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#359018 - 04/08/11 07:02 PM "Brotherhood"/"brother"
Castle Offline

Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 758
So..I have been sitting on this for a while thinking about how to approach it, and what exactly my thoughts are and if I can get them into words.

I am having a hard time with the terms “brotherhood” and “brother”.

I know so many here rely on this and has saved them, being part of a “brotherhood”, but to me those terms are just tough to deal with as the abuse was at the hands of my "brother".

When people call me their "brother"’s a tough thing to process...I’ve wanted a good brotherly relationship as far back as I can remember and in some ways there were times I got it through a surrogate, but seemingly never from my blood.

A recent trip to T had me discussing some thoughts in regards to my brother, emotional vs. intellectual stuff, and how I will never have that bond with him, and that I’m working on acceptance (of that, and that he's an asshole in general) of that. We discussed a long time issue I’ve had, about always trying to get acceptance of people , which ties into never getting his acceptance. it led into a discussion about if I can put a “value” to what his love or the acceptance he could offer me equals vs. if I can surpass that with the “value” of the love and acceptance I get from the rest of my family, friends, and support core.

I get a lot of love and acceptance from my immediate family, kids, and close support...and I’m working on the acceptance thing...and it does outweigh my “brother” and even though I want to be loved and accepted by him, I cant get it from him for a variety of reasons.

Which leads me to the point that some here and elsewhere have talked about me being their brother...this is so hard... one the one hand it feels great..really great...on the other hand I put a huge amount of myself into being a brother, and I probably have unattainable expectations and pressure on others who want to be my brother even if they don’t know it. Being hurt b y my brother sexually and then subsequent non sexual abuse ( him turning me away, nor wanting me around) I have been hurt on a grand scale by a “brother”, that when an issue comes up with a surrogate brother of mine, and I get hurt again, I get devastated, and Survivor brain comes into play hard core. I can miss the 100 good messages and focus on the one negative or seemingly negative one.

I don’t have it in me right now to keep getting hurt, thus I am having tough time feeling or wanting to be a “brother” or to have “brother”s.....It hasn’t worked for me through 36 years..and its mostly my issue not the people whom want to support me.

I can and do love so many of my support, yet the brother thing is really getting to me.

I certainly know and can see how it is a really good thing for so many, and maybe the only ones whom can really get me are those hurt by their siblings, and I don’t expect anybody to stop calling their support or survivors their brothers...I just needed to be heard on this.

thanks for listening,


#359023 - 04/08/11 07:42 PM Re: "Brotherhood"/"brother" [Re: Castle]
freddie Offline

Registered: 03/28/11
Posts: 42
Loc: California
Great that you speak of this Castle. I've always avoided this particular word but possibly for different reasons. It's usage is somewhat on the same plane as the overused reference to legendary, or a legend.

Personally, I'm gonna have to really know you and that would not be through this method of communication. I could possibly begin to feel remotely wanting to receive this gesture of respect for the speaker of the word 'brother' if I was possibly close to wanting to be close.

So, there you have the negative side to the subject matter and I never needed to respond to a connection relative to your personal issues, I DECLARE US BOTH SANE.


#359030 - 04/08/11 08:50 PM Re: "Brotherhood"/"brother" [Re: freddie]
kb8715 Offline

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 811
Harris it makes total sense.

It's all about respect and all about supporting the other man here.

I can call you what you really are, a very good freind.


"You can get far in life by pushing except through a door marked PULL...." Profile quote in my son's senior year HS Yearbook.

#359050 - 04/09/11 01:42 AM Re: "Brotherhood"/"brother" [Re: kb8715]
r.m. Offline

Registered: 01/18/11
Posts: 106

I know that we've talked at length about this very subject. It's difficult on both of us in different ways. I've talked at length about this subject with my wife too. As you know, she's a survivor too at the hands of people facilitated by her "mother". She still craves the mother/daughter relationship with a mom, but not with that person. She's now gotten to the point where she understands the difference between craving that relationship with her "mom" and having a mother/daughter relationship. And, in the end, no matter how you look at it, it sucks. It sucks that no matter what you do, how you act or talk, the illusion we have of a sibling relationship with our "brother" will never become reality. It's a tough pill to swallow. Sure, we can say, "Well, I can just go out and find my own family made up of friends." Yes, that's an option, but it's not a true replacement and we know it. There's nothing that will replace that idea we have in our minds about what we expected of a sibling relationship. I think the key is to separate our idea of that relationship from the reality of that relationship. Difficult stuff, indeed.

When I came to this site a few months ago, I was very uncomfortable using the term "brother" with people here. I really had to take a step back and figure out what I didn't like about it and came to the same conclusion you have. From my standpoint, my "brother" is an arrogant, narcissistic asshole and I didn't feel comfortable calling the other men here that. From other's standpoints, I was putting them under the microscope of my illusion. Putting them under the light of what I always expected out of my "brother" just wouldn't be fair to them. I could always find a reason why someone couldn't fill that role. So, I've resigned myself to the fact that the person that sexually abused me for eight years and emotionally and physically abused me for much longer, is not my brother. I've gone to redefine every aspect of "family" over the last couple of months. I don't view the terms associated with these people a birthright anymore. These terms and words have to be earned. Several men here on this site have convinced me that they are worthy of that term. But in the end, the definition of "brother" that I put to these people in my life is MY definition. It is what I think a brother is and how they interact with me. No, there is no one here that is my blood-brother, but I'm okay with that. The men that I use that term with have earned my trust, my friendship and my love in various ways and ultimately, I decided to bestow that term on them. It's my gift to them and to myself. They may not see it as such a gift and that's fine with me. They may not struggle with the term like you and I do, but when I use that term with someone, I have a sense of empowerment and joy.

There are any number of terms that are used here that I'm not completely comfortable with. Definitions are tricky. We have dictionary definitions and we have our own definitions of things. Many here call themselves survivors and I call everyone here survivors out of respect for the work that they've done just to get to this site. I, however, struggle with using the term "survivor" for myself. I know that the dictionary definition would describe me as a survivor, but I can't quite attach it to me yet. I'll get there. The term "brother" and "survivor" are just labels as far as I'm concerned. We read so many posts here about using labels for sexual orientations and abuses and the like, which can all be personal interpretations that have idiosyncrasies that change from person to person. It's okay. We use them as we feel comfortable. It's also okay, good even, for you to express to others how you feel about certain terms. Those who see this and care about you will respect your boundaries of the term and will use something else that portrays the support, love and respect that they have for you. Just know that whatever term is used, the underlying meaning is the same despite what your or my definition of a certain term is.

You aren't going to be held over the fire until you call others here your brothers. Nowhere on the site does it say that you must use this term to refer to others here. Just like you said in your post, it helps for some to use the term to relate to the other survivors here. Good, no great, for them! I can clearly see how it can be good for some. In the other hand, as you know, I can see how it can be a difficult term to use, even painful at times. That's good too. It's good to recognize that and to face it and, if it's in your interest, to overcome the stigma attached to the term and redefine it for yourself into something that can be good for you too.

No matter what I, you or anyone else at the site calls it, we are all bonded by a certain trauma in our lives. We have an understanding of everyone else here on some deeper level than others do. There is an even stronger bond that we have with our support core for whatever reason. I may call it one thing. You can call it what you want. The thing that gets us up in the morning and going throughout the day is the knowledge that we have that those in our support core are there for us in what we need on a daily basis and keep us safe with ourselves. Define that how you will and be good with it.

How about I just call you my Castle and I'll have my own definition of that. smile Hugs, bud.



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