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#452386 - 11/04/13 01:44 AM I feel like a fool. How do I help him?
carperson Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 15
Loc: Hawaii
This isn't about me. None of this is, but I can't help but feel so messed up by it. I never guessed or even had the slightest clue about what was happening. My younger brother was abused and it never even crossed my mind. I feel like I failed him. We did not live together after our parents separated, but I still saw him. When he started to act different I just thought it was because he was sad because of the separation, I was sad too. But he started acting up and getting distant. He did not want to be touched and he didn't want to wrestle anymore. He lost weight. I thought he was just being a baby about it all and he needed to grow up, I told him such.
He won't talk to me about anything and gets mad if I ask him or even seem to be about to bring it up. I want to help him but I don't know how. I have never felt so stupid in my life and I feel selfish for even wanting to talk about it. How do I help him?
_________________________
Here to help my brother and maybe my self.

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#452405 - 11/04/13 07:38 AM Re: I feel like a fool. How do I help him? [Re: carperson]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 685
Loc: NJ
Survivors are going to have good input for you on how to proceed - but I will tell you that you are already on the right track as a supporter. You believe him and you want to be there for him. Sometimes we have to be patient until they turn to us. Watch for survivor responses, they will be helpful.

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#452410 - 11/04/13 08:10 AM Re: I feel like a fool. How do I help him? [Re: carperson]
Obi Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1314
Loc: kansas
carperson,

you didn't fail him. you are also not stupid and selfish. i'm sure that many of the supporters can help you with your feelings and issues that come up from being a supporter.

as for your brother....

survivors will only talk when they feel that they can and feel safe to do so. they need to feel control over the situation because, to them, so much of their life feels out of control. so, it may be a long time before he feels ready to talk about it and if/when he does it may only be a little bit and not the whole thing. most survivors cannot be pushed into talking. if they even feel like they are being pushed, when they aren't ready to, they'll more than likely back off.

my suggestion is to give him the time that he needs. I know how that may sound incredibly hard to do because you see him in so much pain and you want to help, however, he'll need that time.

in the meantime, learn all that you can about csa. talk with other survivors/supporters here on ms. a lot of wisdom on this board. I also highly suggest picking up a copy of mike lew's book "victims no longer". it's a very good book with a lot of insight into survivors. plus, it could help your brother when he's ready to deal with his issues. however, be very careful when giving it to him to read. only when he's ready. plus, if/when you do make sure to let him know to take it slowly, because the book, while it can be extremely helpful, can also be very triggering...
_________________________
live another day. climb a little higher.

my story

my vlog

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#452430 - 11/04/13 10:55 AM Re: I feel like a fool. How do I help him? [Re: carperson]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 679
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Carperson,

As I imagine myself in your brother's shoes, it would feel good to me to know that you care and are supportive of me. I would also need to know that you are able to respect my limits and my boundaries, and not need to pressure me in any way.

You may not be able to look to your brother for the support you need with the feelings you are having. It sounds to me you are experiencing a lot yourself. So, take care to pay attention to what you need. The clearer and stronger and healthier you are, the more you will have available to love your brother and everyone else in your life. Think about what you need with this. I encourage you to open up to how vulnerable this may make you feel, and what you may need. This may or may not be something you share with your brother. All I can say is I hear loudly and clearly your concern for your brother. You need to pay attention to yourself also, so you have yourself to give to your brother. You and your brother are in my thoughts. 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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#452494 - 11/04/13 07:46 PM Re: I feel like a fool. How do I help him? [Re: carperson]
On The Fringe Offline


Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
Talking about it is humiliating. Being supporting and knowing n a general way means very much. I will tell my wife someday, probably soon.

I'm sure your love and support means a great deal to him.

At the right time.....
_________________________
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

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#452496 - 11/04/13 08:53 PM Re: I feel like a fool. How do I help him? [Re: don64]
carperson Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 15
Loc: Hawaii
Originally Posted By: don64
Hi Carperson,

As I imagine myself in your brother's shoes, it would feel good to me to know that you care and are supportive of me. I would also need to know that you are able to respect my limits and my boundaries, and not need to pressure me in any way.

You may not be able to look to your brother for the support you need with the feelings you are having. It sounds to me you are experiencing a lot yourself. So, take care to pay attention to what you need. The clearer and stronger and healthier you are, the more you will have available to love your brother and everyone else in your life. Think about what you need with this. I encourage you to open up to how vulnerable this may make you feel, and what you may need. This may or may not be something you share with your brother. All I can say is I hear loudly and clearly your concern for your brother. You need to pay attention to yourself also, so you have yourself to give to your brother. You and your brother are in my thoughts. Don


Thank you for your advice Don. I can't say how much sense it makes but it does. I'm not the best with words. I feel that I have broken my brothers limits before and he will not be likely to trust me anytime soon. Not long ago we got into a fight. I told him I could not help him if I didn't know what was troubling him. After reading I. This site I think he was triggered somehow. The fight ended up getting physical and in order to stop him from hurting myself or him self I pinned his arms behind his back. I now realize that that was most likely a bad choice of action. I was thinking of visiting a therapist but that feels selfish. My brother visits one and so far it seems that they speak about off handed subjects if what I hear as he's leaving are anything to go by. I don't know if it's helping him.
_________________________
Here to help my brother and maybe my self.

