How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask DrJackiePhD Your Own Question
DrJackiePhD, Doctor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 385
Experience:  I have been doing research in relational/interpersonal communication since 1998. My Ph.D. is in interpersonal communication.
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
DrJackiePhD is online now

I sexually molested my brother when he was 9 and I was 12 on

This answer was rated:

I sexually molested my brother when he was 9 and I was 12 on 3 separate occasions whilst he 'slept' (may have been awake I don't know). I do not remember how I felt about it at the time. I am now 22 and he is 19 and he is a completely different person for the worse. He is cold and has a dark view on he world. He is quiet and reserved also. We are both currently at uni but I am staying at home and he lives 4 hours away but comes home for holidays. He is always so cheerful and we hang out all the time when he gets back, we play games and watch shows together however, I discovered he cuts his wrist as I saw a scar. He told me it was an accident but soon told me it was from self harm. He told me he wanted to try it cos his girlfriend at uni did, but I believe it was the abuse i inflicted on him as a child. I asked him about it and asked if he wants to see someone to talk about it but he refused and begged me not to tell our parents or anyone. He told me he stopped doing it, but yesterday when he came home for Easter, I saw a fresh cut, not very deep but it was there. I have not questioned him about it yet. I am so scared for him and hate myself for what I did to him and cry just thinking about it. I wish I could take it all back but I can't and I really want to help him but I don't know how.
Hi, I'm Dr. Jackie, an interpersonal communication researcher/professor and relationship expert. And I'm so sorry you are in this very difficult situation. First, before you can begin to help your brother, you need to help yourself. You were a kid then and not necessarily grown in your capacity to have a moral conscience. You need to talk to someone--a counselor or therapist and ASAP. If you are religious, a minister or priest or some other spiritual adviser will be able to help you "make peace with yourself and God." If you are not religious, then please do talk to someone yourself. You need to release the guilt you still carry and forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes, many of which we truly regret. But we do not live in the past. So please work on taking care of you. Now, your brother absolutely need to go to therapy also. I want you to go ASAP and in your session(s), ask the best way to get your brother into therapy. If he is reluctant, then you will likely need to go with him. Also, a therapist can better help assess whether or not it is best to get your parents involved or not. There are both pros as well as cons to telling them. But the most important thing is that you cannot be healthy and help your brother until you are on the road to being healthy and making peace with yourself. Both of you need counseling. You need alone sessions, at least at first, in my opinion. But it may be that a therapist recommends your brother having joint sessions with you, at least for awhile. At any rate, please, please, please make an appointment ASAP. You need to get this out. Writing this on the computer probably gave you some type of release that you have not allowed yourself to ever experience. But you need to work through this. I'm going to send you my contact information if you want to talk on the phone or Skype (I know phone might be expensive but Skype chat should be free) today. I have some other appointments, but I'm available off and on throughout the entire day and evening (East Coast Time). Please let me know what your thoughts are so far.--Dr. Jackie
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you very much for the response. I do feel slightly more at ease and will look to find a counsellor asap. I will also keep your skype offer in mind but cannot at the moment as my family are all here. Thank you so much.
I am glad I am helping, at least a little bit. Could you rate our discussion so far if you are satisfied with it? If you are not satisfied, may I work with you some more until you are? I really do want to stress that counselors and psychiatrists as well as brain researchers can all agree that a 12-year-old mind just is not capable of understanding consequences or even the repercussions of their behaviors. And I have been fortunate enough to have quite a diverse population of international students in my classes over the years--I have come to understand that almost every religion has key common elements--and one is that their Higher Power(s) is/are forgiving. Another common element is that self-forgiveness and self-acceptance is such an important key to happiness. I hope you can focus on those things! Let me know any time by texting either Skype or my phone if you decide to accept the offer. Take good care,--Dr. Jackie
DrJackiePhD and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you