Hello. I am a 38-year-old father of two with a loving, supportive wife. My life appears to be the picture of success from the outside, and I am well regarded by hundreds of acquaintances. I say acquaintances because I feel as though I don't have a friend in the world, no one who sees or knows the real me. I haven't run from my abuse or tried to drown it in booze; instead, I tried to gut it out for 26 years. I almost convinced myself I had it together, but parenthood has a way of revealing the flimsiness of one's emotional bandages.

Throughout my childhood, my older brother made every effort to crush my spirit. I have vivid memories of him kneeling on my arms while punching my sternum until I almost blacked out in rage and anguish. He would belittle my every accomplishment. The constant demoralizing continued for years and yet, my buoyant spirit always resurfaced because I, like most children, was resilient. But when I was 12, the abuse turned sexual for a single episode when my brother pinned me down and shoved his penis in my face while mocking me for my lack of sexual development. Almost overnight, I went from being an extroverted model student to being a shy underachiever who couldn't maintain lasting friendships.

Since then, I've struggled with depression and suicide. I kept telling myself that what I went through "wasn't that bad" compared to others, and after reading others' stories here, it truly wasn't. I subconsciously accepted my parents' view that I was an overly-sensitive child and viewed myself as the problem for years. But I would give everything I have to be an overly-sensitive child again, lost in wonder instead of fear.

I thought I had it mostly together until I had children, the older of whom has a personality very similar to my abusive brother and tries to torment his younger brother in much the same way. This has evoked a blinding, bitter rage I thought I'd left behind and forced me to re-evaluate myself and my life. I've concluded that almost every aspect of my adult life is a response to my abuse and that I do not want my abuser to author any more of my story. I've also concluded that my responses have always had a fatal flaw: I tried to transcend my past by myself. That's how I find myself here.

Thank you for providing this forum.

Edited by ModTeam (11/18/12 03:49 PM)
Edit Reason: Added trigger warning for specific physical and sexual abuse descriptions