I’ve thought a lot about forgiveness over this past year and a half. I am not there yet for more than a few people in my life. And I don’t think I will ever be there for my brother. What he has done is not forgivable. As I work through my shit, I realize more and more the connections from my childhood to me as an adult. My brother was a shit brother and he is a shit human being.
I’ve spent a whole lifetime working on getting rid of his voice in my head. The one that constantly ridiculed me as a girl. Who never stood up for me and in fact, made sure that every day I knew how much he despised me.
Think of this. You are a young adolescent girl. Kind of awkward and unsure as your body is changing, getting pimples, budding breasts that bring attention you don’t necessarily want. You enter your brother’s room to tell him something from your mom. His friends are in there with him and he starts with the usual, “hey ugly, get out of my room.” Ugly was a noun my brother used to describe me daily. That with fat and stupid.
Here is the other secret.
My brother started sexually abusing me when I was about 7 years old. This went on for about 7 years. The only time my brother was nice to me was when he wanted sex from me. Then I would hear nice things from him. I was no longer ugly. I was no longer fat. I was no longer stupid.
If you know about trauma bonding, know that it happens when someone is cruel to you and then shows you love. You live for the moments of love.
I knew two things might happen when my parents would leave me to babysit my younger siblings. Either my brother would be nice to me so that he could do sexual things to me OR my brother would torment me. There was never any in-between.
One time when my parents left, my brother got very angry with me. I don’t remember exactly what for because the reasons never justified his behavior. His anger turned to aggression. My brother grabbed be by the hair and dragged me over to the stove-top. The burner was turned on. He forced my face inches from the burner.
I think that night the police were called because the neighbors could hear the yelling and screaming. I was too scared to tell the police what really happened. My parents were furious. I was too scared to tell them what really happened.
Another time my brother choked me to the point of blacking out.
I really never knew what he was going to do to me the moment my parents left the house. As I said to my therapist, my home, the place where you should feel safe, never felt safe when my brother was around.
So no, I can’t forgive him. I want no part of him. There are others that he has victimized. Theirs are not my story to share. However, I know that I wish I would have done more. I wish I would have stood up sooner.
I don’t forgive
in order to bring
I forgive as
an act of defiance in
the face of your
I forgive as I
refuse to let any
part of you hold