I Kissed My Brother

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

This started when I was eleven and my brother was seven. (and ended about 2 years later) We hung out alot and he started asking, everytime we were alone, would I ‘go naked’ with him. I don’t remember how long it took me, but I said yes. (He would say something like “I really wanna ask you something, but I know you’ll say no” and I would spend like ten minutes prying it out of him, usually by which time I had already agreed to say yes to whatever he wanted to ask) the first couple times we would strip and touch each other.(well mostly he touched me) I had very small boobs he liked to feel.
He enjoyed the whole thing very much, but I always thought it was gross and awkward. But I didn’t say no. Eventually I took advantage of this and got him to help me ‘practice kissing’ I french kissed him about three times.
Eventually I found some self-esteem and told my brother no. I started avoiding him. I still avoid him. I can’t stand to be around him! Everytime I think about what happened, I cut myself or beat myself. I feel horrible about it.
….Was it my fault?
I feel like it is, and I hurt myself. But I feel like it’s his and I can’t stand to hear anyone say anything nice about him. I’ve never told anyone the whole story. I’m afraid they’ll think I molested him… did I?
How can I move on?

A: Let’s put this in perspective. You were 11. Your brother was 7. Neither one of you really knew what you were doing. If you were both 10 years older, it would be a whole different story. But you weren’t. You were kids.

What concerns me the most is that a 7-year old was this sexual. When kids that age are that explicit, I have to wonder how they learned what to do. Is he reenacting something that happened to him? Did someone show him movies he shouldn’t have been watching? Is he trying to make sense of something he saw?

Please stop trying to decide if these incidents were his fault or yours. If anyone is to blame, it’s whoever the older person was who was inappropriate with your brother. As you matured, you realized that something wasn’t right and you stopped it. Give yourself credit for that!

I do suggest that at some point you have a talk with your brother. My guess is tthat he is carrying around as much guilt and anger as you do. It would be a shame if you two are deprived of a relationship because of somebody else.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 Jul 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). I Kissed My Brother. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/07/14/i-kissed-my-brother/