I’ve had a good upbringing in a strict Christian family. I recently turned 26, but something bad that happened to me when I was a child keeps haunting me.
My older brother molested me when I was about nine. I tried to talk to my father about it, but he dismissed me. He was drunk that night.
Our relationship has been strained ever since, but lately, my father has been trying to reach out to me. I guess it’s because for the past eight years, he has been living with prostrate cancer.
The abuse by my brother occurred just once. He is now an alcoholic who spends all his money on friends. The habit worries our parents. He has also tried to reconcile with me, but I do not care for him. I want him to be punished for what he did.
I also suffer from an addiction that is causing me to hate myself. I masturbate a lot and I have been trying to stop. I feel that my self-esteem is going down. I have no idea how to stop this disrespectful habit.
In addition, I distrust anyone who tries to get through to me. I have never had a steady relationship. I am worried this habit might mess up my marriage.
This is really making my life a living hell because I am living a lie. I lie about how much I trust people and how I love my ailing father. I feel like a pretender. It’s a load that’s too heavy to carry. I can’t seem to get my life in order. I suppose I need counselling. Please refer me to some place. I am ready to make things right.
I am really sorry about what happened to you. For this to happen in your home and by people who were supposed to protect you is reason enough to destroy your trust in them.
However, you have come a long way. To even share it now is a sign that you have been processing it well. Of course there will be moments of pain and hate, particularly when you are reminded of the abuse.
I would encourage you to make some bold steps if you are to totally deal with this issue.
First, approach you dad in confidence and let him be aware of what happened and how it made you feel. Let him know that you blamed him then, but now you are over it and you have made a choice to forgive.
Second, look for an avenue to deal with the issue with your brother. This could be through a face-to-face or a note that can bring to his notice what happened and your readiness for forgiveness.
Third, if these two issues are hard to deal with in this way, then I advice that you write them out on a piece of paper. Bring them to God in prayer and verbalise to God your forgiveness. This will enable you to not carry these issues any more. You could also tear the piece of paper as a symbolic gesture that there is no need to remember the issues since you have given them to God.
A fourth suggestion would be for you to meet with a counsellor who will walk with your through these issues and give you guidance and support.
The emotional pain and the questions you have had to deal with have left you seeking for answers. This journey needs to be walked with care to ensure that you deal with each issue to its conclusion.
The situation you went through left you not only with questions, but also with some level of fear and low self-esteem. When one looks down on themselves, they take up habits that would seem to soothe or give them acceptance.
I have forwarded your name to a counsellor who will be sending you mail soon. All the best