On family violence.

The other day my mom called the police on my 19 year old brother for shoving me and then slapping me in the head. I’d provoked the argument, yes, and it was a ridiculous sibling-type argument to begin with. I take full responsibility there. But did I deserve to be hit? No. The thing is, he’s hit me before and actually beaten me up. A couple of months ago he punched me in the nose and almost broke it, and yanked my 21 year old sister by the hair. This happened back in March, and this time it was a much lesser offense, but my mom was actually there to see it finally.

So here’s what really bothers me. I have to testify against him in a few hours at family court, and this may or may not give him a criminal record. I don’t like my brother one bit. For a 19 year old boy, who’s 6’ and 180 pounds to hit a 16 year old girl who’s a foot shorter and 50 pounds lighter is ridiculous. I don’t believe in hitting in the first place ever, except in a case of self-defense. And I didn’t even hit back, either time. But the thing is, as much as I dislike my brother, I still love him and care about him. I don’t want him to have a criminal record, and I don’t want him to hate me forever. He’s possibly bi-polar, suicidal, and has extreme anger management issues. I feel for him and care about him, but I don’t want to allow myself to be hurt again.

So what do I do? All I want is for my brother to realize that I, as a woman, refuse to allow myself to be subjected to abuse. He needs to get his anger under control and not take it out on me or any other woman. But like I said, I don’t want him to hate me for the rest of his life, because I DO love him. He’s my brother and when he isn’t out of control, he’s an amazing person. It’s in these cases where he really is ugly.

I don’t really know what I’m getting at, other than how can I keep my brother from absolutely hating me? I just need some reassurance that we’ll get through this, but mostly that I will. And am I wrong in still loving my brother? I feel like I am, but I hope I’m not.

You’re worried about your abuser hating you? You sound like a battered wife.

He’s your fucking brother. He’s family. To the extent that he’s capable of love, he will always love you. Regardless of how he feels, his emotional state is not your responsibility.

He’s a fucking adult who should face adult consequences. I’m sorry that it falls on you to be the one to hold his feet to the fire, but again, you’re family. Better you be the one to deal with it now than it fall to a string of his beaten and victimized girlfriends.

As much as your brother needs treatment for his anger management, you and your mom need to seek treatment to arm yourselves with a few coping skills. The fallout of domestic violence isn’t isolated to just your brother. Abusive men aren’t created in a vacuum. Your entire family could use a little airing out.

You’re going through a tough time right now. I could tell you that things will be fine and you’ll get through it, but that kind of empty reassurance helps no one.

Go get help. You need it. You deserve it.

If you do that, things may very well end up being okay.


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