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Gina Stepp has a master's degree in forensic psychology with an emphasis on trauma and resilience. As family and relationships editor for Vision, she examines the role interpersonal connection plays in ensuring human well-being.

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Bullying: The Family Connection

  
  
  

The origins of antisocial behavior
No Bullying

In the last post we saw examples of intergenerational relationships that reduced bullying behaviors. But bullying behaviors can be perpetuated from one generation to another as well.

In "The Bully in the Family: Family Influences on Bullying," from Bullying: Implications for the Classroom, James R. Holmes examines the existing research into this antisocial behavior, explaining that many factors contribute to producing it. However, most of these factors have their origins in the family. Whether genetic components are considered: which would include temperament, intelligence (or lack thereof) and attention problems; or environmental components such as family influences, behaviors that occur between parents and children, and family management skills; a child's central relationships are most likely to affect whether or not he or she will bully others.

According to the studies reviewed by Holmes, "Bullying is associated with families in which people do not treat each other with respect or families in which children are not taught to respect the rights of others."

He also notes that "[British Criminologist David P.] Farrington assessed intergenerational transmission of bullying behavior specifically and found that there was a relationship. In other words, boys who bullied others as adolescents were more likely in their 30's to have children who were bullies."

But it isn't only parents who have a strong influence in this regard. Says Holmes, "The intergenerational effects of poor family management and discipline can also extend to grandparents. Having antisocial parents and grandparents is even more predictive of antisocial behavior in adolescence."

How important are positive family relationships to a safe and successful community? As we continue to discover, everything we can hope to be as human beings begins and ends with the effort we put into family relationships.

Comments

Coming at the end of a large family, I can testify to family bullying. In a story too long to type let me summarize. I have always seen the double standards and different rules for different people within our family, but never had the courage to object to any of it. My mother's philosophy was, don't say anything to cause a fight. Unfortunately, this only applied to those whom she could control. Those who were soft. It meant that the rest of the sisters could say and do whatever they liked. Although this has caused tremendous hurt to some of us, we had no way of dealing with any of it. Lately, I have found it very hard to ignore this bullying. I have tried to find a way to bring my mothers attention to it but she has never been a big fan of anyone having a difference of opinion to her. 
 
I am the youngest in a family of 9 and have travelled in and out the road to my mother's house to take her anywhere she needs to go. I have done this for the last 13yrs and have expected nothing in return. I really thought we had built a good relationship but since trying to bring her attention to the fact that maybe saying nothing is not the right thing, the relationship has deteriorated. I feel really sad about this, but after 38yrs of ignoring things I am determined to stick it out. There are now 3 sisters that no longer speak to one another. My eldest sister no longer speaks to mum. I can see the faults on all sides but when I say this to mum, she gets defencive and sees no fault in herself, although she constantly says she has no problem saying when she wrong. The thing is, she never is. There are a lot in my family like that, unfortunately. They never say sorry for anything they do. 
 
Only very lately, I had to approach one of my sisters. Her daughter has caused my daughter so much anguish that after 2yrs and an incident at their ice-hockey practice, I decided that enough was enough. This sister was my main bully when I was growing up and I decided that my daughter was not going to go down the same painful road as me. She had tried on numerous occasions to stop this herself, but to no avail. Well, how do I say this. She completely lost the plot. She said the most awful things to me, mostly about my husband and daughter. She wanted to hurt me in the most awful way and she did. 
 
We didn't talk for a long while but eventually I did. She never apologised and now it's as if it never happened. But it did and although I have spoken to her again, I cannot forget as easily. I have recently been thinking about staying away altogether. For my daughter's sake and for my own mental health. We'll see how things go.
Posted @ Friday, March 12, 2010 7:47 AM by Cath
I can empathize 
 
Cath, I can empathize with you.  
 
I've also experienced bullying in my family as well as in school as a child. I am sorry for what you are going through; it is extremely hard to know exactly what to do when it comes to extended family like that. And I know how much more it hurts when it is hurting your own children too. I think it would be hard for anyone to advise you on what to do about that, but certainly it would be understandable to just try to avoid those who are saying hurtful things to your daughter and you. 
 
I know you don't know me, but I really empathize with you, and I will say a prayer for you.:) 
 
Faith Hoffen
Posted @ Monday, March 22, 2010 5:52 PM by Faith Hoffen
Dear Faith, thank you so much for your prayers and understanding words. They are much appreciated. The fact that you have gone through something similar is so sad. Bullying on any level and in any circumstance is unforgivable but I hope you realise, as I have come to realise, that bullying is never the victim's fault. It's the helpless feelings that accompany bullying that make it worse, and you are right. When it comes to your own child experiencing bullying, those feelings are multiplied. However, you know what they say. That which does not kill us, makes us stronger. 
 
God bless you, 
 
Cath.
Posted @ Monday, March 22, 2010 5:58 PM by Cath
Cath, 
 
I am the eldest of eight children born in less than 9 years. I am almost 50. 
 
When i was a child/teen I did act in a bullying way to to some of my sisters. Often it was teasing gone too far. Mostly it was a case of intolerance, boredom and abusing my power as the eldest. 
 
Sometimes my sister annoyed me just by her presence. She was often sulky and sullen and humorless. I annoyed her just for entertainment and to get a laugh from other siblings. I didn't physically hurt her, but I verbally teased and niggled. Sometimes I just gave her hateful looks. Over time it wore her down. My parents didn't intervene as they thought 'kids will be kids'. Plus a lot was done out of their sight. 
 
These days I am a lot more self aware and feel very badly for the way I behaved. I have apologised in a long letter many years ago, but my sister didn't accept it. She disappeared for 20 years from the family (the bullying is a small part of the story, but add in mental health issues, feeling 'different', a broken marriage, allegations of sexual abuse etc) and only returned on Friday!! 
 
Anyway, what I am getting around to is...your sister may feel very guilty and confronted by you. If you need to discuss what was said, how about writing a letter - maybe hand deliver it or read it to her (writing the letter will help you chose the right words). 
 
Start off by saying that you want to have a good relationship and thats why you need to tackle an issue that has been upsetting you. Try and show that you have some empathy (eg i know it must have been difficult to hear my accuations against your child and so you naturally defended her). Try to stay calm and walk away if she begins to abuse you, yell etc. 
 
If she can't accept responsibility for her actions and give you the apology you seek, what kind of relationship would that be? Where would the trust and respect be? Show her where the line is that she has clearly over stepped. 
 
Posted @ Monday, March 22, 2010 5:59 PM by Mary
Cath, 
 
I completely empathize with your situation. The unfortunate thing about family bullying is that it is not as easy to just walk away or to stand up for oneself. Otherwise, every family occasion and moments in life that should be joyous celebrations become ugly battle grounds. Those of us that value family tend to tolerate more and so family bullies get away with more and cause more damage.  
 
I recently realized that I have spent all of my 20s and most of my 30s being bullied and watching those around me being manipulated. I come from a family of 6 and my bully is my older sister. For whatever reason, I am the focus of her bullying and not my other siblings. Her bullying tactics include constant petty verbal attacks, outright mean spirited comments, lying and manipulating others, and encouraging friction within the family. My sister literally gets a happiness high when she sees the chaos and hurt she causes. 
 
My parent’s way of dealing with it to ask me to just ignore it and to ask my other siblings to also just ignore it so that tension within the family is minimized and that we remain a family—this is after they tried to talk to the bullying sister and were met with denial and hostility. It has caused so much hurt and anguish in my life. After 10 years of bearing it, I begun to experience panic attacks and nightmares as family events approached but would force myself to go. I felt obligated.  
 
I recently realized that life, my life, was not worth living with a situation like that and that my siblings actions would most likely never change. I also realized that my other siblings and parents would remain bystanders, perhaps they are just afraid of becoming the next target. I now severely limit my interaction with my family. While it is not how I would like things to be, I have never experienced such peace, joy, and a new found appreciation of all that life has to offer. I look back and wish I had taken this difficult step earlier because it has really hacked at my soul. I applaud you for taking the step that you are taking for yourself and your daughter, and am sad that we have this common experience. I wish you all the best.
Posted @ Monday, March 22, 2010 5:59 PM by tks
S.O.S 
 
Thank you so much for revealing your experiences. I feel that I am not alone, and I hope to do some more research in order to help myself. My situation is very much similar to what has been described here. I am Russian, firstly I should say that issues like family bulling are not taken seriously. Whenever I try to share mу pain or talk about it, I feel so alone... Most likely I am told that all families are families, and conflicts happen. However, I am not able to get any protection from it, nor can I get any advise upon psychological tactics to resist such type of behavior. I am simply told to ignore it, but the more I ignore it, the more I get bullied. 
 
After I graduated hight school in Russia, I attended university in US for almost 7 years. Afterwards, I had to go back. I rented a flat with my older brother for three years in Moscow. But thank to a crises, we decided to move in our family house and start family business. This is when bulling started to blow out of proportions. My mother and brother constantly blame that I don not work hard enough, that I do not listen to them. My brother is a verbal abuser, he calls me all kinds of names whenever he feels anger. He tells me that I am stupid..... I try hard to work, but they say it is not enough, or I even get something like "You do not do anything, what do you do... I cry often, sometimes out of blue, and my chest hurts so bad. I think I need to see a psychiatrist. Seems that I am not good enough. I used to feel so optimistic, but not anymore. Nothing I do is good enough. And my brother always tells me that he has a right to act so, because he is older. I am 28 years old, and I refuse to be a little sister who is in denial. One time he even hit me with the leather belt, and pulled my hair. This so hard to bear, and even harder to share such situation, because others do not take it seriously as I do. I am so sad.
Posted @ Monday, March 22, 2010 6:00 PM by Irene
Im so sorry for you. You really seem at the end of your rope. Maybe you really need to rethink your living arrangements and create a distance between yourself and your mum and brother. There is never a reason to verbally abuse anyone and never a reason to except it. It seems to me that you are a smart and clever girl and maybe this is the wakeup call that you need. I think that for your own safety and mental health you really need to get away from these people, in particular your brother. Certainly I think you need to talk to someone and a psychologist may be the right person. Not a psychiatrist. You are not mad and this is in no way, as far as I can see, your fault. I wish you all the best and I will pray for you. 
 
God bless 
 
Cath.
Posted @ Monday, March 22, 2010 6:01 PM by cath
I feel more relieved after reading all your posts. No-one i know has the same problems i do - i am incredibly jealous of people who get on with their siblings!  
 
Well i only have problems with one. I am the eldest and i have 2 younger sisters: one of which, the one i don't get on well with, is only a year and a half younger than myself. I think she has a severe case of middle child syndrome. Ever since we were children she has always caused a scene to get her own way - she would scream, yell, kick anything to get her own way. My mum sometimes tried to discipline her but nothing worked and inevitably she gave up and gave in to her demands. Because we are so close in age i feel that she thinks we are on the same level or she is above me in some way - we used to get treated the same when we were little which hasn't helped the situation as we have grown older. 
 
It has been worst most recently though over the past few years - she has changed dramatically. She's very verbal with her abuse and she will often do anything to belittle me and upset me - She will make a rude comment about the way i eat, the way i dress, the way i sit to the point where i actually have no confidence in myself anymore. There was one time she was very physically violent to me and it left me with bruising on my arms for weeks. This is something she has never apologised for. And my mum and dad just let her get away with it. 
 
Personally i don't think she will ever change - she is a typical bully who will do anything to make herself feel like a bigger person. I can't wait to move out and feel free!!!
Posted @ Monday, March 22, 2010 6:02 PM by thanks
I am a mother if 5, We are a blended family and I see constant bullying going on with the kids, I do what I can to stop it, I try to make things fair, but there is a consistant persistant antagonistic behavior with my kids. Where can I get help???? 
 
Esam5
Posted @ Monday, March 22, 2010 6:02 PM by Elisabeth
I too have been the victim of bullying .I was married to my wife of 12 years . Her father would constanly find things to blame on me even after other family memebers would take the blame .He would still blame me .My wife sister was the king of the bullies the first day i walked in to her house she " you remind me of my former boyfriend " she would remind my wife of it constanly almost daily after a while her kids started to follow thier leads . After a while i begin to fear them and i was scared of them. The worst example was when i was trying to protect my niece . My niece mentiod in the car while i was driving her home that she had been drinking beer and had been out all night she was only 14 years old. Being a concerned adult i told my wife. As i told her i said there will be reprecussuion from your sister.Within five minutes her sister berated me and humliated me. My wife did knothing but sit there and laugh.During marriage couceling i mentiod this to our preacher he told my wife that her sister was out of line and should apolgize. From that point on her sister went on to destroy my marriage on purpose . To this day i'm still scared of her sister and her father. 
 
Posted @ Monday, March 22, 2010 6:03 PM by roy a
I experienced the same exact thing cath 
 
My parayers are with you. I wrote the following to a fiend recently maybe it might help... 
The family bullies that disgust me the most are the lazy selfish ungreatful bullies in the family. 
 
The bullies that are constantly running down a particular person. by lieing about them, disincluding them, or treating them disrespectlfully in some way. All because that person is successfull, or more attractive or has better relationships than the bully/bullies in the family. It's as if these bullies are "actually" angry with themselves for making bad choices in life such as dropping out of school or not going at all, getting into drugs and or alcohol, not taking care of their health and appearance, or makeing poor choices in their relationships and how they treated others in the past. So now they don't want to take responsibility for those bad choices they made in the past. Choices that no one was twisting their arm to make or standing in their way of making better choices. Now when they see another family member who ( in the eyes of the bully/bullies ) has made better choices, they want to persecute that person for making better choices because "first" they are too lazy to get off their rear end and make changes to their own situation, "secondly" they are too selfish to allow people to have what they have worked for and rightgfully earned, and "thirdly" they are ungreatful for all the opportunities they have had in life. They are cowards when it comes to facing up to and taking responsibility their own mistakes. They have to go and harrass someone else to "feel satisfied" and that kind of satisfaction only lasts momentarily until they can get another "fix". The worst part of it is when other family member encourage them to continue the harrassment either because they are afraid they might be their next target if they don't go along, or because thyey just don't want to be bothered with the whole situation. This gives bullies a "green light" to continue and cause more havoc in the family. Sadly, usually the only thing that can be done is for the target of the bullying to completely disassociate themselves with the family, leaving the bully/bullies to find a new target to satisfy their insecurities and failures. Family bullies should be confronted and have an intervention from the entire family to encourage them to take charge of their own life by making positive changes in their life they need to be made to understand that they have all the love and support from all members to make these changes and that blaming anyone else outside of themselves for their own past mistakes and choices is not going to achieve a possitive end for anyone! only positive new choices and positive initiative will get them the things that they need to feel more secure. 
Kathy K.
Posted @ Monday, March 22, 2010 6:03 PM by Kathy K
I was very thankful that I reached this website. I have been suffering from getting bullied from family members for many years. I'm on my mid 30's and have not succeeded with my career path. The bullied started at a very young age...I first experienced the painful mental abuse with my family members during my grade school years. I was the youngest of a dozen. I was called ugly, stupid, you can never suceed in school. I then, believe them and did very bad in school academics. I did not have friends and did not want to be with others. I have the believe of getting the same treatment as I have with my own families..And guess what, I was treated the same. I was discouraged by family and teachers. I was never a favorite in school and my family just keep on mistreating me everyday and it comes to the point where I was getting physical abused too. I was blessed at one point where I moved to another country before I graduated grade school. I met new people, different atmosphere and my teachers adores me. I was left with my mother, father and my older siblings. I love the fact that one of my female older siblings that would mentaly and physically abused my was left behind. I had a chance to change me and to concentrate my academic goals. I have reached those goals and became a very sucessful student and made a lot of friends. But, their are those days where I could not focused. My mental stage came back where I did not feel good about myself. I felt ugly and stupid. On my twenties, I was sexually abused by my brother in law and my sister who was married to him did not defend me. She turned her back and acused my that I was making up stories. Then, I was left home taking care of my father who had a stroke and a mother who is constantly working day and night to pay off expences and rent. I felt like I was stock and could not do anything to provide and support my elderly parents. I did what I can to support myself and my schooling. I finished off a degree and worked in different companies. I was happy..then, I descided to go back to school toward a new carreer. My father had passed away and I felt that I need to do something for myself. I moved back to the country I had left when I was in grade school. I now live in our old house where I grew up and actually live with my elder sister who bullied my to death when I was younger and her four kids. I felt like the history of getting bullied is still taking in placed right now. I am able to face it more managebly because I'm older and wiser. I don't do the same with her kids. They all love me, and felt like my sister is taking chances of getting in control of everything I do at home. She changes her mood and would just attack me with different sarcastic words to and constantly push me around. I don't get it, I thought that everything changes as you get older. Why does she act this way?
Posted @ Friday, May 14, 2010 8:45 AM by Rose P.
I was raised by an alcoholic child molester who ridiculed and made fun of us and a depressed dissociative that also drank.He bullied me I wasn't cared for neither were my brothers and sisters I was bullied and ridiculed everyday in school when I got older I skipped a lot of school.Even home was better than school.Then I left home when I was 17..Had a child got married my mother in law said I only had children so I could control him she constantly criticized me.There were 11 in the family only 4 were my motherinlaws favorites the rest she didn't care about,at her funeral several came to just make sure she was gone.My husband drank I divorced him he kept drinking and got in a car accident was in a coma and died.We had 4 kids my mother in law tried to turn my kids against me.My sister married my husbands brother and he would criticise me and my kids in her house if I stood up to him he would kick me out and then my sister would call me and complain because I upset him.I can't have a relationship with my sister and my family blames me she is very sneaky and has convinced everyone I did something.This bullying my whole life has caused me to feel like I am in a box sometimes I am afraid to go to the store.Now I find out because my son has gone to Florida and disappeared a person that he had talked told me my son had been molested by older women in the family.I don't know who also my daughter found out that my brotherin law married to my sister raped his sister..I can't bear to be around him my family thinks I am being mean or catty.My Dad has cancer could die soon lives in another state and I am going to have to be around my brother in law and my son missing hiding out because of memories of child abuse I became suicidal with the deppression from this.My Aunt attacked me with God and told me I shouldnt tell anyone about my brother in law That I am a mean gossip.I wanted someone to understand what I have been through.I believe he bears watching I am so sick of them all and I don't think my sanity can hold out much longer.
Posted @ Thursday, May 20, 2010 10:37 PM by SEP
I can relate to all of these on some level. I was bullied my entire middle and high school years. We didn't have much money growing up and my father worked hard for what we had. My mother was physically, verbally, and mentally abusive also. With my father working all the time he had no idea what was going on. I then married at 18 right out of high school to get away from my mother. I realized a few months later I had married a man who was just like my mother. After 7 years I got enough courage to leave my husband by then I had a young son to take care of and no selfesteem and felt more worthless than ever. I met a wonderful man a few years later who treats me like a queen and is a good father for my son. Now I have to put up with bullying from his brother who containtly causes problems for us in any way that he can. He sends nasty emails and says terrible things over the internet. I also have to deal with my husbands nieces who only can say nice things when they can use me for rides or for me to do something for them. I am called so many names and they hurt. It makes me feel like I did in school. My husband and I try to explain my feelings to my husbands parents but they just keep saying it is time to get over it and move on. No one is ever made to appoligize it is just forotten like it never happened. I find myself avoinding any place where they are so I don't get myself in any other hurtful situations. I kept getting told ignor them. How can you. After reading these posts I know see I am not alone, nor am I wrong for feeling this way. 
 
Thank you so much for telling you experiences.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 27, 2010 6:17 PM by Tina
I have read your comments and understand as I have an older sister that is as mean as the day is long. I have had to endure her ugly remarks to me all of my 55 years, she is 60, for my moms sake. After having Xmas day ruined (again) for me by my pychotic sisters belittleing of me, I (again) do not want to be any where around her. My dear mom greieves over this and I give in to appease the situation for her sake. What a bad situation this is. My dad was very abusive in everyway to all of us, mom,sis, and me. My sister takes after him in every way, she even attacked me last year physically.. If you have kids, DO NOT ALLOW ABUSE TO GO ON TO YOU OR YOUR KIDS OR BETWEEN THEM. I blame my mom for allowing the continuation of the abuse in our family for family's sake. To keep the family together is not always a good idea, sometimes as in my case- I know I would have had a better life if I had not been around my family..I have tried ignoring, confronting, nothing works with this horrible person.
Posted @ Sunday, December 26, 2010 7:27 PM by clh
My situation is similar, yet very unique and I need wise counsel. My mother died in '04 and Dad remarried in '07 to a woman just a few years older than me. I predicted at my sister's funeral that she was going after Dad and I was correct. She dated Dad in a sensuous manner and they were married within a few months.  
 
Dad has money, she has a reasonable retirement, but wanted more. My Mom and Dad had set up a family trust with an account in Mom's name and an account in my Dad's. Upon death each account becomes irrevocable. However Dad refuses to relinquish his rights as Trustee, even though he is 83 and continues to not touch his account, yet goes into Mom's, even though he has been instructed to not, by his attorney. On a few occasions I have reminded him of this fact. The attorney says that this is a grey area and there is nothing I can do. My Dad's wife continues to spend, spend, spend...new kitchen, carpet, bed, private travel companies..you get the picture. I have still been holding holidays here and she continues to say, "I want to be served." 
 
I am now 57 and when I had made a helpful suggestion to Dad (at least most everyone present thought it was), under her breath she said, "So is the child telling the parent what to do?" I love my father and want to see him, yet he is not following through to protect me even though I have discussed this with him. He is narcissistic so he'll start having "symptoms"..."my stomach is getting all in knots".. when I begin a serious conversation, blaming this on me, or shrugging it off with, "well, I guess that I'm just a bad father." His wife even has gone so far as to say, when she discovered that I had discussed this with another family member/friend that this threatens his dignity, and is nothing I should be sharing. 
 
