I’m not exactly sure if my story counts as sibling abuse, but here it goes. A little background- I am the third of four girls, currently ages 20, 17, 16 (that’s me) and 14. I get along the most with my oldest sister; she’s never done anything to hurt me and she sticks up for me when my other two sisters do things. The earliest I can remember them doing things is maybe when I was around 6 or 7; my sisters would hit and kick me. I’d try to hit back, but you must understand that I A) bruise easily B) have a very low physical pain tolerance and C) don’t like fighting, so I was only doing it out of self defense. My mom broke us up most of the time, she didn’t like us fighting, still doesn’t, in fact, and we stopped after a few years. The effects of it stayed with me for many years (about 4-5 primarily, and still some today); I tended to get very violent physically with my closet friend, who I apologized to earlier this year to for that because I realized why it happened. I still react very violently to things sometimes. After the physical abuse, and a bit during as well, came the “sister club”, as I call it; my sisters, excluding my older one, who was in highschool so we didn’t get to hang out much, would do things together, play together, generally just exclude me. It made me feel very alone. I turned to reading a lot, which is still one of my favorite passtimes, despite how it got started. I also tried to find creative outlets: building and inventing things; writing; drawing; coloring. I still like all of these things very much. But my creativity, which I loved and my relatives praised, my two sisters called weird and strange. I even tried to make things for them, to get them to like me and my creations, but to no avail. So from about 12-14, I was your stereotypical angsty preteen who thought it was me against the world. I listened to more alternative music (still one of my favorite genres), read, didn’t talk much, wore darker clothing even. This semi coincided with the ending of my tomboy epoch, in which I acted like a guy because I only hung out with guys because girls, from my experiance with my sisters, were terrible, mean people. I had difficulty adjusting to going to school (I was homeschooled until the ninth grade) because I was so accustomed to closing myself off so no one could hurt me. Nowadays, my older (not oldest) sister is a bit better, but she still blows up at me over nothing and gangs up on me with my younger sister. My younger sister has only gotten worse; she nags me, berates me, what I like, what I do and my property, she acts nice one minute but starts yelling at me the next, she acts sweet around other people but is really mean in private, so no one believes me when I say she’s a bully. Because that’s what she’s become- a bully who berates and belittles me to higher herself. I guess, to summarize, my older sister was kind of worse when I was younger, but she’s gotten better and my younger sister is getting steadily worse. I count down the days until we don’t have to share a room anymore and I don’t have to hear her complain about my “crap” being everywhere or her not turning off the light when I’m trying to go to bed early, even though I do that for her. I’m waiting to be rid myself of the nagging and whining and complaining and backstabbing and two facedness that is my younger sister. And my oldest sister is great. And no, my parents aren’t neglectful; they do love us, though I do have a case of middle child syndrome. But when people say “oh, it must be great to have only sisters!” I scoff and reply “no, it really isn’t”. Then they ask why, and I come up with some crappy reason like “oh, lots of drama all the time”. And they say “oh, well I sure wish I had three sisters!”. And I just sigh as part of me wished I did too, instead of a sister, a semi sister and an abuser.

 

It’s hard when you find yourself bullied by one sibling, but it’s even harder when you find yourself essentially being bullied by multiple abusers. And while your parents may not be neglectful, you still should explain to them what’s going on and how your sisters make you feel. Their behavior to you is harmful, even if it doesn’t seem that way to your parents. They need to know what it does to a person. And never forget, you’re not alone. We know what you’re going through.

I am the oldest in my family. I am 15 and my sister is 13.
I can admit I’m not the perfect sister but my younger sister is constantly emotionally abusing me. She calls me a b*tch everyday and says she hates me, one time she said she ‘hated me more than Hitler’. I feel that because I’m older I should be taller and she picks on me because I’m maybe a quarter of an inch shorter. She constantly says I’m a horrendous singer and has made it so I have been considering dropping chorus but i rally enjoy it. She also brags about having all A’s and says she’s smarter than me because I have A’s and B’s. Recently she has started putting me down related to science which I KNOW I’m good at I’m in AP Bio as a sophomore. I want to be a scientist but she says she’s better at science

She also makes fun of me because I identify as Trans* (Demi-boy) she says things like ‘at least I don’t want to be a boy’ and ‘Bella you’ll NEVER be a real boy’

She makes fun of me for my past with selfharm and I wish she’d stop. My parents don’t seem to care and say things like oh it’s just ‘sibling rivalry’ and a lot of the time they support her.

