I have been struggling with something lately. Well, struggling is not quite the right word. Perhaps I mean that I have been wondering about something lately, frustrated even.
My brother – the man who molested me when I was so young – why do I keep wanting his approval? Why do I keep trying to keep some kind of relationship, some kind of sibling bond? Why do I even care about him at all? Why, dammit… WHY?
I know that in its simplest, most basic form, my view of my abuser is messed up because my family covered it up, and when they did that, I learned not to hate my brother and instead learned to keep loving him regardless of what he did. I learned to pretend everything was ok and eventually the pretend became real – it except it wasn’t ok, nothing was ok, I was not ok and in many ways I am still not ok and never will be. He took that from me.
And now, 38 years after the abuse, and 27 years after exposing him, I have found myself still wanting his approval and I don’t know why. Especially after the family drama a few years ago when he stayed quite and didn’t stand up for me, I still seek his approval. Why do I do this? If anything, he should be seeking mine!
I have posted before about how he seems to view me as unintelligent and unimportant – maybe that’s how he needs to see me to deal with what he did to me. The thing is, I am the exact opposite of all that. We have little communication these days, mostly through social media and usually about my mom. If he writes to me, I acknowledge it and respond in a caring way. If I write him, he responds with maybe a couple words or not at all. So many times I think to myself that I am done. But then something will happen and I find myself reaching out to him again. I just don’t understand why I keep doing this. I have become so insightful about so many things and yet this reasoning escapes me completely. And each time it happens, I am let down a little more. But honestly, I am letting myself down at this point. He is the way he is and I can’t expect anything to come out of that.
Sometimes I wish I had been allowed to hate my abusers and never see them again. I think that has to be easier than being forced to be around them as a normal family. But then I think – it must all suck, each in its own way. I guess I just need to be confident enough in myself to stop reaching out, to stop have any expectations of my brother, especially since he doesn’t have any of the grown-up, little girl that he so selfishly hurt.