When Mom died, she felt that she had protected her portion of her estate for her family. I am now an only child and have no one to share this with who has walked the road I'm on. If there is any wise counsel out there I would love some input! Thanking you in advance.
Posted @ Friday, January 28, 2011 8:09 AM by Kathryn
I've been bullied all my life by my family. My brother beat me to a pulp every day and my mother took savage pleasure in stopping it by punishing me instead of him. She herself takes her temper out on me frequently. My sisters have now started picking on me online and are starting to spread their insane but nasty ideas about me to my parents so that they can lash out at me too. My father has always ignored any bullying he saw done to me and sided with my siblings over me for reasons I'll never know. I'm not expecting any different this time, but at least recently I realized that it's not me, it's them, and if they insist on treating me like an object then they can forget about having a relationship with me. Family or not, they have no right to pick on me. I have worked extremely hard on being a good sister and good daughter and I've had it all thrown back in my face. If they want to be emotionally 4 years old then that's their problem and I'm not dealing with it any more. I can't change them, but I can change whether they successfully target me or not.
Posted @ Saturday, February 05, 2011 2:30 PM by Niamh
Oh Niamh, My heart goes out for the pain and frustration you must feel. It's hard to see people having a dysfunctional relationships, yet it does make sense to remove yourself from these at some point so that you can move forward with your life.  
 
Sometimes I believe that when people see strength, they feel threatened and that is what encourages this threatened "pack" reaction. Is it fair? Absolutely not! But yet maybe, just maybe we should pity their closed minds and set ways and learn to rise above in the world in which we live. 
 
To spend less time and fewer contacts, without forgetting those within your family and still maintaining some hope is important. Find new ways to spend your time in positive ways....including new friends and/or reestablishing relationships of old with people you trust would be a good prescription! Take Care!! kathryn
Posted @ Saturday, February 05, 2011 7:24 PM by Kathryn
My eldest sister is 8 and a half years older than me. And I think she has been jealous of me since I was born. She has a vicious temper, she will start arguements. If you stand up to her she will then step up a gear and change the subject of the arguement, you have to keep up with her until she has made you cry. It is the breaking of you by making you cry that is her victory. I have heard her say about people the most recent being her secretary at work 'I'll have 'em, I'll make her cry'. One of the few times I was brave enough to stand up to her (along with my other sister who too had had enough) was not long after my mother had died. During this espisode my eldest sister had a temper tantrum and screamed like someone who was being tortured but nobody was even in the same room as her. She then said to me 'You win' which I thought was a telling comment as it is all about winning and beating down and keeping someone (me) in their place. I replied that there are no winners in an arguement.  
 
 
 
She uses the word hate a lot, and has accused me of hating her when in fact I think it is the other way around. This manifested itself last year when in a temper she threw me out of her house. It was a visit I didn't want to make, but it used to be hard to say no to her. (Should you ever say no to her she does take it as a person insult). So I felt obliged to visit her. I was going through a career crisis and although I haven't trusted her for years I felt her personal life had become more settled and she was a lot happier with her lot and so thought things would be alright and made my visit. Her throwing me out of her house at 12.30am was round 5 of an assassination of me by her that had started with a dressing down in the food court of an extremely large shopping mall earlier in the day, but in eality had been brewing for a few days previously. You can detect when something is happening - my mother, who was very strong in lots of ways but extremely weak in dealing with the behaviour of her two eldest daughters, did forewarn you when my elder sister was out to get you by saying 'she's gunning for you stay out of her way'.  
 
 
 
Her throwing me out in the manner she did and her doing it to me hurt me so very much. But what I think hurt me and still does I suppose is that the feelings of hatred, envy, viviousness whatever she felt/feels towards me had been brewing under the surface for years and came to a flashpoint that night. I knew something 'big' was going to happen, I can predict her behaviour, but to have to face the cold harsh reality of being the target of such deep disabling feeling towards you, that someone hold such an appalling opinion of you is a real shock to the system. It still shocks me today just over a year after it happened. And I know that this is not the end there will be another explosion targeted at me. And all the pent up envy, hatred jealousy resentment will explode again. 
 
 
 
I have to take positives from this though and this may be peverse, but for a long time I have wished that I could 'divorce' her. If I was in a marriage I could walk away from such a toxic relationship and have legal redress. Her doing what she did has removed any moral obligation I have to her. I used to love her and like her very much but now it is not a case of love/hate ( I don't hate anyone)like or dislike, it is that I don't care anymore. I wish her no harm and hope that life is good for her, but I don't want to see her, to me she has metaphorically died, and I have been released.  
 
 
 
We met up this Christmas and within 30 minutes she was starting but I stood up to her and told her she didn't have to like me or agree with me but she was obliged to respect me as I am obliged to respect her. I also told her the home house was her house just as much as it was mine but she couldn't throw me out of it. 
 
 
 
I just don't want it anymore, I don't want to have to live with being afraid to say or do the 'wrong' thing in her eyes. I have had my life destroyed by a lack of confidence and lay a lot of the cause at her feet as she is afraid you will do something better than her.  
 
 
 
She takes my ideas, my creativity, my good humour and nature all that is attractive about me and uses it herself, so many times I have seen her copy my clothes my thoughts and have had things said back to me. I really do think she wants to be me, but let me tell you I am nothing special.  
 
 
 
She goes round telling people I suffer from depression, she takes your avoidance (which you do when you have been obliterated by her temper) as a sign of depression, wher you are just staying out of the way for your self preservation. In reality I think she is seriously mentally ill and certainly is hedonistic, and narcissitic along with being incredibly insecure and paranoid and havin very poor anger management. She has no humilty and has to be acknowledged or recognised albeit on the small scale. She is a catholic hypcryite and I have told her as much. 
 
 
 
I don't care about saying these things anymore as I didn't want to her hurt her and also YOU regulate your behviour. but whilst I am nervous of her predicted and expected behaviour I don't care. She has never thought about the consequenses of her behaviour on me or others, and she cannot understand after her behaviour why people shun her. I would rather not interact with her again. My life is happeir without her. And I really mean it when I say I wish I could divorce her. I wish I could make the legal break.
Posted @ Monday, April 04, 2011 10:51 PM by Anonymous
After living many years during childhood and as an adult with a sister bully, I decided I did not need all the negative dialog in my or my families life. I gave her all the space she demanded. She then turned attention to my children. Now with another sister dealing with cancer, she has turned it up a notch. She and another sister who still live in family home since birth, refused to pass on vital info about our sister. Sadly my very ill sister lost her battle with cancer. Now they are trying to control funeral details, family life of her children , and on and on. How do you cope with such evil. I have chosen to become a only child of my parents. I have no sisters. What else can one do.
Posted @ Sunday, May 01, 2011 9:30 PM by
My wife is being bullied by her family. This morning, she was "told" by her sister that she was going to watch her 2 kids today because her car broke down and her husband is too busy. Her mother just had major surgery and her father is in failing health. Her other sister is helping her parents. My wife feels as if she HAS to do this, because if she doesn't, her sister will just drop her kids on her sick parents. This kind of bullying has been going on for years in one form or another. I don't know how much longer I can stand watching her being pushed around like this. She refuses to do anything about it either. I have stood up to my family, but she refuses to do the same. "Thats just how they are", she says. What else can I do?
Posted @ Sunday, May 15, 2011 8:24 AM by M
Bullying has been happening for many years in my family. I am being ostrasized from my entire family and undermined even when I do kind deeds for a family member. My 21 yr old son lives with my mother who is 83 yrs old. I try to help my mother out by shopping for her and waiting on her hand and foot. My son bullies me, locks me out, swears at me, makes unsolicated comments towards me, etc. My mother favors my older sister who continues to make cynacle comments towards me. She is put on the pedestal by everyone because she makes a good income. She is given the lower flat at my mom's house and lives there with free rent and has also been given everything in my mothers will. I was left out. I am the one helping my mother and my sister has another place out of town, since she is a traveling nurse who has a good income. One main problem is that the family gets physically and verbally abusive towards me,---they stick together even though my mother may have invited me over that day. When the family gets abusive towards me, they call the local police and can press charges stating that I am trespassing. My mother, in order to "keep the peace" with the majority will tell the police that she wants me out and then I could get arrested for trespassing, even though she invited me to help her by shopping.I do not think my family would even tell me if my mother died or not, because they stick together. My mother starts rejecting me after helping her once my older sister returns and she starts hanging up on me and lying to cover up what is happening. I fear being arrested for attempting to visit my mother and help her out. It is considered trespassing if she does not vouch for me even though she invited me over to help her. The police usually go with majority rule even though it is my mothers home. My mother does not get rent or any help from anyone in the house. My mother switches her loyalties when my sister come back when she is on vacation from her out-of-town job.
Posted @ Friday, May 20, 2011 1:36 PM by Jennifer
Wow, I can't believe this site. For years my sister, Julie, has lied about me and made me out to be a monster to anyone who would listen, but in front of my face she pretended to be a loving sister. My brothers were no help because they bought into her lies. She made me feel guilty all my life and bullied me into going to her home every weekend, where she and her husband and 2 boys, Josh & Kyle would abuse my daughters by hitting them as soon as I walked out of the room. Every weekend I stormed out of her house swearing to never go again. Her oldest son, Joshua, was so mean and angry and pushed by his mother that he almost bit off his finger and pulled out his hair when he would lose his temper. She encouraged him to hit my daughters, even when they were too small to walk. She would say things like "they're big enough to hit, they're big enough to get hit" to her son who was 7 years older then my 9 month old child who crawled to him and placed her toy on his lap (according to his mother, my sister, in a mean way) and he went on to punch her in the face. I finally grew up and distanced myself from these "Swamp People". My son in law works with this animal and on May 14 there was a crawfish boil at his work and she brought her husband, her son, his wife, her gay friend and her gay friend's daughter and son in law and their 6 children and attacked my 100 pound daughter who had just had a c section. My daughter is raising her 12 year old sister in law and her 16 year old brother in law who lost both parents tragically. Unfortunatley no one was there to help my daughter and they abused her and made her cry and the poor 12 year old was hysterical. I've lived with this all my life. Please tell me how to stop the anger that makes me want to hurt this monster.
Posted @ Wednesday, June 01, 2011 6:40 PM by M
I'm glad you want to stop the anger, and resist lashing out, Mom9559. The worst thing a person can do if they are being bullied is to sink to the bully's level and lash out.  
 
There are certainly techniques you can learn that can help increase your confidence in your own integrity and discourage bullying behavior from others, but the first and most important thing to do is to ensure your safety and that of your children and other family members. 
 
It may be helpful to ask yourself a question: If someone you didn't know confronted you in a public place and physically hurt you or someone in your family--such as a daughter who was recovering from a C-section--would you file a police report? 
 
Abuse and violence is not any more justifiable coming from family members than it would be coming from strangers.  
 
Many experts also recommend that you document the bullying incidents in a journal, or perhaps by sending yourself emails (which would keep a time and date stamp of each incident). As you do so, it's important not to use the documentation as a place to vent anger. Instead, remind yourself that the bully is the one with the problem, not you. If you remain calm and don't allow yourself to lash out with name-calling or other signs of your frustration, that may help defuse the situation. But even if it doesn't seem to make a difference to the abuser, you will still have the satisfaction of knowing you've come through with your integrity intact. 
 
When you report the physical abuse it may also be helpful to ask the authorities for recommendations about local services for victims of family violence and bullying.  
 
The behavior you describe is certainly not "okay." You don't have to take it anymore, but you also don't have to respond on the same level. The fact that you are not comfortable with the anger is a great sign. 
 
All the best~
Posted @ Wednesday, June 01, 2011 7:49 PM by Gina Stepp
I came from an abusive home. Father was very violent and sadistic and mother was passive and didn't help us and would make excuses for father. I am the middle sister and my older sister has been violent to me all my life. It has given me nightmares. One time she knocked me in the face and I had fallen to the ground and was dizzy and she started kicking me in the back (I was 15 and she was 18). When my father beat me up she looked at my beat up face and smiled and told me that I deserved to get beat up. She is always jealous. Sometimes she would be nice when she felt like it. It is all about power. She would be somewhat civil and then she'd attack me and I never knew what was coming. I don't see her anymore. It was horrible. She shrugs and says that all siblings fight and tells me that her friends like her. To be around her is bad for me so I do not see her or any of the family (many were bystanders and didn't help). I don't see any of my family anymore. I was the scapegoat in my opinion. I don't care what anyone says, I will never go back to them.
Posted @ Sunday, July 10, 2011 1:22 PM by Emily
Wow, I am so sad for all of us. God never intended bully behavior. I have been bullied all my life. My older sister would instigate it with my mother, and kept my other sisters as her side kicks to call me, find out information they could use for bullying me again and again. My siser bullied her first husband and he left...she bullied her babies, and gave them drugs as teenagers, letting them believe good mothers do this....and at the same time told me she quit alcohol and drugs, so I visited her with my children. She had my son set up to be given drugs by her sons at age 16....while saying "Oh, no they would never do drugs...their father left them to do drugs." That is her standard excuse....whatever SHE DOES, she denies it and blames it on her victims. She has not stopped doing drugs since she was 16, and probably never will. Now, she stays in touch with my children via facebook....still pretending her life away and looking for someone else to bully. 
 
 
 
I had to decide to have nothing more to do with family....she controlled my parents, as my mother enjoyed bullying with my older sister. My parents passed away and I was not invited to the funeral. The game is be bullied or be bullied worse. 
 
 
 
Avoiding them, and turn to God is our answer. Then he sends others into your life that also know what love means. That's one of God's promises to us. It's not easy....but being bullied so badly can kill you. It's like a slow physical or psychological death sentence. 
 
 
 
On top of this, before I could really understand bullying, I married someone like this sister and he bullied my life, taught my son to bully me....and the game continues. He also laughed and said he would make sure our daughter did the same, and she is doing it. Now I wait, and I know she has bullied me and probably will. I did call her on it and told her the behavior is evil, and she has to stop, not just for me....but for herself and her life. That bullies make evil decisions and wrong decisions in their own life and then use a scapegoat to blame it on. 
 
 
 
So far she is reacting more kindly, but still...she enjoys the power she sees her Dad have in being a bully. 
 
 
 
So, I did learn that confronting them rarely helps, and showing them love makes you look vulnerable, so they abuse you more. And most of all I learned that we cannot stop them, or be venegul, or we will be like them. That's what they want. My sister would pretend my mother was the bully...and she was behind all of it, and lied to me. They lie often, have double standards, and intend on keeping a willing victim in their life. That gives them force and power when they feel so rotten inside for being who they are. 
 
 
 
They will try to harm your children, your love, and all things that you love in your life. They will hate to see you successful in better relationships and will attempt to destroy those too....seen it all. 
 
 
 
Never believe what they say to you, or about you or about someone else. They will try to move in, butter up, and find out what they can. Don't allow it. 
 
 
 
Be strong, and ask Christ for help...and remember this. Christ said, "Just as they hate you, remember they hated me first." His life and death were bullied just like ours....and whose side was God on? He allowed them to bully, but he sure showed them, with Christ resurrection that saves us all, right? 
 
 
 
Be strong, but not in your own force in life....ask God for his power and he will do it. He did it for me. When I focus on God and loving others, and steer clear of the bullies...that is the best life for us.  
 
 
 
I hope this helps...
Posted @ Sunday, July 17, 2011 10:01 AM by Jackie
When I was growing up, I use to deal with bullying and name calling on the playground quite a bit. I remember that it hurts but it did not (and still does not) hurt as much as when it come from your own family and relatives. As much as I love my family, they have always called me fat and constantly made me feel stupid. (To this day, they still do it.) They think that by saying these comments, it will help me in the long run. What they do not understand is that by saying these comments (either to my face or behind my back), a part of me does every day. I still remember being implied that everyone wishes I was never born.
Posted @ Friday, July 22, 2011 6:15 AM by A
Me and my sister always fought as kids it was hard because I am the younger sister and noone was ever as mean to me as she was. She whould always call me names yell at me. When I was younger I didnt ever say that kind of mean stuff to anyone so it really hurt. Then as I grew older I whould say witty stuff back but if I ever swore at her like she does all the time she whould get so hurt and make a huge deal out of it. My mom whould always get soo amazed at what I whould say when my sister whould get away with everything she said and not get in trouble at all. It became even worse when I became really sick and became dependent on her.I whould always get yelled at whenever I needed something or if I didnt ask over and over I whouldnt get any help. I was needy to my bully. It made me feel extremly small and since I was very sick I felt vulnerable. My mom whould always say stuff like be nice to her because she might just leave you. All her friends saw her like a hero ( they still do) just because she was helping me. But the way I was treated while she was helping me didnt feel like help at all. It was always stressfull to ask for anything she whould always get irratated with me and yell I got yelled at several times a day. Even if it was something small like helping me sit up by proping pillows behind me. What hurts me even more is that everyone looks at her the same way even after I told them how she treated me. They where always like but she helps you so much and made me feel guilty. Noone understood me. She even became angry when I said thank you and please. Now it gives me stress to say please or thank you. My teatcher got mad at me for not saying it once she thought I was rude. It hurt me alot when one time I became very mad at my sister for making slutty photos. her bf was outside the door and he heared me yelling at her. He was also my best friend at that time. He ignored me since. I was hurt because while my sister has been bullying me for years I got really judged for that.I regret even caring what my sister does It wasnt worth it at all. A few months ago I comfronted him about it and told him everything I said sorry I even told him how she treats me but I didnt feel much of any reaction. He accepted my apology but things havent been the same even though I tried to make it better. It hurt alot to lose him as a friend.And I have to see him everyday because hes dating my sister.My sister blames me for not being friends anymore. Even though it was me who had the courage to talk to him about it in the first place. I came to the conclusion that we cant even share friends. Now everytime we have a fight she talks to her bf and ofcourse he sides with her. And I told her I dont like it that she always tries to make me look bad even if shes being mean too. But she just rubs in and says your the one thats really good at making yourself look bad. Thats also getting in the way of us being friends. Then when she calls me bitchy and I tell her I dont like it cause shes gotten in the habit of doing that she says stop acting like one and I will stop calling you one. Shes always acting like a bitch! But I rarly call her one yet she thinks she has the right to call me that alot. Shes always arrogant. Lets just say shes making my life miesrable and I'm stuck with her all the time! Even when I try to be nice to her and want to spend time with her she just ignores me and talks to her friends. It drives me mad that she treats everyone with respect but me so everyone thinks shes great but really she bullys me. I think its unfair and I'm sick of her ruining my life. What should I do?
Posted @ Friday, August 05, 2011 11:56 AM by
Hi Gina - 
 
My name is Rich Goldman, and I am a Sr. Producer on a new talk show called "The Bill Cunningham Show." I am touching base because I came across your website. Within the next few weeks, I am producing an episode on the topic of sibling bullying. I am wondering if you have any suggestions as to where I might find siblings/families that are dealing with this issue. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated! 
 
Thank You, 
 
--  
Rich Goldman 
Sr. Producer 
Office: 212-419-7485 
Cell: 646-701-3860 
Cell: 855-833-7770, ext. 2 
Fax: 212-419-7406 
Email: Rgoldman@BillCunninghamShow.com  
Address:  
NEP Studios 
401 7th avenue  
2nd floor  
New York, New York 10001  
 
Posted @ Wednesday, August 17, 2011 4:39 PM by Rich Goldman
Hello Rich, 
 
I'll be happy to check with a few of my readers to see whether they might be interested in contacting you, and will direct them to your post here for your contact details. 
 
Thanks for your interest in this topic.  
 
Best~ 
 
Gina 
 
Posted @ Wednesday, August 17, 2011 5:05 PM by Gina Stepp
I am a male survivor of child abuse and bullying. Statistics show that most boys and men hid from their abuse and bullying. I was one of those statistics and now have decided to tell my story and help others. 
 
 
 
Below is my story of childhood abuse and bullying. I am a survivor and want to help others heal as I did from my trauma and show them there is hope. Please tell me if you can help. 
 
 
 
Bullying is a hot issue right now because kids are committing suicide at a high rate because of this matter. Would you like to be a part of putting an end to it? I hope so please take a minute and read my story.  
 
 
 
I’m writing to ask you if you would be interested in helping me on talking about my life and family bullying, specifically bullying of a younger brother by an older brother who was always ordered by his mother to watch over his younger brother. My older brother was also straight and sensed and hated the fact that I was gay. He knew it long before I knew it myself.  
 
 
 
I grew up in a devout tight-knit Catholic family on the northwest side of Chicago. My dad was Italian and my mom, Irish. I was the youngest of 5 kids: 3 boys and two girls. One Saturday when I was nine I was raped by a man in the bathroom of a department store. I was so traumatized by the experience that I ran home and hid in the closet of my room. When my brother found me there, he beat me up because I left him while he was supposed to be watching over me. But after being raped and threatened with death if I told, I was terrified and just ran home and hid. Of course, my brother didn’t know what had happened to me and I didn’t tell him. I didn’t tell anyone about it for 35 years. It was the first secret I ever kept from my mom, and it was a secret I kept from everyone.  
 
 
 
A few years or so later I was at a friend’s house and the neighborhood was suddenly surrounded by cops. The commotion scared my friend’s mom so she made us stay in the house. She turned on the television to try to find out what was going on, and it was then that I saw the face of the man who had raped me. It was John Wayne Gacy. He lived in my friend’s neighborhood, and they captured him that day. Recognizing him terrified me and brought back all the horror of the rape, but I still didn’t reveal my secret. After the rape, I was depressed and went into hiding. I sort of disappeared, sort of went to sleep. I became someone who just tried to please his family and friend. I just tried to be what they expected and wanted me to be.  
 
