36.5 It was so long ago, but it was yesterday

36.5 It was so long ago, but it was yesterday

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I did not see Karen this week, but time Marches on.   I saw Cathy three times, and today is my 50th birthday and my whole family had a party for me yesterday.  So it was an eventful day. 

I spent the night here at my parents because I had to get my tags for my car, and if I went home, I was afraid I would not get up and out in time.  The computers in Ashtabula were down so their traffic was here in Jefferson.  It was packed.  I took my number, left went and got breakfast, took Mom breakfast and finally got done. 

Then, I went up to Madison riding with my dad to get cedar chips.  We were talking about the “Aqui” on our VOTE HERE sign at the pole near the DMV.  Dad was saying that our culture is changing because these folks and the Muslims have lots of children, where we are not, due to selfishness.   I countered that some folks are unable.  He went off on the number of abortions and that there are that many folks that cannot have babies.  I told him I knew two women that could not conceive.  He said he has only known two in his life.  I lost it and started crying and told him that not being a mother is such a touchy subject for me.  I know he felt bad.  He wasn’t talking about me, but it is right there, with the decade birthday and all that.  I told him about stopping my meds and getting back into therapy.  He said he is glad that I am.  I told him that Nancy wouldn’t take me back and we talked a moment about that.  

I got the wood chips and they wrapped them on the skid and loaded it into my dad’s pick up.  50 bricks of wood chips, 5 on a row 10 rows high — yeah this is important.  We missed the drive with the light, so we had to go right instead of left, cross traffic to get in a parking lot, turn around and then back out on rt 20, and the skid of chips had had enough.  They fell right out of the truck.  Into the middle of rt. 20, a busy highway in the middle of Madison.  

Dad stopped the truck and we jumped out and started pulling the packages out of the road.  2 or 3 groups of young people pulled over and helped us, they loaded Dad’s truck up, and I called my sister and told her to bring the biggest vehicle, it’s an emergency.   I was so afraid the cops were going to come and ticket us.  But it didn’t happen.  My sister came, we loaded up the rest of the chips, and we drove to my place.  We unloaded Dad first and he left, and my sister and I unloaded her, and we went out to eat.  

I got back to Dad’s around 4:30 to see them cooking and the house cleaned, and my party was going to start in an hour.   It was a good party all in all.  My older brothers had their wives there.  Bob’s girl was not there, but his wife’s grandson was.  Brian’s boy was there.  Lynn brought her two girls. And my little sister had her husband and girls there.  And mom and dad were there.  Everyone had a good time.  

Before cake and presents, I asked Brian to take a little walk with me.  I started by saying that he tried to talk to me when he came out of the service, but I wasn’t ready.  That I was in a lot of therapy now, and I wanted for him to know that I don’t hate him for what happened.  That I know that we were both affected by what happened.  I tried.  He said he had no idea what I was talking about.  All he remembered was getting together with Bobby and beating me up in the basement.  I told him there was so much more.  I told him there were good things to and other things.  I told him I remembered cooking with him, and playing games.  

I told him I remembered him going up and slashing Mr. Arnholt’s tires and Ms. Delvinthals.  I remember lying for him and saying he was there with me the whole time.  I remember waiting outside while he broke into the grange building for the DND books.  He remembered all that.  I talked about his being raped.  He remembered that, but he said it was 40 years ago, and that guy was dead anyway.  Funny he said 40 years ago.  That was when he raped me.  He was raped 44 years ago.  But whatever.  He did not remember.  

I started to doubt myself, and cut that crap out.  I remember all those other things just fine.  And I remember the parts that I still feel a little to blame about.  No.  

It’s my fault.  He was drinking the moment he got to my parents’ house.   An active alcoholic is avoiding taking responsibility or experiencing pain.  I am disappointed with him.   I am angry with me.  And very, very sad.  I love my brother.  I don’t like him right now very much.  But I love him and I want him to address some of the outward signs of sexual abuse that he is clearly suffering from.  He weighs around 300 (like me), he has diabetes (like me, but he has to stab himself).  His blood pressure is high, like mine.  He is an alcoholic and a workaholic (unlike me, but like a lot of survivors).  He has been hospitalized for being suicidal in the service and more recently, he had his wife take his guns to Dad’s and had a breakdown.  He stopped taking his meds (like me), but he blames cost.  He won’t get his hearing aide fixed.  He has a low self-esteem.  I just told him again that I don’t want for him not to get help because of what happened between us.  He said that he never thinks about it all.  It was 40 years ago, and his brain wasn’t completely developed then. 

