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#448987 - 10/02/13 12:07 PM trying to no longer be the one to blame
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 319
Loc: NY
Today I am sending a letter to both of my parents.

In it I am asking for them to understand something that has been happening for forty years.

Ten years ago, my brother told me he was molested by a stranger. He said he told my parents too. Several years later, I asked them if he did and they said no.

In therapy, I have begun to realize that at a young age I somehow became the object of my brother's pain. I remember him becoming more aggressive and trying to humiliate me at a certain point and can't help but wonder if this happened at the time of the abuse.

My brother has forbidden me to talk about what he shared with me. By not letting me speak and by lying to me about telling my parents, it seems that he has prolonged the pattern of making me the object of his pain. If I tell my parents about it, I could potentially be asking for more of it. I become the one who talks about terrible things, the one who makes people feel bad, the outsider who ruins the family. He might feel forced to deny that he told me and then I once again become the one who shames instead of the one who has been entrusted with an unbearable burden.

So, it's a risk. One that feels worth taking. My body sweats at the thought, but it seems like the right thing to do.

Any perspective on keeping secrets versus letting them out would be much appreciated.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#449019 - 10/02/13 08:34 PM Re: trying to no longer be the one to blame [Re: focusedbody]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 678
Loc: NJ
I will comment based on my own experience only, not things that people have told me - but what I felt and what I did.

I decided to NOT carry anyone's secrets anymore. I also decided not to allow for anyone to yield power from knowing my secrets.

I wrote a letter to all of my mother's siblings (6 of them) and all of my cousins (25 including spouses) and I told them exactly this. I, like you, was physically ill leading up to sending the letter.

What happened is something I am extremely grateful for.
1. I AM FREE
2. THE CREAM ROSE TO THE TOP - aka, I found out who cared and who I could trust.
3. I TRANSFERRED BACK THE RESPONSIBLITY TO THOSE WHO SHOULD HAVE CARRIED IT ALL ALONG

So, I am biased. Keeping secrets eats your soul.

On another note, you are very wise in identifying the relationship pattern between you and your sibling. Impressive.

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#449025 - 10/02/13 10:36 PM Re: trying to no longer be the one to blame [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 319
Loc: NY
Thanks very much, Esposa.

The letter's in the mail, but not without a vein on my neck deciding to grow a few sizes. Not sure who may feel the same way down the line, but in any case I'm preparing to speak up for myself.

Sometimes taking the high road feels a little too high, like I can't find the ground, but when I survive the initial shock of the kind of freedom you are talking about, a lot seems better.

Yes, it's good to have the future of this not be my sole responsibility. Of course in my heart I'm hoping for the best, but will deal with whatever happens.

And will keep you posted.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#449050 - 10/03/13 09:08 AM Re: trying to no longer be the one to blame [Re: focusedbody]
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 329
My H's relationships with his siblings are certainly casualties of his abuse being a secret. When it came out really only one of the four of them was able to talk to him about it at any length but that talk was very healing. H loves his siblings but (like Esposa says) the soul eating secret did a lot of damage.

H's parents never REALLY talked to him, at length, about it for 4 years. They got there though.

Shock and denial do weird things to people. I think it took his parents that long to face what was right in front of them all those 30ish years.

Hang tight. It may get to be a bumpy ride but many good things happen.

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#449071 - 10/03/13 04:54 PM Re: trying to no longer be the one to blame [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 319
Loc: NY
Thanks, sugarbaby.

I think of myself as pretty used to going slow on these things. Consciously or unconsciously I guess I've always known that tempers can flare and powerful emotions can be triggered that haven't been felt for a long time. I suppose bumps are natural, given that no one has let these things breathe since we were children. If there's something slower than slow, I'll be looking for it.

On the plus side, I'm finding some strength in being released from a strange experience distorting myself by being the holder of all this. It's a little unbelievable when I realize how long it has been.

I really appreciate the support of family members of CSA victims. It helps me feel the beginning of a true connection to life outside the pain.

Hope to be here again as things progress,

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#449229 - 10/05/13 12:01 AM . [Re: focusedbody]
JoeSmith Offline


Registered: 05/03/13
Posts: 129
.

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#449253 - 10/05/13 06:49 AM Re: trying to no longer be the one to blame [Re: focusedbody]
On The Fringe Offline


Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
This is a volatile topic.

I feel for you in your situation. I can only share what I did. I'm not even going to claim it was right. It worked somewhat. So here goes the truth, kinda ugly at times.

After abusive crap from multiple areas of family violence and neighbor boy CSA and ensuing childhood hyper sexuality, I joined the military.

I volunteered for the amphibious warfare group. Did it. Learned some good things and had some self confidence. It was good for me. I do not feel I need to be physically abused again. I think people can actually sense I am not one to mess with. But that aside....

I went home a few times and one particular drunken escapade, it got to me and the old man toe to toe. I told him if he took that swing it would be the last time ever. I think even drunk he knew. I was completely ready to kick his ass. He did nothing. I was honestly disappointed. I was disgusted, like seeing him for the piece of shit bully he was. I left. The relationship changed permanently.

No therapeutic talks or therapy involved. I was going to kick his ass and he knew it. Balance of power changed. Bullies like to pick on kids. What happened to us as kids was done by bullies and predators at heart.

