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#22548 - 11/25/02 05:29 AM problems w/my cousin
jaketk Offline

Registered: 09/26/02
Posts: 49
Loc: illinois
i have no idea what's going thru my cousin's mind. she's still upset with me, and her brother and my brother, for not going to the group therapy sessions. every thursday since we made the decision not to go, she's mentioned it in some way or another. the way that she talks to us now, it's the same way she'd speak to her father back when we still lived at home. she's made it clear she considers us her abusers. personally, that doesn't bother me all that much considering i take the blame for any actions i may have done to her. she's only agreeing with something i already think, so i can handle her being angry with me. but i don't like it being thrown in my face. i did the best i could, as did her brother and my own, to protect her. maybe it wasn't good enough, but dwelling on it won't rectify it.

the s**t hit the fan today when two guys came over who used to live with us. my older cousin and i had talked to them for hours on friday, and ended up having to spend the night. we invited them over so that they could see where we lived. k wasn't happy at all. thing is, i don't know why. they did nothing to her, in fact, aside from when they went to school with us, i don't think she ever saw them. but she was really irritated by them.

we got into this really nasty argument. she feels that we owe it to her to explain what went on when we were kids. she feels we're solely responsible for what her dad did to her. i'd heard that before, and it was pretty much bouncing off of me until she blamed my little cousin for the things that were done to her by her father. her brother got to her before my brother or i could. i hadn't seen him that angry since i was about 9 and he beat the crap out of me. by the way, my little cousin is 9. she said he was her father's favorite, and she'd get punished for the things he did, which is so beyond not true, it wasn't worth my cousin trying to disprove it.

for her to attack him like that, she lost a lot of the respect i had for her. to blame a then 4 year old for something her father did on his own inclination, that's just like what my aunts would do. i think this has to do with what her therapist has been telling her. granted, in my family, women don't have much of a position. they're pretty much in the background 90% of the time. but nothing's asked of them, other than not talking about what goes on in the house. i suppose she's trying to "break the mold'. become more assertive and independent. the whole situation was pretty much male exclusive. but i'm pretty sure she didn't want to be put thru the same kind of training we were. i won't call it abuse.

this is so frustrating. i can't fix it, and i can't handle it either. she's a victim of our family, and part of that is our fault. i thought that maybe we could work this out. she's angry, rightfully so, and she shouldn't have to hold it back. only now, i'm starting to see her like i do her mother, and my other aunts. i don't trust her anymore. just like that, it was there and then gone. i won't leave her alone with my brother or my cousin, or any of the kids in the house.

lost my trust. lost my respect. i think i'm beginning to resent her.


#22549 - 11/25/02 02:24 PM Re: problems w/my cousin
Wuamei Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
"lost my trust. lost my respect. i think I'm beginning to resent her."

Jake, I can't say I blame you. You've tried to help her the best you could and its not good enuf--for her. It doesn't seem she's trying very hard to see your side or anyone's but her own.

Part of that may be trying to "break the mold," which is fine as long as you don't go around trying to break everybody else in the process.

Remembering your story, I think her T may be playing a role in this too. I understand your reluctance to do that group therapy with her. She seems one-sided and something about her, just from what you've said, sets me on guard...

The point is, you were just as much a child & thus just as much a victim in all this as she was Jake. Don't let her, a T, or even your own inner & false guilt ever tell you any different.

OK so yours was a male dominance family system. Don't forget it was still an adult dominance family system, as all abusive family systems are. You had no dominance or control in that abusive system.

The fact that you were male obviously did not change that. You were still abused. Any abuse you "perpetrated" you were forced to "perpetrate" by the abusive adults with the power & control & dominance.

Thus, you were in fact not a perpetrator at all. No legitimate survivors or other recovery group, no legitimate medical, legal, or moral definition, defines you as such. So Jake don't hurt yourself by defining yourself that way. Don't let k define your self that way.

If you could have stopped the abuse she suffered you would have, just as you would have stopped your own. You did not have the physical or emotional or the power of any kind to do so. Had you tried, you no doubt would have brot even more abuse upon you & her. Maybe you did try, and if so I'm sure that's what happened.

You had no power or control or dominance. This was not just a male dominance system, it was an adult male dominance system. Period.

If k is saying otherwise she is being selfish at best. If her T is saying otherwise she is a feminazi at best. IMNSHO!

Jake don't let yourself be victimized by the old gender double standards in this situation. This antique abomination of an idea, that boys had more power to prevent their abuse (or that of others) than girls, is one of the main things that hinders us from healing ourselves & hinders others who ought to be helping us heal. This is the very kind of thing MS exists to stand against!

Most of all, it is a lie that is victimizing you all over again! Jake, refuse to be a victim! Be a survivor, becuz that's what you are!

If that means severing contact w k, you have every right & obligation to yourself to do so. And obligation to her--you'll do her no favor by giving any fuel to the fire of her lies, wherever they're coming from.

