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#429207 - 03/26/13 08:27 PM Good relationship with your abuser??
Farmer Boy Offline

Registered: 08/23/12
Posts: 442
Loc: Australia
Did anyone ever have a good relationship with one of their abusers after the fact (particularly incest).

I was abused by my brothers when I was young and one brother in particular I had a close relationship with (non sexual) from 13-33. It is called denial. Since the CSA stuff came up I have really distanced myself from him and we have not ever really talked about what happened when we we young. I do not believe that he ever meant me any harm by what he did. But harm me it did.

He and his family are coming to stay with me over Easter. crazy

He seems to really miss me.

I am so confused.

Is it possible to have a healthy relationship with someone who abused you?

More than meets the eye!

#429212 - 03/26/13 09:58 PM Re: Good relationship with your abuser?? [Re: Farmer Boy]
Country Offline

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 654
Loc: Alabama
I haven't had any talks with either if my abusers. One was my uncle. Wish I had some words for u bro. I will def be praying for u during this time.
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

#429217 - 03/26/13 10:38 PM Re: Good relationship with your abuser?? [Re: Farmer Boy]
Farmer Boy Offline

Registered: 08/23/12
Posts: 442
Loc: Australia
Thanks Country

Some more info .....
He knows I spoke to our half brother and probably assumes it was about the abuse.... there is kind of an opening to discuss that further.

Ok my confusion....Trigger warning!!!!

We were both abused by our older brother.

When I was 5 or 6 he and his friend MBed in front of me and showed me how to do the same. They both tried to penetrate me anally but stopped when I said it hurt. I was aware of their sexual relationship. He would MB in front of me up until I was about 9. Throughout the years there was lots of sexual talk and pornography. And talks about sex (gay and straight) with him and his 'friends'. He encouraged me to have a sexual relationship with another boy when I was 10 - which I did.

But there was good 'normal' brother stuff. We were very protective of each other. He was bullied alot (for doing 'gay' stuff and being a 'dork') and even though I was 4.5 years younger I stood up for him. When I was sick at an athletics carnival in year 3 he took care of me and got in trouble in the process. We worked on cars together. We talked about girls and he taught me everything he wished someone had told him about sex with girls. We were in a car accident when he was driving and he was so worried that he had hurt me. He has always been very competitive with me and trying to out do me (like all brothers I expect). He is a survivor too and has horrible depression and anxiety. He has no real friends and has a very low self esteem. He does put me down a lot and judge me - but I have always known that was just to make himself feel better. I can deal with that (mostly). When we were both married with kids we became quite close and hung out a lot. Our wives were friends. Our kids played together.

I really do want my brother back. But is that just a pipe dream??

I don't know if I can put this back in it's box.


Add: Just to clarify - I was 5 when they tried to sodomise me and they were both 10 and had starting to develop. It hurt because they had partially penetrated me. They stopped because I cried and they were not complete monsters. We were not close in age (4.5 years). All the sexual stuff happened before I reached puberty and my brother has never seen my developed thing. It was NEVER what could be described as 'equal' experimantation. My brother taught me that I lived in a world where boys had sex with other boys. That was what boys did.

Edited by Farmer Boy (03/27/13 12:02 PM)
Edit Reason: clarify
More than meets the eye!

#429237 - 03/27/13 02:44 AM Re: Good relationship with your abuser?? [Re: Farmer Boy]
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 929

It's so hard to know - you're in such a tough dilemma - precisely because your oldest brother's behavior contaminated your relationship with your middle brother.

To some degree, it is normal for brothers to see each other naked, including erections. To some degree, it is normal for brothers who are each old enough to masturbate to discuss that behavior, pornography, etc. To some degree, it is normal for boys of close age to "experiment" with one another and since your brother had already been doing that with one of his own friends, then it wouldn't be out of bounds for him to recommend to you the same with one of yours. The second darkest part of the story is when he tried to penetrate you - but even then, you say that when you complained, he stopped. A key characteristic of abuse is that it is unavoidable - that one participant drives it regardless of what the other wants. It might have been the dark side of experimentation, gone too far, but then stopped. Maybe.

