Sexually Abused by my Step-Brother

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I don’t know what to do, when I was a child I was sexually abused by my step-brother and this went on from ever since I can remember up until I was around 13, I have memories from when I was 6ish, but there only vague so it could have happened earlier as I understand that with sexual abuse, when your so young, it’s hard to process what’s going on and therefore you may not recollect it which is why abusers target young children.

When I was 13, one day I just broke down and refused to go school, locked myself in the bathroom etc and just cried – I then ended up texting my dad (who was at work) everything that had gone on with my step-brother, from grooming, touching to actual intercourse and rape – my dad rang my mum and explained everything to her, so I then didn’t have to go to school.

Later on that evening, my brother was kicked out and ever since we’ve not spoken about what happened, I feel dirty, and I feel as though my parents are ashamed of me for what happened, they have never offered me support or spoke to me about what went on, after i text my dad, telling him everything that was it – it’s almost like I was expected to forget about everything.

I just can’t cope. I now have a boyfriend, been with him for 2 years and 3 months now, and I’ve told him everything in which he was really supportive, but, I still have really bad trust issues and I hate intimacy and sexual intercourse – how do I get around this? and why did my parents ignore it all and ignore my screams during the night (well mum did, dad lives away from the family home) – I’m 20 now, why isn’t all of this getting easier, only harder ? :(

A. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for you to deal with these issues because they remain unresolved. Typically, problems such as these don’t simply go away and you should not expect them to. Therapy could assist you.

As a child, your parents could have sought professional help for you after having learned what your brother had done. They failed to help you and unfortunately you are paying the psychological price.

Intimacy and trust issues related to sexual abuse are very common problems in counseling settings. As a child, you had very little power but as an adult you have the power to choose to seek help. I would recommend seeing a therapist who specializes in trauma or sexual relations issues (sex therapist).

The fact that you have chosen to write this letter may indicate that you are ready and open to seeking professional help. It also helps that you have a supportive boyfriend. You can gain a great deal of support in therapy. I hope you will consider it. You will be glad that you did. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Aug 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Sexually Abused by my Step-Brother. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/08/28/sexually-abused-by-my-step-brother/