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#63673 - 11/30/02 07:37 AM Sister's story - trigger??
Lil Red Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/29/02
Posts: 14
Loc: Oregon
This is my first posting and I have really been struggling with it so if it is long and disjointed, bear with me.

My older brother and I were recently at a family reunion. He had had too much to drink and offered to give our sister (who BTW at 25, is 23 years younger than he Ė long story) a back rub. Although my sister seemed oblivious to it since he was standing behind her, it was obvious to a few others of us that he was getting a sexual thrill from this. OK, this is disturbing enough, but I looked at his face and I recognized the expression.

Flashback about 35 years. I donít want to go into too much detail. Suffice to say it was the kind of encounter that people who don't get it say, ĎThank God, nothing happened.Ē The short de>

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#63674 - 11/30/02 08:39 PM Re: Sister's story - trigger??
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Lil Red
You write all you want, don't worry about that.

Who knows what has really gone on in the past except those directly involved ?
The signs you describe would alert so many of us I'm sure, never apologise for your genuine concern.

But what the hell you do is hard to say, most of us disclose when we're ready and no sooner. It took me 31 years to tell my wife of 25 years.
We carry our secret remarkably securely.

I can only suggest you make yourself available for him to disclose to, if indeed he needs to.

Sometimes casually talk about articles in the newspaper or on tv that you've seen about male abuse, dont overdo it, but let him know that you're aware it happens. Maybe he'll start thinking about it ? maybe he'll come to you ?

I don't know anything else to suggest, confrontation rarely works from what I know.I know I would have gone straight into defence and denied it.

Ask anyone here what the fatal words are, they'll tell you something like "this is our secret, and it will always be our secret"
And for reasons of shame, guilt and the prospect of humiliation we are prepared to lie and cheat to keep that secret.

We're the only people who can break that it seems.

Lloydy

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#63675 - 12/01/02 01:12 AM Re: Sister's story - trigger??
Lil Red Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/29/02
Posts: 14
Loc: Oregon
Thanks, Lloydy.
I was feeling pretty vulnerable after putting that message out there; it is good to have someone write back and be nice. \:\) And thank you for the advice. I will be moving much closer to my brother soon for a new job and intend to spend more time in his and his familyís life. Maybe then I will have a better chance to be more available and open to him.

I donít need my brother to tell all, though, unless, as you say, there is more to tell, and he needs to tell it, and Iím someone he wants to tell it to. Knowing my brother, myself, my family, I donít think it is completely out of the question that the one incident I described was enough to mess with his head forever. Does that seem ridiculous?

I wish I could tell him that I donít blame him, that we were just kids, but since there is not much I can do or say that can help him forgive himself for getting aroused by seeing his little sister naked, I donít want to drag him someplace that he really canít go, either. Christ, this stuff is difficult.

Quote:
Ask anyone here what the fatal words are, they'll tell you something like "this is our secret, and it will always be our secret"
And for reasons of shame, guilt and the prospect of humiliation we are prepared to lie and cheat to keep that secret.
Sounds familiar to me. I hung out here anonymously for a while to see if it was a good place to be. And although there are many issues specific to male survivors, there is a great deal here that I understand first hand, damn it. And, BTW, this is an amazing place to be.

Strangely, it seems my brother and I have colluded to keep something secret from each other that we both already know. Crazy, confusing stuff.

Quote:
You write all you want, don't worry about that.
Oh, dearÖ \:\)
E


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#63676 - 12/01/02 10:48 AM Re: Sister's story - trigger??
New to this Offline
Member

Registered: 09/16/02
Posts: 138
Loc: Mississippi
Hey E,

This hit home for me.
Quote:
... the one incident I described was enough to mess with his head forever. Does that seem ridiculous?
Not at all. Many of us were messed up after the first incident of abuse. There was only one time for me, and that was enough to screw me over for 28 years.

I do think you should talk to your brother, at least for your own sake. The nature of keeping secrets is self preservation. This will not come out unless one of you breaks the silence. You will not know if your brother needs/can/wants to deal with this unless you try.

Devon

_________________________
"Knowledge itself is power" Francis Bacon

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#63677 - 12/01/02 10:53 AM Re: Sister's story - trigger??
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Lil Red:

All I can do is ditto what Lloydy says, and welcome you to this forum. This is a great support place to be in. Seems like you're doing what you can. Take care of yourself.

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#63678 - 12/02/02 04:50 PM Re: Sister's story - trigger??
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Indeed - I found myself asking those same questions several months ago - and the answer I got was yes even just ONE incidence of abuse can be enough to mess with someone's head for years.

My BF had no more than TWO (one he is sure of one he is not sure of as he was drunk at the time) incidences of fondling by his SA perp (a teacher) and it threw him into 17 years of dissasociation, denial, alcoholism, hallucinogen abuse, toxic/abusive relationships and social isolation. It sometimes blows my mind how powerfully damaging abuse has been.

