Anderson Family Secret.

I'm a 34 year old woman and have recently found out that I'm an ****** survivor. My Aunt Katerine kept this secret for 18 years. After the death of my cousin Richard she finally told my mother. Apparently my cousin Richard and second cousin Gus molested me and another of my female cousins (we don't know who) when I was 4 years old. Richard was 16 at the time and Gus was 21. He also beat me black and blue with a belt when I was 2 years old. My mother never left me alone with him again or so she thought. Gus also sodomized Richard when he was 12. None of us know how long the abuse lasted. Richard drank him-self to death by 2008. I have no memory of what happened but I've shown the classic scars my enitre life. Coming out is my way to start the healing process. Also, I plan to take legal action. Gus has children and grandchildren. God knows how many lives he's damaged.

Secrests Kill. My family has never spoken openly of any of this. There's a long history of all forms of abuse starting with my grandfather beating his children. My mother was abused and is an abuser (not sexually). Addictions, mental illness, eating disorders run rampant in my family as a result. I will continue to tell my story so others may learn. Ignoring it further victimizes the survivor. It is not our fauIt.
bryoungc bryoungc
31-35, F
4 Responses May 19, 2012

The addictions and the pervasiveness of things through your mother's family suggests the possibility of bipolar disorder. Things to look for in your family tree are people with any kind of diagnosed mental health problem, people prone to outbursts of irritation and anger, domineering personalities, alcoholism and addiction, depressions, so-called nervous breakdowns, spending sprees, suicide attempts, possibly a creative person, like a musician or an inventor. This is inherited, but can work out very differently in different family members who have the gene. Some people will think that folks in their family are just a bunch of mean, cruel drunks, but bipolar disorder is often at work.

Your story is painfully sad and very touching. You have shown inspirational courage in airing it at EP. By doing so you have set a wonderful example for similar abuse victims to follow. Furthermore, by virtue of revealing your story it enables you to begin a meaningful healing process and ultimately conquer the implications and the sequelae associated with the abuse you endured. <br />
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I wish you well bryoungc and success with your legal action. Thank you for courageously sharing your story. <br />
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Sincerely,<br />
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Fontana

It is often hard to be sure which comes first, the abuse or mental illness. I do know that mental illness, or any disability for that matter, makes one more vulnerable, and sometimes an inviting target. I also know that others suffer the most horrible abuse on record, and somehow remain resilient and are able to live functional lives. It is totally a mystery to me how early childhood experiences can have such a wide range of influence on personality. And how siblings raised in the same environment can be so different. I would love to have the answers for the mental and personality issues in my family.

lolmu, if i may comment on an excerpt in your comments namely ''It is totally a mystery to me how early childhood experiences can have such a wide range of influence on personality. And how siblings raised in the same environment can be so different''. The primary reason childhood experience similar to what bryoungc endured to cite a classic example can have such a wide range of influence on personality, is invariably attributable to the psychological damage suffered by the child. In severe cases that damage can be permanent and be the pre cursor to a myriad of consequential problems throughout the childs life. Even in families where psychological problems of a sort have existed through generations these can still be inherited through the genes with the potential for a serious consequential sequlae. Moreover, insofar as siblings in the same environment can be so different is concerned, is because psychological problems are subjective in their effect on a person, hence in a family siblings in the same environment may be different. It therefore follows, that because you and i may not be effected by certain psychological problems does not mean another individual should not be either. That general scenario does not apply to psychological illness. My comments are intended to be informative and helpful. It would be wonderful if you could have the answers for the mental and personality issues in your family. Cheers, Fontana

*good

Sigh. Sadly, very common. Hugs!