letter form, it can be received as more of a gift.

Good luck awesomebro,
LJA




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#208271 - 03/01/08 03:54 PM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: LJA]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Quote:
Third, and this is the idea that I'd REALLY like survivors to comment on because I am unsure about it. But, since you are away at college, what about writing him a letter? I know you probably talk to him on the phone and e/mail, but in a letter you could put some of the things he needs to hear (that others have posted) and he can take it out and read it whenever he needs to. For my H, reading that type of information is a lot safer and has more impact than hearing it. In letter form, it can be received as more of a gift.


This is a great idea. One of my great fears as a boy was that my father didn't love me and would throw me out if he found out I was being abused, and that lingering fear was with me for many years. It made all the difference to me to look at old letters I had received from him, especially the one he wrote to me when I finally struggled through and graduated from college. He said he was proud of me and that my graduation meant the world to him. Talk about a gift!

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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#208280 - 03/01/08 04:33 PM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: LJA]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Hey guy,
I think LJA has given some great advice from a friend and family persepctive. I really like the idea of the letter thing as he can take it out and read it from time to time and can take time to digest your meaning and suggestions and love. Again you are awesome as a brother and I am so envious ot your love and support for him. He may never know how lucky he is to have you.


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#208356 - 03/02/08 12:35 AM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: Freedom49]
BMF Offline


Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 60
Loc: Toronto
Hi ConcernedBro,

I'm fortunate enough to have LJA as my wife, and I also agree with her suggestions, and those of the resident experts on this site. One of the things I wanted to do is emphasize the importance of brothers:

a) Our two oldest children are boys, aged 17 and 14. They are as close as two brothers can be. If one of them was hurting, the very presence of the other would be a strong healing force. I don't know how close you are to your brother, but the fact that you have posted on this site speaks volumes. Don't discount the value of just being there for him.

b) When I disclosed my CSA to my older brother, he said "have a nice life". While this might seem shocking, it now makes sense in the context of him also being abused by our father - he didn't want to deal with it. My point is this; 15 years after being estranged from my entire family of origin, my relationship with my brother is the only one that I mourn. It's not that we were particularly close. I just think that there must be something very primal/instinctive about the need for brotherhood that transcends all bullshit.

BMF

_________________________
If a man's character is to be abused, say what you will, there's nobody like a relation to do the business.
- William Makepeace Thackery

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#208359 - 03/02/08 12:37 AM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: BMF]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Well said BMF.


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