I’m whacked out on Lorazepam and I punched a wall. I promised J I would be safe until I see her on Tuesday. Hitting that wall was the safe outlet for how I feel. Which is angry. Frustrated. Confused. I feel like I’ve got far too much going on, it’s all piling on top of me and soon I’m going to break. Again.
My therapy session today was all about anger, disappointment and disbelief. The adults who didn’t protect me when I was a child have been on my mind. That’s primarily my parents and grandparents, and a handful of close family friends. I suppose I could also add the police and social services into the mix too, but they are faceless organisations so I tend to put that to one side.
What happened to me was wrong. I was 11 and my brother was 16. He groomed me, then repeatedly sexually abused me until the day my mum walked into the room while it was happening. That put a stop to it, but did it end the fear? Of course not. My parents had to believe me, because my mum had witnessed it. Knowing this, they decided that my brother had done something wrong and had to be sorry etc., but he could stay in our house. He could still be part of our family.
My grandparents knew this. Our family friends knew. Social services knew. Nobody did anything. They sent him for a few counselling sessions, but that was it. Afterwards, everything switched back to normal. For almost two decades, we carried on this charade. We attended each others’ weddings. We celebrated birthdays and Christmases together.
It was all so fake. I felt like an alien because I was the only one who felt it. I hated him. I hated him for all that time. I hated the smell of him, his voice, his face. Every time I was around him I had emotional flashbacks. I’d get this anxious energy that I couldn’t figure out. I could only talk to him when I was drunk. So I drank a lot.
About 6 months ago I forced my family out of their denial. I disowned my abusive brother. You can read the letter I wrote to him here. I explained this decision. He knows now. My parents and grandparents know too. They’ve seen my scars. They have heard about my A&E visits.
Nothing has changed. I told my mum exactly what he did to me all those times in his airless blue bedroom. I told her because I wanted her to say how awful it was, I needed her to recognise what a monster he is. Making that call was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I was so terrified of her knowing those disgusting details. I was scared she would question me. And I needed her to validate my experience and how I feel now.
They all listened. Nothing changed. They are all still taking care of him. He’s got all these wonderful people, my wonderful people, taking care of him. That fills me with rage because they are my family. They are mine and I love them and he doesn’t deserve their love. I want to take them all away from him and have them to myself. I want them to understand me, to acknowledge how horrendous this is, and be there for me. Not him.
That’s what came up in therapy today. And it is why I now have bleeding knuckles. I’m fucking furious.
Photo credit: Okko Pyykko, Creative Commons.