Sibling abuse – an interesting article

This article on sibling abuse raises some interesting points on why it happens and signs to look out for.

It does seem to be focused mainly on sibling sexual abuse rather than physical or emotional abuse. All forms of sibling abuse are hard to get statistics for as in all the studies I’ve researched the sibling figures are included in “other family” general categories.

This quote from the article on impact for me is key for people to understand:


Time does not necessarily heal. Adult victims of childhood sibling abuse generally have lower self-esteem and are overly sensitive and insecure. They have trouble with relationships and repeat the victim role in their other relationships. They can have sexual functioning problems. There is continued self-blame at the same time that anger at their perpetrator is played out with others.

“Not too good actually, not good at all”

“Not too good actually, not good at all”

Walking through the station today I overheard someone saying this into their phone.

I don’t know the context or what was going on as I moved passed and didn’t hear anything else but I was really struck by the statement.

How often do we really tell the truth when it isn’t very good? This could have been about anything, an interview, work, physical or mental health, relationships or life itself.

  • We don’t usually tell people though for many reasons.
  • We don’t want to worry them
  • We don’t want to admit failure
  • We don’t want to be seen as weak
  • We don’t want to be a burden
  • We don’t think they will care
  • We don’t think they can help
  • We don’t want to be ashamed

So we don’t admit what is really going on. And when we hold back we create a barrier between us and them. Sometimes this is necessary, but what if this barrier is a hindrance? If we can show our vulnerability to our nearest and dearest, how near are they truly?

Coming to therapy may be the first time the client really admits to the things that are not good. Finding the words can be a struggle and take time if they have spent a lot of their time not sharing it.

It can leave us feeling incredible vulnerable to admit that things aren’t going the way we would like them to be. My experience though is that it’s an enormous step in bringing about change. Not all relationship can adjust to it, but those they do are often deeper and much more fulfilling.



If you have ever felt suicidal yourself, been impacted by someone else’s suicidal ideation or just want to understand more about suicide then I recommend this podcast.

What is clear from the work they are doing is that suicide can be preventable if help is asked for. Obviously not everyone will have a health service that is following this model yet, but I hope the work they are doing is adopted by others.

Please contact the or your local healthcare services if you are immediate need of support.