Supporting and promoting the well-being of mental health carers and their families.
Mental Health Carers Austalia.
Looking after ourselves
20-11-2023 12:04 PM
TW: Family abuse
TW: Mentions Abuse
Firstly, I would like to acknowledge that this post may be triggering to abuse victims. I would like to apologise up front if I cause any offence or harm. That is not my intention. I am simply coming to reddit for some independent advice and support as I feel extremely alone and isolated at the moment.
Using a throw away account to protect all involved. Over the weekend, my brother came out with an accusation that my Aunty sexually abused him when he was a boy. He was 4-5 and she was 14 to 15. She was I am extremely close to my Aunty and would basically consider her my older sister.
A bit of background first.
My brother lives and works in Dubai as a senior project engineer. He is in his late 30s and has had a volatile life. Started using drugs young. Went through drug addiction, recovered, studied and then moved oversees. He had no issues with girls, in fact the last two years has been the longest period he’s gone without having a female on his life. We are close, but before I found out about this abuse we argued a lot because of his behaviour and how it impacted me and my two sisters. He disclosed the abuse to me 15 years ago after we were arguing about his behaviour and basically said I’m like this because I was abused my Aunty C.
My parents new about the abuse, they found out when he was 16. They handled it terribly and instead of my mum confronting her sister with the accusations she swept it under the carpet in the hope that my bro moved on. I also suspect that my parents didn’t quite believe it because at the time by brothers behaviour was extremely bad, and he had been known to lie extensively to cover his poor behaviour. So I think my parents were worried that they could unleash hell on the family for something that was a lie. Well it’s been almost 20 years and this has not gone away.
My Aunty in the other hand. We have a very close relationship. She is only 10 years older than my brother and 12 years older than me so we were basically raised like siblings. Accusing my Aunty of doing this is something so far fetched that I can’t even get my head around it. She is one of the most principally based people I know, she is an amazing mother to her 4 sons, yes that’s right, 4 sons. She would cut off her leg to do the right thing by someone. This accusation has absolutely destroyed her. I would honestly be shocked if she makes it out the other side in one piece. She will either harm herself or have significant mental health issues because she is not in a good place. And my uncle (her husband) basically laughed at this and said it’s the biggest load of BS and that basically my brother has come up with this story to excuse his behaviour growing up and he’s targeted my Aunty to make his story believable.
I am piggy in the middle. My younger sisters don’t know. There’s just myself, my parents, my uncle (second oldest, my mum is the oldest) and a family friend. My parents are distraught because they don’t know what to do. I am a complete mental mess. I could not believe my Aunty would ever do something like this. I have pressed my mum hard about my Aunty behaviour growing up and she said there was never anything. She once got into trouble for flashing her bumb at a neighbour when she was a girl around 6 years old. But otherwise she was a dream child never in trouble and never have anyone any issues. She’s been with my uncle since they were 16 and he cannot believe it. I have known for many years but obviously the disclosure from my brother to my Aunty directly has made it very real. I now need to decide what I believe. Either one is telling the truth and I am in a lose lose. I either lose a brother, or an Aunty. When my brother first disclosed I was like fuck my Aunty fuck this and fuck that But as I thought about it more and more I cannot I honestly even speak the words that my Aunty did this.
There are also parts of my brothers story that just make it so unbelievable. Some of the locations where the abuse happened make it so easy for her to be caught. And I wonder where my grandparents were because we grew up in a Croatian house and my grandparents were always there. They never left our sight.
Honestly, I am a fricken mess. I have no idea what to do or how to think. I cannot concentrate at work. I cannot concentrate on my studies. This has completely consumed me. And what’s worse, my brother is constantly messaging me demanding to know what I am going to do about my Aunty who he expects I completely cut off immediately. I feel very pressured to act and behave in a certain way that suits his narrative.
I would love any support and guidance that can be offered.
20-11-2023 10:42 PM
Re: Family abuse
@AntonGovernor , I am so sorry you are going through this. It is unimaginable to think that someone you are so close to and obviously love could do this to your brother. It happens though. Unfortunately, it is more common than we all want to believe. It is always the last person we expect. I would say paedophiles come in all shapes and sizes. I would believe your brother. When it comes to child abuse, there are no false accusations. Maybe ask yourself, why would he lie about this?
Definitely get some help from a professional to help you process, heal and support your brother. Your brother can press charges. I am truly sorry for the collateral damage for the whole family, specially the children of the accused person.
I wish you peace, clarity and as you make your decision. It sounds like your brother really needs you.
You can get through this and help your brother too. Sending you love and peace.
23-11-2023 05:42 PM
Re: Family abuse
Hey @AntonGovernor ,
I hear your pain and your distress.
It is understandable you feel you are piggy in the middle.
I am curious what your brother defines as 'abuse'? I'm wondering if this is where the controversy is? Perhaps his definition of 'abuse' as a 5 year old is different to the operational definition of 'abuse'? This is what I'm thinking as I read your post.
I remember a child used to say that I was upsetting them. When the parents talked to me about it, I turned to the child and asked how I was upsetting them. It came down to, "You looked at me angry"....
I'm thinking.... oh, is that it? However, for a 3-4 year old, that's how she saw it.
Please know you are not alone. I can hear your distress and how hard it is for you right now.
I'm here if you need a chat.