Today, by some sort of miracle, I have not only managed to drag myself out of bed and get dressed, but I got on a plane and arrived in Amsterdam in time for a work function I was adamant I wouldn’t be well enough to attend. It’s lifted my mood being here with some of my favourite colleagues. I’ve actually been enjoying chatting with them and some clients I hadn’t met face-to-face before.
This is miraculous because the past week has been one of the worst. I mean that. It has been epically horrible. I’m not entirely sure how I have survived it, but somehow I did. Granted, my coping mechanisms included self-harm, alcohol and overdosing on sedatives. While I can’t say that any of the above are healthy ways to manage my emotions, none of them had a lasting impact.
On Tuesday I wrote to say I’d heard from the police and they were planning to interview my brother that afternoon. I was told he’d agreed to come in voluntarily for questioning. The Detective in charge promised to call me as soon as he was done questioning him.
I went along to therapy, but I didn’t know what to say. All I could think about was the fact that my abuser was in town. The police station is almost adjacent to my home, so I knew he was close by and I hated that feeling. I was anxious to hear what the outcome of the interview was, but scared at the same time.
When I left therapy, J asked whether I was planning to go straight home. She always does that when I’m particularly low. She knows my walk home from our sessions can be a risky time for me. I gave a politician’s answer because I wasn’t sure what I was planning.
I’m glad I didn’t lie and say I’d be safe. It meant I felt less guilty about stopping at the pub and having a couple of vodkas on my way home. My wife smelled it on me as soon as I walked through the door, but she’s pretty good at not judging me. She was just glad I’d managed to stay safe – even with the alcohol on board.
I got the call from the police a few hours later. They obviously ran an extensive interview, as they were talking to him for over 90 minutes. He admitted nothing. He feigned having a memory blank. He’d seen a solicitor earlier in the day and been advised to reply ‘no comment’ when it came to the most serious allegations.
I’m not going to give him the benefit of the doubt and go along with his forgetting. I know he has not forgotten. I don’t think raping someone is something that mingles into your other recollections and fades. Unless you do it all the time that is, and I’m pretty sure that’s not the case with him.
Worse than his lies, his denying the worst of my experiences, was hearing that my dad went along with him ‘for moral support’. I know his wife was there, so he wouldn’t have been alone. My dad wanted to be there. He sat in on the interview in place of legal counsel to help my brother defend himself. To help him prove that I am a liar. To make sure that my truth is buried and denied and forgotten.
That hurts. It hurts like hell. My dad didn’t call me, he didn’t text. When my mum spoke to me, there was no message passed along from dad. He’s cut me off because he wants to believe my abuser over me. He is treating that spineless, sinister piece of crap like the victim in this situation, and I’ve been cast as the perpetrator. I’m the wrong-doer. It is actually hard to believe this is even happening.
I thought I had experienced some terrible emotional suffering in the past, but nothing compares to this. I can’t believe how painful it is to be rejected in such a hateful way. I can’t believe it is possible to raise a child, to love her so affectionately, and then disown her for standing up and seeking justice. If the perpetrator were anyone but my brother, my dad would be fighting for me. And I mean literally fight for me.
In terms of the police investigation, we are now waiting for tertiary evidence to be gathered. The police are taking ‘first accounts’ from people I disclosed the abuse to. Starting with my wife tomorrow, then J, then they’ll be talking to my parents and my sister. All I have to do now is hang tight and wait for news. That’s easier said than done.
Image: Michael Pollak, Creative Commons.