Sunday, July 20, 2014

You seem angry, are you okay?

I've gotten that comment a lot in the last year or so - closer to 18 months, now that I think of it. 2013 sucked on a lot of levels, but the biggest issue was one that I'm pretty much forbidden from talking about (by both the court system, apparently, as well as my parents). But, at the same time, I feel it's my right to let it out. So without naming names or going into too much detail, here it goes. I've been wanting to talk about this for a long time.

Late in 2012 the cops came to our door looking for my younger sibling. Considering his track record, they pulled him in for questioning. My parents had been completely in the dark as to what he'd been up to - the sneaking out of the house at all hours of the night that was keeping me up wasn't a big enough red flag. His angry outbursts and threats to harm me and others around him wasn't a big enough red flag. They were stunned when they found out what he was being charged with.

I was just shocked with how I was going to be treated.

I became the fall person. I had absolutely nothing to do with the crimes he committed. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. But I became the "reason behind it". Because I didn't "love him enough" as his older sister. That I went away to college and was not around enough "forced" him to act out. This excuse came to light only after the courts didn't buy his "my parents never taught me right from wrong" crap. Gotta hand it to his lawyer, he tried everything to save his client's neck. To hell with the truth or the people it hurt.

His crimes are of the unspeakable kind, but because he was "under age" when they started, they ignored that they continued after he hit 18. The courts basically bent over backwards to protect HIM and not the victims or people around him. They slapped him on the wrist, and put him on probation mandating that he had to live with us. At the time I was running my business out of the house - my "family portrait studio" was no longer SAFE to be there.

We are a small town, news spread. They weren't rumors, they were true. Not only was he (rightfully) vilified, but so were my parents... and me. I lost ALL of my summer and fall business. I'm still trying to rebuild. I am still convinced that I will never be out from under it. Our last name is forever going to be tied to his crimes. And that pissed me off.

Still does.

Family and friends took sides. A lot of people that are friends with my parents bought into the sob story the boy told - and because they aren't allowed to know exactly what he did, and it was whitewashed by my family, I became though of as the unloving, selfish sister. That I wasn't ignoring what he did, or what he continued to do (the sneaking out continued until finally my parents couldn't turn a blind eye and turned him in to his PO), was the biggest sin a person could do. I should just forgive and forget was the message I got over and over. Nevermind he was STILL DOING IT... nevermind that he threatened me daily, coming at me with his fists several times, and spent several afternoons telling my mother in detail how he imagined he was going to beat me until I was bloodied and dead.

It was so bad that several times I ran to a friend's house just to get away. I stupidly always came back once dad came to the door with a hurt puppy expression promising things would change. They didn't until the cops once again came calling because someone broke the court mandated curfew and had no explanation for it.

He's been gone about 9 months now. There's talk that he'll be out soonish. I'm not looking forward to it. At this point I do not trust what I've been told as what it all means for me. EVERY time I was promised that I would be safe, that he would not be a threat, it was untrue. Every time something new came to light or he got into more trouble I became the fall person. I was either declared a liar, "mistaken", or it was my fault because I was "acting like a victim".

I don't trust that anything will be different because I haven't been shown anything that suggests that it will. His therapists demand that I talk to him - I refuse. So he has to send letters. They are pretty much textbook apologies. They are just words he's basically been fed, because they're words I've never heard him use. EVER. And it's all laced with the whole "maybe if you loved me better" theme that he played out all through his trials. There is nothing sincere about them. So I do not respond.

Yes, I think this is my right. No, I don't care to hear you tell me otherwise. Because you don't know the story, and because we have to protect the predator, you never will.

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