Abuse or gift? Is it funny?

When I was a teenager, my mother sometimes touched my legs, she made lots of comments about my developing body, and sometimes watched me dress. She made it clear that she thought I had sexy legs.

There were other things, too. It was emotional incest.

My brothers deny there was ever anything wrong, even though they have some similar memories. Even if it was embarrassing for them, they say it was not abuse, and Mom was a saint.

When I got married, she gave me and my wife lubricant as a gift. It's hard to explain, but there was something theatrical about how she did it. It was not in front of the wedding party or anything, but it wasn't subtle, either. She felt like she had to explain how to use it.

A few years later, when I was trying to figure out my confusing memories and started to wonder if I had been abused, I tried to compare notes with my brothers, and I told one of them about this gift.

What I didn't know is that he then told our other brother, thinking it was funny, and the other brother agreed that it was hilarious. It was only at that other brother's wedding that I found out they saw it as a funny story, when groomsmen were gathered before the ceremony, my lubricant gift from mom story was told much to the amusement of all. Basically, both brothers tell it as a funny story about our mother. I never knew that's what would happen when I asked the first brother for his opinion.

Am I overreacting to think the gift, lubricant from mom, was inappropriate? Should I just let it be a funny story about mom?
I don't think it's funny or appropriate. It sounds like you don't either. I cannot imagine giving my children sexual materials as gifts.

You're allowed to feel however you feel about it - although it sounds as though your brothers aren't interested in your feelings.

You're also allowed to NOT see your mother as a "saint," no matter what your brothers think.
Dear learning2remember,
I don't think it was an appropriate gift for a parent to give a child, nor do I think it was funny.
It might be appropriate or funny if you recieved such a gift from a friend at a bachelor party - even that is debatable - (I have never been to a bachelor party but I hear things like that go on)
Also, it was not right for her to touch your legs, make comments about your developing body or watch you get dressed.
I am sorry you had these experiences and sorry that your brothers think any of it is funny.
But I feel I am different from most "guys" - I don't think sexual jokes in general are funny while other men apparently do... I probably did not feel as strongly about that prior to recovering memories of the trauma I experienced... So, I feel I am more sensitive to these sorts of things than most men
But those are my thoughts and I hope that, in some way, they might validate your feelings.
from a non-CSA perspective, I could see why it would be considered funny.

It sounds like the brothers do not know of your ongoing issues with your mother. Perhaps if they knew, they maybe more sensitive to such things. Then again, maybe not.
I don’t think you’re overreacting at all, it’s plain weird for a mother to give her son that and then explain how t use it. When adult children describe a parent as a saint it leaves me feeling that they are in denial and are idolising the parent rather than face the truth.
Thanks for the feedback. What I've written here is just one incident. I have not a doubt in my mind that my mother abused me, mostly emotional incest, but some touching, too. Some strange things. What gets to me about this is that I was an adult and there was still something she was up to. It might even be the sickest part of it all, since with our other wedding gifts, whenever we used the gift, we thought of the person we got it from. Maybe that's what she was hoping for? I don't know. It hurt me that what I told in confidence (I thought) to one brother became a joke that they told others. I could actually understand if they thought it was funny, but somehow turning it into a funny party story is too much. I wrote here because I'm visiting those brothers this summer, and all kinds of memories come up as I get ready, and I wonder about stuff. Thanks again for thoughts and replies.

Tom E.

That doesn't seem ok to me either, it would be embarrassing or humiliating to receive lube as a wedding gift from a parent. Just my opinion.
You have a right to not be the butt of jokes.

If your brothers start talking about it again, you can say, "That was a hurtful experience, not a funny one, and if you bring it up again, I'll have to leave." Then, if they bring it up again, leave.

Boundaries are important.


I'm sorry about the stuff with your brothers but I hope you can forget it. Reading it gave me a feeling I remember.

Everything points to it being my mom as my original abuser probably when I was so young I don't remember. I can feel it? I could've been another female or more than one?

The emotional incest is real my therapist explained it as when the parent child boundaries shift to lovers boundaries.

I wouldn't know what to do since my parents and my wife's have gone on to their respective rewards.