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Dear McKoy: I was Abused by My Stepbrother

Dear McKoy:   Abused by My Stepbrother – My mother prioritized men and alcohol above me throughout my entire life. She didn’t even think twice before she went to live with her now-husband despite only having known him for a little over two months at the time. Even though he was a nice father to me, he lived with his teenage son who sexually abused me from the age of eight, until I was twelve. The abuse stopped when he went away to university.

It’s been over 15 years now and I try my best to avoid my stepbrother because I still feel scared being around him. My fiance and I are now living together. We have a beautiful baby girl, but since I gave birth, I found myself experiencing renewed feelings of anger. I also feel bitterness and contempt towards my mother for repeatedly failing to protect me from what my stepbrother did. I believe she prioritized her relationship with my stepfather and her drinking habits over my best interests. As a new mother, I find it difficult to tolerate her being around my child.

I never told anyone what happened to me. But I believe it was her responsibility to protect me. If I told her now I think It would ruin her marriage, and at this point, I don’t see what would be gained by doing that.  I just want to be able to move on with my life without reliving these haunting memories.

D. Thomas

Dear D: I am so sorry to hear about what has transpired with you. When you have a baby, it is extremely common to reexamine elements of your past that caused you pain and to take a fresh look at the way you were raised by your parents. probably the birth of your daughter has opened your eyes to the potential risk that your stepbrother poses to her or any other children.

It’s natural to experience a range of emotions when thinking back on past abuse. What happened to you was wrong and not your fault, yet it has had a profound effect on you. I get that you feel betrayed by your mother and that this angers you. I also get why you wouldn’t want to tell her for fear of her reaction.

You can do one of three things:  (1) Don’t do anything and think about getting therapy. (2) Talk to your mother (3) Report your stepbrother.

You don’t have to do anything right now. It’s fine for you to enjoy this special time with your daughter. If you can allow yourself to.

Ask Dear McKoy