Why were my sisters verbally abusive? - Forums at Psych Central



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Old 04-21-2019, 06:51 PM #1
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Default Why were my sisters verbally abusive?

I'm not sure if anyone could answer this question but I've been wondering why my sisters were verbally abusive throughout my childhood and to some extent even today as adults. Why was I chosen to be at the brunt of personal insults out of the blue? As far as I'm aware I did nothing, nor was I the favorite child in the family. My older brother was always on a pedestal so I'm confused as to why I was always a target?

Ever since we were kids I was always the victim of personal insults out of the blue and for no apparent reason. I'm minding my own business and the personal insults just came out and to be honest they still do on occasion and it's primarily from my sisters and I have four. I'm 31 now and I've come to develop Avoidant Personality Disorder but I've been thinking a lot as to why my siblings would constantly abuse me in particular? My brother in comparison was seldom a target, it was always me. I just tolerated it and rarely said anything, I don't know if I was an easy target. I don't know if it's because I have genuine flaws or if it's jealousy.

It's very confusing and I'm still trying to figure out what the reasoning behind it was. We were all emotionally abused mistreated by my stepmom but I did nothing to them. They would always put me down no matter what I did, even when I told them It hurt my feelings the reply was "We are just joking." Was I just being overly sensitive? Maybe this is just normal in most households but I still wonder why it's always me and not my two other brothers. We had a big fight once in which I was the abuser but that was years after the verbal abuses so It certainly couldn't be due to that.
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Old 04-21-2019, 07:32 PM #2
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Default Re: Why were my sisters verbally abusive?

Did you grow up with your stepmom?

I think with siblings there's always some rivalry, there's books about it. It can be baseless or completely founded. I find it frustrating as a parent, at the same time, I encourage both stop the nonesense or stand your ground and verbally stand up for yourself. At the same time, I can turn around and witness the closest of friendships. As though they are each others safe training grounds for the outside world.

But if you grew up in an environment where there was utter meanness trickling down from a viscious stepmom, then therein could lay a piece of your puzzle.
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Old 04-21-2019, 08:37 PM #3
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Default Re: Why were my sisters verbally abusive?

Were you the youngest of all? If so, maybe you were perceived as an easy target to channel their frustration from the abuse of your stepmother.
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Old 04-21-2019, 09:33 PM #4
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Trig Re: Why were my sisters verbally abusive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by healingme4me View Post
Did you grow up with your stepmom?

I think with siblings there's always some rivalry, there's books about it. It can be baseless or completely founded. I find it frustrating as a parent, at the same time, I encourage both stop the nonesense or stand your ground and verbally stand up for yourself. At the same time, I can turn around and witness the closest of friendships. As though they are each others safe training grounds for the outside world.

But if you grew up in an environment where there was utter meanness trickling down from a viscious stepmom, then therein could lay a piece of your puzzle.
I was primarily raised by my father. My biological mother wasn't around so between the ages of 4-13 it was just me, my brother and father. Dad wasn't always at home to care of us because he had to work the weekdays. Step mom comes in the picture at around 2001 after my dad files for divorce with my real mom. We hadn't kept in touch with our biological mother because we were told by our father she didn't care for us.

Step mom was terrible and still is, she hasn't changed much. She would often emotionally and verbally abuse my sisters and even turn them against each other for not obeying her every order. Early on I think they had to deal with a lot but I always took their side since I knew she was in the wrong. She eventually started doing the same to me and so now I had it from all sides. My sisters and stepmom abusing me. Sisters simply putting me down on nearly a daily basis for no reason and stepmom not including me in anything. My dad largely defended her actions. He didn't intervene for any of us except in the rarest of exceptions he would say the truth but it wouldn't last. He'd go back to her defense in nearly every instance.

Anyway, of the 4 sisters two are step-sisters and they began to do the exact same thing to me. They are also mistreated by their mother but not to the extent that we were. My stepmom is generally more forgiving with them but she does hurl insults along with her emotional abuse. I'm thinking that my stepmom is likely a narcissist but not entirely sure either.

We've all moved out years ago, I live on my own but I'm the only one who's a bit stuck in life. All my siblings (brother & 2 sisters) are married with kids and they live relatively normal lives but after high school I developed a panic disorder and went through a psychotic episode in which the psychiatrist prescribed Risperidone and then Seroquel until the symptoms stopped. They intially thought it was schizophrenia but in 2014 I was in the hospital after an overdose and was diagnosed with avoidant personality disorder. I don't really keep in touch with many family members at all, I thought maybe distance is the best thing, particularly from my father and step mom.

Last edited by bluekoi; 04-21-2019 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 04-21-2019, 11:00 PM #5
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Default Re: Why were my sisters verbally abusive?

I think that people are often abusive in order to split off from feeling vulnerable. Kids do that to each other - to not feel vulnerable.
It works until something in life makes you realise that you are split from yourself. Real people can feel safe being vulnerable.
That's just my take - also agree with what Healingme4me wrote about sibling rivalry and challenges as training for outside world! Outside world requires fight for survival as well as intimacy.

We get handed down different problems to deal with in our lives. I have no idea why my parent was abusive either: it doesn't have a reason, more of a psychological dynamic.
Working on your own stuff is the only way to go - with kindness, awareness, honesty, humour and any other resources at hand.
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Old 04-22-2019, 04:36 AM #6
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Default Re: Why were my sisters verbally abusive?

You know, your dad was wrong to say that to you about your own mom.

You were surrounded by unhealthy behaviors and I'm so sorry for that.

Do you know if your biological mom has a history of MI? Sounds possible.

I agree about keeping distance from your abusers. And wish you all the best as you navigate yourself into recovery.
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Old 04-22-2019, 04:56 AM #7
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Default Re: Why were my sisters verbally abusive?

I had a horrible, OCD, domineering stepmum also, and my dad sided with her. She would yell "you wait to your dad comes home" if I disobeyed some minute rule such as the order the cake tins were stacked in the cupboard. Then I would leave the house until late or be severely beaten.

It is what it is. Some folks deal with terrible illnesses/ disabilities and I dealt with a rubbish childhood. I only think about it these days when trying to understand my own bizarre reactions to a situation.

Now my life is focused on looking at my own limitations in achieving what I need. Sure my brain hooks on wondering why occasionally, but when I examine my own psychological behaviour it's not always healthy or exemplary, and that's all I have control over.
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Old 04-22-2019, 02:53 PM #8
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Default Re: Why were my sisters verbally abusive?

Sorry you went through this.
I have no advice but was (still am) treated this way by my brother who is now 37
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Old 04-22-2019, 04:54 PM #9
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Default Re: Why were my sisters verbally abusive?

I agree with the comments above and also think that maybe as a self preservation tactic, the sisters who bullied you did it to gain favor with their abuser and thus avoid their getting abused.

What your father told you about you mother is troubling. Is she alright? Have you been in touch with her?
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Old 04-23-2019, 02:57 AM #10
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Default Re: Why were my sisters verbally abusive?

Its not right but I suspect they picked on you because they were abused or neglected by their mom/stepmom and dad. So were you but instead of banding together they chose to cut you down. I hope now you are free of them.
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