The absolutely worst part of sexual abuse, is when it's happening in your own house, to someone in your own family, and You Don't Know.
I have 3 younger brothers, John, Phil, and Alan. John is a psychopath. He raped his two younger brothers in the bedroom right next to mine, for YEARS, and neither Phil nor Alan told me until 16 years later, when it was too late to do anything about it.
From what I understand, this started 2 years before my mother divorced my psychopathic father.
According to Phil, it began with sexual harassment; indecent grabbing, when my psychopath brother, John, was 14. Phil at 8, was the target. Alan was still in the crib and in diapers at 2, and not yet in John's target range.
Once my parents divorced, 2 years later, it got worse. Apparently, John, at 16, felt he had no reason to hold back, so he didn't. Phil was 10 and what was happening to him went far beyond harassment. Alan at 4 was upgraded to Hostage to keep Phil's mouth closed.
What makes this so awful, is not so much what happened to them --which was hideous-- but that Phil knew I would have stopped it. I was 18 and violently angry with my father. I would have loved to have taken my temper out on John and made sure he never hurt anyone again -- with a kitchen knife while he was asleep.
And that was apparently, why Phil never said anything to me. It seems that John had convinced Phil that I would have gone to jail for life.
Idiot! John at 16, was a full head taller than me. I was (and still am,) quite short -- 4'9". All I had to do was tell the judge that "I was in fear for my life," and -- Game Over. I might have had to spend time with a psychiatrist, but I doubt I would have seen the inside of a jail at all.
However, Phil was already convinced, giving John 2 hostages toward Phil's good behavior.
It finally stopped when John left to go into the military at 22. (He'd never gotten even a part-time job.) By then, Phil at 16, had suffered 6 years of increasingly violent full-on sexual abuse, and Alan at 6, had been a target for sexual 'handling' for 2 years. 'Handling' he still remembers to this day.
I also left that year, for Florida to stay with my psychopathic father's mother. At the time, I was determined to find when my father's psychopathic behavior began; but that's another story.
16 years later, well after it had all ended, Alan finally told me the whole story.
I was horrified and devastated. I had been right there and hadn't known a thing! How did I miss it?!
Alan explained that John was clever. He waited until I wasn't home. Unlike John, I'd actually gotten a job. Several in fact, one right after the other.
I grabbed the front of Alan's jacket and shoved as hard as I could, slamming him back against the door of his truck, and shouted in his face. "Why didn't you guys say anything? I would have taken care of it!"
Alan's face was wet with tears. "You would have killed him."
I threw up my hands in exasperation. "Yeah, I would have! So what?"
Alan shook his head. "I didn't want you going to jail for him."
I banged him against the door of his truck. "Going to jail would have been worth it!"
Alan gently pulled my hands from his coat. "It's over now. Long over."
Why didn't they go to my mother? For an utterly different reason.
Johnny was Mom's favorite child, and we all knew it because she'd point-blank Told Us that John was 'special' -- frequently. If they had gone to her, Mom would have never believed them.
In fact, when they finally did go to her, 16 years later, she called them liars to their faces.
She stopped calling them liars after a phone call from me, demanding to know why she wouldn't believe them. John was a known liar and thief. He'd frequently shove both his little brothers into walls. He'd even grabbed me and shoved me into a wall too -- once. I wrapped my fingers around his larynx and coldly threatened to rip his throat out with my bare hands if he didn't let me go. He let me go, and never threatened me again.
After an hour-long shouting match over the phone, Mom finally folded and admitted that John wasn't...quite right in the head.
"The word you're looking for is Psychopath, Mom."
She hung up on me.
Alan is wrong. It's not over.
-- It'll never be over until the day I die because I have to live with the fact that this happened while I was there, and I did nothing to stop it.