Hey, hey...(brief mention of trauma experiences - no details)

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little fish

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I want to share my story for two reasons; because it's routinely dismissed, ignored, and minimised, both within the domestic sphere, and socially, and because someone who may doubt their experience and the impact of it, may read this and feel somewhat validated, which can be enormously healing.  I grew up in a domestic violence situation.  It was the most common form of domestic violence, yet the type we almost never talk about - sibling abuse.  My brother was physically, emotionally, and psychologically violent from childhood until I left home at 20.  There are no public awareness campaigns and no special days to recognise the victims of this devastating form of family violence, and even though, as I mentioned, it is the most common form of domestic violence, while funding continues to increase for other types, it steadily decreases for research into sibling abuse.  In Australia (my home country) the miniscule public conversation around this focuses almost exclusively on sexual abuse, and alarmingly and damagingly refers to it as 'bullying'.  Within the family, there's a blase, kids will be kids, attitude, that utterly undermines and negates the experiences and trauma victims endure.  I think the hardest part of this to come to terms with, for me, was my parents involvement, or lack thereof.  They completely ignored what was happening, which amounts to abandonment and emotional neglect, something I've only very recently been able to name and accept, and has been the most significant contributor to my developing CPTSD.  I also think my father has many traits of a narcissist and he consistently attacked, belittled, dismissed and undermined me throughout my life.  Furthermore, I experienced sexual abuse at the hands of an older male cousin, severe 'bullying' at school, and neglect by teachers.  So my experience has indeed been sustained, protracted, and cumulative.  I have spent most of my life debilitated by shame, terror, hopelessness, isolation, anger, self-loathing, and suicidal ideation.  Of course, these experiences led me to other abusive relationships, most notably with myself, and also with emotionally stunted and abusive 'lovers', who also displayed narcissistic traits.  I have suffered long-term with non-purging bulimia nervosa (another little talked about experience of mental distress) and other types of self-harm.  I'm doing okay at the moment.  I had 2-3 really incredible months, and though the last 2-3 have been pretty challenging, my awareness around my triggers, and my capacity to be kind to myself, have prevented things from escalating to the living hell that has characterised much of my existence.  I've had a lot of therapy and continue to see my counselling psychologist - who's an emotion-focused practitioner - on a weekly basis, and have a couple of incredibly loving, kind, empathic and understanding friends.  I'm also half way through a double degree in psychology and social work, largely possible because the university, for all it faults, and there are many, has been very accommodating with extensions, late withdrawal without penalty, and leave of absence.  I have hope for the first time in my life, which allows me to continue to be here.  While I tend to reject individualistic, pathologising labels (these are problems in living - normal responses to awful situations), I have found great relief in identifying with the CPTSD experience.  Much love to you all, little fish x x x                                                         
 
« Last Edit: May 27, 2015, 05:14:08 AM by little fish »

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Rrecovery

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Re: Hey, hey...(brief mention of trauma experiences - no details)
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2015, 02:48:07 PM »
Hi Little Fish and Welcome  :wave:  My heart goes out to you. You have suffered so much and have been invalidated so much.  I'm glad you are breaking free from the abuse and recovering.  You will find this to be a place of understanding and support.  Glad you're here  :hug:

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keepfighting

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Re: Hey, hey...(brief mention of trauma experiences - no details)
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2015, 04:25:17 PM »
Hi, little fish,

nice to meet you on this forum!  :wave:

Thank you for sharing your story. It is so important to raise awareness of the different kinds of abuse and their long term effects on the survivors. In my FOO, there was also sibling abuse; one of my sisters has a PD and our little brother was her main target. I didn't become aware of the concept until about three years ago, when I started learning about the narcissistic family system (m covert narc, f overt narc) and how sibling abuse can flourish in such a toxic environment.

I hope you'll find people who understand and validate you here on OOTS. It's such a blessing to get out of the isolation and meet people who 'get' you and helps so much in recovery. Sending many good thoughts your way.  :hug:

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BeHea1thy

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Re: Hey, hey...(brief mention of trauma experiences - no details)
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2015, 10:46:35 PM »
Welcome little fish,  :hug:

Your theme of sibling abuse struck home with me. It's a very tough experience and one that seems to keep on giving-headaches, nightmares, all things toxic. I'm glad you are seeing a therapist weekly and have some kind and understanding friends. It makes a difference to be heard and believed.

Your capacity to be kind to yourself is a key behavior which changes life from a living hell to worth living. It happens slowly at times, and more quickly other times. This forum helps keep the momentum going towards self-care and appreciation. Thanks for your courageous first post. A very good start.  :yes:

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Stained

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Re: Hey, hey...(brief mention of trauma experiences - no details)
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2016, 04:47:06 PM »
little fish - THANK YOU for posting this!  I just discovered C-PTSD 8 months ago, and immediately felt a connection with my experiences.  Other than the bullying at school (fortunately, I didn't have that experience - school was my "safe place"), you and I have extremely similar childhoods.  My parents weren't PD, thankfully, but I see now that they both abandoned and neglected me emotionally, as my brother's abuse went on for 15 years in front of them, without any significant action or help from them.

I registered on this site today, just so that I could respond.  I hope you see it.  Your post reached me - I actually searched the site for "sibling bullying", and it came up - and touched me.  Thank you for sharing your experience, and validating mine.

  --Stained

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Hey, hey...(brief mention of trauma experiences - no details)
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2016, 06:27:10 AM »
Hi little fish  :wave:  and welcome.

I can relate to the sibling abuse you have suffered, my brother used to beat me up as well. In the middle of the living room, and nobody lifted a finger. My mom even told me: "let him"...  :doh:
Thanks for sharing and know that you are not alone.  :hug:


And a welcome to Stained as well!
:grouphug:

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Chartery

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Re: Hey, hey...(brief mention of trauma experiences - no details)
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2016, 01:23:24 AM »
Hey Little Fish,  I can relate as well.  I have an older brother that was (and is) emotionally and physically abusive.  It took me a long time to see it all clearly and now when I look back at my childhood I can clearly understand why I raise my kids in a way that is free from any emotional abuse or bullying and like you said when it's allowed to happen it does indict those complicit in letting it happen.  Only recently have I realized how much all of the tormenting and teasing from one of my older brothers has contributed to my CPTSD.  As we continue to get older I am very aware of the envy that lurks below his loving façade.  It's strange how some of these types have an envy that they constantly protect against.