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#224157 - 05/14/08 12:02 PM Help me decide please
king tut Offline

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2488
Loc: UK
I want some replies from family members mostly.

I am considering telling my dad about what my brother did. The thing is, i am probably not doing it with such a focused mind, i know i have all the people here to talk to and i need that, but when i log off i am all alone.

I know i will be making a rash decision, an unguided rash decision and it could just all go wrong.

My brother is here on the weekends. I live at home. I think i would have to say it was my brother because otherwise he would be guessing.

I'm feeling desperate and maybe that is because i'm about to mess up my exams and career because i havent been able to do any work.

Or maybe i just really really need some understanding and caring.

I think i just need to come out and tell him.
I have different drafts of letters.
I could just go ahead and do it.

Should i do it?


#224159 - 05/14/08 12:33 PM Re: Help me decide please [Re: king tut]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus

Registered: 01/28/08
Posts: 2614
Loc: Central PA
Well I can say that things went well when I shared with my family, but I wasn't abused by another family member. Also my T told me that most people don't get the kind of response that I got, which saddens me.

You know you're dad better than we do, and can probably better judge how he'll react. If you think he'll respond well to you and give you the support you need, I'd say go for it. I know some guys here have very antagonistic relationships with their fathers, and in a case like that, I'd probably never share.

I guess the biggest question to ask about any disclosure is what do you hope to accomplish by sharing and what do you hope will come out of it. Basically the "Why" question for disclosure.

It sounds to me like you really want to share it with him. From other threads it sounds to me like you guys have a pretty decent relationship. If that is indeed the case, it might go very well and be a very good thing for you.

No matter your decision, I hope it goes well for you. I read my letter to my parents, and it went far better than I ever imagined. I wish I could have a definitive yes do it or no don't do it answer for you.

I will say this though, and once again it comes down to who your father is and how he responds to things, but I know for me, if my son was in your shoes, I would want him to tell me.

#224162 - 05/14/08 12:42 PM Re: Help me decide please [Re: JustScott]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
Check out this article and pay particular attention to the section on disclosure.

I've worked with a lot of sibling abuse and it can be a real empowerment for you if done right. If you plan when, where, how, what you are disclosing, and to whom, it can work out to your advantage.

Good luck,

Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

#224163 - 05/14/08 12:45 PM Re: Help me decide please [Re: king tut]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
To help decide, ask yourself these questions:

1) Assume I did tell. Then, how would things be different. Would they be improved?

2) Assume you waited some indefinite time to tell. Then, how would things be worse?

#224167 - 05/14/08 01:02 PM Re: Help me decide please [Re: pufferfish]
sweet-n-sour Offline

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
Dear King Tut:

First, I would like to extend support to you. The position you are in with having your abuser be your older brother is a very difficult thing to handle.

From the perspective of being the wife of a survivor who was in those very same shoes in that, all I can say is to weigh this out, consider ALL possible outcomes (both best case and worst case) and make your decision from there. My husband of course had my support from the "get go" of his disclosure. Has this been easy, no it has not...there are good days and difficult days but the truth has helped to explain a lot in our lives.

From the perspective of being an aunt and learning that two of my nieces and one nephew (in the same family) were abused as children, this offered me the opportunity to be compassionate, caring and understanding of them and the issues that they faced.

In my husband's situation, after he disclosed, support was lacking (from his father and siblings) when he needed it most. One example was when we attended his aunt's funeral a year ago April and while we were waiting after the service to go on to the cemetary, all of his siblings, in addition to his father chose to go and stand outdoors with the abuser brother. When we sat in the car isolated, this really showed me what a division of family felt as if a line had been drawn between us all. It felt hurtful to me so I can only imagine how it felt to my husband.

I guess what I am saying is that only you can judge this monumental decision and how to proceed. Are you close with your father? What is the dynamic where your brother is concerned? Will you somehow be blamed or will you be supported?

I hope that I have helped and I wish you well in the choice that you are challenged with in this.

Best wishes,

Edited by sweet-n-sour (05/14/08 01:02 PM)
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

#224168 - 05/14/08 01:12 PM Re: Help me decide please [Re: sweet-n-sour]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey

You have all the care and understanding in the world from here! I think that ultimately, it would be good for you to tell your Dad. Should you do it right now? I don't know, but my instinct is telling me that you should work it through with your T first. You only just recently confronted your brother about this and while his response was pretty good, he is also still processing the affects of what he did had on you. I don't know if you've had any further conversations with him, so I don't know where he's at. I know it seems weird that I'm considering him in all of this, but if you want a relationship with him in the future, I think that consideration needs to be part of the process. If he's willing to step up and take responsibility, that will go a long way in strengthening the support you receive from your family. It's so very complicated when immediate family members are the people affected. \:\(

If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

#224185 - 05/14/08 02:24 PM Re: Help me decide please [Re: Trish4850]
KeithR Offline

Registered: 10/28/06
Posts: 363
Loc: Georgia

I think I have to agree with Trish. My perp was my brother, and I confronted him as well. There were two big differences between you and I. One is my parents are gone. The second is, it's been many years since the abuse.

