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How do I repair my relationship with my sister?

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  • How do I repair my relationship with my sister?

    For years my sister and I have had a distant relationship, caused by an incident in our teenage years. We are fraternal twins, and have just turned 31. The incident I refer to happened when we were both 16.

    We were good friends as children, and in the summer of 2002 we were on a summer family holiday with our parents. We had gone out on our own, and were walking back along the beach towards the hotel when we encountered this group of a dozen or so people who were clearly under the influence of drugs, alcohol or most probably both. We got a few obscene comments thrown our way - they clearly thought we were a couple - and we just tried to ignore them and continue on our way. A few of them ran after us and surrounded us. One of them told us they'd like to see some "action". We were both scared, and didn't get it until they made a few gestures. I tried to tell them we were brother and sister, but they just laughed. The reaction from them was either "yeah, right" or "who cares". When I just stood there like an idiot, I got a punch in the mouth which sent me flat on my back. My sister was hysterical now, as two of the women held her down and undressed her. I was told again that it was "time for action", and not to make them ask a third time. A knife was pulled at this point. So that sets the scene - forgive me if I keep the next bit brief, but I'd rather not go into the awful details . As they stood around us, laughing and offering advice on technique to two virgins, my sister and I were compelled to have sexual intercourse. And, as soon as I was physically able, we had to have sex again to show them we had learned something from their suggestions. Then they wandered away laughing and got back to doing whatever it was they were doing before we showed up. As I dressed, my sister ran into the sea and washed, then came back to dress. She refused to even look at me. At the hotel, I told my parents we had been mugged, and they never found out otherwise.

    Our relationship has been strained ever since. The one time we broached the subject, it became clear that she resented the fact that (cleaning up her language more than a little) that I was able to achieve a sufficient erection to be able to penetrate her, let alone carry things through to ejaculation, and that I clearly had an intense orgasm both times. In short, she considers me a rapist rather than a fellow victim. As if I'd enjoy violating my own sister!When I tried to explain that, for a hormonal adolescent boy, erections happen at the slightest provocation, and an orgasm is an involuntary response, she just sneered at me and stormed out.

    We keep up a civil front for the benefit of our parents, but I miss the closeness I once had with my twin and former best friend. What can i do to start repairing the damage?

  • #2
    It's been 15 years. What, if anything, have you tried to reconcile? And what was her response?

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    • #3
      Honestly, this sounds like a huge burden and probably too big for just one of you to work on. She also has to be willing to work through what happened with you. I donít think itís something you can do yourselves though, I truly, wholeheartedly believe there is a need for counselling/therapist/someone trained to work with you both. The thing with these kinds of situations (being a victim of rape myself) is that itís hard to go back to that time when things went so incredibly wrong, its traumatic (which Iím sure you feel as well). Often times itís the last thing anyone wants to revisit until they feel ready as individuals. So maybe the first step in this process is for you to seek counselling to talk about what happened and the impact itís had on you and the relationship with your sister. Start there, then as time goes on you could invite her to join you at a session to start working through it and on rebuilding the sibling bond. Iím incredibly sorry to hear about what happened to you both, my heart goes out to you.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Pollon View Post
        It's been 15 years. What, if anything, have you tried to reconcile? And what was her response?
        The blow-up I described in the original post is the only time we came close to discussing it, not that it was much of a discussion. In the months after the incident, we were so uncomfortable around each other and could barely make eye contact, and she would flinch away any time I touched her, though she made a major effort not to show this in front of our parents. The only time she talked about it was once, a couple of years later, when she simply told me not to kiss her on the cheek when we met up for family occasions, and that was it. (During the attack, we'd been forced by our instructors to kiss each other "passionately" as we "made love", so I could understand that it might trigger flashbacks of the sex act. To be honest, I was a bit annoyed at myself for not anticipating that earlier, as I guess it was just another piece of evidence to her that I had not been affected as badly as she had.) I made a few tentative attempts to talk about it later on, but the only other time she ever responded was to make it devastatingly clear that, if I hadn't been able to get an erection (twice!) it then wouldn't have happened. Since then, it's been pretty much a taboo subject. The reason I'm thinking about it now is that our parents are getting on and I want to make one final attempt art reconciliation before we just end up going our separate ways and never seeing each other again.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by PhoenixL8e View Post
          Honestly, this sounds like a huge burden and probably too big for just one of you to work on. She also has to be willing to work through what happened with you. I donít think itís something you can do yourselves though, I truly, wholeheartedly believe there is a need for counselling/therapist/someone trained to work with you both. The thing with these kinds of situations (being a victim of rape myself) is that itís hard to go back to that time when things went so incredibly wrong, its traumatic (which Iím sure you feel as well). Often times itís the last thing anyone wants to revisit until they feel ready as individuals. So maybe the first step in this process is for you to seek counselling to talk about what happened and the impact itís had on you and the relationship with your sister. Start there, then as time goes on you could invite her to join you at a session to start working through it and on rebuilding the sibling bond. Iím incredibly sorry to hear about what happened to you both, my heart goes out to you.
          Thanks Phoenix. Taking some unilateral action never crossed my mind, but it's a good suggestion. Perhaps if I take a first few steps on my own, then at a later stage I might be able to show her I'm trying to do something constructive that she could benefit from as well.

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