Last night I was trying to watch Nightmare Before Christmas and she started blaring her music and singing loudly along with it. I was trying to be calm and enjoy the movie. Then when I asked her to use earbuds or at least turn it down she started yelling at me and turned it up and sang louder. I tried to turn her music off and she kicked me.

My parents always blame me and call me a liar or say they don’t want to hear it. I feel like if I try and tell anyone I get shot down because I’m the older sister so it’s all my fault.

I constantly hear her words echoing I’m my head and I already have enough of this because I have depression, anxiety, and psychosis. And OCD and ADHD. (Semi diagnosed but my parents refused to let me take the evaluation my psychiatrist recommend.

I just don’t know what to do anywhere im becoming more depressed and hate being home. My school work quality is going down and I have had horrible urges to selfharm again.

 

Don’t forget that you’re never alone. We’re all here for you. And be sure to talk to someone. If your parents won’t believe you, tell someone else. Tell a teacher or a counselor, but tell someone. You should never be made to feel less than you are or like you’re alone. Because you certainly aren’t.

One day I would like to see sibling abuse treated as crime.  Jail time and fines for those who intentionally harm others in their family.  The effects are so damaging!  Family members who let it go on for years deserve punishment as well.

I have an older sister who tormented me emotionally for 20 years.  Fat, stupid, ugly on a daily basis.  Being a middle child left me in no mans land.  It also happened at school or anywhere she got the chance.

My younger sister did as well but not to the extent the older one did.  She got older and realized that Mom’s favoritism was affecting her too. Dad just stood there and did nothing.  Our sister would watch what we got for birthdays and Christmas to make sure we didn’t get more or better things than she did.

I tried on and off to get close to Mom and it just didn’t happen.  We confronted Mom on the favoritism and she said that she was an only child and she can only pay attention to one child.  I was horrified!!  The favoritism is now with the grandchildren as well.

I no longer speak with my older sister.  Having kids did not change her.  My niece is her target now since I’m no longer there.  She is jealous of her because Mom spoils her.

Mom is in Hawaii as we speak with terminal cancer.  She took her favorite child and her family with her (and paid).  Pics are on social media and both Mom and sister are rubbing it our faces.  I had no intention of taking care of sick parents since they turned their backs on those who want to love them.

I doubt I will go to her funeral.  My younger sister flat out refuses to go.  Mom gave her children a box of used toys for Christmas one year and that was it, she had enough.  Thanks for reading.

 

I generally try to keep the main posts of this site dedicated to others, trying to leave myself out of it and give others a forum for their voice to finally be heard. For the most part, I consider that my voice should be limited to the one page of my own story.

However, recent tragic events have compelled me to speak here. The tragic death of Robin Williams.

Robin Williams

Only, I probably don’t mean tragedy quite the way other people do.

This may not directly have to do with the subject of this blog, but for those who follow it, it still has likely touched you. And will continue to in the time to come. Because it’s far more likely that we understand the depression that drove Williams to his end than most people can. And I would guess many of you have been as affected as I have been by the reactions people have had to not just his suicide, but suicide in general.

I first saw the news of his death on Facebook. As I’m sure many did. I dismissed the first post as one of those ridiculous posts you see go around about some celebrity’s death, only to click on and realize is actually a joke. When I saw more of the same posts, I realized the voracity of this one.

My initial reaction to the veiled wording alluding that he’d committed suicide, was to cringe. Not as many did because of the mostly taboo notion of suicide itself, but because of the knowledge that from now on, the life’s work of a man will forever be overshadowed by his death and those who would politicize it for their own opinions and beliefs.

Never again will people mention him without also mentioning that his death was by suicide.

Are we not missing the point here?

A man is dead.

