Wondering if I should disclose what happened *triggers*

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songbirdrosa

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Wondering if I should disclose what happened *triggers*
« on: February 06, 2018, 03:13:49 AM »
Lately I've been increasingly thinking about telling certain people about the sexual abuse I endured as a child at the hands of my eldest brother (T). Mainly my mother, but part of me is also dwelling on if I should report him to the police.

A lot of this has been brought to the surface by the fact that my other brother (J) is getting married at the end of April, and once again the rest of the family has to organise T's transport and accommodation because he won't do it himself. Since I live in a major city that's about halfway between where they live and where J lives, my mother is saying that T can catch a train to my place, then travel with me the following day so we can all go together. She's also considering booking him a room in the same hotel as me, and having everyone converge there to get ready.

Now for very obvious reasons, I'm not comfortable with any of this. I don't want him staying in my space, I don't want to have to travel with him, and I especially don't want to have him lingering nearby on a weekend where I'll also have to be dealing with my psychopathic father. In fact, I specifically booked a more expensive hotel on my own in the hope that nobody else would go there and I'd have some distance from them all! I'm really uncomfortable with how this is all turning out. But of course I can't say anything because Mum doesn't know what he did to me. All of my objections so far have been met with a hand wave and 'oh it'll be fine'.

She has outright stated on numerous occasions that he had it the worst. That he's the most damaged, he was the most abused, he's the most screwed up by the mess that was our family. Clearly this isn't true, since suffering isn't a competition and people react differently to stress and abuse. But no, because he's the one who's been sitting around moping all his life, that must mean that his pain is so much harder than everyone else. And because I've made attempts to actually do something (though most of those attempts have failed), then I'm just fine. To me, it feels like the only way to make her stop saying all this *^*^* is to tell her exactly how he broke me. Shatter all her illusions that he's just a poor sad boy.

As to the question of reporting him to the police, he's been making steps to become a child care worker, and knowing what I do about what he's capable of... I feel like it's my responsibility to make sure he never has an opportunity to ever do that again.

Sorry for the long rant, I guess this has been building up for a while  :fallingbricks:
She remembered who she was, and the game changed.

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Blueberry

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Re: Wondering if I should disclose what happened *triggers*
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2018, 05:11:17 AM »
Songbird, I feel for you, I really do.  :hug:

It's good you're asking this in advance! If I'd only known of OOTS before my last catastrophic FOO event....

I would break this into two issues: Protecting yourself at and around J's wedding
and: Protecting other people from T.

The first being the most urgent and the most important. You are responsible for you, not for your brother. You need your own space. You can say this without telling M. what he did to you.

You simply state that you want and plan to be on your own while travelling and  in the hotel during the wedding. Good idea to all meet up somewhere to get ready, but they're going to have to find somewhere else. You can decide spontaneously if you want to join in or not. Bottom line: You need your space and You get to make your own decisions concerning you.

I'm not saying that any of this is easy, but it comes with practice. I get help reading on our sister website Out Of The Fog. Try here: http://outofthefog.website/what-not-to-do/ For 'PD' (personality-disordered individual) read 'blind people in dysfunctional families' i.e. our abusers and enablers. I find not JADEing particularly useful, though very hard. See here for more details: http://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=5713a32c343df209855daa58ef803af1&topic=22353.msg209936#msg209936

 Unfortunately, family members usually don't actually want to know what we experienced. Because if they did, they would've noticed at the time, or maybe later even. You'll find lots of us on here have tried to explain ad nauseam and have been disbelieved at best. So I strongly suggest that you do not try to tell anybody in FOO what T did to you.

You can tell a therapist, you can tell us (so long as you TW appropriately), you can tell M in a Recovery Letter which you post on here and do not send, you can write the same for T. But telling personally within our FOOs doesn't tend to help. It might shatter your M e.g. and you will get blame and backlash from the rest of your FOO for that. I'm not saying that M shouldn't be shattered by this knowledge, but you will most likely get the blame for 'ruining J's wedding' and possibly for many other things years down the road.

