Hung out with my brother last night

Just Call me J

I've not been in a rush to see my family in the 3(?) weeks now since my flashback. I was afraid the haunted look on my face would bring unwanted questions. With the worried phone calls I got the day after the episode, I was sure that parents felt a "disturbance in the Force" so to speak.

With so many doubts, and only a single therapy appointment under my belt, I was very unsure how to proceed with the family, so I opted for the "too busy" approach (it wouldn't really be out of character for me).

Well, circumstances led to my brother coiming home before I left my parents' house, and him stating that I was avoiding him on purpose. Since I really did have lots to do that day, I made a hasty exit. I never would have actually called him back, if my best friend (the first confidante about the abuse) hadn't encouraged me "It sounds like he really needs to talk to you." So I reluctantly called him up, and he came over.

It turned out that the main reason he wanted to talk was about the annoying behavior of my cousin (the other confidante for the abuse) in the week before my flashback. So I turned on the "therapist" mode, so he could bitch about her behavior (as she had done about him, 3 weeks ago).

But I had a number of things that I wanted to ask him, but I didn't want to approach MY abuse situation, so I covered it with "stuff that's been on my mind from work" or about the history of abuse in the older generation (that we all assumed ended before my generation).

In our family (my mom's side anyway), it is acknowledged that members of the family were sexually abused, and that one of our cousins beat his kids. Acknowledged, but no one actually says or does anything to stop it. To our knowledge, all the sexual abusers have died, and the kids that were being hit have all grown (late teens/early 20s), so there is no continuation (that we're aware of).

I asked my brother if he remembered an episode when we were young, and we stayed the night at our grandparents' house. I remember my grandfather being angry, and pulling my brother's hair, him crying, my grandmother standing by, trying to discourage my granddad (and failing), and me watching in silence. My brother's response, when I brought this up? "I probably deserved it." He didn't remember it though. I had told my parents while we were on a camping trip when I was 9 (and my brother wasn't with us), and after I said it, it never came up again.

It just makes me wonder... I'm sure he's got repressed memories, too. There's more than enough evidence in his current life to make me think that he was also abused way back when. Interestingly, he's always been "a horndog" (his phrase) from an early age. Me? I'm practically asexual.

For a while, as I tried to piece together possible culprits for my abuse from my brief flashback, I thought it might have been my brother. I've got more doubts about that now, and I've also found that the memory of my abuse has faded in the last 3 weeks. For the sake of completeness, I want to remember more, but that really scares the shit out of me.

In other news, my mom has been doing her own work to deal with her own abuse issues (writing a family history, that includes that certain members of the family molested their children), and from the conversations we've had about my work with abused kids, I think she wants to have a more serious (or candid, anyway) talk about that. The main question (there are plenty more) I want to ask is, what ever happened after I told her about that episode of Granddad pulling my brother's hair?

I used to idolize my grandfather. When he died, that was the first time I had to grieve in my life (summer after freshman year). And coming to grips with that led to my unshakeable faith in God. But as time goes on, I find out more and more about him that sickens me (my uncle told me 2 years ago that he had a recovered memory of my grandfather sexually abusing him). I find it hard to reconcile the 2 images of him, and to appreciate the gifts he gave me, when he caused others so much pain.

I'm sure a lot of you can sympathise with that emotion.

Anyway, I need to end this post. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

We're all in this together.

I marvel at your courage - to try to understand and still stay "involved" with your family. It's hard to consider that people were suppose to love you - hurt you.

My mom was abused. I remember in a therapy session talking about my fantasy of being punished. . . I automatically assumed that people get physcially punished. . . My therapist about fell off the chair in that I thought that people needed to get hit. . . It hadn't occured to me otherwise.

The point is that abuse is in the "culture" of the family and its difficult to break. What is even more difficult is the uncertainty. . . was I, wasn't I. . . I don't think I'll ever really know. That ambiguity really gets to me.

What I have to keep reminding myself is to keep in perspective the past from the present. If I allow myself, I can get so involved in "what happened" and not get on with things today. What makes it incredibly difficult is that my mom is still alive. . and she continues to drive me crazy. I continue the relationship out of respect (she is my mom) but it isn't easy. She is extremely guilt provoking.

Anyway, I sympathize with your quest. . . and your courage. I think making your peace with our abuse is a lifelong process.



It has been made me aware that you said in one of your post that you were three years old when your abuse begain.
If so at three we are not developed with our brain at that age yet, some are still learning to walk or talk at that age.
So tring to remeber meory from that age is hard to began with, not to worry on the details.
fmighell Anc Ak

Just Call me J

Actually, I remember my 1st birthday (or at least some details about it) as well as a bunch of details about the house we lived in at the time. As a matter of fact, all my memories are out in the front yard of the house. I don't remember anything of the inside of the house.

Well, not completely true. I remember being in a "big boy" shower with my dad. I remember turning around, and seeing my dad's penis but that's it. There was the feeling of being grown up, and there was my dad. It wasn't erect or anything, and SoCalJohn asked me when we chatted if I ever got that feeling from my dad, that he had done anything to me. I had to honestly say no.

We lived in that house until I was 3, then we moved. And it was in that new house, when I was still in a crib, that my flashback feels like it came from.

Maybe I HAVE set my standards too high, but it was while thinking about this... shadow image standing over me in my crib, that I started screaming into a pillow, that the flashback came. So I know that the key is hiding there somewhere. I've ALWAYS remembered that... shape standing over me, but I didn't know what it was about, so I chalked it up to an overactive imagination/nightmare. However the most intense part of the flashback, was how my lips pushed themselves back, into an "O" shape. I could feel something in between my lips, though nothing was actually there.

I hope I didn't cause too many triggers there.

Last night, I had another dream about searching for a child molester. The first I had was a few weeks ago. I haven't remembered many dreams lately. But this one I remembered. I think it incorporated some info from a story or 2 here, because it didn't reflect MY life, but the goal was certainly there.

I haven't slept the best over the last few weeks (or I've been sleeping overly much). My best friend keeps telling me "you've got a lot on your mind." When I get overloaded, my brain tends to go into "shutdown" mode to conserve energy.

The least I can do is keep myself well-fed. That's been a problem. I wouldn't call myself anorexic (because I don't feel that I NEED to lose weight) but I certainly forget to eat. And I am definitely underweight.

And I need to get ready for work. I'll be back here tonight.

We're all in this together.



I have had those kind of body memories too, they stink huh?

The part that got me about your post was the food thing, i always *forget* to eat, i am definately on the skinny side, i have always had problems with food, i think its kinda common for survivors, either overeating or not eating.

dude, did ya eat today? hehe