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Has sibling abuse happened to you or your kids?

(47 Posts)
FelineJustFine Fri 03-Feb-17 14:11:49

I'm just looking to seek about what is normal and not normal

My brother and didn't get on as young kids, "normal" name fights and smacking each other on the upper arm, it's all sibling rivalry, so what?

But when does that stop, and become abusive?
For me That line was crossed when He kicked a door into my face (after I locked it, because I was terrified) the metal lock broke my nose. I went down to A + E to my mum, who is a nurse in the local hospital
Can any of you make me see the difference?
Siblings will fight, punch and call each other such vile names.
Have you had to deal with this as a mother or a sibling of yours, or maybe you just want give some advice. All would so great full.
Thanks for taking the time to read.

FearTheLiving Fri 03-Feb-17 14:14:45

My brother has done similar to me and I've done similar to him. I wouldn't call it abuse. Just kids being assholes.
My mum on the other hand was regularly beaten by her brother and her parents didn't believe her until they caught him doing it. She has only now started speaking to him again, 35 years later.

CharlieDimmocksbosoms Fri 03-Feb-17 14:15:26

Can I ask why you were terrified? What made you lock the door?

Sunnydaysrock Fri 03-Feb-17 14:19:45

My brother and I had a terrible relationship as kids. Hitting, kicking, worst name calling you can think of. We are not like brother and sister at all now, I'm 39, he's 42. I know that our relationship is and was not normal in any way, I blame my parents entirely.
I have DD12 and DS 8. They are as close as siblings could be. I do not tolerate any physical violence between them, nor any name calling. I don't think it had to be a 'normal' part of their relationship. I will never 'force' them to be close, but I hope the respect we've instilled in them for each other will continue.

NewtScamandersNaughtyNiffler Fri 03-Feb-17 14:19:48

My brother used to stand on my throat when we were 'playing' or swim up from under the water and pull me under and hold me there for what felt like forever.
I'd say that was within the realms of normal. Although I wouldn't stand for that behaviour from my own dc.

He also sexually abused me for a number of years which is NOT normal.

CripsSandwiches Fri 03-Feb-17 14:20:02

I think it's abuse when there's a power disparity (either because one is bigger or because one is just more aggressive and less bothered about consequences). Every child deserves to feel safe in their own home and I don't think being attacked is any less scary because it's a sibling. Having your nose broken is totally unacceptable.

I wouldn't say I suffered abuse but I didn't get on with my brother and he did once give me a black eye (which to be fair I lied about for some reason and just said I walked into a shelf). He was quite jealous of me as I was academic so would go out of his way to sabotage me - play really loud music when I was revising etc. and constantly steal my things.

I think my parents should have intervened - they thought we should "learn to sort it out ourselves" but that only works if you both want to get on and he didn't so I was basically stuck.

1happyhippie Fri 03-Feb-17 14:20:57

Me and my sister sister would fight like cat and dog. She is 3yr older, we shared a room and hated it.
I slammed her fingers in the door, she pushed me down the stairs. I wouldn't call it abuse.
My youngest dds are just under 2 yr apart and they bicker and fight too. Nothing serious, just annoy each other. They have their own rooms, always have and that gives them there own space.
I guess if it was a sibling constantly attacking the other and hurting them then it could be classed as abuse.
How do you get on with your brother now?

MaisieDotes Fri 03-Feb-17 14:22:56

Was he much older and / or meant to be looking after you?

If he's a similar age then I wouldn't see it as abuse.

In fact I think the fault lies with whoever should have been supervising you.

EdmundCleverClogs Fri 03-Feb-17 14:23:53

I have a sibling who suffered from serious anger and behaviour issues. Parents were awful, only one of us children who wasn't at the end of physical/emotional abuse but suffered the equally bad 'golden child' treatment. Ended up black and blue during the worst tantrums, called foul names, had household spray in eyes and mouth, shot with pellets, had things thrown against my bedroom window when trying to take a time out/get on with school work - it was awful.

I don't really blame them, I know where it stemmed from. I don't really see or talk to them though, between them and my parents, most association with my family unsurprisingly causes me anxiety.