Can we not simply spare a few silent minutes to mourn the passing of a man that was a husband, a father, and to the rest of the world, a beloved actor and comedian?

He will be greatly missed.

And in my mind, remembered not for how he died, but how he lived.

I hope you’ll take a moment to consider that and remember how he lived, too.

 


 

 

And now, to do the very thing I’ve cringed at, I’d like to speak about how he died. Or more specifically, about suicide in general, and the far too prevalent response to it.

I’ve heard that word tossed about so many times in the past few days that it literally begins to make me sick.

I despise those who rant so angrily about how selfish the act of suicide is. Don’t they see the irony in their diatribes? Why are thousands of people taking his death do personally that they feel the need to tell others how they should feel or what another person should or should not have done. 99.9 % of these people never met or personally knew the man. So why must they be so selfish as to decide that their opinions of his death are right and above others’ opinions?

The vast majority of people who are so deeply affected and disturbed by the notion of suicide are the ones that cannot understand it. Yet, they’re the ones most loudly proclaiming the wrongness of it. The selfishness of it.

And maybe it is selfish.

But to someone who can understand the notion of suicide, to someone who has quite literally stared down the barrel of that gun, I can understand that act of selfishness. Because I can empathize with the countless selfless times a person didn’t commit the act.

As I said, the people who seem to find suicide so abhorrent are the very people who understand it the least. Now, that’s not to say suicide is necessarily right or wrong. I live in a world of gray, not black and white. I think life is a complicated thing.

So, too, is death for many people.

Most people who commit suicide have made multiple attempts before. And thought about it countless more times. But when they don’t follow through on the thought, or rethink their attempt, it’s very often an act of selflessness. They’re not following through on an urge that’s been begging them to follow through. And quite often they don’t because of the others in their life.

People might be surprised at the knowledge that they actually saved someone’s life. And they never even realized it. All because someone thought of them, and rethought their own decision. Yet when a person does give in and finally decide to act selfishly for once…that word is all people can bandy about.

Now I’m not saying that survivor guilt isn’t real and isn’t a completely valid emotion to have in the wake of such a death. But believe me, causing someone else to feel survivor’s guilt wasn’t that person’s thought or intention. They were just looking for release from a pain you don’t understand. And probably never can.

Quite likely, the depression has driven a person to see only the ways other people would be better off without them. And to forget the reasons they know that isn’t true.

And trying to make someone who has contemplated suicide feel guilty isn’t helpful either. All it tells them is that you can’t possibly understand them or what they’re going through. Making them feel even more alone, guilty, and isolated. Further feeding the very emotions of pain and loneliness driving them to that brink in the first place.

People who live with those levels of depression often become very good at hiding it. At wearing a mask for the world to see. So that that very world doesn’t brand them with the stigma of being different. Because they already feel different enough. Lonely enough.

They let the world see the mask of a happy, bubbly person. Or sometimes even the funny clown. So afraid for the world to knock away the last grip they’ve got on trying to fit in with the world by assuring them of their fears: that they are indeed alone. That no one else understands them. That no one else actually cares about them. But it’s not true. Because there are so many feeling just as they do. Just as alone.

Life for someone who deals with depression and masks it from the world isn’t a carefree stroll. It’s a grueling marathon.

Some of us get through it and onto easier tracks. Many struggle through that marathon for the rest of their lives.

And some just get too tired to see the marathon through to the end.

Only to find themselves demonized for showing weakness. As if they shouldn’t have been allowed to be human.

But people are weak.

People get tired.

People make mistakes.

And yes, sometimes, people give up.

Is it right? Should they have?

Stop asking questions with impossible answers. It’s not black and white.

It’s not just about the survivors who feel guilt for being left in the wake.

It’s not just about people who buckled to the pressure to act selfishly just one time.

There are no easy answers here. No right or wrong. No way to cushion such a thing to make it more comfortable for those who simply cannot understand or even fathom that kind of depression, or suicide itself.

But don’t demonize a man for the weakness of being human. Don’t remember just that basic fault that some seem to forget we all share. Remember all the times he thought of you first. And made you laugh when all he wanted to do was cry.

