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#357650 - 03/25/11 03:15 PM Loss of Proper Sibling Relationships
Disappointed Offline

Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 542
Loc: U.S.A.
Many times, when reading the Male Survivors' Only area, I see something I want to comment on, but we know the rules.

I just read the men talking about their losses from not having a proper relationship with a brother. Just want to give another perspective...

I'm not close to my family, parents, brothers, sisters.... for various reasons, none having to do with abuse. But over the years, I've made good friends with people in the town where I now live, people who will drop what they are doing at a moment's notice, and help me out if I need it, and listen to me if I need that.

So, while I understand grieving for bad family relationships, for me, I have made a good support network outside of it. My friends are closer to me than my family, and I'm happy with this.

Just a thought, guys.
Best to all,


#357662 - 03/25/11 06:04 PM Re: Loss of Proper Sibling Relationships [Re: Disappointed]
Shawushka Offline

Registered: 01/05/11
Posts: 128
Loc: VA
That's a good point. My family is slightly disturbed (no abuse, they're just a bit nuts) and from my teenage years on I built up some close friendships and have some life-long friends that are more reliable than my family members.

I have been grieving a lot about bad family relationships, sometimes it's complicated to keep up with who's not talking to who, but at a certain moment I realised that letting go will cost less energy than the constant grief or anger it causes.

#357663 - 03/25/11 06:10 PM Re: Loss of Proper Sibling Relationships [Re: Disappointed]
r.m. Offline

Registered: 01/18/11
Posts: 106

Thanks for noting that this happens.

However, I might point you to the fact that those of us who are grieving the loss of a proper sibling relationship do so not because WE chose to damage or break that relationship but because someone made the choice for us. We grew up thinking that it was "normal" and that's how things are. We understand now that's not the case. We see in the media and our own ideals of how brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers treat each other and that is nowhere near what we know and it was taken from us. We didn't walk away from it. We never wanted to until we realized that we had to for our own good. Losing that connection with a family member over abuse causes us to not only question the quality of our substance as humans in general much less merely friends to others who might grace us with their friendship but also severely shakes our confidence of self and trust of others.

While your suggestion of going out and finding "a good support network outside of [our family]" is an admirable one, it's not often the case that we can just make the one-to-one switch to that. There is much more to this than a simple human replacement.


#357667 - 03/25/11 06:32 PM Re: Loss of Proper Sibling Relationships [Re: r.m.]
Shawushka Offline

Registered: 01/05/11
Posts: 128
Loc: VA
r.m. what you describe is also exactly what happens in a dysfunctional family (that doesn't have csa issues). In my case, I didn't chose my parents either, it wasn't my choice to be treated like they treated me when I grew up. Not to mention the rest of the family.
If your family is dysfunctional and you come out reasonably normal it is also not easy to accept. Because once you reach your teenage years one does realize that what happens in your family isn't normal. I was in my twenties and only realized this with the help of a therapist who had to spell it out for me, that my family actually wasn't normal.
Then it took me two years of therapy sessions to find a way to deal with it and it has caused me a lot of grief.

I can imagine that when csa is involved it becomes even more complicated but sometimes letting go of a (family) relationship can be easier than try to clinge on to it.
That doesn't mean that old feelings, grief don't pop up again every once in a while.

#357668 - 03/25/11 06:45 PM Re: Loss of Proper Sibling Relationships [Re: Shawushka]
r.m. Offline

Registered: 01/18/11
Posts: 106

I didn't make a distinction between CSA and physical/mental/emotional abuse. Disappointed mentioned that she isn't close to her family "for various reasons, none having to do with abuse". I was simply pointing out that when familial abuse is involved, there's more to it than just going out and finding a new "family" because the old one didn't live up to our expectations. Seems like a short-sighted view to me.



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