She wants to make this recovery all about her. Fine. Let her make her own recovery all about her. Your own recovery must be about you. If she can't accept mutual support in recovery, then she builds resentment in you & isolates herself in "recovery." That's not your fault, either.

I feel for k, really. And clearly you care about her, or your trying to. But you can't let her blame & destroy you, which wouldn't show care for her anyway...

Blaming a then 4 year old boy to his 9 year old face! Excuse me, but that strikes me as very sexist, very bitter, very malicious, and very narcisstic.

It also reeks of the smell of her T. Jake, I have to wonder what kind of relationship they have. Clearly not a very healthy T-client relationship.

Clearly not one you need to be involved in or pay any attention to as far as your own recovery.

Sorry Jake, I'm fighting to get down off my soapbox here. And I admit I react strongly to things like this becuz I spent my childhood years in a very female dominance & very abusive family system. Even the few men who abused me were instigated by my mother. So I've had it up to my ears & over my head with this demonic double standard sh*t! \:o

Jake you owe her nothing; you've already tried to given more than you can or need to, and she's thrown it back in your face apparently.

Personally, I think you're wise to not trust her with you brother, your cousin, the kids, or with anything.

Yes I feel sorry for her. She needs recovery too.
But that's not your responsibility. And where she's headed right now is not recovery. It seems like she's living off a vendetta against the entire male gender, of your family & maybe beyond.
She needs to get that out of her system, not have it fed by your needless guilt. Or by her T--but that you can't do anything about, except stay away from the whole situation.

Come on Wuame, get down off the box!... \:o

Jake, don't be destroyed by this. You were a victim. You are a survivor. Don't be revictimized. We need you here as a survivor. You need to survive. Take care of yourself, friend.


"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

#22550 - 11/25/02 11:54 PM Re: problems w/my cousin
jaketk Offline

Registered: 09/26/02
Posts: 49
Loc: illinois
i feel responsible for my own actions, regardless of the situation that may have caused them. i can see how it could not be my fault, but then again, i'm hesitant to simply write off the things i did and place the blame on someone else just because of the circumstances involved. i see people who too quickly say, "it's not your fault' when technically, it is. if a choice was made, however influenced by past events, some responsibility must lie with that person. the reason i say this is because so many have been abused by other kids themselves. where is the line drawn? when is it just acting out? when is it abuse? from k's perspective, we were her abusers. i can't fault her for feeling that way.

the punishment would have been simple enough. i'd be punished regardless. they really had no intention of doing anything to her, it was just a method to get us to comply.

i think her therapist is trying to help k thru what she's feeling. i doubt, however, that what i, or my cousins and brothers, might feel is coming into play. so much of her attitude is directed at us with the concept that we're withholding information she needs to know. and i think the whole thing of us all being male and her being the only girl does have a part in this. our experiences are different. fundamentally, everyone's experience is different, but in this case, she didn't go thru the same things. it's hard to talk about what happened anyway. it's a lot easier between my brothers and my cousin because we had the same things done and we saw what happened. i can't really explain it, except for it's like being a war veteran. unless you've been in battle, you'll never really understand. i've tried explaining this to her, but i don't think she likes the idea that we can understand her, but she can't understand us. thing is, we don't understand her. she's experienced a home life totally different from us. she had relationships with our aunts that weren't always abusive or hurtful. she has good memories from that time. we don't.

as far as my little cousin goes, that came out of nowhere. he wasn't even born when this all began. so for her to blame him, it just reeked of her mother's personality. he wasn't there, but i know he heard it. my older cousin wouldn't even let her see him this morning.

and that's the other thing. she said this to us, and then left out again with us like nothing had happened. i don't know if she's just venting, or truly angry with us. even if she felt better afterwards, i don't appreciate being at our expense.

but the trust is gone. the respect is gone. it's kind of hard to avoid her, or severe contact because we live in the same place. and i'm trying not to think of her the way i do women in general. that's been hard enough, since she's becoming a woman, and just seeing her like that immediately makes me want to back off. i'm trying not to apply all the innuendos my father and uncles taught me about the women of our family. i'm trying not to feel like she had it easier than us, and should therefore keep her mouth shut since we took all our punishments, and our training, and most of her punishments and asked for squat in return. i'm trying not to over-generalize this whole thing.


#22551 - 11/26/02 01:15 AM Re: problems w/my cousin
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
responsibility starts at the top of the tree, it started and continued on nothing more than the abuse of POWER.

Take the sex out Jake and what are you left with ?
Violence, threats, coercion, terror.... just add to the list - sex was just a part of it.

There are so many people involved it's always going to be difficult, especially when you are still in close contact.
But I feel you must seperate yourself a bit, think about the most important person in all this - YOU !!

Jake, I can see you worry about all the others, and I see you coming here and talking about your recovery.
You are behaving more than responsibly. But I fear you might not have the ultimate amount of stamina to carry everyone through with you.
Think about yourself Jake, heal yourself first - then spend energy helping the others.

Sometimes survivors need to be selfish.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau


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