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    Old 05-10-2014, 01:15 PM   #1
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    coloradogirl559's Avatar
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    Child abuse

    Hello all,
    I'm going to start off with the back story here.

    My sister (my only other sibling) and I were both abused from our father from the time we were toddlers to the time we turned 17,18 years old. My sister got it worse than I did because she and my dad's personalities "clashed." My dad had a horrible temper, and my sister also had a horrible temper, so you can imagine how that went.

    I was emotionally abused, my sister was emotionally, and, occasionally physically abused. The physical abuse stopped once my sister turned 13, but the emotional abuse continued until she moved out at age 17. The emotional abuse stopped for me around that age as well.

    I was physically and emotionally abused from my sister growing up as well. She would threaten to stab me, she would vandalize my belongings, and if I said any wrong thing, she would become violent and start throwing things at me.

    I was also bullied to a horrific degree at school every day for many years. The bullying would become so bad, I would refuse to go to school on some days. My self esteem was absolutely destroyed, and I had no friends at school.

    My sister, thankfully had an easier time at school and didn't face much bullying.

    Currently, my sister is 28, and I'm 26 years old.

    Our father no longer has that temper that he used to, and has apologized to us several times for what had happened in the past. My dad is far from perfect now, and he still has issues, but he's become so much more kind and loving and even-tempered than he was 10-20 years ago. I would say that I have a pretty good relationship with my dad.

    It wasn't until I was 21-22 years old, that I learned to "let go" of the past. My self-esteem was so low in my teenage years until my early 20s, that I couldn't even hold down a job. I couldn't even make eye contact with strangers. I felt worthless, and I hated myself. But something within me "clicked" in my early 20s. I finally broke free from my past. I finally realized that I didn't have to make my past my current reality. That the bullying I faced at school did not have to affect my current self esteem...that other people's opinions of me did not make up who I truly am. That the past abuse I got from my dad, (and older sister) and the constant memories of it did not have to carry into adulthood. I turned into a butterfly and was finally free from my past.

    Now, the following is really what brought me here today.
    My sister.

    Unfortunately, my sister has not been able to turn into a butterfly. She has many emotional issues today.

    My sister and I do not live near each other, but we've always talked on the phone and maintained a relationship. We are able to see each other a couple times a year.

    Here's my problem, and here's where I need advice.

    My sister is constantly bringing up the past. She screams about it. She cries about it. She (excuse me for sounding insensitive here) is always throwing herself a pity party, and if people don't give her that attention, and tell her over and over that she had such a horrible childhood, she gets very angry and feels as if that person doesn't care about her, because they aren't "coddling her."

    For many, many, many years, I was the sister that would listen to her, and try to comfort her, and reassure her.

    But it's getting to the point where I'm becoming emotionally drained. The latest outburst occurred on a social networking site, where I was commenting about religion with my brother in law. My sister and I have very differing views on religion. And so, my sister jumped on the status, and started arguing with me. After a few exchanges (mind you, most of our family and my brother in law's family and friends could read the entire chat), my sister suddenly brings up the past and how much abuse she went through. It was not relevant to the topic at hand, but yet, she, as usual had to bring up the past, saying "I WAS THE VICTIM OF CHILD ABUSE." It was embarrassing that she felt the need to bring in "family drama" to a public forum. But she does that quite often, and she does that to get attention, and she got attention from several people who weren't aware of her past. And they coddled her, just like she was wanting.

    Two years ago, she and her husband came out to visit my mom and I. Something was said that set her off, which resulted in her crying on the floor for three hours, and talking about the past with my mom and I. I was very supportive and calm, etc, as I always try to be.

    This kind of thing happens very often. If my mom or sister get into a disagreement, or she and I get into a disagreement, or my dad and her get into a disagreement ( even if it's, say, over the weather), it always, always, turns into a a several hour long (sometimes violent) pity party and turns into a talk about the past. It's the same thing. Over and over and over again.

    Just recently, I've become more outspoken to my sister that I don't want to talk about the past, and because of that she accuses me of "sticking up for our father." I've had to walk on eggshells around my sister my entire life. And i'm tired of it.

    I don't expect anyone to just completely bury their past. But with her, she has to remind everyone that she was a victim of child abuse. And if a few months goes by without the subject of the past coming up, we can be assured, that she will bring it up. She does not want her family to forget it. She doesn't want her friends to forget it. She does not want her in laws to forget it. She does not want anyone to forget it.

    She does not understand the concept that just because we want to begin the process of healing and start to move on from the past, that it does not cheapen or disregard what she went through. We simply do not believe that it is productive to continue re-living the past, and talking about the past over and over and over again.

    She has had years upon years of counseling, with several different psychologists. But she only wants to go by herself when she goes to her sessions, and I suspect, that not once, has a psychologist suggested that she try to let go of the past. Instead, she will go in and throw a huge pity party, and will get coddled in turn. She is also a compulsive liar, and I have no idea what she's told some of her counselors, friends, etc. She's made me out to be such a horrible sister, when I've been nothing but nice to her my entire life.

    With the latest of her outbursts, I made her so angry (because I told her I didn't want to talk about the past) that she doesn't want to talk to me. She'll do this off and on where she wont talk to me for a month or two at a time.

    I'm beginning to wonder if I can even have a relationship with my only sister anymore. I'm not even able to invite her to my nursing pinning in two months, because I suspect, while she's here, something will set her off into a rage, and it will once again, turn into the subject of the past, where we're subjected to her ranting, and crying for hours on end.

    Is it time, to just cut ties, and hope that one day, she won't feel the need to bring up the past at every opportunity?

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    Old 05-11-2014, 11:31 AM   #2
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    Re: Child abuse

    Hi, it is great that you have for the most part resolved your inner conflicts regarding abuse and bullying, it is truly a great achievement. Unfortunately your sister does not have the same tools as you and is in a perpetual state of inner conflict because she can not let go. There is only so much you can do and it seems as though she has used up your benevolence to the point where even the best intervention in the world would yield no progress for her. So, your decision to drop contact with her would has to take into consideration the fact that she will never change. For you, it may be in your best interest to not drop all contact but rather limit your exposure to her to special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas. Your sister is locked in to this behavior and at this point you have to think of your own well being...

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