It’s important to recognise the support network that you gain at each stage of speaking out.
I remember coming back home from my trip and straight back into work; just leaving a meeting with the accountants where they said:
“Financially, your position here is in jeopardy and here are your employment options”
I had kind of had enough of the business at this stage, with a less than equipped managing director.. It was rainy, and the meeting was horrid nonetheless. What wouldn’t leave my mind was the conversation that I had just recently had with my psychologist and my partner and I felt I really needed to tell my family.
Could I tell my eldest brother? What if he had done the same thing to my brother? Was it all just an older brother cycle in my family? Was this normal for their upbringing too? So many questions so I thought it best to speak to my sister. I messaged her and she was available to chat so I went over to her place.
As someone in the field of therapy herself, she had a similar response to my psychologist. Except with the emotional baggage that came along with the hurt and heartache she had for me, the disappointment she had in our brother, and the confusion she had with the entire situation.
There comes a point where you tell particular people and you really start to question the overall integrity and moral compass of your perpetrator. In fact, you question every decision they made in front of your eyes and wonder what their intent or reasoning was; am I the only victim? Has he done this to anyone else? What about the people he babysat all those years? What about that time he did.. and said.. . To quickly answer that question, I could do no more than to speak with those that he once babysat and gave them the opportunity to speak about their experiences – to which they had none.
So my sister posed the question;
“Do you plan on telling mum?”
At the time, and still, I live with my mum. So it had really put a further void between us during the past month that I really just wanted to get over and done with. I’m one of those people that would much rather just do it all in a lump sum then have to spend weeks going to individuals and speaking with them. However, speaking with my eldest brother happened a few weeks later; this was a more sensitive discussion, we all thought, as he can get quite aggressive at times.
Keeping my silence for 14 years you can already assume that I was apprehensive to tell anyone. This was mainly due to the fact that as a family I really thought we had been through enough, with the death of my dad, and of course that I had suppressed it for quite some time. But now was the time, now was the time to gain that courage and persevere and speak out. It was hard.
She was very, very disappointed and angry at my brother. Her eyes, mouth, hand gestures and body language communicated that to both my sister and I.
“I am so angry with…!”
She was also very disappointed in her self. How could she have missed this? Not have known? Where was she? When? Where? Questions I did not exactly have answers for and questions I found to be irrelevant now. She was grieving, it happened when it happened, I don’t know.
To be honest, I can’t remember much detail of the conversation.. I had planned to write in more detail for this post but can’t bring myself to it, unfortunately. It was planned that we would talk with my eldest brother at a later stage. The support gained from him was the same as my other family members.
As mum had no adult-figure she could speak with, I decided I would tell my aunty in order for my mum to have someone to speak with about everything that was going on.
There was a strong sense that I wanted to protect my abusive brother; after all he was my brother, I loved him and cared for him and so I always considered in the back of my mind that I didn’t want him to hurt himself over this, you know? And it was a concern of mine even while I confronted him. The other side of me thought – did he have that consideration when he did what he did to me? No.
My next post will be about how I confronted my perpetrator and how I got to that stage. Thanks for reading.