AlmostAJillSandwich Fri 03-Feb-17 14:33:32

Me and my sister both have OCD, which has worsened as we got older. We loved each other, but my sister started needing to question people all the time to soothe her illness. You could walk past her and be a metre away from touching her, and she'd ask "Did you touch me?" you'd tell her "No" but she'd then start a back and forth of "Are you sure?" "So you're sure you didn't touch me?" "You absolutely didn't touch me?" and it could go on 10 questions or more. It also wasn't an occasional thing, it was at least 5 times or more a day, she'd watch everything you were doing and it would be about if you touched a certain object, if i'd washed my hands properly after the toilet, and so many other things, and it used to drive me insane, because with having OCD too i'd start getting anxious and questioning myself if i was remembering right or not (as well as understandably frustrated) so sometimes I'd answer her a few times then get so anxious and angry and refuse to continue answering her questions because i needed her to stop. She'd go into a panic that i wouldn't answer and would start punching me, typically in the head, neck and spine, trying to force me to answer her. It wasn't either of our faults, we were both ill and our needs clashed. Now we're older (both in late 20's) and no longer live together (plus she's made amazing progress, couldn't be more proud of her) we have a brilliant relationship, and i found out she actually used to self harm out of guilt for hurting me.

StickyMouse Fri 03-Feb-17 14:43:35

My sister is allowing her son, oldest to really be awful, not physical to them but verbal abuse and damaging their belongings, they are always sad, v serious, I suspect that they will leave home as soon as possible and not look back. She isn't protecting them from him, its vile.

She is struggling with her own mental health, he knows she is weak and I wonder how much she passes off as normal as at times she was vile to me when I actually adored her.

Mummyoflittledragon Fri 03-Feb-17 14:50:05

Yes. Brother 2 years older and very much stronger. He would throw me around the room like a rag doll. Prevent me from leaving the room. Stand in front of me wangling his willy and showing off his muscles. Hit me. I felt weak and powerless. Mother was worse than useless.

Newt. I don't consider standing on your neck as normal. I think it is part of the power he had over you and was part of the pushing to be stronger and better and overpower you and the sexual abuse may have just been the next step. I've had a lot of therapy. And recently I realised just how vulnerable I was. I now see looking back how lucky I was that my brother had enough restraint not to sexually abuse me. flowers

Mummyoflittledragon Fri 03-Feb-17 14:52:48

To add to my post above. Just seen Stickys post. Yes, the verbal abuse from brother. Awful. Terribly demeaning.

Brother and I were a product of very immature parents. My mother considers it to this day as normal hmm

Sticky. I hope you have the strength to be there for both of those children. Even the one bullying is probably very damaged.

FelineJustFine Fri 03-Feb-17 14:59:04

Thank you all your replies. Yes I'm 3 years younger than him, I was involved in a car crash when I was younger and had to have my kidney and adrenal gland removed, this lead to my nerves being shot to hell, so I didn't go out as often as should have. Everyday he called me a fucking "bitch" Freak loser, who can't face reality...
Anyway, I had the 15-1and Countdown quizzes to keep me company

Fallonjamie Fri 03-Feb-17 14:59:04

I broke my brothers front tooth with a plate once. He pushed me down the stairs on one occasion. Lots and lots of other incidents. I can honestly say my brother is the only person I have ever been violent towards.

I wouldn't call what we did abuse and we're really close as adults. Can only speak for us though.

CherryChasingDotMuncher Fri 03-Feb-17 15:01:15

When we were younger we had so many scraps and ended up in A&E (have 2 older brothers and various step siblings as parents married a few times) I'm amazed social services never paid us a visit.

One brother pushed the other down the attic hole (we were playing wrestling), another brother threw a massive set of keys at my face, we persuaded one brother to race on his bike knowing the brakes were broken (TBF so did he) and he hit a car and I nearly lost my eye when my step brother shot me in the face with a BB gun when we were playing.

This is to name but a few. We were all under the age of 12 when the worst of it occurred and we spent all our time together so fighting was bound to happen. In grumpy teenage years we barely made eye contact let alone hung out together! Looking back some of the things were quite bad.

However, I'd never consider it abuse, even though a lot of it was intentional. I wouldn't hold a grudge over something that happened in our childhood. Having said that, every family is different. We all grew up to be reasonable people and get on so well now. We were also all as bad as each other - we just took it in turns to be a victim! No one sibling was hanged up on IYSWIM. It's really wether you see your experiences as abuse or not. Only you know that and only you can make that decision, and it's fine if you do.

I think you need to get closure and should start by talking with your mum about what she remembers about it and how it was handled and how malicious it was

CherryChasingDotMuncher Fri 03-Feb-17 15:02:29

*ganged not hanged

Magzmarsh Fri 03-Feb-17 15:08:06

I grew up on a fairly rough council estate. There were several very large families and some of them were incredibly nasty and violent to each other. One family had 2 brothers get into a fight on Boxing Day 1980 and their Mum sent them outside to calm down, they ended up stabbing each other and one of them died, the other did 10 years for culpable homicide.

