"To subject to unwanted or improper sexual activity."
I have been lying to myself and to my loved ones for a very long time. I've been lying about my past, about my problems, and very much about my grief. I hit a very deep and dark low a while back, and I confessed to my family what I thought I would take to my grave.
The truth is: my brother molested me.
When he was still alive, I hated him and feared him and was disgusted by him (and I loved him). But when he died, I started creating narratives in my head: "he just wanted to explore." "He didn't know what he was doing." "He was a child too." I was creating ways by which I could preserve his memory. So that I could grieve him like everyone else; like all he was was a brother lost.
But none of it was true. Whatever his thoughts or intentions, he was older than me. He knew better than me. And it was his job to protect me, and instead he hurt me.
I confessed my dirty little secret to my aunt and brother, and suddenly I could admit to everything that I'd always known was true:
My brother used me for his own gratification. I started self-mutilating because he made me feel worthless.
I have never stopped hating myself or blaming myself, and I don't know if I'll ever be able to escape those thought processes.
The year before he died, I wished with everything in me that he would kill himself.
When he died, I was immensely relieved.
I do love him, and I do miss him - but I'm glad he's gone. Because now I'm no longer afraid that he might touch me again. Now I'm no longer afraid of what he's thinking when he looks at me. Without that pervasive fear, I am able to actually love him and miss him.
This is the true source of why I always feel so alone and so broken; and I have a lot more to work through surrounding this than I do about losing my parents.
I had never identified as having been 'molested.' When I first spoke it out loud (to my best friend back in high school), I used words like "he made me touch him." As if different words would mean something different. But the morning after I broke down and told my family, I looked the word up. Quite simply, "to subject to unwanted or improper sexual activity." And if that's the definition, I was molested as a child. And my big brother molested me.