It’s amazing the ability some people have to pretend. It’s something we learn in childhood and as adults, we are all guilty of it at one time or another. Even I pretend – every time I smile or laugh in public, I am pretending that terrible, life-changing events never happened to me. When someone I’m not close to asks about my son and I reply as if I know – I am pretending. It is me putting on a brave face, surviving tragedy in the best way I can, taking steps to live the life I still have, but it is still pretending. I have earned that right, to pretend if I so choose. But I don’t believe my abusers should have that right.
My brother, one of two who sexually molested me for yours, is the Great Pretender. He has it down to a science. He has never spoken with me about the incest, never really apologized that I can recall. My father – we had conversations about what he did to me and he apologized many times over the years. To him, I gave my forgiveness. The truth is, what little my father did to me fails in comparison to what my brother did. For him, I have no forgiveness – we just get to “pretend”, whenever we are around each other, that it didn’t happen. This was and is the only acceptable behavior in our family.
My brother, 12 years older than me, the oldest of us four children, the only boy. My brother, seen as the smart one, the logical one, the know-it-all. My brother, the child molester. My brother, a middle school teacher – and that’s the part that kills me. He wasn’t always a teacher; he went back to school later in life to get his teaching credential. It has always bugged me, even more so since I realized what abuse did to me, the long-term affects. The Great Pretender – since my family never reported it, there is no record of it – and so my brother is teacher.
I have to try not to think about it. To my knowledge, there were no victims after me, but how could I ever know for sure. He and his wife had boys so I don’t think he did anything to them. He was a youth pastor for a while and I have to wonder if he behaved. And since he’s been a teacher – my mind just can’t go there. I’m glad he doesn’t teach elementary school at least. Still, I have so much anger that he chose this profession. I hate knowing that if anything ever happened, I would feel at fault for not reporting him to the school. Was it ever in the back of his mind that the fact that he is a child molester could someday come out? You would think that this would make him be very nice to me but no, he actually treats me like I am an idiot. I thought he actually gave me a compliment in a text a month ago, only to find out he thought he was texting with one of my sisters. I have an IQ of 140 but for some reason, he thinks I’m dumb. Maybe he’s just incapable of seeing his victim for who she really is, maybe that makes it easier for him. My brother, the Great Pretender.
It came to a head in my mind last year. I found out he had won ‘Teach of the Year’ in his region which placed him in contention for the same title for the State – a moment that broke me emotionally. I saw a news report that shows a video of him teaching his class and the tone he used made me tremble. How does this happen? A child molester is up for State Teacher of the Year? So the Great Pretender had turned his life around and found great success! Fuck you!! (Pardon my language). He molests me and gets a nice, successful life while I struggle to make something of myself. Thankfully, he didn’t win the state title – I don’t know what I would have done had he won.
Many may wonder why I have not spoken up and reported him to the school. It is a difficult situation – I don’t think I could go through the trauma of that, don’t know if I would survive it. It was never previously reported, so it would be his word against mine and I have no doubt that my damn family would lie to support him. My family is filled with pretenders. I also don’t want to hurt his wife or his kids – they don’t deserve that. But then I think about how I would feel if he ever hurts someone else – do child molesters ever truly lose that urge? Even if he never acted on it, it drives me crazy just thinking about what he might be imagining when he looks at certain students. My brother, the Great Pretender.
The internal dilemma is so great…