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From Victim to Survivor: A Story of Abuse by my Brother

by Vanessa 

Quote from http://www.emdr.com:

"Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)1 integrates elements of many effective psychotherapies in structured protocols that are designed to maximize treatment effects. These include psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, experiential, and body-centered therapies2. EMDR is an information processing therapy and uses an eight phase approach. "

"During EMDR1 the client attends to past and present experiences in brief sequential doses while simultaneously focusing on an external stimulus. Then the client is instructed to let new material become the focus of the next set of dual attention. This sequence of dual attention and personal association is repeated many times in the session."

I have personally tried cognitive therapy, DBT, behavioral...everything under the sun and went through various therapists.  I still suffer from the effects of PTSD but EMDR has truly helped me progress along my healing journey to a point where I no longer battling with self injury or thoughts of suicide.  Talking about memories and your experience takes a lot of courage and it is never easy...but the truth is we are not victims of sexual abuse but we are survivors and eventually it is liberating to share the truth.

I am a survivor of sexual, physical, and verbal abuse by my brother who is five years older than me.  Despite the stigma attached to those that have been abused - I grew up in a middle class family in a middle class suburban town.  Both of my parents were stable and worked full time and were very involved in my life and my brother's.  But the one thing they failed to do was be there when my brother did horrible things.  The abuse started when I was still in a crib (1 year old); but I did not know this until I was 19 years old.  I always thought it started when I was 5 or 6, and then he sent me a letter when I was started the EMDR therapy after he decided to apologize because of his massive guilt (according to my mother).

After being threatened by my brother so many times I was unable to come forward about the abuse.  Babies obviously don't know normal social contact from abnormal and there is no way to tell Mommy and Daddy that your brother has hit you, touched you, or tried to suffocate you when you fear for your life.  Our basic human instinct, fight or flight - until I was old enough to fight back and say no (the last day he ever tried) -
I chose flight.

To this day my parent's are still in contact with him but I have not seen him since I was 16.  When I told my parent's at 14 he was immediately removed from my home - but it has caused my family so much pain, making it harder for me to work through my feelings and causing further confusion.  I could never understand from a parent's perspective but one thing I do realize is that you have love for your child no matter what - so it is not easy to understand or find a solution to a situation where one of your childen has abused the other; essentially altering their life forever.

I wish the best for every survivor out there and hope that at least one person struggling will look into EMDR.  The therapist I saw literally saved my life. 

Peace and love.
 
"My Brother the Demon"

Hand on my back
Shiver down my spine
Prickly fingers
You have a grip on my mind

Pulling down my pants
Hot breath in my face
Staring into my eyes
Making this another memory
That could never be erased.

Your arms hold me down
With forcefulness of desire
Asking “does this feel good -
"Or should I press harder”
One moment and my body betrays me
All of this – it's driving me crazy.

Nowhere to go and nowhere to hide
I give up and surrender
And let you think I'm yours
To avoid putting up with a fight.

Wrap me in a blanket
Push a pillow on my face
Lock me in a closet
But nothing will distract you
Of your regret and mistakes.

Pick me up, throw me in the dirt
Shove coke under my nose
Beat me until I hurt.
Congratulations -
You’ve suffocated me
And made me live with this disgrace.

Staring at the ducks
And the map on the wall
The Chinese stars in the window
And the face that started this all

Born into this world
And in one instant
You robbed me of my body, my mind, and my soul.
 

 
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