Two years ago, I experienced a deep inner shift that freed me from attachment to my older brother, the one who bullied me, molested me, and impregnated me. Until this point, I had a constant yearning for an older brother who loved me, approved of me and would protect me from harm. Even during the years when I was enraged every time I thought of him, I still wanted him to feel remorse for what he did to me. I wanted him to change. And there was even a time when I thought I could help him change.
The thing is, when a person has no clue that their behavior is beyond reprehensible, they don’t see the need to change. My brother will never fully understand the consequences of his behavior in this lifetime.
Two years ago I finally no longer wanted what I never had. It was such freedom!
But, our parent’s estate bound us together in ways my father never considered, because once he swore us all to silence about the molestation and the baby I gave up for adoption when I was barely fifteen, in his mind the matter was closed. Since my brothers and I took over responsibilities of shared property ownership, I’ve had to have several uncomfortable conversations with my older brother every year. And when I’d try to get in touch with him he’d ghost me, not responding to text messages and taking up to a month to respond to emails, if he even answered them.
The moment I became free inside, I had to become free outside. I had to do something so we no longer owned property together. The year after our parents died, when the difficulties of joint ownership first surfaced with complaints about money, I (along with our younger brother) offered to buy out my older brother’s share of one property, but after hemming and hawing for several months, he declined.
Having done lifetimes of healing work since our parents died, with the new burning need to be separate from my older brother, I decided we would trade shares of the two places we inherited. That way we’d be free of having to deal with each other. I’d give up something, he’d give up something, and we’d be separated.
Initially, I was in such a state of grace that I thought it would be ok for my brother to use the place he was giving up if it was not being used, and to compensate us enough to cover basic expenses. But I didn’t anticipate the unbelievable resistance he and his wife put up.
A little over a year ago, after I told them where I was on my healing journey, and about my need to trade property shares, they were not on board at all. My sister-in-law very obviously hasn’t processed her husband’s past and still refuses to process it. She can’t even begin to accept the atrocities her husband did. And she can’t begin to appreciate what I’ve been through. What would really mess her up would be to know that his horrendous behavior towards me stopped because he got with her.
It’s taken over a year of conversations, emails, and eventually finding a lawyer to try to get my brother to sign documents I had drawn up last fall. Documents trading properties.
What he didn’t seem to realize was I could really, really fuck up his life, but that’s never been my goal. Despite the YEARS of horrendous things he did to me. He wouldn’t listen to me. He wouldn’t see my point of view. All I wanted was to be done with him so I could move on, and I told him this in countless emails.
He’s so dense he expected me to sign a release of liability, letting him off the hook for every shitty thing he ever did to me, before he’d let me be free. When I refused, he bullied me yet again and said he wouldn’t sign the separation papers. Instead of smacking my head into a wall, telling the asshole, yet again that he had NO grounds to stand on, when I received the release of liability I found a lawyer to review it and advise me. When the lawyer heard my story, he was incensed and wanted to go to bat for me. Initially, he suggested suing my brother, but as much as I had a solid case it would further entangle me and could take possibly years.
Instead, we came up with what was essentially a warning: a Demand Letter. It gave him a few choices. He could sign the documents that would set me free without my signing his release of liability, or if I signed the release of liability he’d have to compensate me a lot for decades of pain, suffering, and therapy costs. And if he wasn’t on board with either of those options, I’d sue him in civil court where he could potentially lose everything and be dragged publically through the mud. And criminal charges could be brought against him. No matter which option he chose, he’d sign the documents that would separate us, and would no longer be welcome on the property he was giving up.
Dragging his feet every step of the way, the predator finally signed the separation documents he’s had since late December. And I didn’t give away any of my rights! In the end, it’s taken the past three months of working with a lawyer, three more healing sessions, and $$$$. And it’s cost me part of my family. But just the other day I got word that it’s done. And any day now I’ll receive the packet in the mail.
I’m free! It will take a while to fully sink in, but I’m free from the man who made my life a living hell. The man who bullied, raped, and impregnated me against my will. The man who groomed and dominated me for years. Who no longer has any power over me.