It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything. Been working through long bouts of depression with intermittent periods of mania. I’m currently writing my second collection of poetry, as well as participating in two writers’ groups, so that keeps me pretty busy these days.
Now for the news. I’ve written previously that my older brother who sexually and physically abused me connected with me last November through email. We’ve been writing back and forth every so often about how we are doing. Then things changed.
I decided to give him my phone number. I’d avoided doing so because he is an active alcoholic and I didn’t want him calling me while under the influence. But, I felt that it was time. He was surprised and elated that I made this step. He called me. We spoke for more than an hour. He confided in me that he had been sexually abused by our father from the ages of seven to twelve (my father moved to California when he was twelve and I was ten). He also told me that one of his friends, who was three years his senior, had sexual relations with him. He said he wondered if he was gay. I wonder if, perhaps, that was one of the driving forces that led him to have sex with me two to three times a week for five years — trying to prove to himself that he wasn’t gay. Whatever his reasons, he has made his amends. He told me, “You don’t know how many times I cry over what I did to you. I can’t express how sorry I am.”
We have decided to meet face to face. I haven’t laid eyes on him in thirty years. This could be an incredible healing experience for the both of us, but I am aware that making eye contact with him could trigger my inner child and cause me to flashback to when I was young and in the midst of all the abuse. I will keep my boundaries strong. He told me he needs to give me a huge hug. I told him that we’ll have to wait and see how things go. He understands that I might get triggered.
I’m excited about the possibility of deep healing from the trauma I experienced. We’ve spoken several times on the phone, each conversation lasting about an hour. Our talks feel very comfortable to me. I feel a strong connection with him. I think it is because our damaged inner children — as well as our current adult selves who carry the burdens of abuse — empathize with each other.
We’ll be meeting at my stepfather’s house (my mother was recently moved to an Alzheimer’s memory support unit). My stepfather knows the situation. It will be a safe space for us to reconnect. I don’t want to meet in public in case I get triggered. I will have my car and will be able to leave at any time. I will make an appointment with my therapist for the following morning. She and I have discussed what I need to do to keep myself safe and in control of the situation.
I will let you know how things turn out.
Much love to you all in your own healing journeys.
11 thoughts on “Reconnecting with My Abuser”
I hope it goes well and helps with your healing.
Thanks. I hope so, too. I’ll be going into the meeting cautiously optimistic. Will definitely keep my guard up until I feel comfortable being in his presence.
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This is amazing. I had to get up and walk around the kitchen to gather my thoughts, before writing a comment. Amazing. I have been reading a lot lately about healthy, healing forgiveness. What it is, what it isn’t. And now I read this. Wow!
I’m glad you are meeting in a safe, private place. Glad you will have an easy escape, if needed. Very glad you have a supportive therapist to see, soon after.
I am currently writing a memoir, which I have titled Growing Up Crazy. I have tried for years to write it, but I wasn’t ready. Now, I am finally ready. I am getting close to finishing my first draft. Writing the story of my life has been both difficult and healing. More than anything, it is opening my eyes to things. I am understanding, in a way I never did before, how very broken my parents were. I am understanding that their abuse of me, really wasn’t about me.
Understanding helps me forgive. Understanding and forgiving, however, does not in any way minimize the abuse. It doesn’t excuse it, doesn’t make it okay, or make it like it never happened. I am still learning what real, healthy forgiveness is. Broken people do broken things. Hurt people, hurt people. It’s a whole new way of understanding. Sometimes, it’s a little overwhelming.
On top of everything else, I am currently serving as a juror. Randomly picked and chosen. Sitting in judgment of another human being… wow. The next trial is set for day after tomorrow. Whew.
Sorry, I didn’t mean to go off on a tangent! I am just very amazed by you. I am saying a prayer right now, for your well-being.
Glad to hear you are on a path of forgiveness. I forgave my abusers decades ago through a ceremony in the woods in which I wrote each perpetrators name on a piece of paper, I forgive you, and burn them. I said a prayer as a smoke was carried away on the wind. I forgave them for my sake, not for theirs. I was tired of carrying hate and blame in my heart. I’m excited about your memoir. Writing mine was very healing for me. Little by little, good memories would surface along with the bad. When you publish your memoir, please let me know. If you are self-publishing oh, I can help you with that. I’d also be happy to promote it on my page. Thank you for your prayers.
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Wow!! What a breakthrough! And to find out that your brother had been abused. It must have been healing to hear how much he’s cried about what he did to you. Now that’s remorse. My brother will never reach that place, unfortunately. I love that you’re holding your boundaries so strongly. And as much as your brother might feel the need to give you a big hug, that’s his need, not yours. Only do what’s good for YOU. For decades I needed my brother to feel empathy and feel truly sorry for what he did to me, but I’m realizing he doesn’t have the capacity (happened during a deep healing moment when I lost all attachment to him). I’m sorry you’ve been struggling through depressive and manic episodes (my mother did, too). So excited to hear how your meeting goes with your brother. Holding you both surrounded by healing love.
Thank you so much for your supportive words. Thank you for pointing out that his wanting a hug is his need and not necessarily mine. I imagine that if we do hug we would both burst into tears. So much pain, so much regret. My brother is just beginning his healing journey. He’s buried his pain for so long and numbed himself with alcohol and cocaine since he was a teenager.
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I’m glad for your brother that he’s on a healing journey. The last comment I heard about my being molested that came from the perpetrator’s lips, to our younger brother, was, “Isn’t she over it yet?”
” I feel a strong connection with him.” Boy, do I KNOW that feeling. Ever hear of the Stockholm syndrome?
Unfortunately my comments yesterday were harsher than I might like. Returning from a bad trip camping, I was fed up with everybody. You are a special person with a great capacity for generosity and forgiveness. That you and your brother have this rare chance to heal is a tremendous possibility. One many never have, certainly not me.
You possess such depth, knowing your boundaries and your needs. And courage…
Please forgive the more sharper comments that don’t seem to me today with fresh eyes to have been very helpful at all.
I read your post about your bad experience with the camping trip this morning. So sorry that happened to you.
I’ve been neglectful when it comes to reading other people’s posts. I’ve got way too many things going on in my life. My stress level is at an all-time high. Please know that while I haven’t responded to your posts, I do support you in your journey and think of you often.
As for my brother, I don’t believe it is Stockholm Syndrome, though I see where you’re coming from. I don’t regard his sharing with me about being abused as being an excuse for what he did to me but more as a reason for why he did the things he did. Having spoken with him on the phone several times, and listening to him choke back tears, it is obvious to me that he is feeling a lot of pain and anguish and remorse. He thinks himself a monster for what he did. I have decided that while he was indeed monstrous to me back when we were children, he is an adult now and has led his own life of dysfunction as a result of his own abuse. The connection I feel to him is my realization that we are both damaged at the core of our beings. We share a common connection as a result of the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual abuse we endured at the hands of our parents.
Thank you for caring about what happens to me. It means a lot. I will go slowly and maintain strong boundaries. He understands I have to do things on my terms.
Sending you lots of loving and healing energy. 💖
On Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 8:53 AM I Walk with a Limp wrote:
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They act like victims, all of them. 1 out of three women have been abused, 1 out of 6 males. it happens, but it is rare that a women who was abused as a child abuses a child when she’s an adult. But men do, and use it as a fucking excuse. Please go carefully.