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Rape and Abuse If you or someone you know is being abused in any way and you need support or advice, don't hesitate to reach out to us here.

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Re-triggered by abuse years later - December 15th 2018, 11:28 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of rape or abuse, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

Hey all.

My older brother sexually abused my sister and I as children. I only remember one instance and it was pretty graphic. He did some really messed up stuff during the time I remember. And then my mom made my sister and I see him every weekend, even after the abuse came out...but that's another story.

Earlier this year my brother turned his back on his family, including his wife, and left the country to go to Columbia and be with his mistress. Ever since then I haven't been okay, but as the year goes on I'm less and less okay. I don't want to talk with my brother. I don't want to see my brother when he visits. I don't want anything to do with him. And even though there's "no pressure" to let him back into my life I still feel pressure to. I think my mom really wants me to make up with him. I know my grandmother does.

Anyway, I keep having crying outbursts and images of the abuse. I thought I got past all of that when I went to therapeutic boarding school as a teen and processed it there. I even did some EMDR. But I don't know if I ever forgave him for what he did to my sister and I, and I am reliving it, and it really sucks and I don't know what to do. I have a therapist, and I need to talk to her about this, but with the holidays going on it's really hard to do that right now.


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Re: Re-triggered by abuse years later - December 16th 2018, 02:32 PM

I am so sorry to hear your brother put you and your sister through such horrible abuse when you were a child. It's important to understand that you are under no obligation whatsoever to forgive him. I know you say you don't feel pressured, but maybe it's knowing that this is what your mother and grandmother wants for you to do that's making you feel this way. Remember, he did something horrible to you as a child, on numerous occasions. He doesn't deserve your forgiveness.

I am glad you are going to speak to your therapist about this. Maybe you can come up with new coping methods. I know you blogged earlier, and I think that's great.

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Re: Re-triggered by abuse years later - December 16th 2018, 05:03 PM

Hey there,


I don't believe that you have to forgive the people who hagrm us in order to heal or what not. I think that trauma can cause a lot of shitty emotions so the best thing you can do is try to work on figuring out how to deal with those emotions and move forward. For some people that means forgiving their abusers but for other that means learning to cope with the anger and sadness etc.


I know I haven't forgiven my abusers and I won't. I do know that I am no longer as angry and I used to be. I think what helped with that was realizing that my anger was causing me harm and I deserved better. It was a slow process but I can say that I don't get as angry or consumed by my abuse. It seems like you need to figure out what you need to move forward without any influence from those around you.


You mention that you have family that wants you to forgive them but it isn't their decision and they should be understanding of the fact that he violated you and doesn't deserve forgiveness. Forgiveness might be what they want so they can have a happy family or so that they can feel like things are better but you are under no obligation to forgive him and you are under no obligation to forgive him for your family.


You need to take care of yourself and figure out what you need to heal but don't let the pressure of feeling like you need to forgive him deter your progress. Don't let it prevent you from figuring out what will help you heal.


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