The Survivors Speak Interview series is dedicated to amplifying the voices of survivors by providing a platform to share our stories and connect us through experiences and healing. Read stories of Childhood Trauma as survivors share their pain, their hope, and their healing. Share your story in writing.
Brooklyne’s Story – Huston, Tx
Please tell us what inspires you to share your story.
I have wanted to share it for a little while now and recently I finally got a spur of the moment courage to write it down. For a while I felt like my story was less because my abuser is my brother and not a parent or an adult (although he did become an adult throughout my nearly decade of abuse). I never read another story that was like mine.
I joined a survivors group on Facebook and now I think sharing my story will be freeing/healing, especially since I haven’t gotten to start therapy yet.
Introduce yourself: tell us about your passions, interests, family life, favorite quotes, etc.
I’m 21 years old and I have an amazing fiancé as well as a one year old baby boy. I feel like I’ve lost touch with the things I used to call passions, right now I don’t really know myself but those things used to be writing & singing. I hope to find the love I had for both again one day.
Please share your story in as much or as little detail as you are comfortable.
I’ve wanted to share my story for a long time but honestly didn’t know where to start. So I’m just going to start from the beginning.
I was about 4 years old in the very earliest memory I can remember and that haunts me. The whole memory replays in my nightmares still occasionally. I remember him bringing me to his room and letting me play with this laser key chain and being extra nice to me. He always was at night. During the day he was the opposite. He was the mean big brother that wanted nothing to do with me.
He took my pants off and put his finger inside me.
I will NEVER forget that pain. Or the pain a couple times I peed after. Ever.
Some back story on my childhood situation: my mom was a cocaine addict when I was young and my dad was a psychopath whose specialty is in manipulation. My big brother is my dad’s son and he’s like 8 years older than me. My dad got custody because he passed a drug test and fought for it after CPS placed me in my grandma’s custody as a baby, so I was raised by my dad and I was a huge daddy’s girl. I loved him so much. I didn’t really see his crazy until after he met my step mom. Her crazy brought his out.
I realized recently he was another abuser in my life just in a different way, but anyways my abuse didn’t stop until I was 14. I kept quite until I was 18.
I didn’t fully understand that what happen was as wrong as it was until I was 16 and I told sister, I made her not tell anyone but her reaction really woke something in me and that was the first time I really saw it for what it was. I was groomed for years at the most fragile time in a child’s brain development. My brother molested me almost every night. I remember so many nights laying down in my bed after my dad tucked me in, praying so hard that he wouldn’t come in my room that night. Some nights when I was a little older maybe 6-8 I would pretend to be asleep and he would pull my pants down just enough to take pictures. Ill never be able to forget that feeling of trying my best to stay still and ignore the flashes of his camera. I carry so much guilt and shame from the things I did when I got older and went through puberty.
Ill never be able to change the fact that he has my virginity. I was 13 when he went all the way. He cried after and I comforted him. The next morning there was a sign on our front door that he was walking to the store and to not lock the door but he wasn’t home. He ended up being in the hospital with alcohol poisoning. I don’t think ill ever be able to shake the shame and guilt for all the times I let it be ok. I said it was okay. It was never ok.
I was so fucked up and I know this now at 21.
I’ve been through the endless rage phase but my healing process feels like it hasn’t even started. I just want to get the handful of memories that really stuck with me out of my head. I wish I could erase it with every fiber in me. I wish I could forget. I wish just one of the times in my childhood where it became clear to an adult that this was happening that it would have stopped and never happened again but it didn’t.
My dad walked in once. I was maybe 6 (the timelines of my memories when coming to my ages are an estimate seeing as my abuse covers my whole childhood and I was young) my dad walked in to the sight of my pants off and legs apart with his sons face between my legs and we were let to live together and be alone again. Now we were separated for a little while maybe a month where I stayed with my grandma and a “big” deal was made of it. But I was treated like I was in trouble and I was terrified: terrified of getting in trouble and terrified of getting my big brother in trouble.
I lied. I protected him. I don’t know when I’ll forgive my inner child for all the times I did or when I recalled what I said when I told my mom. That’s the only time I ever actually told anyone and I remember the scene so vividly just like those hand full of memories that I can’t get rid of.
I was visiting her one weekend, I was maybe 7 or 8 and we were in her kitchen and all I remember is just saying it out of no where. I just blurted it out but quietly. I said “Victor touches me down there”. (That was the first time I have even been able to type his name). Names are a big trigger for me for some reason, I would love to know if that’s normal or why that happened.
I legally changed my first name. My birth name became such a trigger for flashbacks and just all of the emotions in high school and the second I turned 18 I legally changed it. My moms reaction was to freak the hell out and it scared me and made me have that same feeling of before like I was in trouble and I know now that’s not what she meant but to my child Brain it felt like a big mistake.
It took me a long time to realize he was a child molester.
Even though I found out when I was pretty young, maybe around 8, that I wasn’t the only one. I remember being at my grandmas and by this time I already was in that protective mode because I loved him and nothing came of the other time I told or when my dad saw with his own eyes. I was watching TV and my grandma randomly turned the tv off so we could talk. She asked me point blank if my brother was touching me inappropriately.
