My brother

I’ve been getting rolfing sessions lately. I’ve had two. It’s a bodywork method that is about restoring the connective tissue to balance, to release physical stuff held in the body. It was most likely in no way designed for work with survivors, more like held tension or sports injuries, really. Anyhow, I thought “held things in the body, that’s me.” and figured it might be worth a shot.

So, of course it’s bringing gunk up. I had a session a couple of days ago where the person worked on my back and then then next day woke up feeling as if I’d been punched in the solar plexus, and felt like that most of the day. That evening my wife and I went to a kids movie, how to train your dragon. There was this scene in it where the kid is in a ring with a dragon he’s supposed to kill and he’s trying to tame it instead, and his dad freaks out and they rush in and this sets the dragon off and it’s attacking the kid, and his tame dragon comes to rescue him and they’re going to kill the tame dragon, and he is begging his dad not to kill the dragon.

At this point I got triggered. I’m finding myself getting more and more upset, and I walk out of the theatre and go to the bathroom. I get into a cry and then start sobbing. Then in my head I hear myself saying “don’t kill him, take (kill?) me instead”, and calling out my older brother’s name. I think he was who I was trying to protect, offering myself to my father to rape so he wouldn’t hurt my older brother. I guess he really does have something to feel guilty about after all, although of course I don’t hold him responsible.

In the days before cell phones bathrooms were a refuge where an emotional girl could go to cry. Even if someone came in they’d do their business and leave. But no. Not one but two women came in and had long loud conversations on the phone while I was busy trying not to cry too loud. I could have let myself go into it further, and gotten more information (I seem to get the information more clearly if I let myself go fully into the feelings), but then I’d have been sobbing loudly and someone would ask if I was okay, and I’d have to pull it together and tell them I was fine and just wanted to be left alone to finish crying. Honestly, ladies, just pee and leave, it’s not a phone booth, it’s a place to do private things, like eliminate wastes and cry when you’re too heartbroken to do it quietly a dark theatre and don’t want to shut down, not to have loud conversations with your boyfriend that you could have in the lobby or hallway or whatever.

So today I have some unfinished crying rattling around in my solar plexus that I really wish I’d been able to vent yesterday in one go. Much easier that way than having to work into it to release the rest, without as big a head of steam behind it.

Do I really think I offered my father to rape me to save my brother’s life? We’ll it’s not out of character, for him or for me, or out of scale with what I now realize happened. These damn post traumatic memories come in such tiny installments it’s hard to know for sure till I get the rest of it, if I ever do. I know though that my first memory of the rape that I now have proof happened, was not much more information wise than this, so I’ll have to leave it open and see what flows out.

My brother is a dickhead for blaming me for the fact that me disclosing abuse got him into therapy. He needed therapy because of what happened to him and in his home, not because of anything I did. It’s just more scapegoating, anything that happens is apparently my fault. He probably remembers all kinds of facts and details he’s withholding because he doesn’t want to get into it, information I need to be whole. Bastard! To think I loved him enough to stand in the way of him being abused, knowing my dad wanted my silence about the rapes more than he wanted to dominate my brother. Well, you’re on your own now, brother. You’re on your own. And so am I.

4 thoughts on “My brother”

  1. I’m so sorry you’re suffering.

    The thing is, I have perfect memory of what happened to me because at the time I didn’t know it was wrong, and I never suffered violence. I’ve suffered from all those memories instead, most of my life. When I have flashbacks, I’d rather not have them, and I don’t want to explore them at all, they bring me only renewed pain, not new knowledge.

    But now I’ve accepted that flashbacks happen, and that I was not guilty or accomplice. They sting less and less, I’m getting fairly used to them. So I often easily dismiss them and come back to reality, where my life now is. The fact that my male companion doesn’t know about my abuse helps – I would feel dirty if he did. Strange, right ?

    I’m sorry you have to submit yourself to this kind of torment in order to find your peace. But I trust that you’ll find it eventually.

  2. Thanks Kate and Butterfly for your support. So far no additional info or emotion has bubbled out, but at least the solar plexus pain is gone. I’m just a bit more emotional, which I expect I’ll be untill the remaining 8 sessions of the rolfing series are over. This could be a bit of a wild ride.

    Thanks for the validation, Kate. My older brother is behaving so oddly about all this, that I know he has some gunk there. I know men are more clenched about these things, especially admitting they’ve been abused, but I think he’s a big coward for not coming out with it. I hope he’s not going to give me any trouble with the sword dance stuff. At least I know now not to invite him.

    Butterfly, you’re probably right that it might have been too intense a memory to come out in a bathroom. I’m usually so sure I can handle it (big tough amazon and flashback monster slayer that I am), but if this really happened and it takes bodywork for it to work itself loose after 20 years of self-permission to remember, then maybe it’s bigger than usual. I’m back seeing my therapist every two weeks, so maybe I can get into it again with her and get to the bottom of it.

    Blessings to both of you,

  3. butterflysblog

    Another beautiful post, Warrior.

    I can’t even count the number of times something has been triggered for me, and I have had to rush somewhere — like a car or a bathroom – to cry.

    I am thinking about the experience you had in the bathroom. As someone who believes in the Universe, perhaps G-ddess and the Universe understood that you were not in the safest place to emote and remember terrible things, and so they sent in some stupid half-wits to talk on their cell phone. Now your memory and its inherent grief can come out in safety, when you deem it to be safe.

  4. Dear Sword Dance Warrior,

    I’m sorry that you got triggered and had an unsafe place to work on it. I hope that you are able to process it further and gather more information.

    I can relate. I was often put in similar circumstances by those who abused me about my three brothers, one older and two younger. I always put myself forward to protect them. None of them have ever admitted to remembering anything. I know that they were very very young, but it seems to me they must know a lot and have seen a lot and have said nothing.

    The slightly older one is hostile, aggressive, and verbally abusive. He will never go into therapy. The other two are alcoholics and in recovery for many years. Neither of them have ever been comfortable about the abuse topics, nor supportive of healing. None of them have tried to blame me for their problems, though they might feel that way.

    I’m sorry that your brother has the gall to feel that and to express that to you. He is so wrong. You may be alone when it comes to your family, but you are not alone when it comes to survivor friends. You are loved and cared about. Good and healing thoughts to you.


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