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#30458 - 12/23/02 05:33 AM sister from hell
jc Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 1
Loc: Detroit, MI
A few days ago I realized that what I went through as a child needs to be called abuse. I am looking for some input as to how I should categorize it or understand it or deal with it.

I have always known that my older sister (18 months older) was an out of control horror who controlled the family through her hysteria. I am the only male and I have three sisters, one 3 years older, one 18 months older, and one three years younger. My father was a hard working, kind, meet-everyone's-needs, nicotine addict and my mother was a flighty, sometimes bitchy, needy, spaced out, nicotine addict. They started having kids in their teens. They are now 65 and are two nice people that have no idea how inept they were as young parents. I feel a need to tell them about my early years because I know they would support me in dealing with it but I hate to drag them through the mud of their role in my abuse (mostly which was through enabling my sister), especially since they have come so far as people themselves.

My sister hated me from the day I was born and would throw tantrums if I learned to spell cat before her or learn to throw before her or whatever. I was the faster learner and the new boy and she must've been humiliated by that. I do not know what she did to me sexually if anything but I know there were many times she would make fun of me in any way possible and this gave her a serene look that caused the rest of the family to feel good that she was finally feeling a moment of peace. I would never defend myself because I knew that my parents wanted a happy family more than anything and if I needed to bear up under her mocking in order to allow them all to feel the joy of seeing her at peace then that was my duty. She dressed me up in a girl's dress one day when I was three and put me in front of the picture window for the kids to see as they came home from school. She used to recall that event in front of the family with the most happy look on her face and everyone would smile happily with her. I do not remember that event and am not actually sure it even happened. It might just be something she made up to make herself feel good, and to give her the chance to bask in others' approval of her happiness and my humiliation.

The likelihood for her to humiliate me was always highest if I was in a good mood, because that was when I was least likely to attack her back, or maybe because she just hated to see me happy, or both. So I learned that by being sort of ornery was a way to minimize the attacks. My mother was nothing like my sister in terms of being nasty, but she would ignore and neglect me if I was happy but would take me into account if I was unhappy. The lesson I learned was that if you are happy you get punished for it, and that is my main issue now at age 41. If things start going well for me I get a panicky feeling about it and usually do something to sabotage it and bring unhappiness back into my life.

I feel like I would be more able to be in charge of my life if my family would leave me alone, but I am not sure how to accomplish that. Mom and Dad have been married 50 years (they are good partners to each other but did so at the cost of being negligent parents) and the other 4 of us all live 100s of miles apart. Everyone but me pretends that we are a happy family, and the girls communicate with each other a lot and with mom and dad too. They see me as estranged and have no clue why.

I switched jobs 18 months ago and immediately was doing well at the new job and really enjoying it and feeling good and I went to visit mom and dad for my 40th birthday. We just hung out for a weekend and it was very nice. They are a lot more mature now plus without my sisters there they were able to relate to me without having to favor the neediness of my sisters. After the weekend the girls called them and wanted to know all about how I was doing and I assume they encouraged them to call me since I was happy (I had not talked to any of them in years) so they bombarded me with emails and phone calls. Not really bombarded, that's just how it felt. I felt betrayed that my parents would "sick" them on me just because I was feeling good about my new job. Immediately I started screwing up on the job and only recently even put two and two together to realize that I screwed up in order to take away the reason they used as their excuse to call me. The reason it is so hard for me to be contacted by them is because they live under the lie that they were normal people who committed no crimes. I suppose if I just told them that I have no interest in talking to them and would prefer to never hear from them they might leave me alone, but I have never done so because I fear they would be all over me for explanations and would say I am overexaggerating about my childhood struggles. I should mention that while my immediate older sister was and is the jerk of the century, they would all gang up on me sometimes and play "let's kiss little brother" and chase me around the house while I ran in a panic like I was being chased by the devil. They thought it was so cute and amusing that a little boy would have such a strong reaction to something as benign as the threat of being kissed. I am the only one with children and it looks like my three sisters will die childless, an unconcious smart decision of their part if I do say so myself.

Well my parents are visiting me right now and I feel like I should say something to them, at least something like "hey if you ever notice me being happy how about not telling anyone about it" but I am at a loss as to how to even bring this up. All 5 of them have done such an amazing job of remaining unconcious of what they are like that I hate to break any bubbles. And I see them as a unit of 5, so even though mom and dad seem mature and caring at this point I have every reason to believe that anything I say to them will be repeated to my sisters.

If anyone has any thoughts for me on how I should see all this I would appreciate it. There are so many people here who seem to have had more tragic and explicit abuse than me that I am not sure where I fit in.

#30459 - 12/31/02 03:02 AM Re: sister from hell
Just Call me J Offline

Registered: 07/14/01
Posts: 204
Loc: Inland Empire, California
Hey JC,

I just wanted to let you know that whatever you're here for, we support you.

It must have been tough to write that first post. Please don't worry that you're out of place here. There are no contests here for who had the hardest life, so please don't feel like your story isn't "tragic" enough. Your pain is yours. Every struggle is important.

What is most important is how YOU responded to the encounters. You were able to see that you were sabotaging yourself, and you saw how those patterns emerged. That is an incredible start! Do you have a therapist? Maybe you can work on building some new patterns.

We're all working on looking at ourselves, not as victims, but as survivors. That's an issue I'm having trouble with, at the moment, as I react to things, instead of acting.

It's a process. Welcome to the club, and I hope you gain some good insights, and some support here.

Take it easy, JC!


We're in this together. - Nine Inch Nails

#30460 - 12/31/02 07:49 PM Re: sister from hell
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I guess I missed your post in the holiday rush, sorry about that. I hope the holiday with your parents went ok.

What you describe is as bad as anything we hear on this site, what you say might not describe actual sexual contact as such, but it does have humiliation and torment based upon your sexuality. And that must be just as bad.
Although being forced to wear girls clothes and being put on show must surely count as sex abuse.

The ongoing problems with your family, and your self destructive ways are something many of us know all to well, and you've taken a great step forward by recognising them. But, as Jeremy says, therapy is the way to go.
On our own we tend to think in circles and end up at the same place, I know I did for over 30 years.

Be strong and stick around JC, this is a great place for support in difficult times.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#30461 - 12/31/02 08:21 PM Re: sister from hell
RJD Offline

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
Thanks for catching jc's post guys. I wanted to respond but I think some paralysis kicked in. There are some echoes from your experiences down my corridor of experiences jc where I was locking up emotionally with your post. I started to respond but words did not come. Sorry for the dead silence after such a big risk.

Are you in a safer space in your life now that the holidays are passing? Anymore boundary violations by your aggressive sister. Sorry your mom can't see to protect you.

Welcome jc.

#30462 - 01/01/03 03:10 AM Re: sister from hell
Cement Offline

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
I only have time to say that you are welcome here. As a survivor of sexual and mental abuse from my sister, I know how 'out of it' it can feel. Like your abuse isn't 'bad enough' or something.

When you talked about the feelings of sabotage when you start to succeed, and the self-destructive behaviors, that is very like my experience. Look up some of my previous posts, maybe they can help?


And let the darkness fear our light.


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