I can’t forgive my brother

Dark green is the awareness ribbon color for sibling abuse

I was psychologically tortured by my older brother for the first decade of my life. He regularly terrorized me to the point where now-a-days I have blacked out most of my memories in regards to my interactions with him. He never physically or sexually assaulted me. However, he did psychologically and verbally antagonize me on a regular basis. Whenever I did try to tell my parents about these incidents, they merely slapped him on the wrist.

Sibling abuse is extremely wide spread and perhaps the most common type of domestic abuse. However, it is minimized on a daily basis by both civilains and professionals. Whenever people come forward with their stories of abuse by their siblings, one common phrase they hear is “you should forgive them” and then give some reason to justify “forgiveness”. Yes, there are varying degrees of abuse. However, telling someone to “forgive” someone who abused them is just not right.

How the survivor copes with the aftermath of abuse is solely on the survivor. If they come to the conclusion on their own to forgive and move on, that is fine. However, they should not feel pressure by any outside force to do this. Personally, I could never forgive me brother. Not for the years of sheer terror I lived in. Not for how he outed me to my family in a public setting when I was a teenager. Not for the blankness in my mind where memories should be, but I don’t have.

I am simply numb to him. I do not want to “make amends” with him. I just want to continue on with my life. I don’t want to resume communications with him. I feel like if I did, I would just be drinking poison that would ultimately harm my wellbeing.

I’m a queer adopted healthcare worker who writers in their spare time. I have a MPH degree.

I’m a queer adopted healthcare worker who writers in their spare time. I have a MPH degree.