My older brother has revealed that he was abused by a neighbor and his son. He says our parents chose not to acknowledge it to "save face" in the community.
I am so confused now. Does this mean everything I have believed about my childhood is a lie? This didn't happen to me, I didn't know it was happening to him. I cannot fathom that our Dad knew and chose to ignore it. That simply isn't who our Dad was. He would NEVER have allowed anyone to hurt his children. EVER. But what if? WHAT IF? If this is true...that our parents would prefer to sacrifice their child to a monster than cause scandal in the community....then I really don't know who they are. Or were. And I don't know who I am.
The neighbor AND his son are dead and have been for some time. Our Dad died in 1993. So I have no one to turn to for explanation or answer. My brother has nothing to gain by making false accusations. So how can this be true and yet so wildly different from everything I have ever known about our life as children? I played at the neighbors house too. And I swear that no one ever touched me. I've never once felt as though I had repressed memories of such abuse. I really have great memories of growing up in our little neighborhood and I'm thankful for that. Our parents didn't drink too much or hit each other, they came to our softball games and took us on fun family vacations. My Dad took me to see the Harlem Globetrotters every year, just the 2 of us, because it made me laugh out loud. He built soap box cars with my brother. How can this be the same man who turned the other way when the neighbor abused his only son? It can't be. It just doesn't compute for me.
And yet............my denial of the this possibility must mean I don't believe my brother. Right? I would never betray him. I love and support him. I want to help him heal so he can enjoy the rest of his life free of this burden.
But how can HIS Dad be the same as MY Dad? How can my memories of a happy and safe childhood be so wrong?
Who am I now?