learned of abuse yesterday

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2003
learned of abuse yesterday
7
Sat, 04-19-2003 - 6:10pm
Yesterday my eldest sister asked me, my younger sister and x-sister in law (best friend sence childhood)to join her in her 1st therapy apt. My younger sister said it was important that we all go to support her. I knew we were there to discuss my brother(the eldest child) because he gives us all greif in different ways and we have all had enough. Well, my eldest sister began talking about her and my brothers childhood(they are 13 months apart and I am 7 yrs younger with my little sis 15 months behind me. The oldest child is 42 yrs old)anyway, next thing you know she tells us that he sexually molested her for years during her younger teens. My little sis told me later that I actually jumped when I heard the news. I was apparently the last to be told between all of us over the past weeks. I am in absolute shock & couldnt beleive what I had heard. I am so horrified that my poor sister has been keeping this secret for so many years. She must be in so much pain. I feel sick just thinking about it.At this time it is very dificult to process this kind of information, I cant get it off my mind. Im having a hard time with it. I always thought of our family as perfect, like the Brady Bunch or Ozzy & Harriet. My brother is out of town for 6 weeks, what will happen when he returns? He doesnt konw anyone knows. Its gonna be bad. I am very afraid of what will happen to our family that is very close.

Avatar for sunshineydays
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sat, 04-19-2003 - 9:27pm
May I just say that I'm so relieved to hear that you believe her. So many times, people will deny what the survivor is sharing--things like this can be so difficult to hear. You are a great sister. She's very lucky to have you!

It will be a rocky road ahead, obviously. My best advice at this point would be to take each day at a time. I also think it wouldn't hurt if you decided to seek therapy, as well. You are all being hurt by his actions right now. It's important to take care of you, as well as support your sister.

Take care...stacy

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 04-20-2003 - 12:38am
I'm relieved, too. You sound like such a sweet, caring person. I'm sure your sister

will benefit greatly to have your support. It's so great that she took the initiative to

get help about this terrible thing. And I can imagine it must be very frightening to not know what will happen when your brother gets back.

I agree with stacy: you should get counseling as well. It's important to know what to do at this point.

Stay supportive. Don't worry about what will happen to your family. No one is the Brady Bunch. It's fortunate that your sister was brave enough to tell her secret. Things like that could really damage her especially if she keeps it to herself. And hopefully this man will get what he deserves. that sounds harsh, but it needs to be said. Is the rest of your family as supportive as you are?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sun, 04-20-2003 - 9:48am
It must have a been a terrible discovery for you. I'm very sorry. It's so horrible when your entire world gets rocked. I imagine it must be very disorienting. But as the others have said, you are a very good sister. Obviously your family has some very good foundations.

I was wondering if your sister's therapist would allow you to have a session or two for yourself, either with or without your sister. Plus, I was going to suggest that you read a section from a book for survivors of sexual abuse. The book is called "The Courage to Heal" by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis. Your sister may or may not have it. But toward the back there's a section for supporters of survivors which might help you.

As far as your brother's return, I have a feeling he may feel all of you are blowing something out of proportion. You are NOT! What he did obviously has affected your sister and your family greatly. Just b/c the ages were so close does NOT make it consentual (which he may believe it was). Just understand that his reaction doesn't matter. Your sister needs you. He needs you, too, b/c he was obviously grossly misguided. Perhaps he's not willing to accept the damage he's caused so he'll minimize it. But his remorse may come much later, if at all. Right now your sister is seeking your help and support. So, therefore, your compassion is greatly needed.

You're right, there's tremendous pain from holding a secret like that for so many years. But you all are doing such wonderful things by breaking the secret and getting the help you need. I believe you will all survive this.

**gentle hugs**

Gail

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2003
Tue, 04-22-2003 - 5:19pm
Thank you everyone for your thoughts. My world has definatly been "rocked". My sisters and I have now been to two counseling sessions and it has helped to be able to get it all out on the table. It makes it easier when we are all there to support eachother. My sister wants to tell my parents today. My younger sister and I will be there to support her and also to show my parents we are there for her. My older sis is ready to tell, my younger sis and I are afraid of the reaction we will get from our parents. They are older and very conservative. I know this will be devistating for them to hear. Knowing my mom she will feel terrible guilt and Im afraid my father will have a heart attack on the spot. I have knots in my stomach just thinking about going to my parents house and telling them. To make matters worse my neices (their mom is the victom)have also learned of this info and the 18 year old is having a very hard time with it & is very angry. She told my mom(her grandma) that her mom is going crazy but didnt say why. Now my mom & dad think she is loosing her mind. My older sis has been having some disagreements with my parents lately and are sort of on the outs with them, Now she has to tell them this news. I'll let you know how it goes, pray for me.

C.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2008
Thu, 04-24-2003 - 12:32pm
Wanted to add my hugs here--this is definitely a difficult time for you and your sisters, and there is obviously more to come with parents and brother. You are doing the right thing, though.

As already stated by others, I just wanted to say that the support you are giving your sister is wonderful. I'm so glad you're not telling her she's crazy or making it up for attention. That would make it so much more difficult for her. I'm glad that she's taking steps to break away from the secret she has kept for so long.

Be sure to let us know how things progress.

Love and {{{hugs}}}, Heidi

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2003
Thu, 04-24-2003 - 4:08pm
Told the parents & are they were great. Odviously surprised and horrified by the news. Spoke with mom today to see how they were coping, mom said her & dad are still in shock and are trying to understand how this could have happened with out their knowledge. I am so happy they are there for us all no matter what. It really confirms the strong bond our family shares.I guess we dont have to be the Brady Bunch to have a wonderful family and a lot of love. Parents have made amense with big sis and are there for her. My mom wants to go to counseling with us so she can understand her and our feelings. We all have a long road ahead of us but are starting out in the right direction. My x-sister in law got involved with brother when she was 13 & he was much older. The have 2 kids & are divorced. she is now with a great guy but brother still had great control over her. He calls her several times a day to tell her what a looser she is and basically to make her feel like she is dirt. They speak for hours at a time and she just takes his abuse & wont hang up even when her children urge her to. She has now become an alcoholic to numb the pain. We are all trying to help her as well & she is in therapy with us and alone as of last week. She was also sexually abused by him before, during & after their marriage. She is by far the weakest emotionally and has so much to work on. My older sis is ready & strong to make positive changes. Ill keep you posted, writing about it helps me to heal as well.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2008
Mon, 04-28-2003 - 1:12pm
I'm so glad that your parents reacted the way they did, and that your mom is willing to go to counseling, as well. You're right--your family is off to a great start with this.

I also think that it's wonderful that you and your family are still involved in your SIL's life and offering her support. It's great that you're encouraging her to get counseling.

It sounds like your brother has really wreaked some havoc in the lives of your family, and what he is doing to his ex-wife is terrible. He himself needs a lot of help, but he has to be the one to see that and be willing to get the help. In the meantime it's good that the rest of you are addressing it for your own health.

I wish you well on this road.

Love, Heidi