But really, the darkest part of all of this is the fact that you straight-up identify him as your abuser. That emotion, that recognition, is ultimately all that counts. At least some of what the two of you had might not have been abusive - but enough damage had already been done that it all falls within the same boundaries. Like - if one brother was fond of abusive tickling (an under-recognized form of physical abuse - relentlessly tickling the victim until they can't breathe and lose control of bladder function) and the other just plain old tickled you like a good brother.... they'd probably both feel equally bad.

Your own judgment is ultimately what matters - if it felt like abuse, if it was unwanted at the time and/or had unwanted effects afterwards, that's that. However, you also describe feeling real affection and conflict towards him, and you miss the closeness you had for many years after all of these behaviors were over.

Honestly.... given the fact that you both see him as your "hero" and miss the non-sexual, adult-aged interactions you used to have, while at the same time from his perspective he might not have perceived any of this as anything beyond normal brotherly showing-off / experimenting / boasting, *and* the fact that you say he kind of teases you and puts you down often.... I honestly think you have to prepare yourself for being very vulnerable around him. Like, if you try to address the matter at all he might completely minimize it or be put in shock, having no idea what you are talking about.

The best case scenario: Middle brother is in a "serious" mindset. You say something honest but undetailed: "I've been trying really hard to work through the memories of what happened when we were all kids. Mostly with older brother but to a lesser extent with you too. Some of it really damaged me, and the rest, I'm not sure what to think of. I'd like it if we could talk about it." And he talks about it seriously, comprehending your needs.... maybe saying he feels the same from older brother. You can kind of uneasily start to rebuild the close, adult-aged friendship that you used to have.

Worst case scenario: You bring it up to your brother. He angrily denies any guilt, calls you a sissy for still caring about shit from decades ago, and makes it the basis of some life-comparison putdowns that you've described. Now... since you say he really seems to miss you, I think A is more likely than B.

But.... be ready.

And if you feel uncomfortable, BAIL OUT. And if that means excluding him from your life, then EXCLUDE HIM. You're being very gracious by even attempting friendly interactions with someone whom you define as an abuser, you've bent over backwards to make one excuse after another for him - "he was a confused kid who didn't understand what he was doing." I said above that some of what he was doing fits the description of "normal," but I wasn't there - it didn't happen to me - and I don't feel what you felt. If it feels wrong to be around him, then.... don't.

I hope that made some sense. It really is a tough situation and you've got to plan it out thoughtfully in advance - you've worked so hard and don't deserve any setbacks from a family member who might not understand now, for the sake of the *memory* of a family member with whom you had a different sort of relationship when you were at a different place in your life, under a different emotional state.

My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

#429240 - 03/27/13 02:55 AM Re: Good relationship with your abuser?? [Re: Farmer Boy]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4287
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
Lee - i think most of what Matt said is excellent - seems to cover it - from where i stand. i have nothing to add.

Matt - you should hang out a shingle and make a living of this - you're better than some of the professionals.


Edited by traveler (03/27/13 05:04 AM)
How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#429260 - 03/27/13 08:06 AM Re: Good relationship with your abuser?? [Re: Farmer Boy]
peroperic2009 Offline

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3869
Loc: South-East Europe
Hey Lee,
you post very good and important question. I see that you have had good relationship with your brother after abuse stopped and that gives me thinking that you two have a lot of things in common and there is base for good relationship.
I guess that in the most cases denial as you mentioned is on and we are not so keen to talk about it nor to share such shameful history, it is not pleasant, it was hurtful and it was wrong.
In my case I divided similar experience in two separated parts. One is me dealing with my own past and thinking relating to abuse and sexual matters in childhood. Other part that was also very important is about me and my bro doing some stuff together.
I needed to integrate and accept both parts to feel better and not like broken person.
It is for me easier to do it when dealing only with my own feelings and experiences somehow but dealing with another adult person who could feel same shame and guilt is somehow more difficult and I needed more time to break that isolation.