 
 
As I gradually realized I was gay, memories of the rape helped me bury my real self deeper. I spent the next 35 years of my life trying to be what my family and friends expected me to be. I hid so well, I didn’t even know who I was. During that time I married twice and had a daughter in one of my marriages. Both women I married were abusive. I was drawn to, attracted to abusive people. I wanted to love them, and I wanted them to love me, and though that was impossible, it didn’t stop me from trying.  
 
 
 
As I grew older and my passion for men increased I gradually, slowly, and secretly, sneaked into gay life. I met two good, beautiful men who loved me and wanted me to be with them, but I couldn’t come out. I couldn’t tell my family. I couldn’t be who I was making believe I was. Then, later, when I finally did come out, I chose, what else?-- a bully. He bullied me so much mentally that I tried to commit suicide twice. Using my credit cards, he buried me in debt for years after I finally left him. He also abused me physically.  
 
 
 
Then, mysteriously, after several years, I met an old friend I worked with. We became best friends. We talked and talked about our lives, which turned out to be similar, too similar. Gradually, I began to see and understand my life. I started writing my life story and as I wrote I saw more and more and so I kept revising my story.  
 
 
 
I had moved back home with my family after leaving my abusive first gay lover. One Sunday night, as I was about to leave my friend’s house and go home, my mom called and asked me to pick up a bottle of wine on the way home. She was playing cards with my abusive brother and other family members. Because I didn’t have identification on me, the scene at the liquor store became a disaster. I had to call my brother to come pick me up and buy the wine. For some reason, my bullying brother overreacted. When we got home, his anger just exploded. He called me a fag, told me he hated me, and threatened to kill me. I was so frightened and traumatized by it that I packed a bag, left the house, and called my friend to pick me up. When I got to his house, we talked. That experience with my abusive brother was so similar to my rape, even including the threat of death, that I finally woke up. I finally began to see everything differently. I felt myself begin to change, to be myself.  
 
 
 
I’ve written my story. I want to publish it, and my goal is to become a public speaker to help other people who have been bullied by older brothers…people who have experience what I experienced. I know I can help them. If they haven’t seen it, I want to make them see it. If they are still dealing with the effects of it, I want to help them get over it. There are too many people who experienced it, but don’t even know it happened. Sibling bullying seems so normal no one pays attention to it, no one recognizes it. My mom and dad thought my relationship with my bullying brother was normal. They had no idea of the pain I was suffering because I didn’t tell them. I was hiding, and I was a kid.  
 
 
 
Do consider helping me get my material in front of the right person or even turning into to a story so the public can hear my story and see there is a true chance for survival. The book proposal is completed and the manuscript is being reworked. In addition University of Illinois college professor Dorothy Espelage an expert on bullying has agreed to endorse book (please google her). I look forward to hearing back from you. 
 
 
 
Sincerely, 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Patrick Dati  
 
4931 N. Avers Ave 
 
Unit 2  
 
Chicago, IL 60625 
 
P: 847-757-3432 
 
E: dati_patrick@yahoo.com 
 
 
 
 
 
Posted @ Monday, August 29, 2011 8:34 PM by Patrick
What a great piece. My sisterinlaw is a bully. She spreads lies about me and tries to get everyone to hate me. I didnt know adults could be so mean.
Posted @ Sunday, September 11, 2011 7:59 PM by Friend
This blog is excellent!!  
 
For those of us with abusive families it gives enormous insights into the dynamics of such unsuccessful family groups. 
 
The common theme I've spotted is the sociopathic tendencies of people who abuse one of their own - and each other - in this way. I say each other, because to turn a blind eye to unfairness, victimisation, character assassination, social sabotage, dishonesty, favouritism, cruelty and even criminality (such as assault whatever form it takes) they are showing a profound disrespect for themselves and their family unit, thereby sentencing the next generation to the same dysfunctional behaviours.  
 
This would appear to me to be born of a deep seated selfishness, narcissism and lack of empathy and integrity. 
 
Parents who allow siblings to abuse each other are simply child abusers and should be held to account.  
 
When, instead of teaching their children to respect and care about each other as valued members of the family group whatever their differences, they allow such gross misbehaviour.  
 
They are destroying their favoured children's ability to empathise, as their own was destroyed before them, and that anything goes in declaring open season on a family member. How to create a serial killer 101! 
 
It's certainly how to create a dysfunctional family and the next generation of bullys as they reward such misbehaviour with undeserved status and impunity. 
 
Worse, they punish the victim they have chosen to be the family pariah and scapegoat by placing the blame on that individual, because, make no error, your parents have chosen you for that role and encouraged your siblings to play that very sick game too. 
 
Be aware, your family members know exactly what they are doing to you and that it is wrong, but in their own self-serving interests they are doing it to you anyway. They are unscrupulous.  
 
As with any sociopath, their idea of what is right is what they can get away with. What they can get away with in the case of the family pariah is what you let them get away with. Don't forget, either, that in victimising you they escape having to look at themselves AND each other. That is what closing ranks, absolving themselves of any responsibility and even playing the victim, is all about. 
 
You'll notice that those in the family 'gang' will often refer to themselves as 'we', further reinforcing their assertion that the only problem here is YOU. 
 
Why? Because they hate you for your sensitivity, your insightfulness, your ethics and principles, your generosity, forgiveness, strength, sense of fairness, keen sense of right and wrong, selflessness, even your looks. In reality, they really hate themselves but haven't the courage to face their failings so they hate you for being what they wish they could be. 
 
They hide from themselves at your expense. 
 
What to do? Take control of the situation. 
 
How? Every time you are 'obliged' to kow tow to the family, don't. You know when this is because it makes you feel anxious, tense, upset, compromised, invalidated and degraded - and, tellingly, ganged up on. 
 
Excuse yourself from family celebrations, for example, and tell them why. You are no longer prepared to politely tolerate abuse and give them fair warning of the fact. A simple one-liner the minute they start: "This is not OK". And remove yourself from the situation. 
 
They will laugh at you or abuse you or whatever they're used to giving you as a put-down, but be assured that they know in their heart of hearts the game is up, and they have been busted. 
 
Expect the heat to go on as they ratchet up their attempt to put you back on your 'place'. Once you are out of the dance they lose their balance as they only have themselves and each other to look at.  
 
The olive branch is often just a stake to burn you at so beware, and stick strictly to your self-preservation rule: No More Abuse.
Posted @ Tuesday, September 13, 2011 5:59 PM by KarenNZ
Wow, I came across this website after talking to my husband about bullying that has gone on for most of my life. Just as a previous comment has said, I am so sad for all of us. I still cry inside me when I think of the bullying that I have had to endure, first from my psychopathic mother and then from my husband's family. A few times, our marriage almost didn't survive but I was stubborn. Now I have little to no contact with my in-laws and even move country to protect our children. Enough was enough when our kids were bullied or belittled or being taught to turn against me, their own mother! 
 
For so long living overseas and having no family or friends, I was an easy target. Now having return back to my own country, I am still so traumatised. I still have no friends, lacking confidence and still think that maybe something is wrong with me. Perhaps I lack empathy, have no social skills or am selfish. Maybe I was 'asking for it anyway'. I feel awkward and unwilling to make friendships, thinking I am incapable of forming one. I was actively discouraged from forming any social contacts while living overseas with my in-laws. 
 
The few bright spots in my life now are the wonderful children I have and my marriage with my husband is getting better and I don't have anxiety attacks anymore. I must say that after coming back to my own country, I did go through PTSD badly. My mother is now elderly and weak, I do what I can for her. However, I still don't trust her and am always on the lookout. 
 
I don't know what value my story has for others but I hope it will be helpful.
Posted @ Tuesday, September 20, 2011 9:16 AM by Katy
Wow....I thought it was only me that had a family that hates and bullies just one individual. No stories are the same but they all highlight the terrible debilitating affects that bullying has on the victim. I also, ruminate about what's wrong with me. As a result of the abuse I have endured I have found it hard to make friends and hold a lot of anger inside me. I tend to hide. My sister who instigated a lot of the bullying is still trying to recruit the rest of the family to ostracize me now that I have recently moved close to the family again. It is very painful as I feel that I have had no one since I was 13 and still suffer PTSD. However my other siblings now in their mid 50's are now starting to see the injustice of what has happened.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 26, 2011 11:03 AM by christine
One of my children has been the family bully for decades. We took her to a child psychologist when she was a young teen. One thing the therapist said was that my daughter does not deal aporopristely with stress. She attacjs ad explodes. Thirty years later that is still the case. Saying no to any request brings on venomous attacs, profanity, and name-calling. My husband and I are deciding whether to visit our daughter, as planned, for the holidays...but during the last several weeks she has been particularly brutal. She enggaged in the silent treatment after one of her diatribes but today finally acknowledged my two-week-old email in which she said my granddaughter would be hurt if we didn't visit. I know that, of course, but am really torn about whether or not to get on a plane, only to be abused yet again by my daughter.
Posted @ Monday, November 28, 2011 1:22 PM by Florimond
This makes interesting reading for me as all the bullying sisters here are the older ones. Mine is younger by just under 2 years. She is nearly 50 yo now, but hasn't changed. It's just the same as your stories. Put downs, and yelling, physical when she can but not to my body. I also made the mistake of letting her sit my house and pet dog a few years ago but don't trust her with anything now. She can't manage her own behaviour so of course teaches her children to disrespect other people and their property and uses them to bully others. She even went to the extent of teaching them to do something dangerous in an attempt to invalidate me, like lifting one onto a window ledge to play, or helping the child onto the top of a chest to reach a ceiling fan, after I told them not to do it. Now, I have put in place a new strategy. I see this as a domestic violence situation, so I have decided our interactions should be supervised interactions. A third person must always be present if I have to speak with her face to face. I only speak to her on the phone in the presence of other people on loudspeaker. She now must email me at a personal email address that is also my husband's so she knows he can read it. The supervisor can't include family members who grew up in our domestic violence situation. They can't possibly help, they are part of the problem. My father says he did nothing wrong, so what hope would I have had if I said anything as a child, and 2 years ago I told him not to contact me anymore. When I finally ventured to tell my mother about the worst that happened when she wasn't there, she spat out that she had it worse than I did. Now she is begging me to take her out of what is one of the best private nursing home rooms in the state. Why would she think that is necessary, when she could stand quietly and watch me get beaten and bullied instead of taking me out of there like I desperately wanted? My sister knows now that I am coming for her next. I have limited her bullying options now so she has to resort to milder things like not answering my emails, or not telling me things that other people trust her to forward on to me.
Posted @ Saturday, December 03, 2011 5:03 AM by Sue
I am feeling lost and dont know what to do.My husband and I have been together for 12 years, we both have grown children from previous marriages and we each have 5 year old grandsons,My husbands grandson hits everyone he uses curse words and he bullies my grandson at school and at home.I know its sounds odd to say he is a 5 year old bully but he is, he is always in trouble at school for punching other children. I just dont know how to handle this situation because when ever he hits my grandson his parents make him say sorry and they think its good enough. I have never seen this boy get in real trouble for anything he does. I have express my feeling to my husband and everyone else.but i feel like they are getting offened and defensive when I say this has to stop ,this boy needs disapline and no one is doing it.I have a good marriage but I think this situation is going to ruin it.I am at the point where I think I should move out .
Posted @ Tuesday, February 07, 2012 4:28 PM by Elaine
Wow, I just came across this. Funny to think people have been replying to this for 2 years - look at the date. I have a very similar story about my older sister, in fact, near identical to many stories here. Many of us are in the same position - bullied for no good reason by an adult who should no better, and powerless to do anything about it. These people are mean, venomous, and sometimes Schadenfreude. If you're anything like me, the rest of the family enables them or tells you to ignore it. My sister won't stop bullying me, and every time she does, I break down in tears. Last night I cried for hours because of her. My Wedding is in 2 weeks and I don't want her to come because everytime she sees me, she verbally attacks me and sends me daggers with her eyes. Because I have ignored her for 2 months, she has built up a whole lot of arsenal that she just can't wait to release. But my family keep saying "you have to talk to her" "you have to have her as your bridesmaid". It's ridiculous. It's like sending someone into a battlefield with no armour, to die.  
There's absolutely nothing I can do. Like mentioned earlier, you can't 'divorce' your family, unfortunately, and someone with a real vindictive nature will always track you down. What can you do?
Posted @ Thursday, February 16, 2012 1:52 PM by Kayla
Kayla, Your belief that there is nothing you can do is all that your bullying adversaries need to keep them on top and you in a state of powerlessness. 
 
You can do whatever you like to stop the crap, from standing up to them publicly no matter the nature of event, to banning them from the event. It's YOUR wedding!! 
 
Put them on notice: Embarrass me and I will have security frog-march you off the premises. 
 
Of course you can divorce your family. Who says you can't!?
Posted @ Saturday, February 18, 2012 1:19 AM by Karen
I am the youngest of 4. My sister, the bullying narcissist, the inciter - is the oldest, by 8 1/2 years. In childhood I can remember my sister always shouting out "she's causing trouble - and I remember thinking, "no I am not, I just have a different opinion to her or it was because I would not do what she was trying to force me to do". I remember my brother, who was a year older than me, kicking me when he was frustrated in not getting his way. I remember my other brother, who is 1 year younger than my sister, being bullied by her - and still is to this day. He would phone me when he wanted a shoulder to cry on, but when I needed the same - he would shock me by taking sides with my sister - and the rest of the family, who have been dominated, influenced and manipulated into behaving bullies themselves towards me - all my life. Yes, this hurts. When a child, I knew something was not right, but I did not know what it was. In my teens, my sister started dishing out knocking comments about how I dressed - I am slim, always have been. She is not. Comments like, "wear baggy clothes, baggy clothes look better on you". I like fitted clothes. She would try and elevate herself by saying "I have darker skin than yours, my hair is longer than yours", "don't wear tight jeans", "everyting is your fault". Amongst other nasty comments, too many to mention. It was not until I was 29 that I finally snapped and called her "fat" in an argument that she had caused (she caused all the arguments, but because I always stood up for myself - I was accused of being the trouble maker - by all members of the family - so cruel - especially as they all cannot stand her mouth when she is mouthing off to them - hypocrites). I cannot take anymore.  
 
As the years have gone by, I have watched her turn all family members, including their partners and children - against me - by her constant repetitve negative comments about me. I am tired of being the family kick ball. All because my sister is jealous of me. My mum knows and sees that my sister is jealous, but says that I am not allowed to say anything back to her. What? I disagree. It most certainly is not flattering at all to say that someone is jealous of you - it is the same as saying that someone is being spitefully nasty to you. I cannot fight all of my family. They act as a pack of wolves - always.  
 
Because of an argument between my neice and I, I was not invited to the other neice's wedding. When I was back in the family environment again (big mistake), she told me that her sister and mum had threatened not to go to her wedding if she invited me. I remained polite, not wanting to cause any argument, and replied, "don't worry, this has being going on for years and it is not your fault". Well actually, she is an adult in her 30's and could have at least told me, even if she did not want to invite me. All my family went off to the wedding witout one iota of care for me. In fact, I bought my mum dresses for the wedding - and when my jealous sister found out - she went beserk and refused to take my mum to the wedding saying that "she would tell everyone that I bought the dresses". She had to come back for my mum though - otherwise she, herself, would look so bad. I feel that my sister wants to wipe me out of existence. This is just one example. She hates it when men give me attention or compliments - in fact, she literally tries to take the compliments away - with put down comments. I cannot help thinking that she must have been jealous from the day I was born and that she must have been put out when another female in the family was born and having to share the attention from my Dad - a man. She sees me as competition - but she fights dirty. I do not want anything that she has and am glad I am not like her. She is playing a nasty game - but she is the only competitor. 
 
When I have had to accept my sister's help - it always comes at a silent price - her price is domination and control. She wants power and money - lots of it. She does things not out of care for me, but out of trying to make her look good - to use against me. The history of her bullying abuse is so long, I am not even strong enough to type it all - as it upsets me so much. She helped my mum and brother buy their council home, by giving my brother money - but her selfish deal was that they had to let her have all of the profit from the sale. Ludricous! All she needed to receive back from them when the house was sold, was the money she gave to help - plus a token of thanks - not their entire profit. That profit would have payed for the new house - but instead, they had a mortgage. Greed, greed, greed from my sister. 
 
My neice banned me from visiting her in the hospital - and what did I do? Apparently, I over stayed my welcome! My called me one morning to say she had been admitted to hospital and to go and visit her. I did - but what a mistake. I was banned from visiting again with the exuse that she only wanted to see her immediate family. Rubbish. Fate always seems to hand me the real reason - as one day I bumped into one of my neice's friends and she asked me how she was. I had to embarrassingly reply, that I did not know as I had not been to the hospital. She replied that some others in the office had been to visit her - thought she only wanted "immediate family"! 
 
When I was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago, I was back in with the family - only by 2 years. The only way I have learned to cope is by staying away from them - but the feeling of anger because of their injustice and unkindness to me, does not go away. Because of being ill, my guard was down and I foolishly trusted them. I could see all their guilty faces, one by one, when they had to greet me back-into the family again - I did not get one apology from these arrogant people - never do. I did not bring up anything on how hurt I was. Then, not long after all my drug therapy had finished - my jealous sister was at it again with her devious lying abuse - about me. In fact, I have to say, even whilst receiving treatment, she would still dish out her nasty little put downs here and there - inbetween being nice - fake nice. I have lost count how many times I have caught her "eyeballing" me to her husband - trying to belittle me. She does not even care if I catch her - because she knows she can get away with it and that no-one in the family will stand up for me. I even watched her try to belittle me to a Radiotherapy Nurse - unbelievable!  
 
Due to financial reasons I had reluctantly decided to move back in with my family - this did not take place. Because on the day of the move, my 2 brothers and neice came to assist. But the brother who is 1 year older than me, was ill-mannered to me - to the point that I had to say to him, can you show some respect. He did not like this and piped something back. My other brother, could see that he was not being kind to me - but said nothing - as usual. When I arrived at my mum's home, all hell broke loose. This argumentative brother, just started shouting and screaming at me as I was carrying a box upstairs. I was shocked, really shocked, and shouted back, but ended up crying and banging the box on the stairs in disbelief and feeling helpless. I am trying to recover from cancer and waiting for another operation. Trying to cope with my appearance, short hair, body change, no job - so many things - and this arrogant imbecile throws unfounded accusations at me. I was accused of being "ungrateful" to everyone in the family. This was news to me. I am so, so hurt and I cananot stop crying. I wanted to die. I cannot take anymore of their horrible bullying. It is easy to see that this latest bullying abuse has stemmed from my sister's lies about me - too long to go into detail - it is the same old bullying pattern. But clearly, my family do not like it that I can work out what has really happened.  
 
I could not stay in their home that night and it took me 3 hours to travel home. On the way, all I could think about was, I wanted to die and crying on the train. All this happend 4 months ago - and I am still so upset and I am still crying - on the bus on the road. They are SO hateful and hurtful. I am not strong enough to cope with their nasty bullying anymore.  
 
There is SO much that my nasty sister has done to me - so much. I have tried to write a letter to the family - but end up crying as it takes too much out of me going into it all again. All I want is for the "truth" to come out. 
 
Now both my neices, whom I did not have any argument with - have turned against me. One went off to Australia without saying good-bye and the other has, I heard from someone, given birth, but not announced the birth to me. This is not the first time my neices have turned against me - fuelled of course by my nasty jealous sister, who wants to wipe me out of the family. But I am now beginning to think - it may be "like mother, like daughters".  
 
I changed my telephone numbers after my nasty brother sent me a extremely nasty text message - based clearly on my mum's lying version of events. But my nieces' know my address. If theirs, or the rest of the family's love was sincere - then they would not hesitate to contact me by letter or drive down to see me.  
 
I try to tell myself, why am I crying about people who clearly do not care about me? Why are people so cruel?
Posted @ Sunday, March 04, 2012 11:40 AM by T
Catholic sister-in-law has not been awful to me, causing my bro to be away from me, too. I gave six months to helping out the family, working from here for the company, and yet, they made me buy things of Mother's and they took. My sis goes was with them but now goes with each of us??
Posted @ Sunday, March 04, 2012 4:22 PM by J
I have a situation in that I am married to a man that is one member of a whole family of bullies. They have always been awful to one another and the sister, which is my sister-in-law is the worst one of the bunch! She has always bullied and manipulated her way thru the family b/c she is the only girl. She has always had rotten things to say and do to me and a few weeks ago, I accidently mentioned something to one of her friends that she had told me in confidence. I didn't even realize the quick little sentence that I said was so powerful until I heard her friend going off like a siren! I apologized til we both were quite upset! I wouldn't tell her friend, who had told me the slight. I was protecting the bully b/c we had made a New Year's resolution to have a better relationship. Everything has back-fired. I am not used to being the bad one and I am so ashamed that I hurt anyone. It's just not my nature. The bully may or may not have premeditated actions or words but, it comes soooo naturally to them! I really do want a better relationship w/her but, I wish someone would suggest how to get past this! I am having a very tough time trying to wait out my emotions and forget this. Prayer and staying away has helped some but, I am ailing from the blast of discomfort for causing something that I had no intention of causing! Plz offer a niblet of wise words!
Posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 9:20 AM by Cyndy
I HAVE an abusive family who hits me, throws my things down the stairs, etc. After they hit me, they call the police and make reports out. The police refuse to listen to me at all even when I have hospital reports. The police guided my sister on what to say on the complaint to get an order of protection. The complaint was false and I never threatened her life. My son was coached to say the same thing and the police also wrote the same thing on his. I waS not even at the house that day when this was written and I never threatened anyone. THIS happened when my mom died and she gave all the control and power to my sister and also gave her the house. She continues to be vindictive towards me and she knows that I am the only one that knows that she took advantage of my mother by having my mother sign over her house and had my mother pay the mortgage. She continually lies and I am afraid that someday I will be arrested because of her lies. She already had me charged and fingerprinted when I never threatened her or did anything. I was charged with aggravated harassment when I responded to her letter to me. I was direct and honest but not mean in the letter to her. I do not understand why the police would not hear my story at all. The officer was supposed to be my escort in order to get my things in my moms house because my sister would not let me in to get them and she locked the door stating that I am dangerous for no reason at all. I left peacefully.
Posted @ Friday, March 16, 2012 2:46 PM by jennifer a.
Karen, you are right in your comment to Karla - you can divorce your family. In my case, I changed my name once the family had reached the final point of their 20-year program of ostracisation of me. I have never wanted to give in to it, never wanted to let them win their nasty game, but in the end it just seemed essential to separate myself from their toxic games. Though I told them all in writing, only one person responded to my news, and then with a one line response. Given that their refusal to maintain contact with me was the reason for my action, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. 
 
