Hello. I have an anxiety/panic disorder and I am working on THAT, but need help/advice on abuse. Growing up, my younger brother was phyisically abused by our Father and I wasn't, nor was our other brother. I am now 30 and he is 28. I still have horrible nightmares of my Dad hurting him (it is the REAL scenes of what actually happened) and I wake up crying and sad. I have a lot of guilt to this day, that I never told my Mom the extent of the abuse and knowing my brother went through that and sufferes much worse than I do to this day. How can I accept that that hell is over? How can I release the guilt? I can never approach my Dad about it, so thats out of the question. I just hurt so bad inside because of this and dont know how so fully move on from it. Any insight is greatly appreciated. (Im crying just writing about it)
Let me answer you from a different view point. I was horribly abused as a child, including fractures that were never fixed and other forms of abuse. My siblings actually participated in the abuse sometimes. They all hold terrible guilt.
But I have no anger toward them and have told them all that I love them very much and that they weren't responsible, even when they joined in. Our parents were responsible, not them. They too had been abused and they were simply doing what they had been taught.
With that said, I bet your brother does not hold you responsible at all so you shouldn't feel guilty. Guilt implies that you somehow had the intent of hurting him yourself or were somehow, responsible. And you were neither.
Go to your brother and tell him how guilty you feel for even watching his abuse and I bet he'll tell you that you had nothing to do with it. Then forgive yourself and try to find some peace. Get some therapy if you need to.
And going to your father will not help either as abusers often don't even remember the abuse they doled out and so they deny it. Part of their system of self-protection that makes it so they can do the awful things they do. He is sick too.
Abuse hurts more than the victim but you can learn and go on. I have found it helps to reach out and help others who were abused to give back in some way. Try volunteering at a children's hospital or facility for abused kids.
The Following User Says Thank You to jennybyc For This Useful Post: Charmbracelet81 (07-12-2012)
You have nothing to be guilty about as you didn't hurt him..your dad did. As far as not telling your mom, I suspect she already knew but for some reason dismissed it, maybe out of fear it would get worse?
All you can do is make sure you make your abused brother feel very loved and let him know you support him and feel bad for what he went through. Hopefully he is a strong young man that will one day let it pass and make a good life for himself. Obviously he will never forget, but knowing he is loved by you and your other brother should help him heal.
All my very best to all of you...JJ..
When you come to the end of your rope..tie a knot and hang on!
Thank you so much, guys! I'm crying (again!) because I feel hope now. I never thought about talking to my brother about it. I guess I didn't want to open that can of worms for him, and while talking about it will be emotional, I can see both of us getting positive outcomes from it. Thanks, again, I will update what happens.
The following user gives a hug of support to Charmbracelet81: dulcina32 (07-18-2011)