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#431318 - 04/15/13 01:49 PM My brother has brought back memories
DavoSwim Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 336
Loc: Iowa, USA
***Triggers***
Today is not a great day. Not only do I feel off, the fact that I feel off is upsetting to me. It has to do a lot with my older brother. He and I were close as kids, but in the past 30 years, we've had a strained relationship. A common thread in our relationship is competition. The problems stem from my being abused.

Here is some background information. In 1973, I was 11. There was a lot that happened in a three month period of time that had a dramatic impact on the rest of my life. First, that was the time when sex ed was being taught in school. Obviously, it was arousing to learn about it, and it piqued my interest in sex, and it helped define what I was already feeling. This was also the time period when I was first abused. Both my brother and I were altar boys. One of the priests we served for was an idol in my mind. He as also a grad student at the local university working on a doctorate in psychology. Both my brother and I were test subjects for his research. We had to go over to his apt for testing. ( I see now how that should have been a red flag. Why didn't we go to a research lab?) I was being groomed. He always talked about depantsing me, always wondering what I was packing. Yeah - an 11 year old prepubescent kid wasn't packing anything. Well, one day, he got me. Held me down, pulled my pants down and masturbated me. That was the last time I was over there. I wonder now why no one noticed the changes in me after that and asked why I was suddenly moody. After that a couple of other things happened. One of the kids in my class and I jo'ed together in the woods where we played. Then one time, my brother decided to show me what men and women did. I remember being on my bed, naked, legs spread, and he came over and we rubbed our penises together. He was on top, and I was on bottom. He said that in real life the man put it in the woman. We didn't do anything more, but that was enough. In about 2 short months, I went from an innocent kid to being hurt badly. My first sexual experiences were all with men. It left me confused and wondering.
Fast forward about 15 years. It came out that the priest had been arrested for abusing boys. He had moved to the East Coast and continued his ways. The news made the local paper, and even some kids in my home town came forward with their stories. My parents asked me if he had tried anything on me, and I lied because I wasn't strong enough to tell the truth. I have regretted being weak ever since. My brother had since become a priest as well. His first words after hearing that my perp had been arrested were that he needed to go visit him and support him. I was stunned. I knew the priest was guilty as sin. I couldn't believe my brother wanted to support him.
Skip ahead to now. I just recently decided to face my past. There were a couple of other incidences that I haven't described. There was some acting out on my part. It's only been a couple of months since I joined MS, began seeing a T, and have tried to deal with all this shit.
One thing I've wanted to do is talk to my brother. I want to ask him if he remembers messing around with me. Mostly, I want to know if he was abused and why he needed to support the priest. Until I know that, our relationship can never be whole.
Anyway, I saw my brother this weekend. I wanted to talk with him, but the opportunity never arose.
Today, I just feel off. All the memories of the abuse are back. I feel weak and stupid for not bringing it up with my brother. There is no additional understanding about what and why he did what he did. I want to repair our relationship and have a sense of brotherly love. I will probably never get him to admit he messed around with me, and I can accept it, but he needs to know how much harm the priest did. I'm upset with myself for not being stronger. I'm just confused when I start piecing together the events of my childhood. I thought I'd been making great progress through therapy, but that all seems to be for nothing. I feel like I'm back to the beginning of all this. I feel weak for this to affect me as much as it is. I just don't know what to do right now - how to process it and to make sense of it all.
Thank you for the opportunity to vent and express myself. Without MS, I don't know what I'd do .

DavO

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#431321 - 04/15/13 02:17 PM Re: My brother has brought back memories [Re: DavoSwim]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3621
Loc: South-East Europe
Hang on DavO,
it is very difficult situation when we are feling HUGE need to talk about something so sensitive and important as abuse is with people around us.
It is shameful, it is bad, it is something so negative that we shouldn't talk about it - those are ideas that we are fed in many different ways since our childhoods.
You are following your heart and there is need to share it, explore it and ask your brother.
Just being aware of that is evidence that you are in connection with self. Now it is needed some trust build and self support to follow it to the end, even to "the end of world". We are scared that we could lose and hurt others around us if we bring something so secretive and so "wrong" as abuse is. Well some of us were already left alone, lost and isolated in loneliness.
It could be helpful for you to talk with your T about it if you couldn't find strength to do it.
Please don't be hard on yourself and don't push yourself over it. I'm sure right moment is around corner.

