Joined: 01 Jul 2012
|Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:05 pm Post subject: Introducing Myself and Reaching Out
My name is Lakin and I am a much older sister of a survivor. She is now 38 and I am 50. She and I live half a country away and our third sibling, a brother, lives abroad. (all facts are true but I have changed all names and locations to respect my sister's privacy, that is critical to me)
My sister told me a year that the brother I have always loved and in fact, championed, molested her. He is 2 years younger than me, so 10 years older than her.
I am completely heartbroken. I love this girl so much and always have. I was her big sister and she looked up to me. She even took a picture of me in my prom dress as show and tell to school as the person she 'most wanted to be'.
She says she told my mom the next morning after it happened and that mom told her it did not happen, that she must have been dreaming.
She says she doesn't have any other full memories but she thinks there was at least a couple of other incidents.
I've always loved my 'little' brother, though he grew to be almost a foot taller than me in HS. I have not slept more than an hour since she told me. Who is he? and what was wrong with me not to see this?
We were talking on the phone about a wedding we might go to at the end of the summer. She just blurted it out. "Lakey, he molested me" I said Oh my God,,,,and then my whole body instantly went a deep icy cold,,unlike any sensation I have ever had,,I felt steely cold inside my bone marrow ,,,all in about a second. It was true, i just knew it and I said "Honey, I believe you, I do"
She calmly told me the details what she remembers She says she has only one full memory (but has come to believe there is more), which she believes was when she was about 6. She said he came into her room when she was asleep and put his penis in her mouth and asked her to pretend it was a tootsie pop and to just lick it. She said she did it for a few seconds but didn't like it so he went to the foot of her bed and masturbated. She remembers that he was wiping something on the floor and told her he had killed a spider and was cleaning it up and not to get out of bed or look at it and then he left her room. That would mean he was 16, plenty old enough to know what he was doing.
I was listening and crying as quietly as I could. She was so calm and even. When she finished,,,I said Oh my God,,I am so sorry, I am so sorry this happened to you. The next few minutes were a swirl,,I was crying and she told me again about telling Mom and that Mom said it was impossible.
She said, did anything like it happen to you? I said it did not and she cried some. She went on to ask me a few questions about small facts,,like where her room was compared to his and whether I thought my stepfather (her father) could have known.,
The room spun and I asked her to hold on the phone and not hang up but that I had to get some water.
I barely made it to the bathroom where I threw up. I didn't quit throwing up, at least a couple times a day the first week and now once a month or so when the full imagery haunts me.
I am so heartbroken for her. She has always been my heart. Her big eyes and sweet face, I loved every time I babysat or took her to the park or bathed her at night. we laughed and listened to music.
That poor child trusted me. When I told her to hold my hand or let me hold her when she tried to walk on the top of a wall. When I was in HS, I took public transportation home and the bus would let me out in front of our house. I would look across the street and she would be standing in her diaper or as she got older, in some little frock,,face against the glass,,excited for me to come home.
I wrote her after we hung up. I wanted her to have a note that she could look at,,I know sometimes when I am lost, I like seeing someone's actual words, not just have to remember their voice.
I said " Dear ______, You have had to be so brave and I am heartbroken that you did. I want to be very clear that I believe you. I believed you immediately and I am so sorry I did not know and did not protect you. I believe that ____ molested you and it makes me incredibly angry and sad and hurt for you. Whatever you want from me to move forward, tell me. You said you hadn't meant to say it,,so if you need time, take time. But I am also saying, I am 1000% here and while I might make some mistakes in it, I will do whatever it takes to help you. I love you and always have. Nothing ever will change that, nothing. I love you because you are you, you have made my life better and I would like to be here however you want. Love-Lakey"
Since then , she has pulled away almost completely. A few emails at first,,always about this or that. I brought it up a few times and she said " I don't want to talk about it" But the thing is that I have questions, thoughts, feelings. I waited to see if she needed time,,but over the year, now she is just gone.
I have sent light, neutral emails but no answer. I have called and left messages but no response. I don't know what to do. On one hand, I want to respect her boundaries,,but on the other, I feel that being quiet is like duplicating what happened. I WANT her to know that I feel her pain with her, and that I would do anything to try to help. I feel so guilty and I believe that while she says she knows I didn't know,,,,she MUST have feelings about where the hell I was.
How could I have not known? How? I have read 50, 100 or more articles or stories since she told me. I have seen the facts that people say,,that the perpetrator is skilled in hiding. But how? When you are so close to the child, how ? I sound like those women on talk shows,,and inevitably, someone says,,"you HAD to know" I am literally sick about this.
My head and heart is filled with visions of her, after i would put her to bed. Once this happened, she must have been so frightened in the dark. Where did she think I was? or my mom? or somebody? I sometimes cry so hard that it's more like a scream but no sounds comes out.
My brother and I were very close. We did not like our stepfather much, he was really boring and uninvolved. I was always my brother's champion and when my stepfather would belittle him at dinner, I would defend him.
It makes me literally retch to think that she heard that and thought I was on my brother's side. I honestly feel such red hot rage. I hate him for this, for all of this. for the years of what she has been through and for whatever he did to make her keep his secret.
I hate him for what he has done to me too. This is not about me,,it is about her,,but in a way he stole our wonderful memories too. She must have felt so alone. I think she must have been screaming inside,,'Lakey, he is hurting me" How could anyone have done such a thing to that sweet little girl? She was like a little bundle of love and sweet joy. And in the daylight,there I stood, smiling like all was well. It is heart wrenching.
How am I not part of this? at least to her mind, but even in our family. I defended him when my stepfather would tell him he was weak or stupid or not going to be much. Did I set the stage for her to not fight him? or was he just so much older and bigger that she couldn't even if she wanted to?
I'm exhausted. I can't sleep, I never sleep through the night. Last night I was awake every minute again, If I close my eyes, I can see him going into her room and I can feel her little sweet self freeze in fear.
I could kill him, I think if I had known I might have killed him. With my hands, I would have pushed him into his room and bashed his head in. I often feel like it now.
She says she is not sure she will ever confront him. So I am going to leave it alone for now and focus on her.
I just don't know how to move forward. I failed her in every way, when it happened and since. What must she feel to have spent almost 28 years with this secret. How she must hate us all. And where in the hell was my mother and my stepfather?
It's been a year now and every single day, the thought of her in the dark is haunting me. There are not enough tears or vomiting to get it all out of me.
I found this forum and I am here because I need some help, advice, support. I have a therapist but I am finding that I need even more. I need help to move forward. How to be in this life when all I know about my life is gone and where the identity I had as a great sister is gone? This has shaken me on every level,,even in terms of trusting myself,,my own perceptions of people and of life. To be clear, I am glad she told me,,I wish she had been able to tell me years ago. I see that as my fault, something about me made it too hard to tell me.
Thanks for listening, I know this is way long,,,,but I wanted to give a picture of where I am.
Thanks again and any input/advice is welcome.