Ah well, I was a fool.  I really wanted for him to say just a word of apology or even just validation.  Bobby at least said, “I remember.”  That was over 20 years ago.  

Thanks for reading.  Watching the Browns get creamed.  At least the sun is shining.  


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15 comments

  1. Marissa Day Captain

    Hey Solongago,

    Thanks for the update. It must have been hard to confront Brian, but I hope you feel better (if not now, some day!). Please keep up with all of the great progress. You’re an inspiration!

    Marissa

  2. Gamato04 Volunteer

    Happy belated birthday! It’s nice to hear you had your family on such a milestone birthday. Your bravery is immense as you talked to your brother about what happened. Thank you for this update. Keep fighting

  3. Solongago

    Thank you. I got through the colposcopy. It was awful. The prep was not as bad as the previous preps over 15 years ago. But it wasn’t no picnic either. The doctor was this young, good-looking dude that asked if he knew me. uhm, no. He left the room and I said to Dad, “I don’t know about letting a young, good looking guy look up my bum. Dad said to think not another thing about it. I guess I was nervous enough for that, and as I wasn’t going to waste the prep. I went through with it.

    Oh yeah first the woman with the IV needle stuck my hand, blew the vein then found a spot on my arm and put it in there, then turn the needle vertical and I about lost it. She left the room and I looked over and said, “It isn’t in there???” She said from the other room, “well with all your jumping around…” I was PISSED. I’ve had 5 gallons of blood taken out of that arm, so I am not exactly needle-phobic. When she left the room, I whispered to the other nurse if I could have someone else try. The new nurse got it in one go. So both of the backs of my hands are stabbed and my arm.

    I began this ordeal telling everyone who would listen that I had to be put OUT. Dr. Kondru, what he used, put me OUT. I want to say 100, 99 and then my head crashed to my shoulder OUT.

    I have to admit the young man tried. He kept telling them to give me more of this an more of that, but he also kept putting his probe up me and I was totally freaking out, and 100% alert. By the end of the procedure I went down. The extra bendryl worked I guess. They biopsied a couple of polyps and they will let me know in 10 days to 2 weeks by letter, whether I need to repeat this in 3 years or 5. Never will be soon enough!

    Ok, so I didn’t get what I wanted from my brother. I talked in group about this Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Wednesday to the lady at the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center in Ashtabula. And here. And to my friend in PA. I am STILL unsettled. Why am I allowing this to effect me so badly? The guy is a practicing alcoholic. He was drinking the minute he got to my parents, and he did not stop until they left. He’s a drunk.

    I had said to him that what happened effected both of our lives. Well, drunks are busy drowning any responsibility, feelings, pain in booze. That is how they cope. What the Hell was I thinking??? I am the idiot for having expectations for a drunkard.

    I am mad at me, yes. But I am flipping furious with him. He told hem he doesn’t think about me at all. What an ASS! When I was talking to the lady from the Rape Crisis Center, I told her I was nervous about the word “assessment” so she went on a walk around the confidentiality block and I stopped her, and said, “right now I don’t care if you shout it from the mountain top, I didn’t do anything wrong.”

    I was pretty angry on Thursday too. I got angry in group and apologized, and Cathy said I do not need to apologize, and asked the group, who agreed. We are kind of agreeable usually. Cathy said that we might drive you up the mountain. LOL.

    Well, right now, at this moment, I think I am more angry at Brian than I am at Mom or Bob, or even myself. Bob at least said, “I remember it.” So much for forgiveness. So much for all the kind, religious, good reasons for confronting. Bullshit! I confronted him because I wanted something. I know that now. I wanted for him to acknowledge it happened. I wanted to be validated. I may have even wanted an “I’m sorry that happened, Sue.” Oh, this needs its own post.

  4. Zoe Volunteer

    Hey, Solongago.

    I’m sorry that you didn’t get the repsonse you wanted from him. I understand that we always want that validation, and I know how hard it is when we don’t get it. The important thing is, YOU know what happened. You know that your experiences and feelings are valid. You know that your story matters. And we know that, too. I know that you want him to acknowledge what he’s done, but just know that your experiences will always be valid, regardless of whether he ever admits it or not.

    Thank you for the update. I hope you were able to enjoy your birthday, despite some difficult things going on. Because you definitely deserve to celebrate yourself, and focus on yourself!

    Zoe.