 
 
The ostracism was started by my older sister when my father died. She'd hated me since the day I was born. I think what really pushed her over the edge was that I was the one she spoke to when she rang to inform the family that she was (reluctantly) coming home to Australia from England to see my father on his deathbed. She procrastinated about our requests so long that her phone call came 30 minutes after he died. I said that we'd hold the funeral until she got back. She didn't speak to me for another 16 years until my mother was also in her last months of life.  
 
My mother, brother (older) and younger sister facilitated her plan of ostracism, warning me when they were having family get-togethers so that I wouldn't accidentally visit any of them during their family time. 
 
My brother quickly decided that if it worked with her, it would work with him, too. Again, my mother was happy to accommodate him.  
 
He can't keep it up, though. I actually find that he goes through periods of forgetting that he's supposed to be hating me. 
 
My younger sister prided herself on being the only sane, successful one in the family (her opinion, not mine), so continued to talk to me, even to occasionally behave in a friendly fashion. Since I arrived home from a two-year working holiday a few months before my father died, though, she had been resentful of me and didn't always bother to hide it. She refuses to discuss her issues with me, but I put them down to the fact that she had taken all my belongings while I was away (furniture, clothes, etc) and couldn't see why she should give them back, just because I'd returned home. She's always been a spendthrift, and was at that stage a Uni student, but was used to being propped up financially by my parents. She didn't understand how hard I'd worked, with no support from my family although I was also on a low income, to set myself up with nice things which I looked after, expecting them to last well. Not after she'd been at them! 
 
 
 
In the lead-up to my mother's death, she started criticising the rudeness of our older sister behind her back in open hatred - but then behaved in exactly the same way to me, to my face as well as behind my back (which I was told about by my brother in one of his non-hating periods), which made it clear exactly where I stood in her estimation (down amongst the cockroaches...) 
 
 
 
My mother's estate was settled equally between the four of us. The items with emotional connections went largely to my two sisters. Surprisingly, each complained bitterly about having been dudded, though we found out later just how much my older sister had stolen from Mum's house while she was living in a retirement home. Nor does my younger sister have any reason to complain, given that I sided with her to have certain items go to her, thinking that however poor our relationship was, it would never fail completely! (Such naivety on my part, such deliberate plotting on hers.) 
 
 
 
When not one family member made any attempt to recognise my birthday last year I realised that the last connection had broken, and changed my name to create a legal space between the family and me.  
 
Imagine my astonishment when my younger sister invited me to Christmas brunch with her partner, his mother and brother, and our brother. In order to cope, for the first time in my life, I took some tranquillisers. Spaced out, I coped well, I think, but boy, was I baffled!  
 
Did it signify the start of a reconciliation? No, unfortunately, it didn't. I think it was just my sister wanting to display her importance in holding the family together (!!) to her partner's family (you know, in the face of my inexplicable disloyalty to the family...).  
 
None of her partner's family, who I know reasonably well, commented on my name change, but his mother urged me to make a habit of visiting her. I think she was too polite to comment on the shattered family structure, but sensed that I was in need of someone who could care about me. I have visited once, but she was out. In fact, I'm reluctant to take up her offer, given that, before my sister teamed up with her partner (or at least, let me know of her relationship), I had become very close to his brother, who I had got to know through a friend of mine. My sister made a concerted effort to destroy our friendship, which he went along with as he valued his friendship with her (obviously more than with me). So now I am reluctant to allow myself to become close to anyone else who might believe the poison that my sister spreads in her eagerness to prove herself to be my superior. 
 
 
 
I remind myself that her actions are those of an insecure person who needs to crush others in order to make herself seem superior. But she has some lovely friends (including her partner and his brother) - how can they not see how evil she is?  
 
She doesn't hide her hatred of me if we ever meet in public, yet her friends continue to love her, while believing that she and I must be happy loving sisters. How could any sister of their friend not adore her? 
 
So in fact, the 'divorce' hasn't been as restorative an action as I thought. My brother, younger sister and I live in a small city, which means that there is always a fear of meeting one or the other and being humiliated by them in public. At home I practice standing up for myself against them, but in practice, it never works. My sister has no moral qualms about acting viciously against me, in public, refusing to speak to me when I address her directly, no matter how many times in different ways I try it - all reinforcing her feelings of dominance. Yet if I refuse to speak to her when I see her, then I feel bad and can't keep it up.  
 
I am determined not to lower myself to her level, but then I feel weak, as I pathetically cry, 'Listen to me when I'm talking to you,' to her turned back. 
 
I'm fine when I forget about them, but every so often something happens to remind me, and then I get upset again. Tonight my brother emailed both my younger sister and me about an aunt of ours. As I knew my sister would sneer at any reply I gave, I just replied to him. I received a reply from him which included the reply she had sent him - not including me - in which she made a comment about me. I replied to all when I responded to that one, to emphasise that I have not ostracised her as she has me. But I know that she will neither respond to me nor feel bad about her behaviour towards me. 
 
 
 
How do I stop caring about my sister's hatred of me? Oddly, it doesn't worry me that my older sister also hates me, but then I believe that part of her problem is that she has a mental illness. My younger sister is just straight out psycopathic, I think, which is less excusable. Or is it?
Posted @ Thursday, April 05, 2012 6:46 AM by Liz
Liz, 
 
I just read your comments and, like many of the others, seem so very similar to mine. I entered mine comments before. Reading your comments just reminds me that I am not going mad - as is the latest cruel jibes/insults/accusation coming from my brother's mouth, which, of course, has been programmed into him by my spiteful narcissistic sister - who always paints herself as an angel and me the villain. My abusive bullying brother tried to turn my cousin against me by saying that I was very, very mentally ill. Well, if this is the case, then what I would like to say to him is: "why do you abuse and bully me then"?! and "why have none of the family rushing down to visit me then"?! Furthermore, how on earth can anyone abuse a Cancer patient?! 
 
I am most certainly not mentally ill, as I have been accused - I am distressed at their hurtful aggressive abuse, I am tired of their psychological punches - but this does not make me "mentally ill". I am trying to recover from cancer, the shock of it and chemo, radiotherapy and Herceptin, loss of job, due to harrassment, but conveniently covered up by making me redundant - once you are ill, they don't want you) - and now I am trying to cope with my family's abuse - way too much. 
 
I keep trying to type a letter to my family, but keep getting upset and I keep going off in tangents - so the letter has no structure. I just cannot cope with them - all of them. Plus, would they really read it? They are all SO arrogant. 
 
I wish they would examine the beliefs they have about me and "where" their beliefs have come from. Because it has not come from my doing anything wrong - it has come from my nasty sister's spiteful repetitive programming - all started from childhood - and my parents should have stopped it. But my mum joins in! Horrendous - they all join in! The moment I stand up for myself by defending myself - I am accused of "causing the trouble". What rubbish. I will ALWAYS defend myself - even whilst recovering from Cancer.  
 
Sometimes I think I would really love to put them in Court and have a Barrister pull apart their so-called "beliefs about me" and their "accusations, which are based on no evidence other than heresay from my spiteful sister's mouth". I want the truth to come out - but will it ever happen? 
 
They have the audacity to aggressively bully me - but do not have the courage to admit to their bullying. I have no witnesses. 
 
I really do not know what to do other than what I have always done and, that is, to stay away from them. 
 
I have been accused by all of them of not saying "thank you" and "sorry" whilst receiving their help during my cancer treatment - which is a LOAD OF RUBBISH! This was delivered by my deliquent abusive bullying arrogant brother - and since I had not seen him for about 8 months, how on earth could he be accusing me of anything?! His nasty abuse revealed that his accusations had come from my spiteful sister - as usual. 
 
My mum now denies that my brothers, sister and herself, abused me. What a joke! I was talking on the phone to the Hospital Cancer Counsellor for 1 hour about it all - and another 1 hour to the MacMillan Nurse too. Then to my GP - so I certainly have not imagined the abuse - something has upset me so deeply to make me want to die. 
 
I just do not know what to do anymore. 
 
T
Posted @ Thursday, April 05, 2012 12:10 PM by T
By now we've all spotted the common themes in these family dynamics: 
Disrespect 
Callousness 
Unfairness 
Ganging up 
Dishonesty 
Manipulation 
Character assassination 
Exclusion 
Constructive dismissal 
Even theft 
 
...and so on. And from all of us copping it from such abusive 'families' the plaintive cries of "it's not fair, I don't deserve this, why are you treating me like this?" etc. 
 
As long as you are still asking them why they're such a*seholes you are still their victim. That's just how they like it because you have been assigned the role of family pariah and that is your part in their play until the day you all die. Exit stage left. 
 
So what if you meet them in town? Observe the basic civilities and move on. Let them laugh, or goad or try to nail you into an explanation of your attitude toward them. Excuse yourself and move on. Freeze them out with the disdain they deserve. 
 
Leave them to it to play their happy family games of deception with the outside world. You know better. 
 
We all want a family to love and to love us. These people aren't capable of love. They are sociopaths, narcissists, totally self-serving. They don't care how you feel. Accept it. You don't have a family, you are simply unfortunate enough to have been born into a group of amoral defectives. 
 
Trust me, these people are beneath you. You don't get any lower than those who crap on their own, and these people are doing that to you from a great height. 
 
They will never change, this is their base nature. You can't change them, but you can change YOU.
Posted @ Thursday, April 05, 2012 2:43 PM by Karen
Karen, you are so right. I know this, though I sometimes don't feel strong enough to put it into practice. However, I spend a lot of my time working on ways of changing my thoughts (practising meditation and mindfulness, reading useful books, reminding myself of the positive interactions I have with so many people in my life). I pour out my feelings in writing, words which no-one but myself will ever read, just to get them out of my head. I have tried in the past to write to my younger sister to find out what her problem with me is, but as she either tells me angrily that it's all in my head, or, more commonly, just ignores my email (I suspect she has my email address on her blocked senders list), I've given up on trying to find out the source of the problem. 
 
I remind myself that the models of happy families that I see on TV, in books, and even amongst my friends, are not the only forms of family that exist, and that I am just unfortunate in the family I chose to be born into.  
 
I attended a happiness conference once, and heard the following story: A bunch of trekkers in the Himalayas had the most annoying cook on their team, a grizzling, moaning character. After some days of putting up with him, they were due to cross a border into a different area, where they would pick up a new team of assistants. They all looked forward to leaving the old cook behind and getting a new, cheerful one. The team leader, however, chose to keep on the old cook. He pointed out to them that the only way they would learn how to cope with difficult people was to deal with difficult people.  
 
He likened the situation to being presented with a rough piece of timber and having to learn how to sand out its splintery surface in order to make it smooth and pleasant to touch. It required work, but it educated the person doing it. On the other hand, if one went through life wrapped in the finest silk, then one would not know what to do if one came up against a piece of rough timber, and would be helpless and unhappy.  
 
So I try to remind myself that my family is my piece of rough timber. It's good for me, and at some point, after the hard work of processing the timber, I will find myself touching a silky, handworked surface with a great sense of satisfaction.  
 
I tell myself: My family is my piece of rough timber.  
 
I tell myself: I am not a victim. Not, 'I will not be a victim', but 'I am not a victim' - acting as if I have achieved my goal will help me to truly believe that I have already achieved this goal. 
 
I feel like so many people on this blog, downtrodden, resentful, unhappy at being in a situation that I neither enjoy nor asked to be in, and I know that I am far too likely for my own good to behave as a victim.  
 
What is good about being able to discuss the issue with people who understand what I'm going through, people who have no loyalty to the people who try to persecute me, is that I feel both validated in my feelings and, even better, supported in my attempts to break free of the situation.  
 
So thank you, Karen, for reminding me not to let myself wallow in my victimhood. It's all very well to tell myself that I have good reasons to wallow, but it's far more productive to actually do something about getting out of that wallow!  
 
The best revenge is success. Oh, and I know that bullies are cowards underneath. I might get shouted down if I try to stand up to them in person, especially when they are in a pack, but they lose their strength if I just ignore their attacks, as I found out when propped up by drugs on Christmas Day. Having seen how well that worked, I am determined to use that technique (without the drugs) if I ever find myself in the same situation again. 
 
By the way, I wrote my first comments late last night. In the light of a blue-sky, warm day, given strength by reading the comments from others on this blog, I feel that I can do this. T and all the others who suffer in this way, I hope you can share my confidence and rise above the attacks your relatives love to dump on you. 
 
 
 
Posted @ Thursday, April 05, 2012 6:54 PM by Liz
I agree, that we all need to get out of being stuck in the mental anguish of being abused - which is the results of being abused. It is not easy and it takes determination. Sometimes you hit a low, where it is more difficult than the last time you had to lift yourself up from being knocked/abused etc. I am trying my best, but the hurt keeps creeping in. But one thing I have noticed is that keeping on talking about it, writing about it, thinking about it - KEEPS THEIR ABUSE ALIVE in your mind - and the sense of injustice and anguish we all feel is KEPT ALIVE TOO.  
 
We have to tackle our minds, our thoughts, our feelings - get control of them - otherwise their abuse is still controlling us - our minds - whether we are still with them or not. This takes practice, practice and more practice - in thinking and speaking POSITIVE ABOUT OURSELVES.  
 
I have come across a brilliant website: Bullyonline - by Tim Fields. It truly is an eye-opener. It will validate everything you are feeling - much to the anoyance of the little bullies in your life. It will show you that we are, in fact, NOT going mad or insane. Please do read it, it does give strenth. Another thing I am doing is listening to "healing relaxtion tapes and CDs" - in order to quieten my inner mind turmoil. Again, the memory of the abuse and injustice has made it difficult to stay focused - but I keep trying and IT DOES HELP.  
 
This leads me to another website, of where I have got some of the CDs. Please look up: Alan Roberton - he has created such wonderful CDs. I have just listened to the "Beach" CD (and yesterday) - and it DOES strengthen your mind - its purpose is to take your mind away from the hurtful past and move on. It is so good. 
 
A book by Dr Joseph Murphy, "The Power of your Subconscious Mind" - is another very helpful tool in learning about how the mind works and how to control your mind, thoughts etc. It is also available on-line. 
 
Whilst typing, I am thinking, that we should also type in comments about how we are doing, I mean in the positive sense, what improvement we are making, how this made us feel - take our minds and thoughts AWAY FROM THE ABUSE - by focusing on success and positive things for ourselves. I know it is not easy - I have been so stuck in the hurt, pain, wanting justice etc - and I may feel lower than I do today - but I will get up and keep on keeping on, with trying to heal myself, my mind. 
 
I am sure the Beach CD has worked/is working - because I can see the difference in what I am typing, to my two previous comments. I hope anything I have suggested may help you all too. 
Posted @ Friday, April 06, 2012 4:41 AM by T
You are a wise woman indeed Liz...but you don't know much about wood. 
 
No matter how carefully you work, whittle, oil, and sculpt some timbers...they will unfailingly warp, split and crack. And they will attract wood worm! And ROT. Give it up. You cannot make a silk purse from a sow's ear. 
 
Choose a better medium my fellow artists.
Posted @ Friday, April 06, 2012 4:52 AM by Karen
Why should we "smooth out the rough wooden edge" of the bullies? - That is the bully's problem. Why get splinters? 
 
 
 
Posted @ Friday, April 06, 2012 1:46 PM by T
Spooky, Karen - you're absolutely right, I have great problems working with wood. I reckon sewing with fabric that can be squeezed or stretched as required is so much easier than wood, which sits there lumpily refusing my attempts to mould it ever so slightly. 
 
 
 
I reckon the metaphor holds, though. My family is indeed a rough piece of wood, but the comments from both you and T convince me that I should just throw the piece of wood on the fire, get rid of it, suffer no more splinters. Throw the ashes into the compost bin to be converted to something useful. The ultimate recycling!
Posted @ Friday, April 06, 2012 4:56 PM by Liz
We have to give ourselves the love that has been denied us. I feel like I have been grieving. We have to nurture ourselves - in order to heal our pain and become strong again. 
 
The "acceptance" stage of "letting go and moving on" - it does not happen overnight - it takes time - but that time does come, the realisation does come.  
 
In my case, I have found my healing/relaxation/meditation tapes and CDs helped me to this acceptance stage - as I have started to feel a little bit better. Before, I was feeling so very depressed. 
 
Psychological punches are no different to physcial punches - it takes time to heal.
Posted @ Friday, April 06, 2012 9:25 PM by T
See, you haven't lost your sense of humour - a very powerful tool.  
Love your comment about splinters T, and Liz the compost heap is just where those ashes belong! Or you could make soap. 
Thanks for those references T, I'll check them out right now! (:
Posted @ Sunday, April 08, 2012 3:10 PM by Karen
Excellent reading on Tim Field's website, T.  
He so well describes the M.O. of such dysfunctional people. 
One striking feature of the family members playing this game is real anger at being challenged and called to account. Excommunication is what you get in my clan. 
My older sister, in a rare show of gumption, stood up to our mother who was clearly in the wrong in a neighbourhood dispute. Our mother demanded unconditional loyalty in the matter and when my sister said no, she wouldn't shun those people who had been good to her, Mother said "You have just lost your mother!". Talk about emotional blackmail! 
Our mother lives in her own melodrama. She has written the script and she decides who plays which character and she will brook no criticism from anyone! 
She re-writes history, lies with amazing alacrity, and plays the victim with such pathos who could feel anything but pity for her in her suffering. She can cry like a baby on cue. Tim described her well! 
She has been a very destructive force in seeking the limelight, and getting her own way and make no mistake, she does know better. 
Interestingly, she just recently had a book published.  
In reading that you are left in no doubt that she has a moral compass, she knows right from wrong, she is simply prepared to harm her own, turn sibling against sibling, recruit extended family members, even outsiders to help her to abuse her target. 
Actually, you do have to feel sorry for her. Her first born was to someone else's husband. She thought having his baby would win him away from his wife. Surprise, surprise, he chose his wife who had a baby at the same time. Mother's child was adopted out. 
When that child turned up again nearly 50 years later Mother basically shut the door in her face and told her never to come back. This after all those years of sobbing to us about how awful it is to give up your own child and how she fretted about where she is and what's happening to her. 
In explanation to me she said "My friends don't know this about me, and I don't want my friends to know this about me!". 
"Anyhow, " she said, "she doesn't need us, she has loving parents, a wonderful husband, two lovely kids and a great job...and I'm not telling her who her father is, he's just a bastard!". 
When I found this half-sister the only truth was that she had a great job. Her adoptive parents had died, she never had kids, and had a series of unsuccessful marriages and was alone. 
The extent to which such people can do harm to those around them is only limited by their wild imagination.  
Standing up to my mother is a dangerous thing. 
My step-father did and ended up committed to a mental institution. Granted, he was a drinker and his blood picture showed that, but my mother used that, and my brother as a witness to an event that never happened to convince his GP that he was suffering from some sort of alcohol-induced psychosis and the men in white coats came and took him away. She left him while he was in hospital which was the point of the exercise. 
He'd made it plain he wouldn't take her crap so she needed a clear run to leave on her terms. 
Is she fun or what? 
Today, her guilt is eating her alive, but typical of her psycopathy she will go to her grave ever the victim. 
 
Posted @ Sunday, April 08, 2012 5:48 PM by Karen
There is so much info on the Bullyonline website by Tim Fields. I came across a page from this website about how there are 3 roles - "Perpetrator, Rescuer and Victim" - it gives very detailed information on the roles and how to step out of the bully's game - very interesting. You just have to keep clicking on things from this website and this will come up - even the recommended books have info too.  
 
Posted @ Sunday, April 08, 2012 7:03 PM by T
Karen, I think your mother must be my mother's long-lost twin! Apart from the illegitimate child, my mother had exactly the same attitude to the world, and my father willed himself to death at 61 in order to get away from her. Being a religious (and a weak) man, he couldn't contemplate divorce, so he just gave up on living. Some weeks before his death, during a stay in hospital, he confessed to me that he wished he'd never married Mum, as her demands had worn him out. In the face of having to go home and submit to her vile cooking, he asked if I could arrange for them to move into a nursing home. How desperate is that? 
 
All my life, every time Mum and Dad argued (which was at least every single day), Mum told me, 'Never get married!' After he died, she spent the next 16 years playing the grieving widow, who'd lost her only true love. (cough, splutter!) 
 
My sisters are very much like her in personality. One has a revolting partner, who she worded up to hate me before ever meeting me, so I couldn't intervene if I wanted to. The other has the most delightful partner, and I once tried to gently warn him of my sister's likeness to her mother. Of course, one can't really point out pitfalls in other people's relationships, so I didn't pursue it, and I just hope that, as a stronger person than my father, he doesn't get trodden down in the way my father did. 
 
