A while ago, I posted on (pre-Kinja) Crosstalk about a serious family situation regarding my Important Family Member. I will come out and tell the story (leaving names out).
One of my older brothers (we'll call Bastard) sexually assaulted me for 8 years when I was a child. My Mom never knew. She was the aforementioned IFM (Important Family Member). Please know that all of these years I had thought/hoped that his actions were possibly a result of adolescent ... whatever... I worried about his later actions and knew how it had fucked me up but didn't know that he would carry this sickness into his adult life. I was so fucking wrong.
My dilemma at the time that I posted was whether or not to tell her. One of my other brothers (we'll call him Dave) had asked me if I wanted to tell her because Bastard had been caught with other family members (yes, plural) sexually assaulting them and was facing a trial. I had always thought I was protecting my Mom by not telling her. From age 6 to early this year, I thought I had done the right thing.
My Mom was devastated with the news of the repeated assaults. She felt that she should have protected me, even though she never knew about it. She felt helpless. It killed me that she felt this way.
My Mom was in poor health to begin with. It deteriorated rapidly after this news. She died in May of this year. I may be wrong, but I think finding out one of her sons was a pedophile killed her. I say that because she had always previously defended him and she thought that her home (our house for many years) had always had good memories. I will never forgive Bastard or myself.
Today, Chris Peak featured an article about suicide and the consequences of personal admission/hospital admission and the stigma attached to mental illness. His article hit home in so many ways I can't even begin to express how he and other Gawker commenters have touched my life. From the early support on Crosstalk to today's post and subsequent commenters, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for saving my life for another day/week/month/year, possibly.
I feel grateful for all of the Gawker commenters that I've felt meaningful interaction with. Sometimes, you are my family. No matter that you are strangers, you have brought peace and love to my life in ways that I could never, ever thank you enough.