I choose not to remember Robin Williams for the so-called selfish act that ended his life. I choose not to tarnish his life that way.

Instead, I choose to remember the selflessness of his decades of comedy. Making the world laugh despite how far apart from that world he felt.

And I ask the world to honor his memory, not by touting their own belief that his act was selfish, instead, thinking of all the people out there who chose not to give in that day. That selflessly choose continue the marathon of their life a little bit longer, despite how weary they are and how much they ache. Body and soul.

Honor his memory by realizing that while you can’t fathom the humanness of his choice, that someone else can’t imagine the strength it takes to go on another day. And realize that they don’t need further isolation from the world by being told their emotions and struggles have no validity.

And if you still can’t bring yourself to at least empathize with those you don’t understand, at least feel good knowing that you may have saved someone’s life today because they thought of you and couldn’t bring themselves to give in just yet. And at least in your mind, congratulate them on winning their battle that day. Just please don’t take it too personally should they one day loose the battle.

I honor Robin Williams by remembering his life…and continuing the marathon of my life.

For however long I can.

I have been dealing and suffering of living with my overbearing parents, especially my elder brother for years. My brother is morbidly obese and has a hot-tempered attitude. Every single time when he gets involve with me, he became verbally and psychologically abusive to me.

I remember when he was fitful into a rage and was upset after he turned my life upside-down for no reason. Seven years ago, while in the car for work, he hit me and squeezed my knee and have nothing else within this family.  I can’t regret it, however, and seems that my brother likes to mistreat me immaturely rather than being an adult sibling.

The same goes to my musical passion rather than my most hateful day job in the law firm. My brother has the worst decisions for me he ever made because he’s more like my elderly parents than himself. How cruel he is, but know you know how older brothers give sisters with a psychological strain to her future.

 

Don’t ever let anyone else make decisions for you. And anytime someone bullies you or puts you down, it’s abuse. Tell someone. Anyone. You don’t deserve to be treated that way.

The only thing that makes coping possible is discovering that others have been through sibling abuse and do understand it.  I am a middle child; younger brother was always and will always be the favourite, and older sister was abusive until the day I finally realized, in my late twenties, that things would never change and she would always be emotionally and verbally abusive.

The physical abuse started very early; my mother once made the mistake of revealing to me that as a baby I would suddenly start crying and she’d come into the room and my sister would be standing by my crib, hands behind her back, looking guilty.  The physical abuse continued until I grew large enough to defend myself but the emotional and verbal abuse never stopped.

I remember being 16 and having my sister say to me ‘You’re so dumb you are just going to marry the first man that comes along who is nice to you.’  It was not until years later that I realized that how *I* felt never mattered to my sister.  My father was not around often enough to witness the cruelty, and my mother always passed it off as ‘standard’ sibling rivalry and my sister became careful never to say or do anything my parents would overhear.  I remember my sister telling me I would ‘never know the meaning of having a real, professional job’ (like hers) and this was when I was working for the Police answering 911 calls!

Years later after going to night school to earn a 2nd degree, I got a dream job at a fantastic software company.  I remember wanting to call my sister to tell her my good news; I finally had something she should be proud of me for.  I remember seeing my hand going toward the phone and then my vision and hearing went fuzzy and I almost fainted; I think this was my brain and body’s way of trying to stop me from getting hurt again.  When I finally did call her and tell her my news, she snapped at me that I was interrupting her and should not be calling her at work and wasting her time.  I knew then it would always be this way.

She never came to the hospital when my daughter was born, angry at me because I asked if she would mind having her new boyfriend not come into the room when I was breastfeeding.  Still today my mother denies that this abuse happened in 100′s of thousands of times and different ways, the above are just a few small examples.

I now believe that nobody who has not experienced sibling abuse will ever understand how deeply it damages.  There is no ‘getting over it’ as we grow older.  The abusive siblings do not change; only their tactics change.  I was happiest living overseas for 14 years because I felt safer from her.

My mother has told me my sister was deeply depressed because she was unable to have children of her own; I did not feel sorrow for her, I felt dead inside and completely indifferent and to be perfectly honest, rather glad that the person who caused me such torture finally had a dose of her own sadness.  This is what happens when deep damage is done to an innocent child.  It deadens them, kills a part of their soul.