I had my anger phase. Seeing those people that victimized me as a kid back down now is good for me. In a way it validates that it was not my fault. They were just assholes exploiting children. I can honestly say I would have zero reservation is seriously beating down anyone that attempted to harm my grand children.

I realize we all cope in different ways. Not meaning to stir the pot. Just keeping it honest even if to politically correct.
_________________________
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

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#449374 - 10/06/13 11:00 PM Re: trying to no longer be the one to blame [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 319
Loc: NY
Greg:

Always good to hear from you.

The actual conversation with my parents has already taken place. What's left is their taking more responsibility as parents.

Sometimes I sympathize with them on this. When we were growing up it was the sexual revolution all around us. My parents were rebelling in their own way. Taking responsibility kind of goes against the grain because they were always trying to question authority. Sex was understood as something everyone enjoyed and experimented with, so the idea of abuse has always been a little far from their minds.

For years I went along with this kind of anything goes attitude. Then the pain started to register. It was a pain of something being lost. Slowly I've begun to understand that part of me had been running from the fear of this unbridled perspective. I had carved out a route for myself that ended in my teens. After that I was living by the whims of others, not listening to my real instincts.

I have lost my patience for secrets. They keep me alone and lonely. This will have to be something that other people will have to get used to. Life is just too short to live wandering around protecting others from their pain.

On the Fringe:

Volatility is what I have had to endure for most of my life. Yes my brother has bullied me. But he is also a good brother who has a desire to grow.
I'm hoping that by no longer allowing him to view his pain in the mirror of me, he will begin to hear that he has only his own path to take, for his own choosing. I only hope that I can be completely present so that he can have a chance to be brave and strong enough to not back down from his own demons.

The truth can feel ugly, as you say. But at least its the truth and that's something that has helped me move on when I needed to.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#453242 - 11/11/13 02:13 PM Re: trying to no longer be the one to blame [Re: focusedbody]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 319
Loc: NY
Although there is still some denial operating, progress has been made. I think my brother is getting more of the support he needs from people other than me.

Now I find myself writing another letter to Dad and trying to trying to give him a fuller picture of everything that happened in the family. The first letter outlined my brotherís pain due to CSA and how it was repressed in the family, including how it was deflected onto me. He wrote back to say that it was sad and disturbing and that he needed time to think about it. The problem is that I donít know if he has any real resources to do this. In the meantime, he disappears once again from my life, decreasing contact in the present with no plans to do so in the future. The ball returns to my court. His disavowed feelings are his norm.

Broaching painful subjects, hampered and distorted by shame, is just about the last thing anyone wants to do. It makes a sunny day ugly. It turns you inside out and leaves you depleted. But for those of us who can gather the courage, the best part of facing these things is that another day arrives with a little less horror, a little less numbing distance from the world.

In this forum, there are mostly partners and survivors. Itís kind of understood that there wonít be a lot of Dads logging in to speak of their childrenís pain. Having decided to be a father, I wonder if I have brought more pain into the world, multiplied it through my children. It is only when I take a little stock of my own progress and appreciate some healing around me, that I cut myself a little slack.

I may in fact send the second letter to Dad. I hope to make it something heíll understand and not shrink further from. With decades of slow efforts aimed at drawing closer to the past along with him, I feel there is something there. Sometimes I lose hope because having been lost for so many years, itís hard to speak with any confidence that Iíll be taken seriously. Or it may be that Iím just not used to people actually doing that.

Before putting it in the mail, it would be great to hear from anyone with experience helping family members deal with their own feelings as the painful past becomes clearer.
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#453247 - 11/11/13 03:35 PM Re: trying to no longer be the one to blame [Re: focusedbody]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 588
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi focusedbody,

First, about you. I hope that all the support you are thinking of giving your parents and your brother you are able to give to YOURSELF. All these conversations you are wanting to have are conversations yourself requires from YOURSELF. At the end of the day, you are the only one who can validate YOU. Contingency recognition and contingency validation do not ever work, in my opinion. The little kid in you may believe he will suffer a psychic death if your family members are not there for you, but that is not true. The only psychic death will come from YOU not being there for you. I hope you are able to be fully present for yourself. You deserve your love. You also deserve to be loved. I am sending tons of love over the air waves to you. It comes with no strings. I do not need for you to do anything or be in any way for me.

Second, about ME. I began to remember sexual abuse from my father at age 53. My life had been so crazy up to that point, and for the first time the puzzle pieces began to fall into place. My entire family system is very disturbed. I wrote a letter to my parents, telling them I remembered the abuse, that I had felt like a bad person all my life, that I finally remembered that some bad things had been done to me, and that I did not want them to visit me or to call me. I said any communications could only be in writing. Their letter writings were very defensive and basically said "It didn't happen." I wrote a second letter which I held for six weeks before mailing. I wanted to be sure of my decision before mailing it. This letter said that I intended to never see or talk to them again in this lifetime. I did mail that letter 11 1/2 years ago. For me, outing the secret and severing all contact with my family of origin was the beginning of my healing process. I am pretty sick, but I AM HEALING. I am committed to this process. And, I have been able to remain committed to this process because I was able to take myself very seriously. I am happy that you are no longer carrying the weight of the family secret. It does not belong to you. In my opinion.

Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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