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#452535 - 11/05/13 08:04 AM Re: I feel like a fool. How do I help him? [Re: carperson]
SayItRight Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/06/13
Posts: 63
Carperson,

I hope you can continue to learn and adapt, as you seem to be doing, and not beat youself too much along the way.

From where I stand you are in every way a hero for your response to what happened to your brother, the fact you want to grow in understanding how to help only makes you all the more so. .

The fact that someone like you exists (someone who cares) changes the world for me in certain ways.For the better. I would imagine your brother will benefit in similar ways: so many times, what I want is for someone who "knows" to be around, just around, even if I'm not up for talking all that much, about all of this or about anything.

As for what it is you might be hearing at the end of your brother's therapy sessions, it could be anything. It could be a way of cutting down on tension (I get so tense, even when I'm not talking about it, that I get charlie horses and muscle cramps just from relaxing, or sleeping). Another thing that might be happening, because its something I do, is that while he's talking about whatever else with the therapist, he's observing the therapist, and building trust. Trust is not easy to give again after sexual abuse. So, what can seem to you like an unproductive use of the time may actually be an example of your brother building the therapy from the inside out. It can take a long time, but it may have to be done.

You might want to reconsider hearing anything your brother is saying in therapy. The more absolute freedom he has there to say whatever he needs to say, the better. If I thought someone else was listening to me in therapy, even someone I trust, I would have a hard time saying anything.

Unfortunately, not hearing whats going on, when you care so much, not getting him to talk so much, to you, even though you care so much, night and day, that approach can involve a lot of pain for you. Its hard to hold onto that much caring without feeling pain. I hope you figure out a way to take care of some of that pain, your own pain. You'll be in an even better condition to help him out, although, I tell you the truth, you seem to be starting off well. Maybe you can get some help with it here.

In fhe meantime, I just wanted to tell you that I really respect you and your desire to help your brother.
_________________________



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#452556 - 11/05/13 01:40 PM Re: I feel like a fool. How do I help him? [Re: carperson]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 685
Loc: NJ
When we love someone who was hurt, we also hurt. It's called empathy.

This board is great for supporters in that here we get people to turn to, to ask questions, to get our own support (because we need it too). Sometimes we want to turn to the person we love and sometimes they are not ready.

Apologizing to your brother for the altercation and then silently standing by him until he turns to you is an amazing gift you can give him - to know that he is loved regardless of what he suffered and regardless of how he feels about himself.

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#452676 - 11/06/13 01:32 PM Re: I feel like a fool. How do I help him? [Re: Esposa]
carperson Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 15
Loc: Hawaii
Thank you all so much. I'm learning a lot from this site. I still have some questions though. However I have ordered that book and will be giving it to my brother.
_________________________
Here to help my brother and maybe my self.

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#452865 - 11/08/13 09:07 AM Re: I feel like a fool. How do I help him? [Re: SayItRight]
christie1013 Offline


Registered: 11/06/13
Posts: 31
Sayitright: from your post:

(so many times, what I want is for someone who "knows" to be around, just around, even if I'm not up for talking all that much, about all of this or about anything.)

I don't know how to pull out part of your post into mine as i have seen others do in a block so i just pasted it. Anyway thank you for saying the above. so many times, including last night, I thought to myself how quiet and withdrawn my BF seems to be and i thought he didn't want to be around me. But then why i try to "gently" leave, he doesn't want me to and becomes insistent that I stay longer. This makes me feel much better that maybe he just feels better when I am around.

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#452998 - 11/08/13 11:48 PM Re: I feel like a fool. How do I help him? [Re: carperson]
SayItRight Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/06/13
Posts: 63
Christie and Carperson:

I don't want to take over Carperson's post, but did want to respond to what Christie wrote: glad to hear it.

For me personally, other people's just "being there" has oftentimes made as big a difference, and sometimes maybe even more, than a world of discussions might otherwise make. That might be hard to believe, but I'll try to explain part of it:

Someone's willingness to just be there, even when they might want me to talk or talk more, sends me a range of powerful messages: that I'm worth the time, that they really do care about me, that its ok to move through this at my own pace, that I'm more than just what happened to me, etc. Those types of messages work like an antidote to some of the poisons that usually run through my head.

Much respect to you both for your support of a CSA survivor.
_________________________



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