My own two children love one another and have never been cruel; this is the most I can have in regards to ‘healing’ which will never happen fully.  We are also hurt in that we cannot be full members of ‘normal, happy’ society because we carry our hurtful secret which the happy people don’t want to hear about or be reminded of.  I even feel afraid of whatever may come after death; if I try to get to my father who died many years ago, my sister will probably be there waiting to attack me again.  The fear is that deep.  Nobody understands except the others on this forum.

Thank you so much for having the courage to share your story. It doesn’t change what happened, but we hope it’s some small comfort to know that you’re not alone in what you’ve been through.

I notice a lot of these stories have to do with older siblings afflicting younger ones where it can be the other way around.  Even though I’m the oldest, my brother is about 6’3 and very muscular while I’m a measly 5’4 and not as strong as him.

I do admit as a child I did do bad things to him, but NEVER anything sexual.  We did get in our spats as young children (and by young I mean 7 and 5) and I did say some hurtful things.  We did have our fights and there were times where I was mean to him.  But as we got older, he started to become horrible.

Everything I did was wrong.  Everything.  Whether it be that I don’t put on makeup (“everybody does it!  Why don’t you?!”) or the types of friends I have (“your friends are the ugliest and weirdest people I’ve ever met”).  He would call me a stupid cunt for doing things like spending time in the bathroom when he wanted to use it.  My parents wouldn’t do anything about it and they said that I was overreacting (except for the cunt thing, thank God, which he has generally stopped doing).  These words and more would hurt and torture me every single day.  Even currently, I have a hard time expressing myself because just when I’m about to dance or sing or laugh with friends, I hear my brother’s “stupid cunt, you can’t do anything” continue to ring in my ear.

One time when he had drugs, I threatened to tell mom and dad but he used height to his advantage and threatened me, using my love for my sibling against me by saying “but you love me, and if you tell mom and dad, that would make me sad.  You wouldn’t want to make me sad, would you?”

In addition, he would make fun of my bowl movements.  Because he would make fun of how big or weird they were, I always held it in, and even today doctors are worried that I might get colon cancer when I’m older.  He would always laugh at me even though he had the same problem.  When mom and dad would ask him about it, he would pin the blame on me and they would believe him despite my protests.

My parents show clear favoritism towards my brother.  Mom always makes my brother something while my dad always invites my brother to do something like go to a ball game or see a movie together.  I would be left with cleaning duties. Even my friend says he sees it too, just from one conversation.

Just this evening I was talking to a friend and then he barged into my room, yelling at my friend and I for skyping (telling my friend that “Hey buddy! If I could go through the scene, I would break your fucking jaw”).  I’m still shaken up by it.  He always criticizes my friends and people who are nice to me.

I know this might not be considered abuse to some people, but to me it’s torture.  I’m always depressed when around him and have feelings of inferiority as well.  I feel trapped and scared along with helpless.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

 

Abuse is abuse, no matter if it comes from an older or younger sibling. And it’s certainly abuse whether it’s physical or emotional. Abuse is abuse whenever one person is bullied or belittled. Know that you aren’t alone, and that if your parents aren’t ready to acknowledge your suffering, tell someone. Tell a friend, a counselor, a priest, another adult. Just tell someone. You don’t deserve to suffer. You deserve to be happy and not to have that kind of stress in your life.

While mine is an extreme case that is odd.. I only write here to say in my defense that not ALL cases of sibling abuse are the older sibling. Sometimes it is the middle or younger child and I write this in an attempt to correct it some. I say this as I’ve seen no ” Younger” sibling cases or facts on it and this is a suppressed topic ..taboo.. I am not strong enough to reveal my story I just needed to get the point across desperately. Another thing maybe mine isn’t sibling abuse but in my eyes it is I say this because the said sibling has a mental disorder and most mental disorders are not final until the person reaches a certain age even then most don’t get help. I hope one day there will be support groups for this…that there will be help for this and that this isn’t so suppressed most times I’ve heard” WEll my case is worse I have a drunk dad.. or my case this …” Who are we to judge how much each suffer everyone whose suffering is a different story. Thank you for letting me vent c: and I  know my story is trivial and probably means nothing …Cheers to hoping everyone is doing better and on there way to healing.

