Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids

Reason #164: Family Gatherings

This past weekend, I celebrated Passover with my family.  My brother was there.

I forgave my brother long ago for what he did to me, but the truth is, I am terribly afraid of him.  Forgiveness does not equal an absence of fear.  I know what he did to me.  More importantly, I know what he is capable of doing, and I have a son, a child who is dependent on me and my husband for the safety of his body and soul. 

I live far away from my brother.  But at these family gatherings, I have to be on super-hyper-alert, and always keep one eye on my brother while keeping the other eye on my son.  To ensure that all eyes are everywhere, I always enlist the help of my husband, mother, and aunts.  Everyone knows what my brother did to me, and everyone has been instructed to make sure that he is never ever alone with my son.  Still, I keep my eyes on my son the whole time.  Every time my brother moves, my husband or I move with him, like bodyguards.

I wish it were all so simple as “banish him from your life, entirely”.  That is the simpleton advice that is always given to us incest and child sex abuse survivors.  Well, life isn’t so neat like that, with packages that can be tied with pretty answer bows.

I really don’t know how old I was when he molested me, but I think I was somewhere between 6 and 8.  I know it was in 3rd grade that all my grades went to shit, which makes me think I was 8 when it happened.  My brother was 10 years old when he molested me.  Should he be registered as a sex offender for the rest of his life for what he did to me when he was 10?  Should any of us be judged by our actions at 10 years old?  I don’t know the answer to this.  Some of me says yes, some of me says no.

My mother has two children, and one of them permanently damaged the other.  A babysitter damaged us first.  I wish these issues were as simple as “don’t go to holiday dinners”, but they aren’t. 

My brother has apologized many many times for what he has done to me.  I am pretty sure it is one of the major reasons that he has tried to kill himself.  Unfortunately, it is also one of the reasons I tried to kill myself too.

If I were a child now, I think he would molest me again.  Yet he shows no interest in other children.  Just me. How many other victims of crimes have to celebrate holidays with their criminals?  I mean, really, do people who’ve had their purses stolen – do they have to sit down to Christmas dinner with their robber? 

The thing is, it always sits heavy in the air between us.  We’re sitting at our holiday dinner, and there’s the din of the family talking all around us.  Can you please pass the corn, I say to him, as if being with him doesn’t scare the crap out of me.  As if every look between us isn’t laden with memories of him using my body like I wasn’t even in it.  My no’s meant nothing then, and I fear they would mean nothing to him now.

Most of the reasons you shouldn’t fuck kids are gifts that keep on giving, like this one.  There will be more family gatherings.  Birthdays, holidays, graduations – all these things that both of us would be invited to.  I don’t want to remove myself from my family, especially since my family is acknowledging that my brother abused me.  He has not done anything to hurt me in almost 30 years, and yet every family gathering consists of me standing on guard, watching my son like a hawk, and being the world’s greatest actress.  If you were at one of these family gatherings, you would think I am the happiest wife and mother, all smiles and laughter.  Yet inside, visions of what he did to me flitter through my mind like a movie reel.

Families look forward to holidays.  For incest and child sex abuse survivors, it is yet another time when we have to act like everything is okay. That is why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

9 Comments so far
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Hi, I am impressed you can even attend these gatherings. I cannot. Even talking to my family members/abusers on the telephone is enough to make my symptoms worse (I have DID). I love your blog. Pumpkin

Comment by pumpkin

Wow, Butterfly. Your posts are always on the spot! I completely understand everything! (minus the apology)

It’s heartbreaking that two lives have been ruined, heartbreaking that these lives can’t just go their separate ways and the separation would make you OK and take away what he did … heartbreaking that love and family and even fear still binds them, and that the hurt is so deep and of the worst kind.

I also don’t know if a 10-year old should forever be held accountable for their actions, but were it me, I would feel the same as you. If I had a child, I would protect them the same as you.

“I mean, really, do people who’ve had their purses stolen – do they have to sit down to Christmas dinner with their robber? ”

^^ that line is
One of the best and most poignant things I have ever read, period.

Comment by All Time Love

Pumpkin – thank you.

Comment by butterflysblog

All Time Love – thank you so much for saying that – just the fact that you seem to understand all the facets of this is so comforting to me. Thank you.

Comment by butterflysblog

i know what this is like. i’ve had the same experience with my brother in the past (thankfully he is no longer in our lives) and I’ve had it happen recently with a brother in law who is demonstrating too much interest in me (though he has technically done nothing). every holiday still is me having to be an actress and avoid every interaction with him, down to when my sister and her family leave and everyone wants hugs. i do not want to hug him, i suspect it means something other than family affection for him. thank you for your site, you are very brave for doing this.

Comment by randym23

Hi Randy – thank you for your kind words. -Butterfly

Comment by butterflysblog

Hi Butterfly,

I agree with you, child sexual abuse is the gift that keeps on giving. I have even said that several times in the last year.

I couldn’t read your post without constantly thinking of my own life, my own abusers, and my own family. I wanted to be able to focus only on what you were going through, but couldn’t. I never had an abuser admit to what they did. I never had a family member who was contrite or apologize for what they did to me. I never had a family who knew it and cared about me. All of my family abusers were adults or near adults. So it is hard for me to put myself into your place.

However I can understand all the complexities you are dealing with. I do think that I would be in the same circumstances you are in at family gatherings if I went through the same things you went through. I understand you forgiving your brother and the things you feel and think about him. I also see how horrible of a situation you are thrust into for holidays. I’m sorry that it is so stressful. I agree with you, there aren’t easy and quick answers for you. Good and healing thoughts to you.


Comment by kate1975

Hi Kate – thank you for your kind words. To be honest, I think it is nearly impossible to read another survivor’s blog without thinking about one’s own situation. It happens to me every time I read your blog too, and frankly, I think that is the healing part of reading other people’s blogs. It is independent confirmation that we are not alone.

Comment by butterflysblog

[…] been interesting trying to have my father in my life.  As for my brother, I have long since forgiven him, but I do not trust him in the […]

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