Words to Live By

Happily married. 41. Infertile/perimenopausal. TV and iPod addict. Transplanted Canadian living in California. {Warning - abundant sarcasm and frequent *gasp* profanity lie herein.}

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Ashes to Ashes

The funeral was today. I feel so bad for my surviving brother, being there by himself, surrounded by strangers on what was surely one of the most difficult days of his life. Even though they could not have been more different and went in totally separate life directions, they were twins and I'm sure there is a bond there that I don't understand. All I know is how I feel as the little sister, and it's a lot of sadness. Yes, even with many years of silence between us, there is still a grieving process.

For the incredibly insensitive troll who didn't think I deserved condolences, in light of what you decided not to share (i.e. your identity), I believe a big FUCK YOU is in order.

For the rest of you, perhaps a definition will begin to explain the complexity of my emotions.

in┬Ěcest [in sest] noun - sexual activity between two people who are considered, for moral and genetic reasons, too closely related to have such a relationship. [13th century. From Latin incestus , from castus.]

When it began I was 4, he was 11. When it ended I was 10 and he was 17. Without realizing what he was doing, my Dad saved me by kicking my brother out of the house when he was 18, after showing up late for dinner and high on something one too many times. It was the one and only time I've ever heard my father say FUCK in my presence. As in, get your things and get the fuck out of this house.

In my late 20s I finally dredged up the courage to tackle this demon and began therapy. Four years later I wrote a letter confronting him and copied the immediate family. He completely denied that anything happened. His wife at the time was in the court system and claimed to have found an anonymous police report accusing him of abuse. I had no knowledge of this report, and responded that if one existed, it proved he had done this to someone else as well. He hid behind her skirt and never responded in any way. She tried to file a restraining order against me and was unsuccessful.

The rest of the family was split on this news, as usual. My Dad was horrified and was very supportive, as was my other brother, who was able to cooberate and clarify certain events. My sister was terrified that I would tell her secrets, which I did not, and whispered to me that I was making a bigger deal out of this than I should. My Mom finally had to acknowledge that some of the things I had accused him of did indeed happen, given the agreement from other sources. Even then, she blew it off as something he was not responsible for, because "he was a child". And what was I?

Soon after this confrontation I turned 30. Within 6 weeks I left my ex-husband. The therapy had opened up a lot of wounds and made me realize the patterns and habits I was carrying that were self-destructive. Including allowing myself to be treated like shit by my husband.

The death of my brother, my abuser, is not something I had prepared to deal with. He died a young man. And today I feel like a very little girl.


At 4:21 AM, Blogger Colleen said...

Donna, I'm so very sorry! I was abused as a child, too, so I do know what it does to one as an adult. (abusive boyfriends for yrs here). I'm so very sorry you had to go through such pain! It's so unfair!

I'm sorry for your loss, and with the history between you and your brother, it must be so much more difficult to heal, yet again.

PS. Anonymous. FUCK YOU!!! That was beyond rude!

At 6:33 AM, Anonymous Molly said...

My God, Donna. You are such a strong woman. It takes such power of will to rise above years of abuse and still come out of it as a person who can have normal, healthy relationships. You are truly inspirational.

Now that your wounds are mostly healed over, it must be tough to have an event like this re-open the old scars. Your friends in the computer are here to help you through.

Thinking of you.

At 7:39 AM, Blogger Kross-Eyed Kitty said...

Donna, you must be going through a lot of crappy feelings right now. I can totally understand why you had no contact with your brother over the past 15 years (good for you for standing up to him and letting it out in the open what a shit he was.) Confronting your demons is what has made you stronger than those who chose to sweep problems under the rug because it was easier, and less painful. His death must cause some confusing emotions for you...just remember that each and every emotion and thought you will have about your brother is ok. Sad, glad, or bad.

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Internal Spring said...

I'm very sorry. I don't understand people - people who do these things to others, people who do nothing when they see it, and assholes who post nasty comments.

It's evident that you're a strong person, I'm sure you'll come to with all that has happened in your life.

At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My condolences.

Not necessarily for the death of your brother, mind, so much for how much turmoil this appears to have brought up again.

I'm sorry. I don't understand the things people do.

Birch and Maple

At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are amazing. Truly. You're doing the right thing for you by dealing with it a little at a time - it's your blog and we're all priveledged to get a peek into your extraordinary life. Anyone who feels otherwise should mind their own damn business - you cannot know people's pasts and their pains. Know that we love you. -Kym

At 10:18 PM, Blogger Sue said...

Donna - thank you for sharing your very personal story with us. I truly am so sorry for your loss. It would seem to me that the troll who doesn't believe you deserve condolences, doesn't know shit about the the complexities of love, family, and emotions.

Do you plan on spending any time with your sister and surviving brother?

At 5:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 5:20 AM, Anonymous oliviadrab said...

Donna, I am so sorry. I am in awe over what an incredible person you are. Every day you amaze me that you are still so together.

Anonymous, you really need to recheck yourself. If you think that after all this woman has been through you have the RIGHT to say a damn thing to her, you are sorely misguided. HOW DARE you judge her? I second that "FUCK YOU".

At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous, you think it shows class to come to a blog and write that kind of shit about someone you don't know?? I know Donna, and she has class coming out her ass.

I think it sounds like you made the right decision to not go too. It sounds like your family has put your through so much...you need to take care of yourself.
Love ya!

At 3:55 PM, Blogger Sandy said...

Donna...I'm sorry doesn't seem appropriate nor adequate, but indeed I am sorry that there isn't something I can do or say to help. I guess just know that we're here...listening...and supporting you.

At 1:11 PM, Blogger LovelyMonAmi said...

Donna, it is unfortunate that any of us would have to suffer from abuse froom any family memaber. It is even worse that those dsame family emembers have a hard toime in believing or accepting the fact that the victim was just that, a victim and that the abuser was in their mist in the first place. Our families were put here to protct us, at least that is what I would love to believe. But I have been told time and again that people make mistakes and should be forgiven.

I am not a very big advocate of forgiving people who have place dirty fingerprints on the clean slate that is a child's life. Abusers have no idea what damage that they do in the end. And, in my opinion, they don't care. I am also sorry for the loss of your brother. Is the brother who died that same brother who preyed on you?

At 2:48 PM, Blogger Sher said...

Donna, I have never been where you have been so I can't even begin to understand your feelings on all of this. Saying I'm sorry just sounds so trite but just know you are in my thoughts and prayers as always and {{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}} to you for what you are dealing with.

At 7:30 PM, Blogger panthergirl said...

This is so intense. I'm often amazed at how many of us...survivors of horrific childhoods...there are out here.

Check out Angela Shelton's blog if you have not already.

Hugs to you.


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