Today I am sending a letter to both of my parents.

In it I am asking for them to understand something that has been happening for forty years.

Ten years ago, my brother told me he was molested by a stranger. He said he told my parents too. Several years later, I asked them if he did and they said no.

In therapy, I have begun to realize that at a young age I somehow became the object of my brother's pain. I remember him becoming more aggressive and trying to humiliate me at a certain point and can't help but wonder if this happened at the time of the abuse.

My brother has forbidden me to talk about what he shared with me. By not letting me speak and by lying to me about telling my parents, it seems that he has prolonged the pattern of making me the object of his pain. If I tell my parents about it, I could potentially be asking for more of it. I become the one who talks about terrible things, the one who makes people feel bad, the outsider who ruins the family. He might feel forced to deny that he told me and then I once again become the one who shames instead of the one who has been entrusted with an unbearable burden.

So, it's a risk. One that feels worth taking. My body sweats at the thought, but it seems like the right thing to do.

Any perspective on keeping secrets versus letting them out would be much appreciated.

Lose the drama; life is a poem.