Rape is as rape does, but what about the brother who did it?
Yes, he did this to me.
Yes, it was wrong
Yes, it was abuse, so
Yes, he abused me.
Yes, he demanded sexual intercourse, so
Yes, he raped me, actually several times
So Yes, he is a rapist.
I hit the last rung hard and it almost made me tumble down again. I have never come so far along. The first thing that came to mind was: he is not a rapist, he is my brother! Then an other voice within me spoke up hesitantly: "Well think again, he might be both." At that time several things struck me.
Calling my brother a rapist was a first. Why am I so scared of this, since it is the logical conclusion that follows from what he did to me? If you were raped, there was a rapist. Why is calling him out much more difficult than accepting the deed itself, which is difficult enough? I think it is due to the fact that being a rapist has the same gravity as being a murderer, which is different from being a thief, a burglar, mugger, a drugs dealer or a sinner for that matter. The first mentioned define you by what you once did, where as the latter define you much more by what you have been doing. The first can never be undone, in the way the latter can. If you murdered someone, you are a murderer for life and the same goes for the rapist. Even if you don't murder anymore, show remorse and seek redemption, you can't say you are no murderer anymore. This is different for the thief, the drugs dealer and the sinner. They are more defined as a career: once I was a thief, but I don't steal anymore, I paid for my crimes, so I am a thief no more. Murder and rape cling to you for life.
So my brother is a rapist, because 17 years ago he raped me. now what? I don't like him any more or less because of it. I resent him for what he did, but I can't hate him at the same time. I love the brother, not the rapist. He has a dual identity of which one belongs to the past.. does it? He does not rape anymore, we don't speak of it but he has shown remorse. Still I was raped, he did it and for me it is still there in every day life, for instance while getting groceries. Although the weight of the matter lessened somewhat, it will probably never go away. Even so I don't want him to suffer for it. I want him to have remorse and learn from it and better his life and I really think he did and does, so shouldn't he be rapist-off than? Can he even be rapist-off, in the same sense that I probably can never be rape-victim-off? Actually I came to notice I would like for him the same as what I would like for myself: not to forget, not to be bothered with the question whether to forgive, but just to learn, to grow and to move on.
Even where we stand now, I feel close and distant to him at the same time: being around him too long is like being torn apart, but the same goes for living with this evil secret towards the rest of the family. Being close to family tears me apart within and from them as well. And no, I can't speak up about it. If the rapist is gone, I won't hurt the remorseful brother I love. I will protect him. That is why I will not call him a rapist I guess. With my father in pain and dying slowly from cancer, my parents suffer enough. They already worry about me overmuch. Damn those mother instincts; she just feels that I am not candid. I will not pull my sister in the same rupture I go through either. She was never part of this and never will be. For now the only sound thing I can say is that past, present or future, in-family rape is an evil, evil thing.
Comments, insights, opinions, discussions and the like are very much appreciated.