I've been reading a brilliant book called Positivity, by Barbara Frederickson. I can't recommend it highly enough! She writes about how to improve your positivity/negativity ratio in order to improve your ability to flourish in the world. One important point she makes is that when one is positive, one becomes increasingly positive (upward and outward spiral). When one is negative (and negative thoughts have twice the effect of positive ones), one becomes increasingly negative (downward and inward spiral).  
 
Here's hoping everyone out there has something good happen to them today :)
Posted @ Monday, April 09, 2012 6:11 PM by Liz
Your poor old Dad died in self defense Liz. 
Never underestimate the power of character assassination as per siblings and extended family members who self-servingly aid and abet dictators and manipulators like our mothers. 
But be proud of one thing in this life - you will never stoop to such tactics at the expense of your own kin.  
My 'family' are not worth knowing.  
I want to know people like you! 
 
Posted @ Tuesday, April 10, 2012 1:46 AM by Karen
Thank you, Karen. I agree that people who treat others as they would like to be treated themselves are the best. My brain explodes with trying to figure out why there are so many people who don't see the benefits of being considerate.
Posted @ Tuesday, April 10, 2012 5:37 PM by Liz
In my experience, Liz, the selfishness and arrogance genes cancel out the considerate and moral ones. 
An example was my family's ability to watch a young cattle beast lumbering around on a badly broken femur, slowly starving to death and doing nothing about that cruel farmer because family members living and working on that farm weren't ready to move on. 
They watched her suffer like that for nearly a year. 
My older sister was vicious the last time I spoke to her, no explanation why, and has never spoken to me since. That was around 3 years ago. I can only surmise that she was embarrassed by an angry SPCA inspector telling them all what she thought of them and very angry with me for being the one who called in some help for that little heifer when I heard about her plight. 
My sister's act for the outside world is saintly helper and God fearing christian. Oops, busted. 
My niece who was living on that farm with her partner and two young children sent the message "Thanks, Aunty, bad timing but thanks".  
What a fine example in the matter of animal welfare she has set for her children, allowing them to watch that level of suffering and inuring them to a fellow creature's suffering. 
I consider that a form of child abuse! 
Posted @ Wednesday, April 11, 2012 1:49 PM by Karen
Having become profoundly cynical about human beings as a result of my life experiences, I can say that I am only alive because of the emotional support that I receive from animals. I care for orphaned and injured wildlife and have two 14-year-old cats for permanent company.  
 
My siblings and I were brought up to give and receive love to/from our pets, but human love was disgusting or not to be trusted(which explains why none of us married or had kids).  
 
For me, that translated into a total devotion to animals, but not for my siblings. My older sister hates them (basically because she hates every living thing), while my younger sister ranks pets as something around the level of lounge room ornaments. Sweet, needing some maintenance, but to be ignored when there are people to fuss over. She's a great one for feeding herself on the hour every hour, if not every half-hour, but the cat doesn't get fed until 6pm. No exceptions. (Why? Because that was Mum's rule. Why? She couldn't tell you.)When I used to be on visiting terms, I would fill up the cat's bowl whenever she asked, regardless of my sister's protests. She wondered why her cat loved me! (And no, I didn't visit enough to make the cat fat, though she did have a weight problem, I think from overeating when she did get food for fear that she might not get any next time she needed it.) 
 
My sister kept it a secret from me when that cat had to be put down, but luckily, her receptionist is a friend of mine, and let me know of what was about to happen so I could go and say goodbye to Tildy.  
 
My brother dotes on the cats owned by his landlady and her daughter, but gleefully tells me that he's going to kill the wallaby that feeds on his herb garden - by running it over with his car, because he doesn't own a gun!! He supposedly loves the bush, but hates the fact that, living in the bush, the native wildlife treat his garden as a food source.  
 
When I had a dog as a kid, the dog grew up to be afraid of all men except my father, because my brother kicked him every time he saw him - with no intervention from my parents. 
 
While I hope that none of them would allow the kind of suffering you describe, I do think that the way humans treat animals says a lot about what kind of people they are. I once picked up an injured wallaby on a major highway in peak hour. As it struggled to move off the highway with a broken back, hundreds of cars drove by, ignoring it. How can humans not feel something when they see animals in such a condition?? ('I don't want to get involved,' 'It will cost money to get a vet to an injured animal''It's only an animal' - or in the case of native wildlife 'It's a pest, it deserves to die for eating my lawn'...) 
 
But didn't your family have, or know someone they could call on, with a gun to put the poor animal out of its misery????? 
 
If I believed in reincarnation, I'd be of the belief that being a good person in this life would allow you to come back as a cat (dog, wallaby, eagle) in the next, rather than the other way around. But only a cat in a household like mine, or an eagle in an eagle reserve!!! 
 
Posted @ Wednesday, April 11, 2012 5:05 PM by Liz
Isn't it interesting that family bullies are also animal abusers to one degree or another.  
My family don't have the ability to empathise beyond themselves so it wouldn't have occurred to them to work out a way to help that heifer. Yet they are very good at getting sympathy for themselves and each other in their 'group'. 
Mother has endless excuses for the members of that group and can shoot from the lip as easily as taking her next breath. When I expressed disgust at my sister's treatment of me spitting hate down the phone at me for God knows what reason, her response was "I think she's had a nervous breakdown" or when I criticised my brother's emotional neglect of his kids, taking to his bed and sleeping through their access visits her answer was "It's all those anti-depressant drugs he was taking". He wasn't on any medication when he stayed with me and treated his kids like that. He simply didn't want to know about them.  
He put his brain-damaged cat outside and I protested telling him the cat can't look after himself. He ignored me. Somehow a couple of days later the poor little guy turned up again, so my brother put him out again and that time he never came back. My brother didn't want the responsibility of him. 
This man calls himself a christian and plays the victim. 
They're disgusting. Give me a good dog any day. 
Funny too Liz, I didn't have kids either as a direct result of that childhood.
Posted @ Wednesday, April 11, 2012 5:35 PM by Karen
It is my 2 beautiful cats that keep me going and I think these nasty spiteful and bitterly jealous bullies who lack empathy should learn from an animal. 
 
I, too, ended up not having children. Not because I did not want children, but because I kept getting involved with the wrong man and staying in the relationship too long, which I now can see all relates to the way my family treated me. I was brought up to expect and put up with "put downs/mockery/bullying/unkind gossip/deception" - and I realise now that I have unconsciously repeated this programmed expectation of putting up with rubbish in relationships. The last idiotic so-called man was a nasty bully and used identical tactics to my sister.  
 
I did not learn to get my needs met - as my narcissistic sister was always busy shouting/boasting/demanding/ordering/dominating, in order to get her needs met. Unconsciously, I learnt to give and not to receive - especially love. 
 
Give me a cat any day.  
 
It is not animals that should be caged - it should be these nasty litte spiteful bullies.
Posted @ Wednesday, April 11, 2012 6:41 PM by T
T, they say that you marry the unresolved issues with your parents and family. I sure did. You describe my ex-husband when you describe yours. 
My mother once told me - at 5 years of age after terrorizing me for hours with the threat of going to borstal, being sat dressed in rags waiting for a car to come get me - that I was only allowed to stay in their family after all "under sufferance" and that I was never to forget that fact. 
Until my middle thirties, when I divorced the nastiest piece of work NZ has ever turned out in a 'man', I was still treating those people I called my family with the respect they didn't deserve. 
You can imagine how pissed off with myself I am today! 
It takes a long time to escape, recover, move on when you are doing it on your own.
Posted @ Wednesday, April 11, 2012 7:22 PM by Karen
Mix of emotions here - relieved but deeply saddened to find this website. What on earth are families all about? Its like another taboo subject that we are secretly aware of but society dictates we cannot dare bring out in the open...the lies we are fed as children are: your family will love and support you, your mother will love you unconditionally because you are her child, your sister/brother will always be there for you and love and support you. Your family home is a place where you can regroup and get emotional safety from." I have not found any of this to be true.  
 
I am an intelligent, well educated person (no thanks to my family) and, dont ask me how, keep a permenant job down. However, I decided, like an earlier contributor, to not get married or have children, not that I didnt desperately want either but because I could not risk repeating the awful marriage my parents had, or to bring any lovely children into such an unsupportive immediate/extended cruel family system - I could not risk them going through one sentence of what I endured everyday (shouting, screaming, false accusations, bullying, belittling etc). And now? Mum and dad are dead (thank goodness). My sister is awful - an awful bully and I can get reduced to tears for days at a time just by an email. I also have people at work and home judging me as something must be wrong with me because I am not married or have children - I must be gay (not that there's anything wrong with that or just plain weird - two heads syndrome). I cannot harp on about how awful the emotional abuse is over the lunch time sandwich so my pain remains buried, eating away at me. I am exhausted and hope one day to get on my side and start believing that it was wrong and put it all behind me. Thank you to everyone who has written on this site. Clare
Posted @ Friday, April 13, 2012 3:37 PM by Clare
Clare, I know exactly how you feel, with those social standards that refuse to allow expressions of any disappointment in the mothering you receive, and likewise with the broader family relationships.  
 
Rule #1: A mother is a saint 
 
Rule #2: If you don't find that with yours, re-read Rule #1. There is no alternative interpretation. I've tried discussing that very topic with many people. People who didn't know my mother tell me I'm wrong, I shouldn't be so appallingly ungrateful. People who did know my mother can sympathise, though few will openly agree, as this is just socially unacceptable. The only person who I can really talk to about this is my aunt, my mother's sister. Her son, though, tells me not to listen to a word his mother says about my mother, because his mother is bitter and twisted, while my mother was a saint (see Rule #1 - he doesn't see the irony in his labelling all mothers except his own as saints.) He even told me to ignore his mother's references to my mother's dementia, as that was another of his mother's lies! (Mind you, he never visited my mother during her period of dementia before her death, just knew that my mother was so perfect that she could never acquire such a flaw.) 
 
 
 
With my birthday coming up next week, it will be exactly one year since my relatives put the last nail in the coffin of 'Family', by totally ignoring me - it was the first time that every single one of them joined in the ostracism. Usually, my younger sister acknowledges my birthday, as hers is a week later and if she doesn't give me some kind of attention, she won't get any from me (not that she wants it, except in some kind of selfishly superior way).  
 
The previous year, she organised a family meal for my birthday (as my age had a zero on the end), but it was spoiled by my brother sulking because, even though he is a scientist by profession, he couldn't compute my age correctly. Because of his arrogance, he couldn't admit that he was wrong, especially in something so basic as a mathematical calculation, so he sulked for the entire meal, and continued his sulk at our next family meal, the following Xmas Day. Then the following April ... nothing. From anyone, not even my aunt. I stewed (and cried) for a few weeks, then changed my name!! A bold and radical move, designed to free me from the emotional hold that family has over me (even when they refuse to acknowledge my existence). In fact, it hasn't really worked. Your family really gets its claws into you, doesn't it? No matter what steps you take to free yourself, there's always something in your brain, pointing out perfect families on TV or amongst your friends, making you wonder what was so wrong about you and your family, that your family couldn't be a good one, too. 
 
 
 
Having never married, partly for the same reason as you, Clare, I too have found that I get cast as either a man-hating, feminist lesbian (yes, I'm a feminist, but try telling people that the other two don't necessarily follow!) or a weird cat lady living alone in the bush. So I just talk myself through it (unfortunately, I do need to give myself this talk on a regular basis): Who cares if people think I'm gay? I've known many lesbians in my time, but not one has ever come onto me - they and I all know that I'm not. If some people think that I am, well, I hope they enjoy whatever fantasies go on in their heads as a result. If they're male, at least it keeps them safely away from me (assuming that such stupid people would not be the kind of men I'd want to be friends with anyway.) And as for being a mad cat-lady? Woo hoo! Love it! Keeps away anyone I don't want to see (except, for some reason, the religious door-knockers - they don't mind my apparent weirdness at all.) 
 
 
 
With my birthday coming up, rather than sit around moping that I'll be all alone, munching on dry biscuits and cold tea, weeping into my nightie, I've invited two people out to lunch on my birthday - people who I trust 100% to like me, to respect me and with whom I'm guaranteed to share a laugh. One is the accountant my sister went to after she decided that she didn't like having me, her older sister, but an inferior person in her estimation, in such a position of authority in her company. He thought I'd referred her to him, but I advised him not to tell her of our friendship, as she would probably sack him. On the odd occasion, he's mentioned an aspect of her financial setup that he expected me to know about, even though I've told him how dysfunctional our family is. When my eyes light up in interest, he's realised his mistake, and become terribly upset at perhaps having breached client confidentiality. But, he says, I had no idea that you wouldn't have known about that! (As in, it's such a big thing, how could she, and why would she keep it a secret from her family, of all people??) 
 
So he's one of the people who is able to reassure me, through seeing my family in action, that their behaviour is just warped. 
 
 
 
I reassure myself that, while it is vile to be treated so badly by people who have no good reason for doing so, and it is vile to be completely ostracised by such horrid people, and it is embarrassing to be judged as being the villain in the piece by all those people who think your family members are just butter-wouldn't-melt delightful, in the end, I know that I have done nothing wrong. This is not me putting my head in the sand, this is me having thought long and hard, this is me having read books and websites about people in this situation, this is me now having found a site which acknowledges that I am not alone in my experiences. I have few friends who would actively support me in my battle to free myself of this pain, but the two I've invited for my birthday lunch are just such people. Two good friends and no family is much, much better than a vile family and a dozen quasi-friends who either take your family's side, or just tell you you're making it all up. 
 
Clare, I have been battling this for 22 years. I changed my name a year ago, wondering if this would jolt my siblings into realising what harm they'd done. It didn't. I have a friend who is my younger sister's receptionist. She told me that she knew that my sister had received my email, because my sister said to her, 'Liz has changed her name?' My friend, quite rightly, did not feel that it was her place to explain. My sister, as usual, did not bother to acknowledge my email. While this is painful, I'm sure that it is less hurtful than receiving nasty emails. But it still hurts, knowing that I actually don't exist for my sister. I'm invisible, I don't have a presence, I don't matter. I am nothing. 
 
My cats don't think I'm nothing, my clients appreciate me for my ability and personality, I am involved in several voluntary roles which make me feel good because I am able to concentrate on giving to others (even if I can only give a little, in time, money or expertise). The main thing is to learn to believe that just because people say or do something, that does not mean that their words or actions are right. If something feels wrong, then it probably is. If you are blamed for something that others find distasteful, and you know that you have done nothing to cause the accusation, then don't believe it.  
 
I puzzled for many years as to why a close friend (now ex-friend) was always accusing me of lying, when, even if I want to, I can't lie to save myself (I stutter, I go red, I get my words mixed up). One day, I finally realised that she was attributing to me the behaviour she would display in a similar circumstance. She thought that if she would lie, then it was normal behaviour, anyone would do it, and so I must be doing it. And if it was me doing the lying, then it would be me, rather than her, that would bear any punishment. (Sounds like preschool behaviour, doesn't it?) 
 
The same rules apply for people who abuse you. Remember, when people are rude to you, it's them being rude. They should be the ones to feel guilty. 
 
(I'm really just verbalising the daily talks I give myself, in the hope that they might help others to realise that anyone reading this blog is not the only one in this predicament. These thoughts are not yet automatic for me, but with any luck, one day they will become so.)
Posted @ Saturday, April 14, 2012 3:54 AM by Liz
The common theme with such bullies is their ability to commit an offense and then make their victim appear to be the offender.  
 
You know what really happened, but because you have been demonised for so long before you cottoned on to the assassination of your character your family already 'know' the 'truth' about you - thanks to the sympathy-mongering of that (usually) parent who has set you up and the siblings who defend the status quo for their own selfish reasons - which is how you end up being at fault by default. 
 
Any attempts on your part to redress the issues are seen as more evidence of your 'trouble-making' in the family and no wonder no-one can be bothered with you! 
 
And yes, they do get their claws into you because through you the bullies enjoy an endless stream of support and sympathy every time you rail against the unfairness and try to stand up for yourself so they have to cry into their hankies about how awful you were to them - AGAIN! Sob! 
 
My mother howled down the phone to my aunt so convincingly that she couldn't be told it's an act. She couldn't look at the facts like that my mother hasn't laid eyes on me in 18 years, I've never been invited to or even told about a single family wedding etc., I have been systematically frozen out from early childhood as my mother built her 'case' against me, yet despite the facts my aunt was simply stuck on feeling sorry for my mother who was so terribly 'upset'. Sigh. 
 
Their antics amount to a particularly insidious and gutless form of abuse.  
 
Tim explained it well when he said such people need to be the centre of attention. 
 
My mother's resentment of me came from just that sort of narcissistic vanity and self-aggrandisement. 
 
She told me that whenever she took me out in the pram people constantly stopped her to admire her pretty baby. She glared pure hate at me, peeled her lips back off her teeth and snarled at me "It used to drive me NUTS!" 
 
Years later she tried to seduce my husband. She saw me as competition. 
 
One of her put-downs was to suggest that I speak to psychiatrist. "One of your choice" she said "and I'm happy to talk to them". I thought 'yes, I'll just bet you are'. 
 
So I did speak to a psychiatrist, the same one who dealt with her when we were just little kids. I asked him if he remembered my mother and he said yes, he remembered her well. 
 
I told him some of what she's been up to over the years and asked if he thought there was some kind of psycopathy. He said no, he assesses her as simply 'wilful'. 
 
My father described her as having a whim of iron. 
 
To that should be added: Devoid of any form of conscience. 
 
Nothing for it but to write them off as far as I'm concerned.
Posted @ Saturday, April 14, 2012 2:43 PM by Karen
I have been ostracised so many times and this always, without fail, starts from my sister and the other family members follow her command like robotic zombies, unable, it appears, to form their own opinions. First of all, they should not be even taking sides or even listening to negative rubbish spread about me from my sister. Why do they believe it? They do not have to. They are adults now and, therefore, know right from wrong. 
 
Here are just a few unkind things my sister has done to me: 
 
When her eldest daughter miscarried, I just happened to have 2 days holiday. I knew nothing of it, until my mum telephoned me to quickly go down to the hospital. I arrived at about 45 mins after visiting times started and her husband was there. No sooner had I arrived, that he left for the canteen. One hour later he came back and then I went to the canteen. I stayed there until 5 pm., as I knew my sister and her husband would be arriving at that time and her husband had offered to read a new job contract for me and offer advice. So when I went back to the ward and was walking towards my neice's bed, before I even arrived at the bed, about 4 yards from it, my sister suddenly jumped up and said loudly, "well lets all go to the canteen". I sensed something was not right, it did not feel right. I had picked up a bit of a bad expression on my neice's face when her husband left when I arrived previously. I put two and two together - and as always, my sister jumps at any opportunity of any hint of anyone not liking me and, then upholds it but fuelling it.  
 
It was not until the next day that my instincts were confirmed. My mum telephoned me the next morning, sounding quite upset and advised me, in no uncertain terms, to not go and visit my neice again in hospital, stating that my sister had just telephone her and said that her daughter, my neice, did not want any visitors other than her immediate family, hinting, but not saying, that they felt that I had overstayed my welcome on the visiting times. I felt my mum was trying to hide her anger and would not say exactly what my nasty, spiteful sister had said about me. No sooner had I ended this call with my mum, that my sister called me, saying this stuff that she did not want any visitors and, that she, herself, would keep me informed of her health by telephoning me. I said nothing. I then told my mum and she told me that I should have said to her, "got the message". So I got several calls from my spiteful sister, until she had to go on holiday, which had already been booked. Then, my neice took over the telephoning me, from her hospital bed, of course, to make sure that I did not go and visit her. Disgusting. Also, whilst waiting for a train one day, I saw one of my neice's friends and she asked me how she was, I could not answer this and said that I had not been there, did she not know? She replied, that some others from the department where my neice worked at this hospital - had visited her. Thought she only wanted "immediate family members" to visit?! When my sister found out that I was angry about all of this and that my mum had told me what had really gone on, she must have scolded my mum for doing so. How do I know this? Because when I later discussed it with my mum, she completely denied ever telling me not to go to the hospital! What?! I said to my mum, "then how did I know not to go to the hospital"? Unbelievable! To this day, they all still maintain a cover up over this. 
 
Then when one of my brother's got married, my sister was asigned to take the wedding photos. But I, like everyone else, take photos too. It is a normal thing to do. But this enraged my sister. When in the church and my brother and his wife were being guided by the priest to go into to chapel to sign the marriage certificate, all family members from both sides were following - including me - but my sister shouted out inside the church that she "was the chief photographer", to stop me going into the chapel! I wanted to swear at the cow, but was inside a church, so could not. Then my elder brother came out to get me. It did not end there either. Unknown to me, my sister, my bloody emotionally backward and retarded sister, zoomed down to the reception buidling and moved my name from near the top of the table - right to the bottom. When I arrived and saw my name, I could not understand, as I had already seen where I was to sit on the paper plans. She is so disgusting. 
Then even more problems. I ended up taking a lot of photos together with the stupid man I was then married too. So we decided to put them in an album and give it to the newly weds. My mum, on seeing this, felt enraged and went into an almightly jealous fit, shouting out that my sister had good photos. Why could she not see that I was not competiting with my stupid sister. My sister was incensed. So much unkindness and nastiness aimed at me. If my Dad were alive, he for sure would have taken photos, but because I did, I suffered. Also, I later found out that my sister was accusing me of deliberately standing infront of her whilst she was taking photos. What rubbish. She never stops. 
 
