Abuse All Around Me
My brother has real anger management issues. I don't particularly blame him as he is only repeating behaviour he learned from our father. Our dad seemed to think that he was due "respect" because he was male, and he gained that "respect" through vicious beatings and verbal put-downs.
I learned at 12 that the beatings had precious little to do with discipline - which is how he justified them. And it was not really about me and my behaviour at all, it was all to do with him letting off steam and staying in control over us. I left as soon as I was 18 and moved far away, but was left with a legacy of rock bottom self-esteem and went from one abusive relationship to another.
I finally left my husband after years of mental cruelty, after he raped me on several occasions, and as I had two very young children, made the fateful decision to move back to my home town. Since I have moved back, my brother has carried on where my dad left off. He has pushed me down the stairs, throttled and punched me, is consistently verbally abusive, and continually blames me for anything that goes wrong in the family, which is somehow my fault because either "I couldn't make my marriage work" or "I introduced that 'piff' into the family".
I could cope with all of this, if it were not for the fact that my brother is 50 and has sponged off my parents for his entire life. He has never worked, never made any contribution to the housekeeping, yet has a HUGE sense of entitlement. My parents are now in their 80's, and pander to him for an easy life. Myself, and my other 2 siblings have worked hard for what we have, but it seems that the family home will be gifted to him as we all have homes. This is so far off being unfair that it should be criminal!
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. Your writing is good, and you express yourself well. It is clear that you have been a victim of abuse all of your life. As you know, your husband picked up where your dad left off, then your brother picked up when you left your husband.
There is no one to protect you but you. You have to be your own protector, your own champion, and get yourself away from your brother--and all abusers. As much as you hate the abuse, you have gotten used to it, and you have to break the cycle, or you will find yourself in one abusive relationship after another for the rest of your life.
I suggest you read the following page, and follow all of the recommended exercises: how to deal with abusive relationships.
In your childhood you were a victim, as an adult you're not--but your children are. Move out on your own, get away from your brother, and try not to expose your children to any more abusers.
It is time to start a whole new cycle, where you create a good life for yourself and your children.
Believe in yourself, and your good heart. You can do this.
My very best to you,
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