- Soc


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#63679 - 12/02/02 05:34 PM Re: Sister's story - trigger??
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Soc
It 'blew' our minds.....

Lloydy

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#63680 - 12/03/02 01:16 AM Re: Sister's story - trigger??
Lil Red Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/29/02
Posts: 14
Loc: Oregon
Thanks everyone for your input. I donít know what I am going to do yet, but just getting it said out loud (or typed out loud, I guess) now I feel I can now apply my rational self to thinking about it. Or maybe I am just over-thinking it which is in character, at least. \:D Hereís what I am working on:

What are my motives and what do I expect the outcome to be and what are the risks?

What if he says it never happened? This one I can deal with.

What if he says nothing or walks out? OK.

What if he says ĎYou idiot, youíve remembered it all wrong. Hereís what really happened: {insert nightmare scenario of choice}Ē? This would be very risky for me, but it doesn't seem too likely to happen.

What if he gets angry or cries or gets violent? Am I really prepared for all/any of the above?

What if we wind up having the following conversation:
You remember that time in X place when Cuz had me strip for you guys?
Yeah, it wasnít any big deal, was it?
No, not to me.
Nope, me neither.
Cool.
Cool.
Although this seems like bailing out, this actually wouldn't be such a bad thing. At least he would know that I do remember and he can do with that knowledge whatever he wants.

What if he says, ďI do remember, but it is our secret.Ē This one's tricky. I have no intention of outing my brother to anyone, but I was there, too. We are in a way each other's witness. This one incident can remain secret forever as far as I'm concerned, but I own the rest of what happened to me and that could still be pretty threatening to him since some of it involved the same cousin.

Will he feel like I am just kicking him when heís down? Probably, and I'm not sure there is anything I could do that could change that perception on his part. And this is the last thing I want to do.

I donít really know my answers to most of these questions. Reckon Iíve got some work to doÖ

E


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#63681 - 12/04/02 04:05 AM Re: Sister's story - trigger??
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
Lil red,
This is a tough situation and I can relate to your brother. My big sister had acted out her sexual fantasies on me when I was about 5. That was almost 20 years ago for me and my life now has somewhat been derailed by those early instances. I always knew there was something wrong with me but I could never understand what it was. I always remember what my sister did to me but I didn't know what to make of it. But if my sister would have approached me a year or two ago concerning these issues I would have a response similar to this:
Quote:
You remember that time in X place when Cuz had me strip for you guys?
Yeah, it wasn't any big deal, was it?
No, not to me.
Nope, me neither.
Cool.
Cool.
I was not ready to deal with it. Actually I couldn't deal with it. It wasn't until I sort of hit a rock bottom that I let myself deal with my own issues. I don't know what I'm trying to tell you, though. If he's not ready to change his life that little key that you want to present to him may fall on deaf ears. Take care and good luck.
mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

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#63682 - 12/05/02 12:32 AM Re: Sister's story - trigger??
Lil Red Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/29/02
Posts: 14
Loc: Oregon
Hi everyone,

I am little embarrassed at the ďDear DiaryĒ use to which I put the board, but I have to tell you it has been incredibly helpful. I was really bowled over emotionally after having seen my brother. The way he was acting just screamed out at me how much pain he is in. Did I mention that he is a great guy? Intelligent, funny, hard-working, interesting? Iíve known him all my life, and (what can I say?) I love him like a brother.

I have spent some time thinking about where my response to all that emotion was coming from and part of it was guilt from never considering for so many years that he may have had his own personal hell. Just didnít seem possible that the big brother, the tough guy, could be hurt, although the evidence was overwhelming. What a dope I was.

And part of it is my increasing unwillingness to just go along to get along, keeping secrets, not facing up to what is wrong in my own life and getting on with fixing it. Devon, I appreciate your POV; it was my first instinct, too. Secrets are self-perpetuating and destructive. On the other hand, actions have consequences. On the cost/benefit sheet, revealing that I actually do remember what happened 35+ years ago just doesnít make the cut right now. If he gives me another opportunity like he did years ago to talk about it, I will. But I have to let him own his own secrets, if that makes any sense.

I am still uneasy with the gut feelings I have that he may have done something really reprehensible. Would I forgive him? Probably, but then what? Can I rescue him? Nope. Filing under cross that bridge when we come to it, if we ever do.

What I intend to do is let him know what a terrific guy I think he is, invite his family to the BBQs and fishing trips, be supportive of his recovery efforts, and just, in general, be available. Which is the long way of saying, if Iíd just listened to Lloydy in the first place, I could have saved us all a few online minutes. \:\)

E


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