 

You are 100% correct in that sibling abuse doesn’t always come in the form of an older sibling abusing the younger sibling, it can happen both ways. And anytime one sibling is made to feel inferior and consistently bullied and put down, it is indeed abuse. And no one’s story is trivial. As you said, we cannot judge the suffering of others, because as they say, until you’ve walked a mile in someone else’s shoes, you can’t understand what they’ve gone through.

Thank you for sharing your story, and I hope it is a good reminder to others out there, that sibling abuse comes in many forms.

As a child sibling abuse was always there it was small at first was most would refer to as “sibling rivalry” but it got worse and my mother still called it “sibling rivalry” but it wasn’t it was FAR from that. My brother is 4 years older than me and was always a rude boy to my mother, school mates and of course me. I used to be in girl scouts and at the end of each meeting we would make a wish in our head…I always wished my brother would be nicer to me. I have ADHD so this might get rambly so I’m just gonna tell you some stories that I particularly remember. So this one occurred in 1999 ( the year I was turning 12 [I wasn't 12 yet]. I was staring at the television at 630 am, I had stayed up all night yet again. The night had been filled with watching late night Full House reruns and trying to catch raisins in my mouth. I heard my brothers heavy footsteps coming down the stairs, I imagined him coming over to me, rubbing his eyes and asking me if I had stayed up all night but that was not the case. When he approached me his eyes went to the pile of sticky raising on the floor I noticed his change expression and was immediately filled with fear.
“Pick these f**king raisins up you retard!” He shouted at me. “No!” I courageously yelled back.
“Do it or I will beat you up!”
“I’m not scared of you!” I was scared.
he grabbed my shirt collar in his fist and forcefully shoved me back leaving me little time to recover he pushed me again this time on on of the most sensitive spots on my 11 year old body. I groaned in pain and tears sprung in my eyes but I fought them back, afraid to show weakness. “Scared now!” he screamed in my ear.
“No..” I weakly groaned back with less courage than before the assault.
“I’ll make you afraid” he muttered evilly while stomping back up the stairs.
“Whatever!” I yelled back at him, with more confidence that that he had left the room.
I crouched on the floor and the the tears roll down my face, I felt defeated, weak and completes cowardly. I felt as if I should have stood up for myself more and that I was a failure. With wet cheeks and a runny nose I gathered gooey, sticky raisins off of the floor one by one. After picking up the raisins and recovering from the assault I sat down to wipe my nose and tears only to be disturbed my the creeky oh so familiar noise of my brothers bedroom door.
“And by the way p**sy we’re going to the pool today and you’re not coming” he snarled.
“Good! I didn’t want to go anyway!” I did want to go.
he closed the door and left me to my crying in a ball underneath the dining room table.
So here’s the last story that I’m going to tell since this is already quite long.
I was probably 14 the year most likely was 2001. My brother was sitting on the computer playing some ancient built in game and I was watching tv. “Sebastian! Dinners ready!’ I called but the headphones he was wearing were blocking me out. I crept up behind him and snatched the headphones off of his head.
“What the f**k! I will f****ing kill you you dumb bi**h!” and I didn’t doubt it one bit so I quietly left him alone. Seconds later I was pinned against the wall…He screamed cuss words in my ear along with many violent threats. He let me go but not before giving me a swift kick in the stomach leaving me a teary eyes 14 year old girl lying ball on the floor behind the couch.