When my neice who had got married, first met her then boyfriend. I had just come back from working abroad and was staying at my mum's home. Whilst I was washing, my neice had arrived with her boyfriend and her sister. They and my mum and brother were going to my other brother's home for dinner. I chose not to. I was tired from working and doing a very lengthy travelling trek to my job all week. They were all to come back to my mum's home anyway. It was not my fault that I was washing when my neice arrived. The younger neice came and knocked on the bathroom door to say hello and I explained. Then later in the evening they all came back and my older neice sat on her boyfriend's lap, both with their backs to me and, ignored me for the rest of the evening. My mum could see what was going on and so could my younger neice. Then when they left, she ignored me by sticking her face in the air to me and her boyfriend sheepishly said goodbye. I told my mum that I did not feel this was my neice's normal behaviour and felt that it was her boyfriend influencing her to treat me this way. My brother agreed, letting me know of how he had refused to pass the telephone to my neice, when her younger sister had called to speak to her. The two girls had previously had an argument, he was obviously informed and took matters into his own hands. He is a dangerous personality - very much like my sister. She married her mum. My brother told me that our younger neice was so upset she went crying to her mum - then her mum (my sister) got on the phone to give her eldest daughter's boyfriend a mouthfull. My sister did not know that my brother had told me this and I did not break his confidence when I told her what had happened to me. She stood by her daughter's boyfriend and protected him - she just loves me to be hated - especially from a man. Her jealously rears it's ugly head always. 
 
I started to not go to family events, had enough. I did not go to my neice's christening, she had treated me unkindly more times since the hospital visit and I had had enough. Then when I started to ignore her, like she was ignoring me - she could not handle it. To make the story short, whilst at my brother's home, which I foolishly let myself go to, only because my guard was down due to my mum being very ill in hospital, my neice provoked me ito an argument. She had been provoking me in the hospital, but I just ignored her. The result was that, my brother, who nothing of what was going on and nor did his wife, immediately took our neice's side and violently verbally abused me, physically pushing me out of his house. My neice felt she was the almighty - because she knew she would be supported. 
 
My sister was away abroad when this happened and when she came back she continued the trouble. She found out that during her absence that my mum had helped me financially, due to my job loss and she was furious of the help my mum had given me. Even though she had deviously pinched all of my mum's and brother's entire profit from their house when it was sold!!! She begrudged any help that my mum would give me. My mum and brother, who should not have had a mortage on their new house, ended up having a mortgage. It is too long a story to go into, but believe me, even my mum's brother and sister thought my sister would pay back their due profit - they were wrong. 
 
So from this point, I was ostracised and my mum's 80th birthday arrived. My sister had arranged for my mum to live in temporary rented accomodation, because when she came out of hospital, my brother who lives with her, was drunk. But my sister has a 4 bedroom bloody house - why the hell did she make sure our mum lived there??? Even though my mum sides with my spiteful sister, I know that she can only put up with so much of her rubbish and, therefore, would not want to live with her. So, I did not know where my mum lived or have her telephone no - and my mum was too scared to call me - my number would have shown on the bill. 
 
Then whilst I am being ostracised, I heard, from my cousin in Denmark that my other neice was due to get married abroad. She knew that I was not invited. She and her friend were invited and her children were to be bridesmaids. Her brother was invited, even though my neices don't even really know him. Her parents were invited - as was everyone else - accept me and my brother, who drinks too much (interestingly he has always been bullied from a child by my sister). 
 
Then just before the wedding, I was assaulted by the aggressive man I was stupidly going out with, who I found out was having an affair with my so-called girlfriend. I eventually told my brother, who told my mum, who told my sister. The result was, that I was invited to the wedding, just 2 or 3 days before it was due to take place. I was disgused. I politely refused. So from this point on, I was pulled back into the family unit again and on doing so, I could see all their guilty faces, but still not caring. My neice who had just got married, felt uncomfortable and started to cry staying "sorry, but her mum and sister had refused to go to the wedding if she invited me". I politely said "don't worry, this problem has been going on since before you were married". But she could have told me. She is was about 33 years old. In fact, I did not tell anyone how they had hurt me. If I had, all hell would have broke loose. 
 
Then a few years later, I was diagnosed with cancer and 2 years down the line after treatment - my sister is at it again - in fact she never stopped. Because during treatment her ugly side would rear it's ugly head again and again and again.  
 
Now I have changed my telephone numbers to avoid being abused by them all - and now I am told by my cousin, that I am now being accused of being "very, very mentally unwell". Can you believe their unkind rubbish. They are further accusing/insulting me to try an use as an excuse for the aggressive bullying, which was instigated by my spiteful sister. 
 
They all know my address - but not one of them has shown any remorse or visited me. Not one of them has brought my mum down to visit me. They all remain arrogant on the self-made pedestools - afraid of accepting the blame for "their" disgusting and unprovoked attack on me. 
 
I have been doing all the crying since the end of October 2011. Now I am trying to heal myself and my mind with healing CDs and I do feel that they are working. 
 
I realise now that, anything that has happened in the past we cannot change. The past is dead and gone. Even anything that happens this very moment, immediately becomes the past. 
 
We cannot reshape our past, but we can shape our future, by focusing on being in the present and visualising positive things that we want to happen in our lives (our future). Loving ourselves. 
 
Thinking and focusing on the past, keeps us stuck in the past - and prevents us from living in the present - and visualising/shaping our futures. 
 
This is what these bullies want, to keep us attached to them, their abuse - they want us to fail. So long as you remain in the past, these bullies are still bullying you. 
 
Don't let them make you fail. Get out of the past and into the present - by letting go of it all and. I know this letting go is not easy, I know this only too well. But the CDs have indeed helped me. Please, check out Alan Roberton's website - the CD I am using to rid myself of the past is called, "The Beach". I highly recommend it to all of you. 
 
 
 
 
 
Posted @ Saturday, April 14, 2012 3:16 PM by t
This blog is very helpful. I have been psychologically bullied by a sociopath for many, many years. After the sociopath got in contact with my out-of-state brothers things became really cruel and bizarre as they believed her pathological lies and began to openingly bully and slander me as well.I am consumed by the hurt and anger I feel.I am diminished by the horrible gossip they have spread all over my town. It helps to know I don't suffer alone.Is it any wonder children who are victimized are committing suicide? I think we need to unite somehow and help these innocent children.Perhaps we should start by exposing gossip as the acceptable and commonplace form of bullying that it is.
Posted @ Sunday, April 15, 2012 12:26 PM by Bonnie
That's an excellent idea, Bonnie. Maybe I can help out with a blog post connecting gossip and bullying. In the meantime, it's encouraging to see the wisdom and understanding that each of you is contributing for others to learn from as you are also supporting one another. Thank you all for the contributions you're making to this topic.
Posted @ Sunday, April 15, 2012 2:18 PM by Gina Stepp
The thing is, these bullies, who need to be educated/exposed about the terrible results of bullying and gossip - will not see this website - so the bullying continues - and so does the victim's pain. Bullies feel no compassion or empathy - so no change will occur. 
 
The receiver of the abuse needs to learn how to "step out of the game that these bullies try so hard to put us in". They/we need support and love. They/we need to concentrate on loving ourselves and thinking good positive thoughts about ourselves.  
 
We must flush out all the negative rubbish that has been stated about us. You get rid of a negative, by flushing it out with a positive - not by focusing on the negative with thoughts of "I don't want this, that etc.". You must say to yourself what you want and how lovely you are etc. Positive, positive and more positive thoughts and affirmations. Only the positive works. Programme yourselves with lots of positives - do not let the negative feeling of pain etc., play on your mind - just try it and you will feel the difference in how you feel - but you need to keep it up - never stop. When you feel good about yourself, then you will become stronger and heal.  
 
The abuse, insults, accusations, blame etc., all hurts - but the time comes when you all will realise that you must take your mind off of thinking about the abuse and placing your mind/thoughts on yourself - your present and your future. This stage can come easier by trying to heal the pain with healing methods - Healing Meditative CDs and self positive thoughts have helped me. 
 
Yes, it does not make the abusers change - but we can only change ourselves. When you get stronger, you will feel the anger, frustration, the wanting justice etc., start to fade - then your energy will be focused on the present moment, your moment, your moment to plan your future. 
 
You will succeeed - when these nasty little insecure bullies want us to fail. Don't let them make you fail! 
 
 
Posted @ Sunday, April 15, 2012 4:00 PM by t
Bonnie, it seems that schools are now getting it together with programs to stop bullying at school - which is great if it can work. Workplace laws are improving too, though when I complained to my union once (in response to their advertising campaign against workplace bullying) about a fellow employee, they said, 'Oh, no, we don't care about employee-employee bullying, only that perpetrated by the bosses!' That case ended with me getting an injury which meant that I couldn't use my right arm for seven months, plus a workers comp payout (which I spent on an overseas holiday - very healing!!).  
 
That's a far less serious consequence than the employee who killed herself as a direct result of her bullying. I think two men went to gaol for that one.  
 
I think it is the crowd mentality at work - one person thinks it's a great thing to do and people around him/her see that they have the option to join in or stand up for the other person or leave the situation. I guess it depends on the reaction of the one being bullied as to which option they take.  
 
I've been in several situations with 'friends', where someone starts in on me, my attempts to stand up for myself are just laughed at by the bully, and the rest of the group decides that they don't want to be similarly bullied, so they choose to side with the bully. I've seen perfectly good people either join in or stay silent - sometimes, having the grace to look embarrassed about their choice, but not the strength to stand up and say 'Stop it!' 
 
I've done assertiveness training, I try and word myself up to not accept bullying, but often it comes when I'm not expecting it, I think too slowly to be able to come back with a reply which will stop the bullying, then I either start to cry or just freeze, which completely hands over all power to the bully. Or else I worry so much about an upcoming confrontation (eg family gatherings) that I'm totally unable to string my words together in any fashion when I finally get there. 
 
Much as I would like to stand up for myself and be strong, I've reluctantly come to the conclusion that I must just avoid people. Unfortunately that includes most groups, for fear that there may be just one person who has a gripe with me (which may just be that they feel like messing with someone's head on that particular day, and Liz is always a good subject), and a crowd mentality will set in.  
 
My plan for strengthening myself is to consciously fill my days with positive stuff. If I'm thinking positively, I have no room in my head for negativity. I must check out those CDs you recommend, T. In the meantime, I find that good music, played loud, while I do the housework, or played softly while I'm doing stuff that requires my attention, is great. Favourites range from Abba, Joan Baez and Leonard Cohen to some of those classical vocalists who sing the more accessible arias from operas. 
 
Oh, and I consciously seek out comedy on TV. It's amazing how spontaneous laughter flows through the body, flushing out the black muck laid down by nasty experiences. (In an ideal world, this laughter would come from sharing experiences with real people, but a good TV show or film is a reasonable substitute, I find.) Both music and laughter are tremendous tension releases, removing the fears and allowing space for positive thoughts and actions.
Posted @ Sunday, April 15, 2012 6:00 PM by Liz
Liz, I so know what you mean about not having the answers when the bully starts in on you and you are left speechless, no-one comes to your aid - they're all looking the other way pretending there is no elephant in the room - and it's embarrassing. 
 
As a young person I wore heaps of that kind of conditioned helplessness. As a child it is inescapable. Horrible. 
 
Today, I am healed. 
 
Exactly what requires me to politely accept someone else's rudeness? Nothing.  
 
Do I have to sit out a social occasion in the face of abuse? No. 
 
Do I have to be embarrassed in a local cafe etc. No. 
 
Nothing is as empowering as looking your bully fair in the eye and saying "Actually, I'd rather stick pins in my eyes than put up with another second of your rudeness". Don't wait for a response. Just leave. 
 
Who cares if it's a wedding, a funeral, or Great Aunt Fanny's 90th. 
 
If you haven't your own transport ring a cab. Walk. Whatever it takes. It will be your bully who is left speechless and red-faced at your unexpected show of strength. 
 
My mother was left gobsmacked and mute at my direct correction of her behaviour and immediate removal of myself from the arena each time she tried her tricks. 
 
For example, when she said "I am 83 years old! I am your mother! You should have more respect!" 
 
My reply: "Respect, just like disrespect, is EARNED. Now I'll leave you to think on about that. Goodnight". 
 
She soon regrouped and came at me from another angle hence my decision not to waste another second dealing with her.  
 
It's her problem. There is no cure. 
 
I have better things to think about and better causes to make my stay on this Earth worthwhile. 
 
 
Posted @ Monday, April 16, 2012 12:52 AM by Karen
Karen, you gave me a good giggle at the thought of the scene that would ensue when telling my sister that I'd rather stick pins in my eyes etc in front of the people who think she's perfect. 
 
I accidentally did something similar once, and it felt good. I'd asked her to give me a lift to pick up my car from the mechanic, but she said she could only do it at lunchtime (no good for me - I had a work lunch on) or after 6pm (no good for the mechanic on a Friday night!). She had drinks with her pals at 5pm, and it was particularly important that she be there to meet up with her friends Bill and Maree, who could only come between 5-6. I refused her demands that I choose one of those impossible times ('you will submit to my generosity!') and rang a mutual mate, Max, who said, no worries, he was only going out for Friday night drinks with my sister, no big deal. (!) 
 
He drove me to the mechanic and suggested I drop into the pub on the way back. I did so, and when I walked in, my sister said loudly (to prove her sisterly generosity in front of her friends) 'Oh, you should have asked me - I would have given you a lift out there!' I said, without pause, 'I did, and you refused.' The look on her face was priceless!!  
 
The strange thing was that Bill and Maree didn't turn up... I guess she wasn't as important to them as they were to her. 
 
I've often wondered why I don't overtly put her in her place, regardless of the place, time and occasion. What would she do? Especially given the number of times I've cowered before her bullying, to actually stand up and be mature and decisive would be most empowering, if only for its shock value. 
 
I so look forward to the day when I, too, can say I'm healed.
Posted @ Monday, April 16, 2012 4:21 AM by Liz
Liz, please don't feel bad about not having the right words at the right time - as I experience this too and I am sure the rest of us on this website do. Even though I do answer back, afterwards I am left feeling, why did I not say this or that, which would have been direct to the point - but how can you/I when we are always unprepared. These bullies have, without a doubt, prepared themselves in one way or another, including gaining support from other members of the family/work employees or other children - all the same tactics are used wherever it happens.  
 
Also, as we are not nasty minded like these bullies - the bullies, therefore, start from an advantage point of attack. When they are close to being found out/exposed, they defend themselves with further attacks of denial etc. 
 
Sometimes the abuse can be so sutle, but equally upsetting, that only you, yourself knows very clearly what is going on and, not anyone who may happen to be near you at the time. 
 
Basically these bullies take advantage and disempower their victims by isolating them and sabotaging them, amongst other things. It is very hard to defend and speak up for yourself when you are, not only taken by surprise - but outnumbered. What chance do you have? Believe me I have tried, I always try and argue back - but as these bullies give no empathy, they will never change and we will never get the care or understanding we want from them. 
 
Every time I am ostracised by my family - all I can do is stay away to protect and heal myself. Then my sister declares that I have isolated myself, thereby trying to transfer the blame of "her" abuse, onto me. And everyone believes her.  
 
On one occasion in the past, my sister had the audacity to tell me to "bury the hatchet" - when she was the one that threw the bloody hatchet. Unbelievable. I wish I had said to her, "well, let me take the hatchet out of my back that you slammed in". But I know that anything I say back to my sister will not affect her in the slightest, because she does not care or feel, she has no empathy. She will play the little innocent hurt victim though, when she wants to get the others on her side. She also "eyeballs" me to her husband, who knows she is jealous of me, but joyfully supports her. I have caught her so many times eyeballing me now, even during my cancer treatment - but she does not care, because she knows she will get away with it. Anything I seem to say, is looked upon as though I am causing trouble and, therefore, mad. Just as Tim Fields website states - he describes this psychological abuse all so very well.  
 
Karen, I wish I had your words, I wish your words would come to my lips, when I need them to. You are strong and I want to get strong like you. 
 
Liz, I am too, drawn to comedies and avoiding anything nasty on T.V. - including avoiding nasty people and situations. 
 
Regarding job bullying - In my experience these employers can have all the steps in place they want at how they will stamp out bullying - the fact remains, they do not carry this out. As soon as you complain, you are looked upon as troublesome and something to get rid of. I got no support whatsover, even though I am protected under the Discrimination Act having had cancer. Even the disgusting union rep slyly took sides with Personel - to save her job. 
 
To expose bullies in the work place and at home - you need to catch it all on camera and have it well documented. I will never, ever, go into these two situations again, without a camera handy. 
Posted @ Monday, April 16, 2012 8:39 AM by T
T, you need to look at your family like the bad company that they are. 
 
Would you bother with these people if they weren't relatives? Of course you wouldn't. 
 
You can get it all on tape but where families are concerned trust me, they will interpret it to suit themselves and tell the world how mad you are, how paranoid and fixated.  
 
Save yourself the hassle and expense unless it's workplace bullies. Nothing more satisfying than the look on your persecutor's face when they realise they been busted. It also serves as a warning to any other like-minded ratbags that you are no sitting duck. 
 
Bullies are predators, and they can spot their prey a mile away. You need to stop flailing and bleeding into the water. Better still, get out of the water. 
 
In the workplace your life raft is that hidden camera, with your family it's being further than a mile away. 
 
There is nothing wrong with declining the next family gathering with the bald statement that their personality politics are insufferable. They can like it or lump it, but either way you are no longer prepared to tolerate bad behaviour and bad company. 
 
From this point forward any future contact will be on your terms, and at the first sign of it either leave or ask them to go. No argument, goodbye. 
 
It's the same strategy you use for training dogs - who behave badly until you show them why they shouldn't. As soon as they start jumping all over you, you fold your arms and turn your back with a firm "NO". When they sit calmly they get the reward. Your reaction to your family behaving badly has to be just that consistent and adamant until they learn. 
 
If they prove intractable have them put down (; 
 
 
 
Posted @ Monday, April 16, 2012 3:36 PM by Karen
I love the dog-training metaphor! 
 
 
 
My cousin (the one who reckons his mother's a bitter, twisted liar) once insisted on visiting me, despite me asking him not to if it was a cold day, as I have no heating.  
 
Backstory: 12 years ago I built the smallest house I could as I have a very low income, but the builder didn't finish the job and though I tried court action to force him, it ended up being easier to avoid the conflict and finish it myself. After all, I'd helped a friend build hers, so she owed me lots of favours, and my family had offered to help as well.  
 
Until they realised that house-building is both hard work and distracting from their own social lives. In the case of the friend, I learned the hard way that she is one of those people who becomes successful by combining charisma with an implacable sense of self-importance. She finds no shame whatsoever in saying 'I won't help you, no matter what you've done for me in the past.' 
 
I've had a flat-pack garage sitting in the driveway for around 4 years now, waiting for my savings to get to the point where I can hire a builder (one who is willing to do 100% of a job he's contracted to do!) to erect it. In the meantime, my loungeroom is filled with workshop stuff, with no room to install a heater. As I'm on solar power, I can't run an electric heater in winter unless I also run the petrol generator. So I prefer to add a couple of jumpers and woolly hats and scarves (and cats) to keep warm, which is not something visitors appreciate. I inform friends that I am only 'at home' on sunny days, when we can sit on the deck. Most people understand. Not my cousin. 
 
 
 
He arrived an hour early, so the house was still messy (more messy than it would have been if he'd arrived on time, anyway). He stayed and stayed and stayed, doing nothing but complain and criticise me and my house. To be fair, his wife had left him and he wasn't coping well - but at 58 years old, wouldn't you think he'd have some idea of how to behave as a visitor? 
 
Anyway, he eventually left of his own accord, and he's never come near the house since. 
 
He rang me about something when I was contemplating changing my name. He always likes to ask me how my siblings are when we talk, showing scepticism every time I give the same answer: 'I have no idea; they don't speak to me, you know that.' So this time I told him that while I had him on the phone, he may as well be the first to know of my plans. 'No,' he said firmly, 'You can't do that.' Well, still stewing about how I'd held my tongue during his visit, I let loose, ranting and raving about what I had to put up with and why I was perfectly within my rights to do what I want with my name. He was disappointed at being disobeyed, but what could he do? My word it felt good to say exactly what I felt, for once! 
 
 
 
Recently, a man from Malaysia who studied at the same uni as me (an online course, so we never met), was in town and decided he wanted to meet me. He has sons who he sends to Uni here, so he's contacted me before and I've always avoided meeting up. Finally, this time, I said yes to lunch - get it over and done with. Lunch wasn't too bad, so when he demanded to visit my house, after some pushing on his part, I gave in. 
 
He didn't make a time to visit, just turned up. He was blatantly horrified and disgusted by the way I live. Worse than my cousin (though at least he didn't inspect my food cupboards as my cousin did), he refused a cup of tea - obviously thinking my house was dirty as well as cluttered, and was unrestrained in telling me what I had to to to clean up the house to his standards. I should have asked him for some of his money and staff (it turns out he's a managing director in a huge, worldwide business advisory firm)! 
 
But, having learned from the experience with my cousin, I only put up with it for around 1.5hrs before asking him to leave. Though we both said goodbye as if we'd had a lovely time together, we both knew that we would never meet again. 
 
It was the right thing to do, but the real lesson from these experiences is that I can - and should - state my needs BEFORE allowing any situation to become humiliating or upsetting. And that includes saying 'No, you can't visit me.' without feeling guilty/rude. I have valid reasons for my decisions - it's not up to others to criticise me, especially when none of them are prepared to do anything constructive about changing my situation. (Actually, my cousin made an obviously empty offer to help me if I want to build a retaining wall, as his father was a bricklayer. When I told my aunt about his visit, before mentioning his offer, she said 'Well, if he ever offers to help do any bricklaying, don't let him! His father saw a job he'd done once and was absolutely appalled by how shoddy it was!') 
 