Second issue: Wanting to protect other people - especially children - is very worthy. And sometimes very difficult. I've never been to the police about it but just within FOO. To the sibs: protect your children from the CSA abuser in our FOO. The problem is: you lay yourself bare and they may not even believe you. My sibs reacted fairly well actually, but they still didn't really believe me, and told me a bit to mind my own business, they'd protect their children as they saw fit. (How can you protect from something you don't know about??) . I have heard of FOO members reacting far, far worse so that the warning person was retraumatised. So while it is very worthy to want to protect others, I think your main duty is to protect yourself. (Only if you have your own children, do you put them first.) It might not be possible to protect yourself and at the same time go to the police with your story. And even if you do go to the police, you can't guarantee that the children will be protected.

IME dealing with the first issue (protecting yourself at and around J's wedding) will be more than enough to go on with. So if there's any way you could put off the second issue till afterwards, that would relieve you from emotional overload.

Please let us know how things work out. Standing with you and sending strength and courage.  :hug: :hug:
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Dee

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Re: Wondering if I should disclose what happened *triggers*
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2018, 08:05:46 AM »

I agree, right now your priority is to protect yourself.  That means both physically and emotionally. 

Telling FOO is hard.  It usually doesn't work out the way it should.  I was certainly re-traumitized, but I also got justice.  Of course justice was traumatizing too.  My family has never, ever supported me in this.  Even after the confession and guilty plea.  Unfortunately, from what I have read that is more common then not.

Is there a professional you can talk to?  In the US we have RAINN.  They are supportive, but also have answers to legal questions.  They can find local support if and when needed.  I am sure there is an equivalent and it wouldn't hurt to make the call.

Regardless, no matter what your decision you need support.  We are here for you.

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Three Roses

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Re: Wondering if I should disclose what happened *triggers*
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2018, 09:25:07 AM »
I agree with Dee and Blueberry. Taking care of yourself is first. Families often don't believe you - but sometimes the need to tell outweighs the backlash you might receive. Our silence and shame keep us quiet, and the abusers safe.

While I'm in favor of exposing T and hopefully keeping others from suffering the same fate, I urge you to consider Dee's and Blueberry's advice. The outcome is seldom what we hoped for, and can leave us in more pain.  My best wishes to you in this.

As far as the accommodations for the wedding, I hope you can stick to your guns. I've always found the "broken record" routine works best for me when having to deal with pressure. "No. I understand your point, but still - no." ... and so on. Trying to explain or justify seems to invite debate. Again, my best wishes to you with this.

Be willing to be a beginner every single morning. (Eckhart Tolle)

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sanmagic7

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Re: Wondering if I should disclose what happened *triggers*
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2018, 09:49:22 AM »
i have to agree that self-protection is first priority.  broken record is probably the best, because trying to explain or make up stories will most likely get you nowhere but hurt.   anytime we attempt to reason with the unreasonable we get things like what you mentioned - a hand wave, it'll be fine - or we'll get countermeasures that wear us down.  straightforward no's are often our best bet.

the second part, about him attempting to become a childcare worker?  that's troubling to me.  (i agree that it can wait until after the wedding).  it's your decision, of course, what, if anything, you want to do.  i think what usually helps me decide on those types of things is how i would feel afterward if something did happen to one of those kids at his hands.

i'm not trying to guilt you, just trying to be realistic.  if you're not able to go thru all that it might mean to report him to the cops or social services as a danger to other children because of your own experience, then you're not able, and no shame on you.  again, it's a matter of self-protection.

if you do feel that you could go thru with whatever it takes, i would, in that position, report your concern to some authority.  you don't have to actually try to have him arrested, but let someone know, maybe even your t if you're in therapy.  when i was a practicing clinician, i was mandated to report such things to social services.  perhaps a counselor/therapist could help you with that so as to make it the least traumatizing for you as possible.

such a sticky situation, to be sure.  i suggest you go with your heart on that one.  on the first part, definitely, take care of you first.  say as little as possible for your own emotional safety.  you may want to bring this out in the open with your mother at a later date, but for right now, you have enough on your emotional plate to be going forward with.

these are just my opinions.  if they don't fit for you, please, ignore them.  bottom line:  do what's best for you.  big hug.
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I like vanilla

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Re: Wondering if I should disclose what happened *triggers*
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2018, 08:00:07 PM »
I agree with the others. It is absolutely OK to say no without giving a reason, and the broken record technique can be a useful tool.

