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My brother's secret

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My brother died following a freak accident a few years ago. He was only 45 when he died, and most of his life he struggled with drugs and alcohol. He was diagnosed as bi-polar several years prior to his death. At age 34, while driving a semi-truck, he suffered a massive heart attack brought on by drug abuse, and a third of his heart was permanently dead after that. He was extremely intelligent and could express himself eloquently in writing. He was in and out of rehab centers over the years, had 4 kids, divorced a couple of times, and spent his final days living in a pathetic trailer house in our home town. He barely had enough money to buy food, but we all pitched in when it was necessary. When he died, my mom, sister and I went to his home to pack away his things. I came accross a recovery journal he had kept while in his last rehab. I instinctively knew to hide it and keep it to myself when I came accross it. It was much later, when I was alone, that I read it. It told the story about why he started drinking, the progression to drugs, and his ongoing struggle. Within those pages, I also read about why it all began, and it ripped my heart out. My brother wrote that my grandfather had molested him when he was a young boy. The battle inside of my brother was filled with so much pain and confusion. He said that he thought there was something wrong with him, that he was different from everyone else because of what had happened to him. My grandfather was still alive when my brother died. He died a few years later, and after reading what my brother had written in his journal, I never felt the same about the old man. I didn't cry when he finally died. I have this knowledge and I don't quite know what to do with it. I don't think my grandfather's children, including my own mother, would ever believe this happened. My sister does, but when I've tried to bring it up with the others, the walls of denial were immediate. Do I just let it go, because both my brother and grandfather are deceased? It's not like everyone knowing this is going to help either of them, now. Sometimes, it haunts me. I was in therapy about 10 years ago. My counselor felt certain that I had been molested at a very early age, so early that I cannot recall it, but had some odd thoughts and behaviors that were indicative of being molested. It makes me wonder if it could have been my own grandfather? Also...what do I do with my brother's book? Should I give it to one of his adult children or should I simply discard it and let it go? It's like possessing this information is strangely sentimental to me.

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wow...that would be quite the shock. Personally, if it was me, I would just let it lie. Since both your brother and grandfather have past, letting your family know about this just wouldn't do anything I feel...your grandfather cannot be punished and it would just leave your family with a bitter taste. Maybe you feel you can confide with your mom or dad about what you found because that's a big thing to have on your shoulders. What to do with his journal is entirely up to you. How do you think his children would react after reading that?? Would they feel better about their dad, or would it just devastate them? Good luck to you and I encourage you to continue with counselling.

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I agree with emma34. Not only can your grandfather not be punished he also cannot defend himself and it is possible, if perhaps unlikely, that your brother believed this had occurred when it did not but was misled by the effects of his drug use.


Better let this sleeping dog slumber undisturbed.

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Personally I'm kind of a sentimental guy so I know I'd hold on to that journal. Another idea is to publish it, you say your brother was eloquent so it would probably make a good book, change characters though( to keep the status quo with the family) I know its a stretch but not only would it make an interesting story but maybe even help somebody else.


But thats my opinion.

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How tragic I can only say that I am sorry for all of you. The pain your brother lived with for so many years, the fact that everyone is putting up a wall, and that you now have this knowledge with no one or place to turn to in your family. I guess I wouldn't throw it away, but it may be too hard for you to keep it. My thought is that he put many hours into writing in this journal, expressing his pain. Like valenski, I am sentimental as well. Really think about it before you do anything and you will know what to do with it...one day it will hit you. Maybe it will be too difficult to hold on to it and be better off discarding it. Or maybe you'll realize you can't.


I believe everything happens for a reason and I believe that you were the one that was suppose to find it. Others maybe would have just thrown it without even reading it, or someone may have read it and thought horrible things about your brother for even suggesting such a thing. Maybe this is a sign that you should do something with the knowledge you have now from reading about the pain your brother suffered because of sexual abuse and drugs. Continue with your counseling and I hope someday you will find peace.

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For several reasons, when his children are old enough it should be given to them. Part of that is that it may clear up a lot of questions they may have about who their father was and why he lived the life he did. It may also be useful in understanding themselves. Sometimes children who grow up with a parent who has struggled like that are haunted by the idea that it may be genetic and thus something they are fated to deal with. A journal like their father's would go a long way towards clearing that up.


Whatever you do, keep it, they may come to you one day wanting to know more about him.

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I "do" have this feeling that God intended for me to be the one to find this journal, and I believe too, that everything that happens is for a reason. I like the idea of publishing it, of course, hiding the true identity of my brother. Perhaps it could help others, and that would give this situation--as well as my brothers life and death more meaning. I have long since been out of counseling. I made the personal decision a long time ago to let it all go, because my memory could not recall any details of my molestation. Not that I don't believe it happened, because I do believe something obviously did, based on knowledge I possess. I actually suspected my grandfather long before I knew about what happened to my brother. That's why it was particulary shocking for me to read about it in his journal. It was almost as if it were some sort of affirmation for me. I do think that somewhere down the line, this journal may help someone understand why he led the life he did. I know it has opened my eyes. Maybe it was simply meant for "me?"

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Rainysong.... reading your story I can empathize with you. As I too had an older brother who was torrmented by his own deamons.


You however have been given a GIFT. And that gift lies in that journal. The gift of understanding your brother and his life. And also... the revelations may be a catalyst for you to "NOT" feel all alone, that it had only happened to you... and since you know, you may easier be able to, with the help of counseling put it behind you and at rest. Find some peace.


Many many bright blessings to you.

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I honestly think you should share the information. Your grandfather may have molested several other children. Sharing the information can help others who may feel, lost, alone, or isolated. Hiding or keeping the secret is just aiding the intended deciet. Share the information, it is something that, unfortunately, your brother was unable to share. Keeping that secret ultimately seems to be what caused of his death. You can reveal the truth. And I do believe the truth frees people.........you don't know who or how many people you may be able to set free. If for no other reason do it in honor of your brothers' memory.

If someone harmed me, and I wasn't able to speak for myself....if someone else did it for me, even in death, I'd be grateful.

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