 
 
 
 
I've seen that the metaphorical 'tap on the nose with the newspaper' can work (though with my cousin it ended up being a bash on the nose with a metaphorical brick!). Far better would be to try the 'refusal to respond' until the puppy has stopped its barking and growling. 
 
 
 
As for having them put down, I value my freedom too much to bother, but I was certainly grateful when my mother died of old age (can I say that? I just did!)
Posted @ Monday, April 16, 2012 6:24 PM by Liz
Never feel bad about saying 'No'. 
 
I have the kind of family who are crass enough to roll up unannounced. No matter how tactfully I explained the difficulty that causes me being a dog owner and working from home on the telephone they just continued to inflict their bad manners and lack of respect and turn up despite the fallout for my business, usually because they wanted to sell me something or get a free lunch. 
 
You should have heard the incredulous tones when told yes, I knew they were knocking, and I was home, but it wasn't convenient so I didn't bother to go to the door. 
 
"Have you any idea how embarrassing it was to be ignored and left standing on your doorstep?" 
 
Reply: Have you any idea what fun it was to watch YOUR discomfiture instead of mine for a change. Your lack of consideration and bad manners are not my problem. 
 
Have a nice day.
Posted @ Monday, April 16, 2012 9:36 PM by Karen
Someone tell me not to do what I really, really want to do! 
 
My evil younger sister sent my brother and me an email saying she had been talking to our cousin (talking in person, like real families do!!!) about visiting his mother around Mother's Day (she lives at the other end of the State). My brother suggested we might all go, and some emails went back and forth about this. He replied to emails from her with copies to me, so I could see how the arrangements were progressing, but although she explicitly discussed my assumed plans, she did not include me in the discussion. Although I'm frantically busy, I initially agreed to join in my brother's planned trip, until I realised that my sister had never intended this to happen. So I backed out, saying, quite truthfully, that I really cannot take even a day off work between now and July. 
 
But now I want to shake her, I want to email her (dispassionately! is that possible???) to say, 'Please explain why you do not communicate directly with me about matters that concern me?' Although I can't see that there is any language in that sentence which should inflame, I'm sure that if she responds at all, which is quite unlikely, she will make assumptions and respond aggressively. 
 
So I know it would be counter-productive to try and get her to explain why she is so nasty to me. I wouldn't get an answer, she'd just have one more reason to hate me and the tension would ratchet up one more notch. 
 
So I mustn't do it. Nonononono.
Posted @ Friday, April 27, 2012 7:14 PM by Liz
sigh. I'm finding all these comments helpful - I've been having a bad day. Sometimes I have them and am thinking again about my family. I am reading ReTrain Your Brain and working with the idea that I can squeeze out the bad and make less room for it. Have discussed this with a counselor who says that tests have been done on ADHD people and after positive training their brains physically did indeed change. I was surprised that you can change your physical brain synapses by what you think and now I have hope that I can push my abusive past out of my way and not have to deal with depression forever. That's where I am about 3 years after a shocking event wherein I learned AGAIN that I truly cannot trust these people. I am on low contact and managing but wish I had just cut them off years ago and saved myself some heartache. I had hoped to build better relationships with all of them after an estrangement and tried for 15 years or so to no avail. Everything has NOT changed with them and seems to be worse now than ever. These people take no responsibility for themselves, are run by guilt and insecurity and act like they're a preschool class and also consider themselves 'right' and decent Christians. They are all quite narcissistic. And I am their scapegoat whether I maintain contact or not. They do not respect me as a human being. There has been so much gossip about me and negativity that I never know what I'm going to get when I walk into a room - with their friends or extended family. It's hard to deal with blame when everything is covert and no one will tell you what the latest sick fantasy is that they've dreamt up that is supposed to be your life. Well, I'm tired of those kinds of surprises. So after a year and a half of trying to maintain civil contact, I gave up and decided not to initiate any contact with the main pot stirrer. I was uncomfortable with this for about 4 months and finally I just don't worry about it anymore. I feel no responsibility to keep things going. I reply or respond briefly to phone calls or emails, but when the gossip starts up about others, I ignore it or don't respond. I wouldn't wish my life with this family on my worst enemy - all the pointless pain and suffering I've experienced for no reason other than spite, jealousy, and their own insecurities. Or just the fact that they can't manipulate me or that I don't agree with some opinion they have. I really believe they do this to feel better about themselves. They talk about anyone and everyone in such negative terms and behind their backs. 
 
When I married, I chose the one guy who was actually nice to me. It didn't feel right at the time because I wasn't used to it, but it was definitely the right choice. We both decided before we had kids not to treat them with this kind of abuse and disrespect. And we have not. This kind of cruelty doesn't have to be carried over to the next generation if you decide you don't want that. One thing I've learned in these last 3 years is that I really am a lot stronger than I ever thought. I responded correctly to sexual and emotional abuse without even knowing it - even as a small child - according to all these books I've read about it. That must be why they rejected me so much. It's unfortunate that I absorbed the negative messaging that I wasn't worth anything when I was young and that it's taken me this long to deal with it and move on. But I can't fault myself too much - I was after all only a child. If I think about this stuff too much the point I get caught on is that I cannot understand for the life of me how people can be so cold, mean and abusive to someone they claim to love. It just doesn't make sense to me. And why in the world would they think I would WANT to spend time with them after some of this crap??
Posted @ Friday, April 27, 2012 10:43 PM by bees
Bees, it's interesting that you note that bullying family members consider themselves to be decent Christians.  
 
My siblings are all atheists, as am I, but my younger sister is unthinkingly so, following my brother's fundamentalist, theory-spouting atheism, in just the same way as my mother was a Christian, unthinkingly following her strict Methodist father's teachings. Neither my sister nor my mother know/knew much at all, nor cared to learn about the 'belief' system that they adopted. 
 
Unlike my siblings, I have thought carefully about what I stand for, I don't proselytise, and I expect to receive the same consideration from others. So I have come to the conclusion that it's not only the Good Christians who polish their own haloes as they put the boot in to family members they don't like, but also the Good Atheists like my unthinking siblings. 
 
 
 
I have a few friends who I would call true Christians but I also know many people who see themselves as highly ethical (whether atheists, Christians or Buddhist) who are anything but. 
 
 
 
I read an interview this week with Simon Longstaff, the director of the St James Ethics Centre in Sydney, who touched on all these points: 
 
'He believes Australia's compliance mentality [in relation to the business world in particular] ... actually creates risks. "All you do is comply. You tick, tick, tick - you never exercise judgement or individual responsibility."' This is exactly the way many people become self-important, people who say they are Christian because they were christened [tick] and go to church [tick], atheists who think no-one will notice that they are not perfect as they busily criticise others to divert attention from the flaws in their own behaviour. A Bad Christian, atheist, or follower of any other belief system who uncritically adopts its label without thinking about what being a good person actually involves, such as putting yourself in the other's shoes, taking responsibility for your own faults and not punishing others for them etc does not have the right to call themselves by the label they have chosen. (Unless the label they have chosen is 'Evil Bad Person' - I've met a few people who could honestly adopt that label...) 
 
 
 
Longstaff goes on to say, '"People who occupy positions of heightened power will often come to a point by which they start to excuse themselves from standards that apply to the ordinary people. Aristocracies typically don't apply the common morality - they see themselves as beyond it."' 
 
In my case, my bullying siblings consider themselves to be powerful, my brother through having the persistence to shout down any opposition for longer than his opposer can handle the shouting, as well as for occasionally getting his face on TV (only because he's the only local person in his field who likes public attention), my younger sister through having earned a lot of money in her business by working long, hard hours as well as being willing to be ruthless. Apart from these actual 'successes' (in their terms), both my brother and my younger sister appear to believe that the best way to increase their superiority is the lazy way, not by being better than me, but by making me look inferior to them. 
 
 
 
My younger sister needs to acquire a lot of money and consumer goods as she has always been a wannabe 'aristocrat' [read 'social climber']. To this end, she used to steal anything nice I owned if she could get her hands on it (yes, theft is the name we give to the action of 'borrowing' without consent and refusing to return the item ... where were my Good Christian parents when that was happening under their noses? Leading the way, actually.) 
 
Mum always helped both my sisters financially, though my older one never needed money, just took it, while I almost always had to fend for myself or do without. Now that my younger sister has her own money (as I've been informed by members of her partner's family), as well as living with a bloke who owns an expensive yacht and travels to exotic places in his work, she thinks she's cracked entry to the top levels of society. (He's actually a very nice, down-to-earth bloke - I have no idea what he sees in her!) Up has gone her nose, into the rarified air of the nouveau riche. 
 
 
 
Me, I'm more interested in quality of experience than showing off my financial status (whatever it may be). I spend a lot of time with people who are high achievers in a variety of areas and derive great pleasure from their interesting company, regardless of their financial status (and vice versa). I'm sure that many of them are wealthy, but they don't pose about it, while all they care about is whether the people they call friends are good and interesting and caring people. Which I hope I am, which I try to be. This kind of contact certainly reassures me about my worth in the world.  
 
I wonder if, as I have made connections in my work with more and more important people, my younger sister may have learned of these achievements (though not through me, given that she refuses to respond to any kind of contact with me) and thinks I'm trying to usurp her social standing? The poor jealous poppet... 
 
At least no-one in my family has ever had the temerity to claim that there was any love between any members (except for my mother doing an about-turn after she'd driven my father to an early grave, and for the next 16 years claiming that he was the love of her life, sob, hysterics, wailing). 
 
So while they are appalling people in many ways, at least they're not (complete) hypocrites. It's just a reminder that love is in no way an automatic element of a family. Bees, you're so lucky in having found a bloke with whom to create that rare entity, a loving family! Treasure him.
Posted @ Saturday, April 28, 2012 3:37 AM by Liz
Liz, 
You are letting yourself get dragged back down into your sister's nasty game. She is trying to pull your strings. Do not let her. Do not show her that you are upset about her emails etc. Do not give her power over you. Do not let her think she is winning - by responding to her. As then, she knows she has affected you. 
 
Bees, 
I understand all too well, in fact, you sound like you are describing my life and family. 
 
These insane narcissistic bullies will not change. And we, unfortunately, cannot change them. But we can change ourselves.  
 
Just hold on to the thought, that they are jealous and feel highly threatened by something in us. No matter how small, they cannot handle it.  
 
Allowing ourselves to be entangled in their nasty game, gives them the thrill or win they are after. Let them get bored, by stepping out of their game. Show now reaction. They are so bored with their lives anyway, this is another reason why they need to play games. 
 
Apart from the jealousy - they cannot cope with our integrity. 
Integrity is something that they cannot buy - no matter how much money they have or how many influential friends they may know. 
 
Busy yourself with your own life, your own friends. The more happy we are, the upset the are. 
 
 
Posted @ Saturday, April 28, 2012 11:02 AM by T
Liz, 
Don't let your sister drag you down to her low level. Yes, she has upset you, but do not give her what she wants - a reply. Do not respond. She is pulling at your strings. Cut the strings. Let her loose. She is trying to provoke you. I understand you are upset, heaven knows, I have been there. Step out of her game that she is trying to pull you into. 
 
You are above her. She, like my nasty sister, cannot handle our integrity. Something that they cannot buy with money or influential friends. 
 
They just have not got it. 
 
Posted @ Saturday, April 28, 2012 11:07 AM by T
Bees you describe my family perfectly.  
 
In focusing on us they don't have to look at themselves or each other. How cowardly their game is. 
 
Liz, you know what a ratbag your sister is. Don't dignify her games by acknowledging them. If she dislikes you so much she can behave so badly toward you, you need to learn to treat her with the contempt she deserves. 
 
I understand entirely how you feel. My grandmother died of breast cancer. When my mother was diagnosed with it I was the only one not told. My brother in law recognised my right and need to know so he informed me. 
 
When the disrespect reaches that level you know they're a lost cause. Realising that and dealing with it is how you heal. 
 
When you distance yourself enough to allow the wounds to heal it's amazing how peaceful and benign your life becomes. 
 
Leave them to steep in their little puddles of poison. There's nothing you can do for them and it's not your job anyway.
Posted @ Saturday, April 28, 2012 2:24 PM by Karen
Thanks, T, I know you're right. In fact, I didn't send any email or try and contact her in any way. I did ring my aunt, who knew nothing about my sister's planned visit and was kind and loving and sympathetic about the sibling situation (she always says, 'I'm so glad Nana [her mother] is not alive to see this.') 
 
Then I rang my cousin, whose husband is dying of pancreatic cancer, which put my silly issues with my siblings in perspective. 
 
Yes, I stewed, but no, I didn't let my sister know about it. 
 
The next step is to cure this bad habit of giving her space in my head. It took 22 years to get this bad. I took the step of divorcing them 10 months ago (well, changing my name, anyway). I know I can expect it to take a while to cure myself but it's time I got really stern with myself! (For my own good.)
Posted @ Sunday, April 29, 2012 4:32 AM by Liz
Liz, I only just received notification of your comment from 29 April.  
 
Since this time, I have started talking more with my Mum, although cautiously. 
 
On the 23 May it was my sister's 60th Birthday and my Mum kept pressurising me to attend the celebrations. I did not want to go and told her that I was not going as I did not feel comfortable. Just after 5pm I was pressurised further into attending and foolishly agreed, but I did not arrive till aftr 7pm. The brother who started the abuse back in October, (although not the instigator, that is my sister), did not speak to me and nor did his wife. I did not speak to him and had no intention of speaking to him either. When he left I was sitting alone in the garden and he shouted out from the dining room "goodbye". I did not reply. I thought he is trying to convince the others that he is making an effort. What effort? He gave no apology. I heard him say to the others, "well, he made an effort"! The truth was, he was not interested. As for his wife, I just find her really ignorant. She had the front to behave this way towards me before they were married and again when I came back from working abroad some years ago, she attacked me physically by getting involved in a family argument that was not her business. She is ignorant. 
 
My sister tried to make me speak to her daughter on Skype, who sodded off to Australia without saying goodbye to me and I was not invited to her farewell party - as if I wanted to go anyway. All this because of my sister's nasty antics towards me. There was no communication between myself and my neice. Neither of us wished to talk. Although, an apology should have come from her. 
 
My sister's husband annoyed me by asking me what had happened and I regret trying to explain to him. I should have said to him that I do not have to explain or prove myself to anyone and, that I know right from wrong and if something did not feel right, then that is because it was NOT right. He also annoyed me by asking/suggesting that I have lost my confidence. Thereby, I feel, revealing that this is the latest rubbish being spread about me. Putting me down, makes them feel good. I, of course, declared that I most definitely had not lost my confidence. But I wish I had said, "sorry to disappoint you, but I have not". I am sure my sister and all the other insecure women in the family would just love to put this label on me - along with the other labels they have tried to pin to me, "she is bio-polar", "she is very, very mentally unwell". They just love to describe me as mad and put the blame on me - rather than look at themselves for a change, to see where the problem stems from. 
 
I wish I never went. I wish I listened to my instincts.
Posted @ Wednesday, May 30, 2012 5:25 PM by T
Strange, T, but I only just received notification of my message of 29 April as well. 
 
Since then, my cousin's husband has died. 
 
I went to the funeral, which entailed a drive of 5.5 hrs each way. My sister had emailed to let me know she'd read about his death in the paper (this is a first - she has always felt it was beneath her dignity to let me know about local news of interest, knowing that I never read the local rag.)In fact, my aunt had rung me to tell me, which reassured me as to my place in at least part of the extended family. 
 
I politely suggested to my sister that we drive up together, KNOWING that she'd find some way to refuse. She did. (Phew!) 
 
However, she did approach me at the funeral, and she even sat next to me. When I leaned in to whisper a couple of comments to her (for example, pointing out who was who amongst the cousins she doesn't keep up with), she pulled as far away as she could get. Erk! Sister germs in her personal space!! 
 
I found it all quite ridiculous, though it was an extremely sad event, because my grieving cousin and her family are the only well-adjusted group in our whole extended family. Why should it be her husband who had to die young, when there are so many utterly unpleasant people in this family whose death would actually improve the world? 
 
I found my other cousins rude and distant, but you know, seeing the family who had lost their father and husband in their time of grieving, I was heartened by the absolute love they displayed for each other including all the partners, with the children they brought from previous relationships. It's not just Hollywood families that love each other unconditionally, and it's not genetically determined that everyone in my weird family must be deprived of love. 
 
I even wondered, guiltily, if I was deriving more pleasure from the funeral than I should have, just because it was such a good feeling to be unquestioningly included in the family. Even their old blind dog was happy to accept me unconditionally!  
 
My widowed cousin suggested we might have a get-together down our way in July, and wondered if my sister would allow that to include both me and her. All I could say was, 'I don't know - she's been perfectly civil to me today, but I don't know why, or if it will be repeated in July.' 
 
Family? Totally unpredictable.
Posted @ Wednesday, May 30, 2012 8:02 PM by Liz
Come on guys. How many more years/generations of being the family pariah do you want to do? 
 
These groups of defectives play the happy family game generation in, generation out while behind the scenes infecting the next generations with sick dynamics.  
 
If you are parents yourselves you have a serious responsibility to your children to blow the gaff here, educate your kids in healthy family ethics and thereby set your next generations free. 
 
If you fail in that responsibility you sentence your kids to the same sickness.
Posted @ Sunday, June 10, 2012 5:44 AM by Karen
You can't believe how healing it was for me to find this site and read some of the posts... I haven't read them all yet. My step daughter has been mean to me for many years. Her husband has even told her so and she refuses to see it. My husband does not really stand up for me (he is extremely passive). For a while she gave me mother's day gifts and then all of a sudden, she stopped giving me birthday gifts, mother's day gifts, Christmas gifts or cards -- she gives me nothing any longer. The strange thing is that all that is done by her father and I is done by me. I'm the one who has always reached out to her and shown her that we love her. She said that she wanted to have a relationship with us after she got married.  
 
When she got married, she and her mother made a point of inviting us to the wedding (but we were not on the invitation nor was my husband invited to walk his own daughter down the aisle). The stories can go on and on and on... and on...  
 
Several weeks ago, I finally got sick of her only calling us when she wanted something. This time the kids were doing a fund raiser ans she wanted money. So, I asked her why she only called when she wanted something? She got all upset at me for being honest and we didn't speak for a few weeks. She likes to push stuff under the rug and not deal with it, so I decided to do it her way. I called her and left a message saying hello and sounding like all was fine (which inside my heart it wasn't, but I was really trying -- as I always do). Anyway, she wrote me an email and told me that she needed space and told me not to write her a dramatic email because she was not going to read it anyway. I fear that if something happens to my husband, she will sue me for my home and cause me even more harm. I am that concerned about her behavior. So, on Father's day she calls and I woke her father up and gave him the phone and did not talk to her. She then sent him a card with a nice note in it. She was really talkative in her note, which she usually isn't -- because she knows that it has always been me who communicates. When her birthday comes up in August, her Dad won't send her a card... If it gets done, it will be me. And I don't want to...  
 
Well, I sent an email back to her anyway and told her that some space was in fact a great idea -- for me too. I told her that my heart has changed toward her. I said I still love her, but I needed space also and was tired of continually being hurt by her for no reason at all. I don't know if she read it, but I gather she did.  
 
Now, I'm content to have the distance, but feel she is going to continue to bully me in round about ways. I don't want to send birthday cards to her... I want to send them to the grandkids, but don't think she will give them to the kids... I thought of sending the cards / gifts to her husband's place of work and having him give the kids their gifts... but think that will just provoke her even more. I've always tried to be understanding of her. She was an only child and super selfish and spoiled. She had to grow up when she had her children and she uses me as her personal punching bag. I'm really tired of it -- hurt, distraught -- depressed -- wish someone would stick up for me (her husband and my husband). When I did try to confront her about this several years ago, she stopped talking to me for over a year.  
 
We never talked about the issues that I covered in the letter. She never said she was sorry... She just thought that I was the one being wrong, bad and mean for trying to be honest and stick up for myself. Since she never wanted to talk about it, I have not trusted my heart to her ever since and still feel that way. I'm thinking of selling our house (my husband and I) and moving away from them. It would probably be the best thing we ever did.  
 
Am I doing the right things? I don't like being with her. She has ostracized her grandmother the same way. She has been really hateful toward her because her grandmother (my husband's mother) was honest with her. My step daughter does not like anyone who can see through her facade. I feel sorry for her too... and I'd like to help her because I really do love her, but I think beyond prayer, she is beyond hope. So that is where I'm at right now... just praying about it.  
 
Because you all were here -- you have been like a light of hope for me. I am in tears of relief not feeling alone. I would that none of you had these problems. but in sharing them, you have helped me not feel so alone. 
 
God bless you all... 
Love 
Rachel Kay
Posted @ Friday, June 22, 2012 8:12 PM by Rachel Kay
Dear Rachel 
 
I think we all feel as you do, that it would be so much better if we did not have these family issues, but in having them, it is so helpful to have a circle of people around us who understand and are willing to listen nonjudgementally. 
 
I just had a couple of days away, and when I stopped in to pick up my cats from the cats' boarding home, the woman who I was dealing with had just had to have her own cat put down. She told me that, although she knew she had to do it, she waited until all her family had been able to say goodbye to the cat. This reminded me of my own mother's and sister's sneakiness in having cats put down without giving me the chance to say goodbye. My mother told me she was taking our old cat to the vet for some shots, then left a message on my phone to say that she'd decided to have her put down instead. My sister never told me about having her cat (who had lived with me for part of her life) put down, neither before nor after. Her receptionist rang to tell me it was going to happen, so in that instance I was able to visit when my sister was out and say goodbye to the cat. 
 
Obviously, many years later, both these incidents still upset me, but being able to discuss them with another person yesterday (in spite of barely knowing her) was, I think, healing for me. 
 
