Thank you, Pero and Lee. Your responses made this risk feel worth it. I'm thinking about sharing this with my sisters, who are older and don't really know what things were like after they left home. They both agree that my mother is nuts, but have no idea about my CSA or how my mother's emotional and verbal abuse conditioned me to feel worthless.
Pero, my brother is . . . doing ok. He is autistic & OCD, but he has a support system. Because I was raised to believe it was my primary job to be his caretaker (despite being only two years older), we have a real hard time communicating now. He has no interest in hearing about any of my hardships (great or small), which is heartbreaking to me since I spent so much of my youth helping him through his issues at the expense of my own emotional well-being. I know a lot of his lack of empathy has to do with his disorders and that I shouldn't take it personally, but it does make him really hard to be around. Since he does have other people to help him now, I decided a while back that my days of taking care of him were over and it was time to use that energy on myself now.
Like a spent gladiator
crawling in the colosseum dust
who can count on his remaining limbs
all the people he can trust.
Like the one who stands behind him
cheering him on
Estatic when he stands defiant,
wild with abandon when he's gone
just stay alive.
do whatever you need to.
you are worth it.