I have been watching a television show called Revenge. After five episodes, I am hooked. As I am watching it, I think of the revenge I harbored toward my abusive sibling. Because of the abuse that came from her, there is not one part of my life that has not been affected. I cringe when I think about the scary, horrid men who came into my life. I am grateful to be alive. Beliefs, because of Sibling Abuse, twirled in my head for decades: I must be bad if my sister would do this to me, I am not worthwhile, I can’t trust anyone, I am flawed. These negative self beliefs led me to so many painful life junctures. Instead of seizing them, I let them go. After the trauma treatment at the age of 48, I spent many months plotting revenge against my sister. Revenge thoughts filled my waking and sleeping thoughts. I wanted to humiliate her. I wanted to do it front of my entire family. When my abusive sister took over my mothering, I smelled blood. After many years of being in recovery and listening to sibling abuse clients, I no longer obsess about revenge. I think about drawing attention to the issue of sibling abuse. I think about Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights Movement. For many years of my life, I had no freedom and had no rights. Rosa Parks did one act and that was to sit down on a bus seat. As an activist, her life wasn’t easy. Her husband was often not supportive. Her house was burned. If each one of us can do one act toward this movement, we can be a light to other survivors, parents, and children. We can help world the world to understand that this issue is intolerable and violates all human rights. We, in our individual ways, can just sit down and refuse to let the crime of Sibling Abuse hurt one more child.
The resolve and courage to change attitudes about Sibling Abuse, will require great dedication. There are two parts to each one of us as survivors of Sibling Abuse: The Good and The Bad. I can’t imagine the losses that each one of you have sustained. In my life, I lost all of my relatives and my only son. I can’t imagine how many times you have leaned toward the bad, evil part of yourself and wanted revenge. As I write, I have one more thing to be angry about: my health. I am fighting a debilitating disease caused by undergoing massive panic attacks. The panic attacks went into many decades of my life. Today, I was told my test results; they weren’t good. For myself, I can’t afford to be angry any more; it has hurt my health. My deep anger goes into this movement and the attention that it desperately needs. You are important to this movement. The other day I asked a survivor to help this cause and her reply was, “Not now. Maybe in a couple of months. I am so busy.” If each one of us can remember being in a house or an apartment and every time, we sat down or went to bed, there was fear, telegraphing through our childhood bodies minds and bodies, we would unite in a strong way. The time is now, not some time in the future. Sibling Abuse has gone on since the beginning of time. Our combined efforts can be an intervention for a young girl who might get molested by her brother. Our concern might help educate a parent to investigate what really goes on inside children’s bedrooms. Our efforts might help a suicidal child harmed by sibling abuse.
The attention toward this issue will be grassroots. It needs you. Television doesn’t want to touch it. When I was asked to go on television, my abusive sister had to be on the same show. I declined Dr. Phil and The Today Show. Declining these shows was my greatest revenge. I chose to not sit and be interviewed on a show that did not uphold my dignity or yours. No survivor of Sibling Abuse needs to ever go on a television show with their abuser. We need to be believed. If our country does not believe us, we can believe in each other.
As I am about to close, I want to tell you about great strides. I was interviewed by Scholastic Magazine that has a readership of 1 million. In another newsletter from a national child abuse organization, my comments about Sibling Abuse will go out to 250,000 readers.
Click this link if you want to help make conferences a reality for ADULT SIBLING ABUSE SURVIVORS. https://www.crowdtilt.com/
One last question: Have you ever thought about revenge against your sibling(s)? What has it done to your spirit, your body, etc.?
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