Dear Family

content warning: abuse, violence, sexual/emotional/physical abuse, child neglect 

You wonder why I hate him so much. Why I can’t breathe every time he comes near me. You wonder why I have no pride in my last name, for he and I share it. His accomplishments are noteworthy, global and appealing. Mine are a faint whisper, soiled by the fact that I’m the designated “unfortunate” child–everything I do is hidden behind the curtains of your desperate pathology for a disease I don’t have.

When he was born, I wanted to protect him and love him. He was my baby. My baby brother. And I, his big sister. Such an honor. Such excitement. Such a happy blessing.

Until he started to walk. Not walk, run. And always at me.

You stuck us in the bath together, which makes sense when you’re 3 and 6 years old but–

one time you left us alone in the shallow water of our off-yellow tub. I loved bath time. We could make a mess and make shampoo mountains out of our hair. But he laid on top of me. We were emulating you. We were having “cuddle time”.

It didn’t actually happen just once though.

I know there’s natural curiosity and body exploration at those toddler ages, but what happened was different. Seeing you two always having sex so aggressively or after a violent fight–in plain sight–showed us what “love” and relationship looked like.

First you scream. Then you lay on top of each other till the room smells like sweat and old socks. Then you’re in love again.

 Mommy and daddy love each other very much and that’s why we have lots of sex. Dont bother mommy and daddy when we’re having sex. When we’re cuddling.

To say my childhood was hyper-sexualized is an understatement. Sex was something you bonded over with your pre pubsecent children. Sex was something you were cheering us on to experience. Sex was a symbol of happiness. Being proud of your naked bodies and not caring if someone walked in on you, or was sleeping in the same room as your, or overheard you–merely demonstrated how viable your sex life is/was. More important than anything else.

Walking around naked was status quo. Yet as soon as I was in the third grade and he was in kindergarten at the same school…things got really ugly really fast.

How many times did I beg you to listen to me?

How many times did I tell you he threatened to

tickle [my] vagina and wants to have sex with [me]

And you told him to go masturbate to a pillow. I was 8, 9, 10 years old. He was three years my junior. Seriously?

It wasn’t just the threats or abuse of a sexual nature that would be ignored.

It was everything. When he hit me in the head with a metal pole. When he pulled me across the driveway by the ends of my hair. When all the bruises and bites on my arms and legs were from him. No one else.

The worst is when I begged you to intervene. Make him stop. Please, please make him stop.

I told you about the time he tickled my vagina when you left us in the grocery store parking lot.

I ran crying to you and hid behind your legs every time he chase me, pinching my butt and trying to pull down my underwear.

Didn’t matter that we had company or if it was just us. You told me

boys will be boys. That’s how siblings are. They fight. He’ll outgrow it. He’s just being a brother.


Nobody else I knew had a brother like mine. A terror. A predator. A creature without remorse.

He twist my arm, rip my hair out, drag me across cement, force the passenger seat to fall forward till I banged my head on the dashboard–all in the name of “sibling rivalry”

I never brought friends over, because he would then torture them as he tortured me.

I can survive the physical trauma. The sexual insults. The violation against my body by my own brother. What I can’t survive is the fact that I did the right thing. I told you. And teachers. And my therapist. And you all refused to believe it was happening.  You refuse to listen to me. To actually hear the words coming out of my mouth.

He’s hurting me. He touched my private parts.

Instead you told me I was bipolar. And overreacting.

How many of my fears stem from the fact that he broke through the multiple locks on my door?

That you always listened to him and did what he said and never for a moment thought about me.

He choked Baby brother. Not once. Not twice, but regularly. You’ve seen it with your own eyes. And the only way to make Brother stop, is to bribe him or give in to his demands. Brother is the dictator of our family.

He hit Baby brother. Baby is 7 year younger than him. Baby is harmless. Baby can’t defend himself.

And you do nothing because you fear the child who has no remorse. Never listens to anyone or anything. “oppositional defiant disorder”–was the name they gave him. But you just took pride in how he was a

smart, athletic, high energy, kid.

What about me? What about the child he ripped out of my core and used as his personal punching bag?

What about Baby? Who only loves and admires his big, bad, brother.

You’re cowards. And selfish, negligent parents who can’t tell the difference between right and wrong. Or just continue to bury their heads in the sand and pray for the best.

You think you succeeded at raising him. But trust me, the fact that not just one, but two people (Baby and I) are forever scarred by his cruelty nullifies any pats on the back you give to yourself as parents.

Don’t you dare ask me about him. About seeing him. Tell me about his life. Don’t you dare act like my childhood was sweet and delicious. Don’t. You. Dare.

I had to fight to survive. I lost my childhood in the process. Now, I’m doing what I want and need. No longer taking action based on if it will upset Him or not. No longer cowering when he screams and comes after me.  No longer fearing the repercussions of calling the police on my own brother.

I am not his sister. He is not my brother. Someone who shares my blood is too generous. He is the monster you raised over the expense of your true children.







2 thoughts on “Dear Family

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