As a child my brother who was older than me by 4 years would constantly physically and verbally abuse me but my mother dismissed it ad sibling rivalry. it took me until I was nearly 12 years old to realize it was not sibling rivalry but that will come later. All those years terrible, I was constantly living in fear of my own brother. I always knew it wasn’t normal but everybody around me seemed to think it was except my dad but every time my father tried to speak up about it he was dismissed by my mother and verbally abused by my brother, I had no one to turn which was probably the worst part of it all. I was ashamed for one so I some people I couldn’t tell because I was ashamed of what they would think of my family and how we were raise another problem was the people I was close to already knew and didn’t see it as a big deal. The bruises were horribly embarrassing, I never wore shorts or skirts with out leggings because I feared people would ask how I got so many bruises I mean I didn’t want to tell them “My brother kicked me repeatedly last night because I ate the last slice of pizza”. My life was living hell, I would lock myself in my room and cry thinking about how unhealthy what was happening was and that I couldn’t do anything about it. I was depressed..very depressed and people noticed but I would shrug and blame it on being tired. My grandmother knew about the abuse but she couldn’t do anything about it she had always been one of my brothers targets too. It was horrible.

Absolutely terrible. He would kick me over the smallest things. He would punch me for back talking and shove me for making a mess. The verbal abuse was I guess you could say worse the the physical abuse. He would call be a P**sy, f**got, loser, idiot, retard, loner and say I had no friends and that everybody hated me/nobody loved me. A common threat was “I’ll kill you when you’re sleeping” at first I was never afraid of the threat because I knew he would never do but as the abuse got worse from what I had previously thought was the worse the doubt of the threats went away and I lived in fear every night of my brother somehow killing me. When I was 16 I finally spoke up even though I had been since I was 12 this time I REALLY spoke up and I told the school counselor, the psychiatrist I had been going to since I was in 1st grade for my ADHD, my biology teacher and I told my friends..I told them EVERYTHING that had been happening for the past 10 years. It was so hard and it was an extremely spur of the moment decision. Nothing had set me over the edge or anything like that I just went to school one day I decided that enough was enough and I had been through too much of it. MY mother, father and grandmother were told of my brothers behavior and my father and grandmother confessed that they had known of the behavior and told the reasons of why they hadn’t done anything about it but my mother on the other hand reluctantly admitted to knowing what had been going in all those years and that she had blatantly ignored it for which I forgive her. As for my brother and I, I went through months of counseling to get rid of the trauma and my brother got 6 years in prison for abuse of a minor since he was 20 when I finally spoke up but he got off on 4 years and following his release he himself also went to some counseling (for 3 years)to discuss what was going through his mind, why he treated me so badly and stuff like that. My brother started taking medicine for anger issues and still goes for occasional anger management classes and I’m taking medicine for anxiety and depression. My brother and I’s relationship was never good so I guess I can’t say “It will never be as good as it was before” but it is better than it was and I was allowed my self to forgive him although I will never be as close to him as a sibling should be and we are barely on speaking terms but our relationship is better than it has been for 27 years. So after 10 years of abuse I finally stood up for myself at 16 and 7 years after that at 27 my brother had faced his consequences and even now me at 27 and my brother at 31 I am still traumatized and haunted by what went on for all those years and probably always will be but now I’m trying to live my life the best I can and I’m happier than ever before.

We thank you so much for sharing your story. Every story that get’s shared helps someone out there going through the same thing you have. And hopefully just the act of sharing it helps you to move on a bit yourself. You are in our thoughts and prayers!

I want to say Thank You to the person who started this website.  So little information/acknowledgement exists about Sibling Abuse that it is really wonderful to see someone addressing that this is REAL.

From my experience, sibling abuse is the one form a abuse that many people can’t comprehend and actually accept it as normal. In general, Society expects the victim to “make up” and have a relationship with the abuser when grown.  They fail to comprehend that there is something innately wrong with these abusers from the get go.

Furthermore, most people fail to understand the emotional scars that are left by sibling abuse. Not only does the victim endure emotional scars from the abuse itself but also the scars of knowing that a parent or parents enabled the behavior to persist-which for me was even more devastating.

I grew up in a what would have appeared to be a happy “Leave it to Beaver”, middle class family to an outsider.  My mom was a stay it home mom (she had been a teacher before quitting to raise a family) and my father worked a 9-5 job. Both my brother and I had been adopted as infants (no genetic relationship to each other).  My brother is two years older then me and from the time I was four or five, he started physically, mentally, and emotionally abusing me until I was roughly twelve at which point the physical abuse diminished but the emotional and mental abuse escalated.