I think a lot of it was due to parental neglect 😕

Witchend Fri 03-Feb-17 15:17:11

Well, it does depend slightly on what went before.
Dbro had to be taken to A&E for stitches when he was running away from dsis "terrified."
He'd pinched something of hers, waved it in front of her and chanted "look what I've got".
In running away he tripped and caught his forehead on something. He said she pushed him, she didn't push certainly (I saw, and at the time I'd have backed dbro against dsis every time), she may have brushed his back with fingertips and he twisted to get away.
Dm treated it as 6 of one half a dozen of another which in all honesty was giving dbro more credit. He knew perfectly well he shouldn't have had it and dangling it in front of her was deliberately malicious. Chasing him to get it back was what any sibling would do, and unfortunately an accident happened.

Dsis also hit me once and made my nose bleed. I can't remember what I was doing, but I remember sitting there (would have been about 4yo at the time) feeling terribly virtuous and knowing I didn't really deserve the sympathy I was getting (but lapping it up grin)

I can't remember any other time any of us ended up with physical damage (I may have had bruises, but I bruise incredibly easily, so I wouldn't count that) and it wasn't that dsis was worse than us, simply she was unfortunate in those two occasions and it could have been any of us.

Dsis did not intend to hurt

CherryChasingDotMuncher Fri 03-Feb-17 15:21:17

Do you know what, I've never thought before about the parental aspect - I always thought fighting was normal confused I have a toddler DD and a newborn son and there's no way on earth I'll be allowing violent behaviour when they're older. Like PPs my mum just accepted it as sorting things out ourselves. My mum was really not the least bit maternal or good with kids though, we pretty much raised each other, so maybe explains a lot!

FemelleReynard Fri 03-Feb-17 15:22:24

Me and my younger brother do not have a great relationship. As children/teenagers we would have the usual sibling fights and hurt each other. This got better late teens, it tended to just be verbal arguments then (albeit sometimes quite heated) with a bit of pushing and shoving. Now both early 20s, happened to get into a bit of an argument a few weeks ago. I said a particularly hurtful comment to my brother which caused him (now much bigger/stronger than me, military level fitness so VERY able to cause hurt) to grab the back of my head and smash it down into the bowl I was eating from, break the bowl and leave a nasty cut on my face. I had to go to health centre to have this stitched and glued back together. I consider this abuse as opposed to sibling fighting and feel that my brother has a very serious anger/temper problem that needs addressing. My mother forbid me from revealing the real reason of how I cut my head to the nurse, and my father. The nurse for fear of her sending the police and causing more issues for my brother. And my father, for fear that he would deal with my brother himself (he is a large man with a bad temper, probably where my brother gets it from to be honest, although my father would never hit us/women etc, and would hate to think his son has). It's only for the fact that I know my mother is under so much pressure and stress, and if my dad did find out, the whole place would go up, that I don't want to cause her anymore so didn't tell anyone. I also understand how involving the police may have serious effects on my brothers life going forward (to be honest he's not got many prospects as it is, and I don't want to add to that with a criminal record) but I just wish he could see how serious this is and how he needs help addressing his issue. I haven't told anyone this and it feels better getting it off my chest.

CherryChasingDotMuncher Fri 03-Feb-17 15:25:04

Femelle it doesn't take Freud to see that your brother gets his violent and entitled behaviour from your dad. Poor you and your poor mum! Scared into silence when you've been attacked is not acceptable and shame on your dad for enforcing this. How did he 'deal' with your brother? Who btw should've thought about his future before he attacked a woman much smaller than him.

Dragongirl10 Fri 03-Feb-17 15:31:50

Going against the grain, l don't think it is at all normal for siblings to hurt each other, my DB was a year older than me so we were together a lot , yet he never hit,kicked or fought physically with me or l him.

My parents would have come down on either of us like a ton of bricks had we hurt the other....l am agast at these reports and peoples acceptance!

NotAPotion Fri 03-Feb-17 15:40:37

I actually only recently remembered the following happened to me as a child. Or maybe that the penny only dropped as to what it was all about.

I would have been about 10 or 11 and my brother 3 years older.
In order to earn rights to play his computer games he would ask me to do a head stand wearing a skirt. We would be in his bedroom and he would either be sitting on his bed or in it.

There were times he asked me get in his bed (not with him in it) and undress.

I did it. I honestly had no idea what it was about, totally baffled and just wanted to play the computer games.
I don't remember him telling me not to tell anyone or that it was a secret.

I have never told a soul.

SomethingBorrowed Fri 03-Feb-17 15:56:57

What were your parents doing when she was attacking you? I'm asking because I genuinely don't know how a parent is supposed to handle ths situation, I mean do they force the sibling to answer repeatedly, or do they "allow" the sibling to stop answering but then have to protect him from the one getting upset by the lack of answers?
Genuinely interested in your POV

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