  5. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Solongago,
    Happy belated birthday! I’m happy that you were able to be with your family on such a special occasion. As for your brother, I’m so proud of you for talking to him about what happened. That takes an immense amount of courage. I’m really sorry that it didn’t go the way you wanted. I don’t know if he’s ready to accept everything that has happened or what he has done. Yet that is something that he may figure out on his own.
    I’m glad that you were able to stop yourself from doubting yourself. You’re becoming more aware of your thoughts and working to stop the negative patterns. That is a sign of progress.
    Just to let you know, I believe you and your story. You are not at fault for what happened to you, and you didn’t deserve it.
    Thank you for updating us. I hope this week has been great for you, and we’re here if you need anything.

  6. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear Solongago,
    Happy Belated Birthday!!! I am so glad that you had good party and time with your family even if you didn’t get the validation and apology that you wanted from your brother. I’m sorry that you weren’t able to get that from him because it took a lot of courage to even talk with him about it and it means a lot to you. It sounds like you had a very busy day though and I hope things have been good since. You are really amazing and you have made so much progress…you’ve got this!!
    Sending you love and strength,
    Roxie

  7. Jess Volunteer

    First of all, happy belated birthday!

    Thank you for updating us on your story. It’s great to continue to hear from you and see your path to healing. It must have hurt to attempt to get closure with your brother and then not get that. Try to remember that his personal denial of his own issues doesn’t warrant you to quit moving forward! You’re doing great and continually stepping forward.

    Proud to hear that you were able to reroute your thinking when you began to doubt yourself. That’s amazing progress and you should recognize that!

    You’re so strong. Remember that and keep moving forward to the best of your ability. Please continue to update us. We love hearing from you.
    -Jess

  8. blashea

    Hi, thank you so much for updating us. I am sorry that you didn’t get the closure that you wanted and deserved from that conversation. However, you should be so proud of yourself, just as we are! That was extremely courageous of you. You have came such a long way. Your feelings and memories are valid. You are so strong and I hope things continue to improve. Please never hesitate to let us know there is anything that we can do to help.

    Also, Happy Belated Birthday!!!

  9. Jay Volunteer

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. It must have been incredibly frustrating to have that conversation and want some closure, or some recognition, but it was so brave of you to speak up, and I’m glad you’re willing to talk about it. Talking is good for healing and moving forward. Your memories are your own, your feelings are valid, and whether or not he said the right thing, you’re doing a great job.

  10. nicolegorman Volunteer

    Solongago,

    I’m sorry your conversation with your brother didn’t go the way you wanted it to. I hope one day he does apologize and get the help he needs. I want you to know that you shouldn’t let his actions stop you from taking the positive steps that you are taking toward healing. While you may second guess yourself at times like this, know that your experiences and valid and you shouldn’t stop speaking up about what happened to you if that helps your recovery process.

    Also, happy belated birthday!

  11. Deanna Volunteer

    Happy (belated) birthday, Solongago!
    I’m sorry to hear that your talk didn’t net you what you need to hear. You’re right about alcoholics, as anticlimactic as it is I’m glad that you recognize this and don’t blame yourself. It sounds like he does in fact think about it, maybe someday you’ll hear those words. Even if you don’t, you are doing something that he’s not: you’re taking care of yourself, you’re doing what you need to do to feel better.

    Thanks for coming back and sharing more ?

    Deanna

  12. kelly Day Captain

    Happy birthday, Solongago! What a great time to appreciate how far you have come and how hard you have been working. So glad to hear you had a great party.

    I’m sorry talking with your brother didn’t go the way you had hoped, but I think it’s great you were able to stop the self-doubt and self-blame. It’s not an easy thing to do. Your feelings are valid, your experience is valid. If you don’t get that validation from your brother, maybe you can find it in yourself.

  13. sfmbelle413 Day Captain

    Hey there Solongago,

    First of all, Happy Birthday! Another year of strength to celebrate. I love that you chose to spend a few minutes of your birthday with us by sharing an update. I’m glad you were able to have a party and to celebrate, you deserve it.

    It can be devastating to not have conversations go as well as you hope. It can be hard to remember, but healing doesn’t look the same for everyone. Each person copes and handles things in their own way. Maybe one day you will get that apology or validation you hope to receive from him. Sometimes time helps.

    Keep on watching that sun shine and finding the good. Stay strong.

    Sending lots of light and positivty your way,
    SFM

  14. stolenchildhood

    Happy Birthday! I’m sorry your conversation with your brother did not go as well as you wished it would. I’m planning a talk with my brother next weekend and I’m not sure how it will go. I feel your disappointment. Please give yourself credit for trying.

  15. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Thanks for sharing more with us, sorry that conversation didn’t go how you wanted it to go. Happy birthday, though, and you should feel good about that!

    Erin