I have some sense too that if you disclose T's abuse at this moment, it might turn into a 'songbird ruined J's wedding' discussion rather than a 'T was absolutely wrong, that never should have happened, how can we support songbird?' discussion. Of course the latter is what should happen but unfortunately, most of us on this forum grew up in families that generally did/do the opposite of what ideally should happen. It sounds as if your family (songbird) is in this category of doing something different than should (where 'should' stands for 'the morally appropriate thing' and/or 'what good and good-enough families would do').

As someone who has never tried reporting CSA as an adult, I cannot offer insight into that process; and even if I had, I still could not for your particular situation. However, whether you report or not, I encourage you to find supportive others who will stand by you through the process of reporting or not reporting as you decide - friends, family members you can rely on (if any), a therapist, someone from your local rape relief-type organization (they are often accepting of those dealing with CSA rather than only current situations), support from this forum, etc. Dealing with CSA is a big challenge whether reported or not. Having others' support can help ease the burden of it. I also encourage you to remember to practise self-care, especially during this stressful time. Whatever self-care looks like to you - warm baths, cuddling with a pet, meditation, walking in the park, a hobby, etc., etc. please do your best to try to work that into spaces in your life.

Sending healing and strength thoughts and energies to you as you move forward. :hug:
Baby steps count!

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songbirdrosa

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Re: Wondering if I should disclose what happened *triggers*
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2018, 02:31:29 AM »
Thanks everyone for your advice and support, it's really helped clarify things for me.  :grouphug:

I think I'll give the "broken record" a go and see how that pans out. If my mother presses me, I'm planning on saying that it's not my job to organise T, nor do I have any obligation to accommodate him. This wouldn't be too out of the question since I'm not the only one in the family right now who is expressing displeasure and frustration at his continued refusal to take responsibility for himself. My mother has been making excuses for him for twenty years and it's been wearing thin lately.

As to reporting him, I agree that if I do, it should wait until after the wedding. I'm starting to realise that I don't owe him any protection or loyalty, and that I couldn't live with myself if I knew he was in a position to do something like that again and I did nothing. A specialist counsellor I saw a little while ago told me about an avenue I could possibly go down where I anonymously report what happened, but don't lay any charges. That way, if he applies for a police check to work with children, it'll come up on the system and could potentially disqualify him. But I'll look into that further later. Right now, I think I'm still too angry, the wounds are still not healed enough, and I'm not emotionally prepared for anything that might arise.
She remembered who she was, and the game changed.

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Blueberry

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Re: Wondering if I should disclose what happened *triggers*
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2018, 02:37:13 AM »
I also encourage you to remember to practise self-care, especially during this stressful time. Whatever self-care looks like to you - warm baths, cuddling with a pet, meditation, walking in the park, a hobby, etc., etc. please do your best to try to work that into spaces in your life.

 :yeahthat:

Especially considering your other post from today.

I'm glad things feel clarified for you for the wedding. That was fast!  :applause: Good job!

The avenue the counsellor told you about sounds good in that it protects you and any children.
Should is
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for me.

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songbirdrosa

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Re: Wondering if I should disclose what happened *triggers*
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2018, 03:08:12 AM »
Yeah, it's been a bit of a taxing day today. I think I'm doing alright at the moment, but I guess I'll have to wait until later tonight to see if it's going to really hit me.
She remembered who she was, and the game changed.

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sanmagic7

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Re: Wondering if I should disclose what happened *triggers*
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2018, 07:16:57 PM »
we're behind you on this, songbird.  sending a hug filled with strength to say no and stick to it.

take your time.  your courage and bravery (i know how it feels, even when i did reporting anonymously) will be there when you need them.
learn something from everything.