My brother would physically hold me down and repeatedly punch me in the arm, leg, or wherever he could get a clear shot. I did not bruise easily so 99% of the time there was very little evidence of what occurred but to this day, I can still see the sick grin of pleasure on his face as he repeatedly punched me. And if I complained to either of my parents about his behavior, he would make sure to hit me at a later time and say, “That’s for telling!”

When I was 7, I asked my mom to tell my brother to stop hitting me….her response ( and I will never forget her words), “Why would you say such a terrible lie? Your brother would never do such a thing to you!”.  I will never forget the utter devastation I felt at the moment.  I had asked the one person who was supposed to protect me from harm for help and I was being called a liar and made to feel awful in one full swoop.  Consciously or unconsciously, it was a pivotal point in my relationship with my mother. From that day on, I was a liar in my mother’s eyes and it was clear to me that she was not going to help prevent the daily beatings.  The irony of that day is I was a VERY honest child and remain very honest to this day. While my father was home in the evenings, most of the abuse took place during the afternoons and my father spent his evenings in the garage crafting things.  He was also not the type of person you poured out your heart and soul to.  He had ZERO social skills.

Today, I cannot recall what would set him off but the abuse always happened when we in the basement watching TV or playing but I can remember specific fights that were really, really bad. My mother would be upstairs reading, cooking or doing household chores.  How she managed not hear the screaming, fighting, and the shouts of “Get off me”, I will never know as our house was not very big.

Like most abusers,  my brother was a master manipulator by an early age. My mother was also a manipulator so he probably picked up the art from her.  Perhaps because he was her first child, my mother and brother had a very close relationship.  During my teens, my mother spent countless hours trying to make my brother and I into “friends” by telling me that my brother really wanted to have a relationship with me and be my friend.  She would tell me that “he felt like everytime he tried to be my friend, I would push him away”. When I would bring up how he treated me, she would write it off to just being typical of siblings…Of course, being naïve and younger, I fell for this hook, line and sinker every time for years.  I think my mother wanted to believe it as well because she was always his cheerleader despite knowing full well that he was on downhill spiral.

From my perspective, every public interaction with my brother started the same way.  He would be really nice, then he would start to take little swipes of belittlement, then he would move in and bate me until he had me in a position where he could completely humiliate me. I can honestly say there was never, ever a social situation where he stood up for me or at least acted like a friend to me and he always encouraged his friends and girlfriends to ridicule me.

This pattern of behavior did not change when my brother became an adult.  It did not change after he went through rehab for drug and alcohol addiction.  It did not change after my mom died.  In fact, the last straw for me was at my mom’s funeral when he tried to ridicule me in front of my Aunt and Uncle.  After he verbally belittled me in front of them, he turned towards me (with his back facing them) and gave me the same sly grin that was always on his face when he beat the crap out of me when we were kids.  That was my epiphany….I didn’t want his drama in my life anymore and the only way to stop it, was to stop having anything to do with him.

If I allowed him to be in my life, I gave him the access to abuse me.  Luckily for me, it was quite easy.  I lived on the East Coast and he resided in Wisconsin.  We have a very small family that is spread out and he doesn’t have any contact with our extended family.  My dad is not persistent so he gave up asking me to be friends with him.

It’s been 12 years since my mom died and since then I have analyzed and reanalyzed my childhood at nauseam.  For me, my mom’s death was liberating. With her passing, I no longer had someone hounding me to “makeup” with my brother and no one trying to convince me that our poor relationship was my fault.  My mother would never have admitted that I suffered abuse at the hands of my brother and to this day, my father doesn’t “get it” either.  I surmise that they don’t recognize it because they would then have to also recognize they failed to protect me and acknowledge there was something innately wrong with my brother that was not a curable disease.

Most days I am at peace with what happened and I’ve finally found & understand happiness. However,when my husband or someone else suggests that perhaps I “forgive” my brother and make up with him, I go ballistic because no matter how many ways I try to explain what happened and try to get them to understand what sibling abuse is and that it doesn’t necessarily stop when now that we are “all grown up”. Most people will follow up with “I’m sure he’s changed by now”.  I’m sure he hasn’t.