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All The Family Bullshit

September 29, 2015

Oh my god. Okay. I need to talk about this.

Content warning for family bullshit, gas-lighting, rape, incest and all sorts.

When I first wrote this I made it password protected. I’m now comfortable removing that because I reckon anyone who gets this far into my archive is probably close enough to deserve the full story, and in any case, I only protected it in the first place because I didn’t want my younger cousins to find it by accident, which is very unlikely with such an old post.

So. There has been a whole load of family bullshit happening, well, pretty much forever, but particularly over the last year and a half.

Last summer, I finally got the guts to tell my partners about the sexual abuse I suffered at the hands of my brother when we were children. I’d told my parents about it a while after it had happened, but they had done nothing about it. They also did not support me when they discovered that I had been raped and had an abortion, years before they found out; my dad asked me if maybe I was exaggerating, and my mum said that there was no way I could have had an abortion that young without them knowing. So yeah. Lots of gas-lighting. Which, looking back, was not uncommon with my family.

Just as I was starting to really get to grips with trying to figure out what all the stuff with my brother meant and how to move forward, he was arrested for sexual assault on a colleague.

When I talked to my dad about this, it turned out that my brother abused my sister as well as me, also several girls at school, and that this was the second colleague who had complained about his behaviour.

I’ve not spoken to my brother since then.

And I intensified my efforts to get some sort of therapy through my GP, which has been a complete bust. I eventually broke down and told the Doc about what had happened, and he directed me to Sheffield Rape Crisis, who have been awesome, and I started seeing one of their counsellors at the start of September.

By which time I really really needed it.

August was mostly dominated by my PIP appeal. It was super stressful leading up to it, and I was crushed when they awarded me no points.

Two days before my appeal, I got an email from my mum with a new postal address for my brother. I noticed that he had moved city about 300 miles, but was only able to ask my mum about it two weeks later.

It turned out that he’d moved for a new relationship with a single parent who had two young children.

Obviously, I was concerned that his new partner should be aware of my brother’s history, so they could make an informed decision on behalf of their children.

But I couldn’t make the call myself. So I asked my dad to do it. He refused. And when I put together all the pieces of my brother’s behaviour for him, and told him why I was concerned, he said that he considered my bisexuality and polyamory to be morally similar.

That was the last time I spoke to my father. I then made the decision to cut all contact with my biological family.

So yeah. By this point, I really needed the counselling.

In my first session, I described what had happened, and particularly what had happened over the last few weeks, and my counsellor had to check with her manager between our first two sessions whether she was required to report what I’d told her. The consensus was that a report should be made. So we did. The final details went off on Monday.

Today, my brother messaged Tom to ask what I’d done, and said that the children had been taken by Social Services.

I know that I’ve only done my duty at every point, and that I’ve just been trying to protect myself. I’ve not gone into a lot of other stuff that’s been happening

But this hurts. This is an emotional kick to the solar plexus which feels like it has been 20 years in the kicking.

I’m putting this out there because it’s such a huge thing, and it just feels like I can’t keep this to myself any more. There have been so many secrets, and people knowing different things. I just need to be honest and open.

I guess the only other thing to say is that I am getting therapy for this, thank the gods. It’s been hard to access, but is so far really promising.

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6 Comments
  1. YOU have done nothing wrong here. Other people are their own responsibility. It is up to your brother to sort his mess out, that is of his own making; your mention of things does not undermine his autonomy in any way, and he has no need or right to know what you’ve said. I mean, I know you know all this, but I hope you don’t mind one more person underlining it! You are strong and amazing, and are the only person I know who can knit boob allowance into a sweater, which is like adding a whole new level of awesomeness to something already, er, awesome. My friend is organising a fundraiser for Sheffield Rape Crisis in November – from all I’ve heard they are utterly brilliant, and I’m glad you found them. Sending hugs, you fucking warrior goddess xxx

    • Warrior goddess? Yeah. I can deal with that. And yeah, I know I did nothing wrong, but it’s still a big job of work to put it behind me. Your words and support help. A lot. Thank you.

  2. Hey, I’m not meaning to be nosey, but… could I get the password so I know what’s up?

    *hugs* as ever, Krysia x

    Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2015 22:25:42 +0000 To: aisyrk_gothski@hotmail.com

  3. CW: Small, angry hobbit, spouting shite because she’s so enraged that she can’t be coherent or sensible.

    So.
    I read this.

    Then I got a cup of tea because I was REALLY FUCKING ANGRY, re-read it, and felt no less incandescent with rage.

    I know you’ve cut ties (how the hell did you maintain them for that long when THIS was the shit you were getting served!?!); I know they’re still important to you at some level; I also know I’ll probably regret posting this while still angry, and I’m massively, Britishly, sorry. But. But…

    Fuck him. Fuck him. Fuck him. How fucking DARE he come back to you to ask you what YOU’d done?!

    Charlie, you’re a formidable woman; this I have long known. But to keep your shit as together as it is, for so long, in the face of THIS. Christ. I don’t have a lot of time for the Catholic saints anymore, but Jesus on a fucking bendy-bus, for the amount of forbearance, sanity, and sheer force-of-will to survive that you’ve shown in the face of suffering that makes grisly hagiography look tame, you deserve to be fucking canonised.

    FUCK THEM. How DARE they?! Do not be mistaken; YOU have done absolutely the Right Things, but how this was allowed to continue, how he was allowed to present a risk to others, to ruin lives for so long… There is fault here, there’s a FUCKTONNE of fault here, but NONE of it lies with you.

    Your actions may well have helped save some others from having to go through some of the hell that you did – you’ve done something fecking commendable, and really bloody brave, there, and I’m really proud of you for it, because it’s so hard at a personal level.For those kids, you’re the anonymous saviour, if any comfort can be taken from that.

    Stay strong. Stay shiny and chrome. Massive hugs, furious solidarity, and cake and shit.

    x

    • It is so validating to hear other people be angry at things that I was told for so long either hadn’t happened or were not worth getting angry about. Your anger is comforting. Y’know, like the sun, that massive nuclear fusion reaction. Dangerous, violent, beautiful and warming!

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