I did it. I wrote about my brother sexually abusing me and my parents’ lack of support. Writing about this was not something I had ever planned to do, but it needed to be done. No one likes to talk about incest, yet it is the most common of all kinds of abuse. No one knows how to prevent incest, yet it is a devastating kind of abuse. It needed to be done, so I did it. I did it to show the world the silent face of incest. And I think there is more of an understanding now.
I think there is more of an understanding, because I saw anger and outrage. I think there is more of an understanding, because so many have asked how they can help. So let me tell you how you can help.
When I stand up and tell my story, if my brother is put on the Wall of Shame, please don’t talk about the age difference. He had the power and control over me. Don’t excuse him and say it must have been child’s play, it wasn’t. He abused me. Child’s play doesn’t involve threats. Don’t point out the differences in our religious observance. We have different lifestyles for various reasons, none of which are evidence for innocence or guilt. And don’t make judgments on the way my parents raised us. Please, just don’t.
What I truly hope is that all parents will have read it and taken it to heart. Cry for the survivors who have no loving parents and then vow deeply to never do the same to your children. Believe them when they speak. Hug them when they cry. Hold their hands as they heal. And never leave them, because they will always need you, no matter how old they are, no matter how much they push you away. We always need our parents. But we need them to love us and support us and believe us. Do it for your children, because only you can.
And I pray that whenever we hear about an abuser being exposed, we dare not defend his horrendous actions. I pray that all the survivors who bravely speak up are supported and applauded, not shunned and doubted. I pray that all parents do right by their children. And I pray that one day, one day soon, I can get up and tell you my story without hiding behind anonymous.
Thank you for your support.