Saturday, February 20, 2010
I’m beginning this post with one of the most self-absorbed statements I can ever make: Where was Mike Domitrz when I needed a brother?
Would we hope that our brothers would love us, protect us, and be a friend? Woe is me, I never knew such a sibling relationship existed! My brother harassed me, tormented me, and ultimately raped me when I was 12. Thirty years later, after my agonizing disclosures and confrontations (of what he’d done) I thought for sure we could build our relationship to what siblings should be to each other. It took another decade of extending courage and compassion to reestablish a bond with him. However, in November of 2009, I was informed (by my brother) that my efforts were “not at all sincere” and he couldn’t trust me. With what? With keeping his secret into perpetuity? So why, I bemoan, didn’t I get a brother like Mike?
Mike Domitrz founded the Date Safe Project after he learned that his sister had been raped. He has taken on this focus: “The Date Safe Project, Inc. provides parents, educators, educational institutions, students, military installations, community organizations, state agencies, and federal government resources, educational materials, and programming addressing consent, healthy intimacy, sexual education, sexual assault awareness, bystander intervention, and support for sexual assault survivors.” Mike has made awareness and advocacy his life’s work.
I receive emails from men and women who tell me that their families of origin are not their support systems. Instead, these trauma victims say that their virtual friends have served as their community. Some say it is not the same as having your own family rally and rise. I used to feel that way. But now I see that there is a community of caring people who individually and collectively make a difference. My therapist said, “Lynn, you are not crazy. You were born sane to an insane family.” Now, I can choose my family, and Mike, I wish you were my brother! Cheers, Lynn