Even after she told me my little cousin (2 years younger than me) told her dad about him touching her.
I don’t know her story or the extent of it but I doubt it ever stopped, he visited/spent the night at my uncles house a lot and so did I.
How can a father know this happened under his own roof and just forgive and forget about something like this? He still continued to be allowed around her same as me. Sometimes I wonder even if I told the truth. What would have happen? Would they have even done anything?
It’s hard to grasp how fucked up a “normal family” can be.
When I was older and I told my sister at 16 what happen throughout my whole childhood she told me about an instance from her own childhood with him. She only ever visited us back then since she was raised by our nana (mom’s mom) but she was visiting and he told her to close her eyes and to guess what he was going to put in her mouth. She thought it was an orange. It was his penis. She was about 10.
How he went undetected as a predator for so long I don’t know. It’s not like he even looked like a normal nice guy. He was a clearly fucked up dude with issues. He was in 2 car accidents as a child one when he was 7 that almost killed him (I heard about how much of a miracle it was that he was with us my whole life). He had part of his brain removed and his face is pretty badly scared. I do remember that being an excuse made for him by my grandma.
That’s not an excuse. Car accidents don’t make someone sexually attracted to children. I wish I was strong enough to put him behind bars. It makes me sick that he just gets to live his life. Married. With a daughter of his own. I feel like its my fault if that little girl goes through what I did and I know the possibility is there. I can’t fathom seeing his face again though. I couldn’t handle a trial even though I wish more than anything I could.
I daydream about what I would say on the stand but the thought of it being real is beyond terrifying and I think the guilt and shame I struggle with really holds me back from trying to get him in prison. The sad reality of our system though is that even if I was believed and he did get time which isn’t even guaranteed, I honestly have no clue how it would go if I made that decision especially with the time that has passed but he would get maybe a petty few years because that’s the system he wouldn’t even get what he deserves which is life in prison.
I haven’t seen anyone in that family besides my dad since I was 15 and then my dad exited my life when I was 18. I told him my story and confronted him about walking in. He said he doesn’t remember that at all but that he is here for me and will stand by me if I decide to press charges but he cant UN love his son – but he’s of course angry with him. I didn’t get that normal father reaction I needed; because it was his own son.
After we had our falling out, after fully knowing my story I saw pictures of them together, happy as can be. My dad said he wished me the worst in life and to never expect him to reach out to me that I was a disappointment. The falling out was literally over me trying to protect him from his cheating psychotic wife. I told him I would take care of him. When I found out about the cheating I felt so bad for my daddy, just to be treated like that. He was so manipulative my whole life, he could be the most amazing dad and then turn around and tell me if I don’t stop something he will make my life a living hell to the point he would ensure I killed myself. I never realized that he was an abuser in my life too just in a different way until recently.
I’m only 21 so this happen only 3 years ago and now I cant believe how clueless I was. How blind I was. My father recently passed away from covid even in his last moments of life knowing he was going to die he had nothing to say to me. Nothing to apologize for. Its really hard because we had so many good memories too it wasn’t all bad. It was back and forth but I vividly remember the good dad moments just as much as the moments his monster came out. I’m glad he’s dead. I wish his son was too.
I think the shame and guilt from the things I did when I was 13 is the worst part of all the abuse. The grooming caused me to be someone I would have never been. Once I felt the feeling of actually being horny. I went to him for sex. The fact I did that and thought it was okay. How do I not feel like it was my fault after doing that and all the other times I said it was okay and made him feel better when he was showing guilt. Its honestly my hardest battle. Hard is an understatement.
A memory that has been weighing so heavy on my conscience lately is when I was maybe about 9 – he wanted my friend next door to play “house” with us. She was a year younger than me and her sister (my age) was my best friend. We were all friends though but on this occasion he just wanted the younger sister. Ill never know why he chose her. I told her it was okay. I encouraged her to “play” and let him touch her. The memory makes me sick and I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself fully for that one nor do I know if I even should be forgiven.
I wonder a lot about how different of a person I would be today if he would have died in that accident at 7 years old before I was even born. I wish that one butterfly effect took a different course. I know this was so long, if you read this thank you for listening. It really is healing to write it all down even my deepest shames. I’m thankful for safe space to share things I can’t even say out loud yet.
What are some of the challenging ways your trauma has manifested in your life?
When did healing begin? Was there a catalyst moment and how did you reach this point?
The night I told my sister.
Her reaction changed me forever that night. I was 16. I lived in a state of rage. I wasn’t a fun person to be around and my now fiancé got the worst of my backlash.
I think getting past that rage was my first step in the healing process.
What has your healing journey looked like day-to-day: techniques, modalities, practices, tools you use?
Really nothing besides writing right now but i hope to start therapy soon.
What are two or three things you have learned as you heal that you believe are important for survivors to know as they heal?
It was NEVER your fault.
Your NOT alone. It is FAR to common.
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