You are always in
my thoughts. My time in writing you is well spent. I read your
statements and I am so proud to know you.
As a survivor of sibling abuse, my life quest has been to figure
out my contact with other human beings.For some people this
is an easy quest. As I have worked with my clients, also I see
their painful lessons in learning this simple human ability.
Because I did not got through certain developmental stages in
establishing trust or having my instincts in place, the process of
socialization has been a challenge. I have gone through very pain-
ful situations were I was in a relationship, not only with a close per-
sonal relationship, but also with friendships with women. My clues
on how to decipher whether a person was good for me weren’t in
place. I am a former battered woman and I truly feel that because
of sibling abuse, I was attracted to an abusive man. It is a miracle
to be writing these words; I could have been killed.
Survivors of sibling abuse are often developmentally delayed
in socialization skills. We did not know how to guard ourselves
from harm and did not have instincts of self preservation as to
whether a person would be good for our lives or not.I want to
share three clues on what I have learned about controlling/
A controller/abuser wants to quickly go into a fused relation-
ship. They basically want to seal the deal with you and want to
possess your abilityto reject or accept them. They usually have
an agenda that is contrary to you taking time off to make a decision.
There is often unrelenting pressure for you to solidify the bond.
Secondly, when we are in a negative relationship, numer-
ous compliments are given. Because the main component of
sibling abuse is humiliation and emotional abuse, we are
often starving for love. With a low sense of self in place,
we can be receptive to a person who gives us external
Thirdly, it is important to understand how you are being
listened to or not. A controller will not allow you to have
your feelings and often gives advice. A controller will be
thinking in terms of solutions and how they might be
helpful. The help that you might receive will have a huge
cost: your dignity.
If you feel that you are relating to a controller, I ad-
vocate that you take time off to evaluate whether or
not you want to engage. Talk over the red flag feelings
that you might have with a friend. If you don’t have a
friend who can listen, call the local or National Hotline
on Domestic Violence. When you do engage with a
controller, refrain from sharing your problems.
Listen to their lives and through this experience,
you are more likely to pick up on clues and stay
in self preservation. Try not to make long sentences
with a controller. You will be sending out victim signals.
Instead use the shortest sentences that you can:
I can’t do that, No, I need sometime to think about
that, I will get back to you, I am clear, etc.
Self preservation is not something we
could have learned in a home environment where
we did not feel safe. Love yourself when you make
mistakes with people. Be as compassionate as you
can be when you feel you have messed up your
life or made a mistake. Try if you can to think
that every detour is a fabulous lesson. And one
last thought is to be wary of Facebook groups
where you might find yourself in a big fish bowl
of controllers. You deserve the best life. You are
in my heart. Nancy