But the fact is, I did want I relationship with my brother. I was hoping I could have one after I confronted him, but at that time I was willing to give it up, if he reacted badly to the confrontation. Since he reacted well, and he was a child himself at the time the abuse happened, it was easier to forgive him. For some reason, in my head, I keep thinking if my parents were alive, I would eventually want HIM to tell them. For me I don't think I ever could, plus he is the one that did wrong in this case. Even though he was abused too, and that would be part of what he told, I would be there and make sure he took responsibility for what he did to me.

I need to go back and read your post about when you confronted your brother, but I know it's very complicated and stirs up a lot of feelings. You need to decide what you would like to gain if this goes well, and what you are willing to give up if it doesn't. I really really hope this goes well for you. I hope this helps you some, and I wish you the best.


#224187 - 05/14/08 02:32 PM Re: Help me decide please [Re: Trish4850]
king tut Offline

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2488
Loc: UK
I've looked at the article.

Planned Disclosure.

There should be goals or reasons for disclosure. Mine are:

Validation- getting acknowledgment and support from significant others. I need somebody to care and to help.

Explanation of past or present behaviors- giving him a better understanding of why i am falling apart and withdrawn and alien

Ventilation- just wanting to get it out and tell others because it breaks the secret and helps get rid of shame

It is important to weigh the pros and cons of disclosing before you do it.
pro- he may help me
- i wont feel alone
- i wont do anything stupid
- he will understand why i am a mess
- he will understand why i dont sleep
- he might let me know he loves me
con- he may not believe me
- it may tear the family apart
- he may think i am gay
- he may avoid me
- dont know how he will react to my brother

Looking at the who, where, when, how and why , can help make a purposeful disclosure that can give the survivor a greater chance of success.

Who do you want to know? Select a person who is most likely to believe and support you:

my dad

Where you disclose is important. As a general rule, private places are better than public places but if you fear a negative or perhaps threatening reaction to the disclosure, a public place may give you more safety:

At home

When you choose to disclose is a consideration. You will want the person's full attention and time to process the news. Telling someone who is going out the door to work or late at night may not be the best time to disclose:

It would have to be sometime when we are alone

How to tell may be face-to-face, over the phone or in a letter:
face-to-face with a letter

Why is about identifying your goal(s) for disclosing:

just help

It is also about why you are disclosing to this particular person:

because he is my dad and i need help and support

or why now?

because it is getting more difficult

Disclosure works best when it is well thought out, has clear purposes and increases the sense of empowerment for the survivor. -> support network.

I'm not sure that i have clear purpose. Do i need a more clear purpose?


#224193 - 05/14/08 03:04 PM Re: Help me decide please [Re: king tut]
KENKEN Offline

Registered: 09/25/07
Posts: 762
I was also sexual abused for a period of about 5 years by my older brother. My parents are both deceased. I have a total of 7 siblings. Presently none of my family know that my brother, their brother, did this to me.

I am planning on confronting him this fall when I go back to where he lives.

This is definitely a very hard decision for me to make. And I certainly understand where you and your feelings are coming from also. In my circumstance I am certain that I will end up splitting the family. I am certain that he will deny sexual abusing me. Because we were close in age I am certain he will think of the abuse as just "fooling around". But I do know better. He messed up many parts of my life, including my sexuality. I know I don't have to tell you this. You are also dealing with the same on your healing journey.

What I do want to say is be aware that you might not get the answers or the affirmation you are looking for. And most of all you are confronting and disclosing for YOU and for no one else.

If you get a chance I would recommend renting the movie Antwone Fisher. The end especially will help you with disclosue. We have to be very STRONG when we disclose and confront.

I do wish you well, it is a big step to take and can be a very healing experience.



From the Movie: Antwone Fisher


#224195 - 05/14/08 03:11 PM Re: Help me decide please [Re: Trish4850]
Freedom49 Offline

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 2724
Loc: Washington State
From what you have told me of your father I am unclear as to his response. I think Trish is right also about considering how your brother will react and how the relationship is with your brother and your dad. I detect a note of real anger here in you wish to do this. You have been hurt by your family. Your dad was distant and angry at times with you for little things. You mother is in serious denial in that she could not see it in her friend and could not see it in you at all. I know that disturbed you. There was a good deal of satisfaction in telling your brother and in his response but I still detected some disappointment after that in you in your posts.

Lewis, what are you looking for? If you are looking for everyone to rally around you and give you all the love you missed, I am worried that you will be disappointed again and badly hurt. I would urge you to talk with Larry first. Really look into your self and KNOW why you are disclosing to you Father. I think the Why is the most important question you can ask right now.

From you last few posts, and yes I read them all, I have noticed that they are coming from your younger self point of view. You might want to examine that. I am not saying you should not do this. I think you should and that it could help empower you. I am saying you need to have a clear idea of what your looking for as a response, Why your doing it now and to Him, and how you will feel with him AND you brother knowing when it is all out there. If it goes badly where is your support. I personally would wait till Larry was back in town.


Take care and I mean take CARE of you.

Edited by Freedom49 (05/14/08 03:15 PM)

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