Visit with older brother – is the abuser dead yet?

My older brother called me on the weekend and we got together to watch his kid play in a sporting event.

All in all it went well. He made an effort to connect, I brought my wife, and we were on his home turf in a way (watching his kid play) so he felt comfortable and we had an activity to distract us.

At the end we were chatting and he casually asked if our father had died yet, in the same ‘I don’t care about the evil bastard’ way I might have. It must have cost him something to ask. I liked that he asked in the way he did. I told him I’d thought he’d be the one to tell me, but that no-one had told me so he probably was alive. My aunt, at least would let me know.  I filled him in a bit on what I knew about what the other family were doing, which I know he appreciates.

It was very human, if you know what I mean, we had a reasonable connection.

He’s still apparently a perfectionist, and demanding on his sons for achievement, which he comes by honestly, since my mom put an enormous amount of pressure on him. If I ever get close enough to him to point it out, I’ll make the comparison, as I know that that pressure was something he told me was harmful when he was younger. Or I’ll leave well enough alone. He’s not without insight into his own stuff and must already know.

He’s a doctor, and he told me that he thinks someone must have been making some of the medical info about our father up, that he couldn’t have survived all the things we’d heard he’d had (.4 blood alcohol, flail lung, flesh eating disease, liver cancer, plus a recurrence of cancer) in combination.  This makes sense to me, but I can’t imagine why they would make it up? Maybe to make us feel sorry and visit him on his deathbed?  I said it seemed unbelievable to me too, especially after I’d looked up the average survival rates for each of these and calculated he should statistically been dead several times over.  I said if it’s true, then I’m going to live to 150, so that’s all right. He said he thought at some point he’d get a funeral invitation and find out that way.

I told him I think that since mom’s still married to our father, the cops would notify her since she’s next of kin. He said he hoped she wouldn’t inherit his debts, and I said I thought they had a legal separation, so maybe not. My brother  said that our other brother would probably inherit everything then, which was only fair since he was the one still in contact with the old bastard and I agreed. My younger brother would give it all to mom anyhow.

It was good to have a conversation like this with no pretense. I also got to be kind, to support him in rooting for his son, and to speak briefly with my nephew.

I should find out what the rules are for death notification. If my mom is legally separated, do the RCMP notify her or one of his other relatives when he dies? If someone knows, I hope you’ll leave a comment here.

The spiritual thing about this was that on Saturday, after I visited with him, I ran into a friend and got talking for some reason about my mom, she asked if I was back in touch, and I said no, she was dead to me. She already knew about the scars, so she got it.

Then on the Sunday I went swimming in the ocean with some friends. It was kind of impromptu, so we didn’t have bathing suits with us. In Canada it is legal for women to go topless anywhere that men can, so we swam topless to keep most of our clothes dry. It felt like a purification, to be swimming in salt water against my bare skin, not feeling at all ashamed of my less than slender, less than young body on a public beach.

Then the next day I get the call from my aunt about my mom. Interesting how it all came together. It’s kind of like when you finally let go of an ex girlfriend and flirt with someone new, and they sense it and call you up. People sense when the connections are severed, I think, energetically. If so, that’s good, because the connection with my mom does feel severed – when I said she is dead to me, I meant it. I wonder how this will affect how I read her letter.

0 thoughts on “Visit with older brother – is the abuser dead yet?”

  1. TY for all you’ve written. Difficult for my husband and children to understand family dynamics even beyond the years of childhood abuse. I got away in my late teens, away from my mother whom lied to anyone that asked why I slept in classes at school, called me a lier when I cried to her at the age of 12 asking her why I deserved it, told me if I ever embarrassed the family again by telling my guidance counselor at school that I needed help (and the courage it took to do that was amazing) but, worst, did everything to make my brother believe I was the reason the family was falling apart. My brother blamed me and hated me. I lived on the streets and in my car for a few years to get away before getting a job and finding a room in exchange for cleaning and going on with life. I heard nothing from my family and didn’t want to. Some 20 years later, my father showed an interest in my daughter (now 19 yrs) and stalked us with the help of my mother after popping up for a reason I still have no idea why. He had my mother in a sort of emotional hold as an extreme control freak with intimidation tactics as well. I worked hard to get away from them again. I tried to connect with my brother when I had been told from my grandmother that he had his first child. He was cold with me and wanted nothing to do with me. My father was living with them. I panicked and went into hiding with my children. A few years later, I heard from my brother’s wife and was told that she was concerned with my father staying with them in their home permanently as he was inappropriate at time and my brother wouldn’t listen to her about it. I had tried to put my family away from me but did contact my brother. I was hesitant; he was still very cold. I told him I know he never believed me and I didn’t want to cause problems but that if he had one doubt, he should keep my father away from his daughter. He was rigid, said one thing meant to hurt me and hung up.

    I put this aside for years. I married a really wonderful man whom is my husband and we work through patches and have for some years. He listens and he cried when I had some nights that were unbearable but there is a part of him couldn’t understand. But there was a trigger that was probably the worst thing I could have imagined. I can’t write how much pain it caused. My brother wrote me a mail telling me that he was sorry. That his now 12 year old daughter confessed to his ex wife that my father had been molesting her for the past 5 years. She spent the last few years living 6 months in a different state with her mother and the other 6 months in my brother’s home with a shared custody agreement. I don’t think I’ve balled so hard and been hit so hard as when I was told this. I felt helpless and knew exactly what that man was capable of. Thinking of the neice I had only seen a couple pictures of and what he would have done to her nearly broke me after so many years of keeping that in. My brother was a police officer. I tried to help him if she needed me but he was cold and distant again. I tried to ask what he said and did with dad, if he had filled out a police report. He said he couldn’t do that and ended it. I didn’t want to push him as he was trying to block me out completely but did try to plead with him to talk to his daughter about pressing some charges but he only said he told the SOB to his face to never come near his family again. A year later, my brother had a nervous breakdown. At christmas, he left his family and drove 6 hours overnight to show up at my doorstep in tears. My brother is an ex military police man with a very cool demeanor. It shocked me to see him like that. He asked to go to a park with me; he needed to talk. He wanted the details of what our father did to me because he didn’t know how to relate to his daughter. He felt beyond guilty and said he needed to know. He said he needed to know what ways his daughter could have been hurt. I already knew; my father was a consistent coward with years of the same pattern and favorite types of places, even favorite sick fetishes that I could easily think he had done to her. But I told my brother I wouldn’t do that to him. He cried so hard his shoulders shook and he said he was sorry over and over. We made a sort of peace that day and I wish I could say I got the thing I really wanted for so many years; a connection with my brother. But after some months, he was back to treating me coldly and telling me he wanted me to have no contact with his family. His ex wife was not so cold but basically shut me out the one time my niece tried to make contact with me. My brother is still taking care of my mother and the family has their problems with that. I only heard recently that they are having a lot of problems with my niece (now 16) and she doesn’t want to visit my brother at all. I had to let that go too. It’s something that I think about all the time though and just another hurt and helpless feeling.

    Well, thank you for having this page and your writing of your family. This is an aspect that very few people understand beyond the other area you wrote of-spouses and partners. Another work in progress. Thank you for sharing what I know can be very difficult in order to let others know they are not alone.

    1. Thanks for this. Yes its so wierd, heartbreaking and frustrating how family members go in and out of denial. I’ve come to expect it when soneone behaves well around the abuse that they will ve shut down next I see them. Solidarity. I told my older brother that if I ever heard my father had access to his kids I’d call the cops. As far as I know he believed me enough for that, especially after the police interviewed him when I reported.

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