We were kids that were introduced to sexual matters way to early, that colored our world and has driven us in unwanted direction. Because of that it was easy to lost self and got confused. Many years passed before we were ready to openly talk about it and restore our relationship in full. We were always good toward each other but we never discussed things that have bothered us actually. My bro went to therapy (although not specifically related to CSA) much earlier than me and that helped also.
Even we never talked about our mutual sexual activities we cared a lot for each other. I must add that my brother thought the worst about himself as he introduced some "games" and felt responsible for my later confusion and other problems. I knew that we were kids and we didn't know better. So it helped us both when we talked about it.

So my advice for you is to take your time to be able to process in full your relationship with brother.
It is not pipe dream to have good relationship with your brother. He was protective toward you and by so he gave you reason to have warm and positive feelings for him, that was more than real.

Wait more, work on your healing (talk with your T about you and your brother) and you'll see what will come up.
Good opportunity for honest talk will show when you'll be ready and I'm sure that you both could feel a lot better after such talk.

My story

#429261 - 03/27/13 08:09 AM . [Re: Farmer Boy]
Life's A Dream Offline

Registered: 08/25/11
Posts: 886
Loc: Bouvet Island

Edited by Life's A Dream (04/22/13 03:05 AM)

#429275 - 03/27/13 01:48 PM Re: Good relationship with your abuser?? [Re: Farmer Boy]
focusedbody Offline

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 542
Loc: NY
Hey, FB.

When I see or talk to my brother, the hardest thing is to keep hold of myself. Because of the experiences I had with him, I feel like go out of my body just to talk to him.

That being said, I love seeing him. We had a lot of fun together as kids, even though I was oblivious to the darkness that I shut out, with his unconscious help. I guess that's what you mean by denial. I remember how in my late twenties my awareness started to grow. That was when I started to witness his strange physical presence with me. He would quickly put his hand between my legs and then walk away. He would cover his face if the conversation got too close to something. It wasn't until years later when he finally told me of his abuse that I started to connect the dots.

I guess what I'm saying is a sibling relationship can go through many different small changes, even while it endures. In the past two years, my brother has threatened twice to never talk to me again. Each time this happened, I didn't so much "back off" or "give him space" as much as slowly approach him again. I would listen to his rules for interaction and honor them, while also taking care of myself. This gave me a place to work from.

Overall, this has helped me get more and more information of the emotional kind. The more I observed him, the more I could put together the whole picture. For instance, whenever I encounter him in a situation where he is acting "sexy" and "flirtatious" with others (usually a family member), I stay away until I know I am safer, which contributes to my feeling empowered.

I hope you can find some openings for reaching out to your brother while also taking care of what you need. Just because you are confused doesn't mean you aren't brave.

Lose the drama; life is a poem.

#429277 - 03/27/13 02:03 PM Re: Good relationship with your abuser?? [Re: Farmer Boy]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
Hey FB,

I would at least consider making sure to get what he did out in the open, if you haven't already. There probably is no "should" in this situation. You've got to trust your gut. Hope Easter works out for you all down under. Let us know how it turns out.

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

#429302 - 03/27/13 05:42 PM Re: Good relationship with your abuser?? [Re: Farmer Boy]
csasurvivor1992 Offline

Registered: 03/25/13
Posts: 132
Loc: Texas
Hey FB,

I cut out my abuser, my father, about a year ago. I've experienced some of the greatest joys and deepest pain since then. All of it necessary for my recovery and a truly healthy and honest life.

It is probably different for everyone, but not speaking with my abuser has been the healthiest thing for me.

I did experience intense sadness and remorse at the loss of what I thought was a good relationship, though. After all, the father provides security, trust, encouragement, and for a son, an example of how to live. As I cut him out, I realized he provided none of those things for me. I wouldn't have realized that with him around.

Whatever your decision, I am confident that it must be yours and as Matt says above, your own comfort is absolutely paramount. If you have to bail, bail.

I know a friend who spent all of Christmas locked in a room because another pedophile in his family was invited and came over. My friend told his mom about boundaries and how she broke them. He took care of himself and kept out of the dynamic.

Boundaries are hard, for sure. But in this case, no one is more important than you!

Best of luck brother.
May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground, carry on. ~Fun.

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