Pero
_________________________
My story

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#431360 - 04/15/13 08:08 PM Re: My brother has brought back memories [Re: DavoSwim]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1144
Loc: The ATL
Originally Posted By: DavoSwim
I thought I'd been making great progress through therapy, but that all seems to be for nothing. I feel like I'm back to the beginning of all this.


Hiya Dave. Sorry to hear about the recent setback. Although, I suspect it's probably not as big a setback as you're perceiving it to be. You're working through pain and trying to make sense of hurtful and traumatic memories. That takes a lot of time and there are going to be times when it feels like you're right back at the beginning when in fact you've taken several steps forward. I think that when you start on your path to sorting out a traumatic past, you bring your pain along with you on that journey. There are going to be times when, for whatever reason and from whatever triggers, that pain comes back and hurts just as badly if not worse than it did at the beginning of the journey. That doesn't mean that you haven't made any progress or that you are "back to the beginning". The fact that you are working with a T, posting here and sharing your story alone means you have made progress. What it sounds like you are describing to me is not so much a setback in your recovery but rather a challenge to it. Another obstacle along the road to be overcome. It may be hard and it may not happen all at once, but that doesn't mean this obstacle can't be overcome.

If you find that confronting your brother about his own abuse of you and his support of your abuser is to painful, frightening, awkward, uncomfortable, etc, to do in person, perhaps you could write him a letter or even an E-mail about it. That may or may not be the best way to go about it but if there just is no other way you can bring yourself to confront him, that method would probably be better than none at all. Maybe you should run that by your T and see what he/she thinks.

Hope you find yourself in better spirits soon. Take care. Peace,

Ken

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#431374 - 04/15/13 10:15 PM Re: My brother has brought back memories [Re: DavoSwim]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3509
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Dave -

just writing and posting this is significant - a sign of progress, evidence of growth:
Originally Posted By: DavoSwim
One thing I've wanted to do is talk to my brother. I want to ask him if he remembers messing around with me. Mostly, I want to know if he was abused and why he needed to support the priest. Until I know that, our relationship can never be whole.
Anyway, I saw my brother this weekend. I wanted to talk with him, but the opportunity never arose.
Today, I just feel off. All the memories of the abuse are back. I feel weak and stupid for not bringing it up with my brother. There is no additional understanding about what and why he did what he did. I want to repair our relationship and have a sense of brotherly love. I will probably never get him to admit he messed around with me, and I can accept it, but he needs to know how much harm the priest did....


"wanting" to talk about it with your brother is probly a new thing for you - right? so what if it didn't happen yet - it may not have been the right time. it is not a failure on your part. sometimes it is better not to force things to happen. it's not like the last chance. you'll get there. make the most of the time - you'll be better prepared when it happens. and maybe you won't achieve your best case scenario out of it. but - like the Rolling Stones sang - "you can't always get what you want - but if you try real hard - you'll get what you need." sounds like you need to talk - whether he is ready or willing or able to admit - or remember - or validate you. just doing that - whenever it happens - will be a victory for you - establishing the truth and bringing it out of the darkness of secrecy - regardless of his reaction.

Originally Posted By: DavoSwim
... I'm upset with myself for not being stronger. I'm just confused when I start piecing together the events of my childhood. I thought I'd been making great progress through therapy, but that all seems to be for nothing. I feel like I'm back to the beginning of all this. I feel weak for this to affect me as much as it is. I just don't know what to do right now - how to process it and to make sense of it all.


as was already said - you ARE making progress. you are not weak. you were a vulnerable helpless child - as i'm sure you have heard before - IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT! it is like an old injury that was never healed - even if it is years later - don't expect yourself to be over it already. how long have you been working at it? not really that long compared to how long it was festering. even if it seems like you had to go back to "Start" - now you know the way forward - you've already blazed that trail. it is always quicker and easier to retrace our steps ahead now that we've been there before. and what you are doing right now is exactly right - thinking, writing, dialoging about it - you are processing it, whether you realize it or not. it usually takes some time to work through it.

hang in there, man!
Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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