The vast majority of Swedes have at least one sibling. Studies show that people who grow up with siblings have better social skills in general than those who are the single child. This has to do with the fact that children with siblings learn in a natural way how to show consideration, how to share and how to interact with others.
The sibling relationship is the longest relationship that you will have with another person. It lasts longer than the one that you have with your parents or with your children. It usually also survives friendships and romantic relationships. One has most often been born from the same body and shares a common story. No one therefore knows as much about you as your siblings. A sibling relationship that works can thus be a fantastic support system throughout life for some. For others, a dysfunctional sibling relationship can instead lead to a totally destroyed life.
All families have their own share of problems and thus no family is perfect. For that reason, occasional conflicts between the different family members arise. There are no exceptions to this rule. It is the same with siblings. No siblings are always getting along. Even in well-functioning families, children are bickering and teasing each other sometimes, without it being a huge problem. This can instead be a way for them to learn god social skills.
This blog is not going to be about the times when the sibling relationship works, but about the often lifelong problems and the trauma that arises when it does not, that is, when it comes to sibling abuse. Having a conflict with a sibling or not agreeing with it, is not the same as being subdued to sibling abuse.
Some choose to call sibling abuse for sibling rivalry or sibling bullying. But I think that these words are too mild to describe what the abuse really is about. The word “sibling violence” does not feel right to use either, because sibling abuse can be sibling abuse without any kind of violence being involved in the violation.
This is my very first entry in English in this blog and I plan to continue posting once a week, on Sundays. The blog primarily intends to spread the facts about sibling abuse, and I will here, among other things, address the different ways in which sibling abuse can appear, why sibling abuse happens, what kind of injuries that can be inflicted on the victims and the often lifelong consequences that the abuse has on the exposed. My hope is, in other words, to spread a little light on a topic that still doesn’t get a lot of attention.
My name is Helén and I have been subjected to sibling abuse for many years by my sister. The violations have always been unprovoked. Since the abuse has continued in adulthood, my sister and I no longer are in touch. The various abuse techniques my sister has used against me are as follows:
She has embarrassed me socially and made me break down in front of others. She has scared me with ghost stories. She has compared me to herself and others and that always to my detriment. She has slandered me behind my back and ruined relationships for me. She has projected thoughts, feelings and qualities that she does not like about herself on to me. She has come up with unjustified criticism and has blamed me in such a way as to cause as much shame, guilt and anxiety as possible for me. She has helped herself at my expense and lent my things to others without first asking my permission. She has come up with absurd and untrue accusations against me.
I have decided to currently leave out my last name, as my family does not know that I have started this blog. That’s the reason why I want to stay a little low at the moment, but time will come when I’ll reveal who I am.
Now the entry is over for this time. Please, take care of yourself and others. Thank you. See you if you wish to, next week.
You are welcome to comment if you like, but please do so with respect and good judgment.
© Helén Varenius – text and photo