I had planned on picking up where I left off yesterday, but I need to change course temporarily because of something that happened last night. First – a little background (I will go into this in more detail in posts to come). TRIGGER WARNING – I was sexually molested when I was a child by both my father and my brother, although neither knew of the other. My brother was 12 years older than me and the first to get to me. I’m not sure when it started but my first memory of it was around 5 or 6 and it occurred on and off till I was about 8. My father started when I was 10, but I told on him quickly. I don’t know why, but I didn’t tell on my brother at the same time – I would end up waiting until I was 17 years old to do that. The truth is, my brother had stopped when he married and moved away, so it was over. But with my father, I was a little older and had already been hurt – I think that’s why I told. He didn’t go to jail, my mom stayed with him, the abuse stopped, and we continued living together as a family. Yes – you read that right – but that’s a story for another post.
When I told my mom about my brother, my family covered it up – it wasn’t reported that I remember. I certainly never talked to police like I had with my dad. My memories of that time are faint so I don’t remember why it wasn’t reported – maybe too much time had passed, maybe my parents valued him more than me, maybe because he was heavily involved with church and was a “changed” man. I just remember he never had to pay for what he did to me.
What did he get instead: my brother went on to become happy and successful in life. He’s a teacher now and just won Teacher of the Year in his state region. Yes – he’s a friggen TEACHER! Middle school. More on how I feel about THAT later though. But let’s just say that my life has not been so charmed, a large part of which stems from being abused as a child. I know I am telling my story out of order, and I am sorry for that. Sometimes I just have to address things as they happen – like last night.
Facebook (FB) – so fun yet so terrible at the same time. Facebook is a great tool to keep in touch with friends and family, but it is also a tool with which to hurt people. Sometimes it’s intentional, while other times people can just be plain idiots by not realizing how what they post affects others. Case in point: A couple days ago, I noticed my brother tagged in a post on FB. (Yes, we are friends on FB but that, again, is another long story. The way my family handled the incest and forced me to stay with my abusers really messed me up). I went to the post he was tagged in and it was a picture of numerous encouragement cards and letters that this lady received when she was a teen from people at her church. I noticed one of the letters was from me. Honestly, I don’t remember writing that letter and I don’t even remember her. I have a decade and a half of many lost memories from that period in my life.
For some reason, last night, I went back to the post to see if my brother commented; he had. As I read it – my jaw dropped, my heart sank and a deep rage began growing within me. I don’t want to copy and paste exactly what he wrote, but the summary was that he thanks his church friends and God for his salvation and growth during that time period, from 1976 to 1982. (I am guessing that’s when he got more involved in church). He wrote that those years changed who he was and who he became. The problem? Those were the years he was hurting me!! So my brother as an older teenager found god and salvation all while hurting his little sister! Even now I am burning with an anger I can’t even begin to describe. It’s as though I don’t even exist, like what he did to me is insignificant to him, like I don’t even matter. I have been doing well for so long, but this hit me like a ton of bricks. Today is a hard day as I try to process it…