I have found this forum healing in the same way, knowing that we are not freaks in having families who do not conform to the Hollywood stereotype. 
 
As someone else has mentioned here, the best way to handle these nasty situations is to be true to yourself and don't give your bully the airspace they want to suck from your life. The problem is of their making, and the best thing you can do for yourself is to recognise that their bad behaviour does not make you a bad person. 
 
Good luck with rising above your family. 
 
Liz
Posted @ Saturday, June 23, 2012 11:37 PM by Liz
Thank you all for the comments and stories that have previously been posted on this site. I have only just discovered this site for myself and chances are, when the last comment before this one of mine was even posted (months ago now), I may not have even thought that the issue of family bullying was even relevant to myself. For so long I have been told everything is all my own fault that at the molecular level of my spirit I have taken that message on board. I hope there is someone who will read this however, and understand that they are not crazy, or alone, but that they too have a right to be heard and a right for their story to be recognised as both real and accurate instead of being told they are lying or just plain wrong. 
 
 
 
Let me explain...My mother died about 10 months ago and since her death I have had numerous flashbacks going back to when I was tiny. Neither of my parents can hurt me any more as they are both dead, and the way I see things is that, I am no longer under any obligation to keep their secrets or to remain silent about the realities of my childhood. I can talk about it if I need to, and believe me, I do. It's my turn now, at long last. I always tried to respect my parents, as much as I was able, especially my mother as I was always so desperate for her approval. I never did achieve that. I see now, through comments others have told me that she was jealous of me. She was always competitive with me and her antics hurt me a great deal. That was only part of it too. 
 
 
 
For almost my entire life (I have recently turned 50) I have been informed by my mother and father in particular that I am a bad person, in many ways. I was always aware that something was different about me and I just could not seem to say the right thing to people, if I said anything at all that is. I preferred my own company by far, which is just as well because my mother had no time for me and chose to neglect/ignore me while she spent her time doting on my older brother (Ross) and, in time, my younger brother (Mark). The reality is she just really, really didn't want daughters, only sons. Then I was born. Family legend has it that me, and my cousin who was born on the same day several hours after I arrived, were the first girls to be born into our particular branch of the family for some decades.  
 
One of my earliest memories is climbing up the stairs to where my mother and Ross were. I never did understand why she had all the time in the world for him and none for me, why he could do no wrong in her eyes and why I could never do anything right, but this incident has forced me to realise that she did not really care about me at all, from the beginning. Anyway, I was maybe 1 at the time. Perhaps I heard them having fun together and wanted to join in. Certainly the loneliness I have always felt started early too. I clearly remember climbing up the 20 or so stairs and feeling a bit puffed at the top but pleased that I had made it that far. I lifted up my little right leg to put my foot on the landing but overbalanced somehow and fell over backwards. I can still feel the dull aching sensation as my head pounded on every single riser on the way down. I can still remember the sensation of picking up speed, and the thumps to the back of my head coming quicker and quicker until mercifully they ended as my body shot across the narrow hallway and my head, with my neck on a bit of an angle as my body had not travelled down the stairwell parallel to the walls but slightly askew, slamming into the bottom of the hall wall, probably hitting the skirting board as well. I jumped to my feet as fast as I could and heard my mother's voice calling out from from upstairs "Are you alright?!". Something about the tone of her voice upset me, apart from the fact that she didn't immediately or ever rush downstairs to comfort me or see if I was ok, never mind taking me to hospital or the doctor for a check up. Due to the sounds she must have heard and possibly even the vibrations through the house, she could not possibly have failed to understand that her 1 year old had just fallen down an entire flight of stairs. She wasn't deaf or hard of hearing and we lived in a modest 3 bedroom state house in 1960's suburban Dunedin, not a palace. We were all only feet away from each other. When I recall this event these days I find myself wondering if she actually found it amusing and in my minds eye I see her winking at Ross as they both listen to me falling although of course I understand that this was not something I could have seen for myself and so is not a memory, and probably not true, but given what I know for a fact I still believe in the possibility.  
 
 
 
It was just the way I felt living with those people, my family. I felt always like a mouse, being tormented by a red headed cat during the day, her Brylcream headed husband cat whenever he wasn't at work, and their unmerciful son for the rest of the time, once he grew old enough to discover the fact that they would never, ever take my side. I knew then, and had plenty of reasons as the years dragged on to never be able to forget it, that I was most definitely not important in my family but was rather a nuisance, a physical and verbal punching bag, although the physical side of this was lashings from the brown plastic straps perhaps, that came off the family suitcases, or the leather belt that my father wore on his trousers. Later on, after reading many, many books about various people's lives, I would learn to be grateful that my father at least held on to the buckle end himself instead of strapping me with the buckle end like some poor kids out there have had to endure... 
 
 
 
My parents were not obviously bad people but were hard working tax paying citizens. My mother in particular became a Christian when I was about 25 maybe, and had friends, close family and many people in her life that she hid the reality of me and my life from, preferring to gain social points for having anything to do with me at all -I just can't go into detail about all that right now as I feel emotionally exhausted writing about falling down those stairs, but trust me please, I am not a bad person. 
 
 
 
I have recently discovered what Aspergers Syndrome is. Reading Tony Attwood's Complete Guide and the descriptions of how it affects those who have it not only very much reminds me of myself but it has been triggering a lot of childhood memories, so much so that it is as if Dr Attwood has magically shone a spotlight on my very soul. Without ever having met me before he has precisely described every personal struggle I have ever dealt with. I am currently waiting to be assessed by the mental health South Team here in Dunedin but frankly, this is just a formality to me. The profile fits me so exactly I don't see how I can't have it. I would like help however because I am so tired of feeling ill and not coping on my own. I have spent so much of my life lying in bed with a migraine headache for hours on end, only getting up to vomit the entire contents of my stomach, drink water or eat something so I have something to vomit up besides bile and/or taking medication and rubbing Tiger Balm into my forehead to ease the throbbing in my brain.  
 
 
 
I don't want to die before I have had a chance to clear my name either. Yes folks, there really is someone with the same name as me, or was before I changed mine, and it is her who has had her name in the court news, not me. And just because the NZ Police have had her name/details and mine confused in their database for decades doesn't mean they have been correct in their assumptions about me, or have actually had a right to interfere in my life the way they have. And to find out that my parents have deliberately chosen to not point out to people that that there was someone else with the same name who was 4 years older than me who was the one appearing in the court news has been absolutely devastating, as well as all the other crap I've had to put up with. Mark has told me how, and why, my parents both knew for a fact that there was another Pamela Jackson (my name before I changed it) so at least that is one mystery cleared up because I did always wonder about that. Honestly, the more I find out, the more I feel like curling up my top lip in disgust at my parents. No wonder I have had problems dealing with my life! I must be very, very strong to have survived this far, with mucho condemnation from so many different quarters and so little help.  
 
 
 
I was born. I have, thus far, survived. I deserve to be seen for myself and loved or hated accordingly, rather than being forced to wear someone else's bad reputation. I desreve to have my social blunders recognised for what they always were-the result of a disability I was born with and therefore could not help rather than being judged to be a horrible person when I have tried so hard to do the right thing. I am a good person and I deserve to be given access to resources so that I can get help and so that my 2 precious children can be helped as well.  
 
Posted @ Monday, October 08, 2012 7:39 PM by Samantha
Samantha, so much in your story resonates with me. I changed my name, not because there was any other person with my name (actually the only one I ever found was a wine writer in England - not a bad alter ego to have!)but because I felt that it would help to free me from the pain that came with sharing a name with people who rejected me. It didn't work, actually, but it was a necessary step. 
 
Your mother became a Christian? It means nothing. My mother was a devout Christian, yet saw nothing wrong in acceding to my siblings' requests to refuse me access to family gatherings.  
 
Recently a cousin was in town and I spoke to her about having a family get-together. The discussion was a follow-up to one at her husband's funeral a month or so earlier, where she asked me if she felt that my sister would be OK with having me at this planned family gathering. I said I thought it would be OK, if it was in a public place. But when the time came, my cousin evaded my inquiry about the date and place, so I thought maybe it was going to be confined to her own siblings only. Her mother, the only one of the 'family' who still treats me as a decent person, told me that the gathering went ahead with my sister there. So my cousin, the Christian widow of an Anglican minister, saw nothing wrong in ostracising me because it was my sister's desire. 
 
I posted a question about the morality of this on a Christian blog, but the respondents made it clear that if I was not a Christian, I had no right to complain, and in fact, my story about my innocent victimhood couldn't be believed. I must have done something to deserve the treatment I was getting. So much for Christians being good people! Having said that, I do have one friend who is a devout Christian and is the epitome of what I would expect a Christian to be. It's just that the label doesn't guarantee the content! 
 
You say your mother was competitive with you, as an unwanted daughter. My siblings are all incredibly competitive, but are all proud of being non-competitive (eg refusing to play sport, because it's a waste of time to indulge in competitive activities). So their competitiveness is not tempered by knowing how to play fair, which is something learned in team sport. They are not energetic enough to try to improve themselves in order to be superior. Instead they concentrate on belittling others. When others appear as lesser beings, they feel superior.  
 
My mother told me (after Dad died) that she'd never wanted me. Once when she said she'd only ever wanted two children maximum, my younger sister (number 4)whined, 'Oh, what about me?' Mum said, 'Oh, I'm pleased I've got you now.' I thought maybe that indicated that I was wrong to have accepted her rejection silently, so I piped up: 'What about me?' Mum spluttered and walked away.  
 
Although she normally had no qualms about lying to get her own way, there was no way she was going to admit that I had a valid place in the family. Didn't my sister love that! Another bonus point to her, another penalty to me. 
 
I have at times wondered if all the women in my family were/are woman-haters, which would explain why they hate me but not my brother. My mother had great affection for my two sisters, but they hate each other and me, and my mother was only happy to own me when I'd done something that she was sure would impress her friends. (Having a boyfriend - slut! Getting a travel story published in the paper - what an amazing woman she was to have produced a daughter who could do this!) 
 
Anyway, Samantha, I have found this website to be very helpful for reassuring me that I am not the bad person my family have worked so hard to make me believe that I am. All the people who have posted to this site have similar experiences of being treated badly by their 'families'. What does that say about families? That the happy family is a Hollywood fantasy and that we have no need to accept it unquestioningly. We can't all be making up our stories about the cruelty of families. 
 
The only way I can go on is to believe that my relatives are wrong in their beliefs that I deserve to be bullied. 
 
Oh, and to have pets. I've never managed to learn how to form healthy human relationships, which is a worry as I get older, with worsening health. But I practise yoga, meditation and mindfulness to try and maintain my health in a state where I can do without people. Caring for cats and orphaned wildlife is my way of having a family that supports me emotionally.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 09, 2012 5:15 PM by Liz
I have problems, and it breaks my heart to say it, but it is my own daughter who is 40 years old. She has started bullying everyone she can. She has 2 sons, one with cerebral palsy who will be 18 in january and another son who is 21. She has bullied them until they no longer live with her or speak to her.Her ex husband could not take her highs and lows anymore either. After driving them all away and out of her life she then begin on me and has made my life pure torment for 7 months now. I have decided to walk away from her as well. I have a no contact ruling against her by a judge but it has not stopped her. Instead of threatening me personally she now engages in threatening me through her sister with text messages. She is just so venumous and evil it seems. She wants to destroy everyone she can reach. She got a dwi and she blames me with that even.
Posted @ Monday, December 24, 2012 9:39 PM by kare
I have been reading this blog and all the comments. I am at my wit's end with a sister who emotionally bankrupts our entire family and manipulates our mother. 
 
She is the eldest and since the dawn of time, you can see how she takes pleasure in disrupting the household and lives on misery and drama. And, if there is none, she lies and makes up things. You never know when the next shoe is going to drop before any major holiday, anniverary or birthday.  
 
What's amazing is for years, I have been sucked into her "give & take" She gives and gives and acts interested in your personal life - then you let her in and BAM, a woman who has no children, tells you how to raise yours. A woman, never married tells you about how you should conduct your relationships. Then, my mother whines on how much my sister has given up for each of us siblings and what all she does for us. None of us want a back-handed favor! Or that to be used against us for a lifetime. My brother and I have always had a great relationship. We talk and discuss issues and rely on each other and exchange positive live experiences. 
 
It's exhausting! This past week, she did some incredibly mean, heartless things and had my mother's total approval to behave this way. I think having a heart and wanting to have "family ties" is a dream, other than me and my brother and our relationship. 
 
Here we are in our 40's and being bullied by an unhappy, miserable person.
Posted @ Tuesday, January 01, 2013 4:55 AM by Lisa
"...she did some incredibly mean, heartless things and had my mother's total approval to behave this way..." 
 
There's your answer Lisa. 
 
Plainly your mother indulges your sister totally and covers off her attention seeking, dictatorial and neurotic behaviour by transmogrifying it into selfless acts of caring. 
 
It's called playing favourites.  
 
It's also tremendously irresponsible and destructive. Your sister and mother deserve each other. Lucky that you and your brother have each other. 
 
'Family' is a concept, not a reality.
Posted @ Wednesday, January 02, 2013 2:39 AM by Karen
I am the youngest of 7. The next oldest is 7 yrs older and the rest continue up from there. To be honest - the fact I do not know their ages is a testament to being the outcast - as well as removing myself as much as I could. 
 
I am now 47. Divorced after 20 yrs w 2 kids. And the family joke as I am alone, broke and unelpoyed despite my efforts to become as such.  
 
The second oldest sister has liver cancer and has battled it for 5 yrs thus far. she left when I was only 6 or 7 and she was 17.  
 
When I was a little child I knew the family was very disturbed and made a pact I would get away from them one day and never act as they did. 
 
I was terrified of the next oldest sister and being left alone w her. She wold turn on me in a second. My parents would go out and leave me with her in a huge house that terrified me with all the talk in my family of it being haunted. She would not allow me to sit in her room - not even in a corner - and be quiet to avoid being terrified to the point of having the trots and vomiting. I recall sitting outside her door crying to please be allowed to sit in there until my parents returned. She would not permit it. I sat there sobbing and sick to my stomach. I did not know which was worse - her being cruel like that or a haunted being coming up the stair to kill me. I was shredded in fear. Even now I feel the PTSD of those times. 
 
This sister eventually took to a boyfriend and in HS began having sex with him. I was with her one day she skipped school as they fooled around on his bed. I was scared and had no help. I was told not to tell my parents or else.  
 
She began to normalize experimenting on me in molestation and told me not to tell anyone. I did not like it and yet I did not know how to stop it. Eventually it did. She will not admit it to this day and I still recall everything vividly.  
 
My other siblings hated me being the youngest as rumor has it my father favored the youngest. I did not ask to be born or his favorite - yet here I was. I was picked up and thrown by my brother like a javelin into a wall when I asked to use the phone - my sister - a bridgeport CT nursing student - took me upstairs and cleaned up my bloody nose telling me I could not tell my parents or they would kick him out. I never told.  
 
I spent yrs listening to them talk about how they hated me - I sat atop the stairs at age 6 listening to them talk about me badly and say they should just go kill me now. I started screaming - I did stand up to the pack of wolves. I screamed my little lungs out. I remember me sitting there in my little pinafore dress - trying to overhear their plan to off me.  
 
Instead of coming to reassure me at my outburst, they started screaming to shut up or they would come up there right then and kill me and my parents would never find me. I ran to my room - hid under the covers and cried - wishing I were dead. Truly. I thought I was living in a nightmare and I was.  
 
My mother drank and was nasty mean and tortured me with screaming at me into the night - or anyone there. She would adopt this weird english accent and literally rage at me (as a child) because I did not understand how to fix the worlds problems. Even trying to make myself small she would rage more because of it. No one ever stopped her. it was almost as though fighting and resolution resulting in ice cream and I love you was cathartic and therapy for her. It was sadistic and paved the way for future relationship problems for me.  
 
We went to a family therapist. As a small child my siblings went on ranting to him about how I was daddys favorite. I went home that nigth at age 7 and told my dad I loved him but he had to stop talking to me because it made the others mad and I was afraid. He ignored me. It continued. My mother allegedly told the other siblings she not only suspected my father was cheating on her - but having an inappropriate relationship with me. My father never molested me. He truly seemed to love me and be the only one on my side when he was not traveling for IBM out of the country.  
 
As an adult - I tried kissing their butts - all I got was intense hatred. The oldest sister turned out to be the spearhead of it all. I suspected this all along but never believed it until my sister w cancer became enraged w her and told me what she had said about me.  
 
She said my kids were right to choose to live with my well off ex when I had no job because I was not worth anything and a bad mother. She said my ex was right to leave me as I was worthless. She never knew me or him during our marriage and left a long time ago when I was a teen. My mom was mixing drugs and alcohol at that point - I would have to call that sister because my mom was sick and or raging at me again - i was now alone in the house with my dad being away and all siblings gone.  
 
This same sister - I kissed her butt to love me. All of them but mostly her. 
 
I knew when people I met in common circles liked me - and then realized we were sisters and mentioned it - they would come back and act rudely the next time I saw them. Things like not being invited to my niece and nephews wedding - telling them to unfriend me on social media sites because it was bad for their image (a girl pal of mine was gay and left a comment to me that was flirty) - just one thing my sister could use to slam me. OMG what if I were  
GAY?  
 
When I tried to get help from my parents they ignored me. My father was the most recent to cut me out and minimize my final realization.  
 
I confronted the oldest as she was called out by my sister with liver cancer. She never admitted it and also was busted for making fun of one of my sisters for having blindness in one eye. Making fun of her weight and daughter who had some legal trouble.  
 
My mom then had a stroke last yr - I was the one voted to come take care of her because the oldest sister had to plan a wedding shower for her new DIL that wkend. UNREAL. She told others to tell me she was sorry she had not called and had been busy - she never called herself. All the family gatherings she had that excluded me suddenly were not her doing - it was an OVERSIGHT. 
 
I could not get finance a way to get to my mom - my sister claimed she would send me a ticket but never did. She lied.  
 
My ex sent my daughter to see my mom in the hosp and help for a few days - to cover when my two selfish sisters (one married to a cardiologist) who lived w in 2-3 hours of my parents did the wedding shower instead. My oldest sister had even made an error in writing a horrid email to someone about her new DIL and sent it to the DIL in a CC by "accident."  
 
I listened to my newly ousted sister w cancer all hours of the night raging and crying - saying she understood now why I stayed away from the family. I actually was shunned. Quite different. She said she was sorry she never got to know me and it was because of this older sister.  
 
I ran to her defense and confronted my oldest sister to which she ripped my cancer ridden sister with warnings to shut her mouth.  
 
Suddenly myself as well as the sister w cancer and the next oldest sister were told NOT to go see my mother. The other two who were at the shower decided after their party they would play hero. They decided to tell my dad who could come - and told us we were not to come because my dad had enough visitors and did not need the stress. 
 
Words cannot describe how horrible this was - it was like being in a nightmare trying to scream but a hand was muffling cries for justice. My father stopped being my friend and saw the other two as heros.  
 
He oddly seemed to hate me and find failure in me. He would offer to help me find a job in hospitals near him as he had a lot of pull - but never would do it in actuality. They would offer to let me come home after the divorce and bad economy to regroup - but then back off and retract the offer.  
 
Always coincided with my sister being in the background feeding them lies.  
 
The lid blew off and myself and the next oldest sister (the one who molested me) confronted her. Well she and the sister w cancer made up - only no one told those siblings comforting my ill sister. None of us knew. She disappeared and ceased speaking to us all. When I asked her why she did that she would react in anger saying she doesnt need any stress and evade all of us. She was under her control and allowed it. She dragged us into her fight and left us when we helped.  
 
I had offered my dying sister my liver for donation - the oldest sister had the audacity to tell her she noticed she and I had been talking. And made fun of it saying I guess you have to be nice to her if she is giving you half her liver. My mother even went as far to ask if I got money to do such a thing. I am crying as I type this. It would have cost ME - not only the rest of what I had to live on - but very likely my LIFE.  
 
I was thinking tonight as I asked my oldest sister to take the dog back that she gave me (it is customary in dog showing and dog breeding to offer right of first refusal) as I have nothing left and no where to go. She refused to reply. I torched her in an email out of anger. Taking it out on a dog is not fair. I needed her to take the dog and she would rather allow it to end up in dire straits along with me.  
 
I feel I chose bad people and ended up babying people to like and accept me - to love me. And all I do is GIVE and people take and walk away. I have cut these people out and I find myself alone and afraid. Honestly I wanted to end my life earlier after sitting here in disbelief at my family. My dad asked me my bank number a few days ago and when I called to ask why he then said he did not need it. It was right after I flamed my sister for not taking this dog into her care as she asked me to do if I could not keep her.  
 
I feel they pushed me into a negative image and I was a strong kid to stand up to them and scream at them when they said they would kill me. I was. And now I feel resigned and used and the scab is off their lies about me. I am NOT a bad person and while I may not have always done the best I could have - there was NO MALICE in my mistakes and I apologized even when they were at fault.  
 
I became what they lied about - no one knew what they were doing except me. Until another sibling saw it. And she was the victim.  
 
No one understands how sick this dynamic is and how profoundly damaging it is to the targeted member. Even if I were PERFECT it would have been fodder for this sentence. 
 
I thank you all for this site because I was sobbing when I realized I have NO ONE to turn to for support. I wanted to die and when I read this I realized I was not alone though it feels like it.  
 
Posted @ Tuesday, January 22, 2013 7:20 PM by Cecelia
Cecelia, I know just how it feels to be ostracised by family and punished just for existing. I'm lucky that the really nasty stuff didn't start until I was in my thirties, but my family have certainly made up for lost time over the last 20-odd years! 
Recently I had to have day surgery and I was in the same situation of completely falling apart under the realisation that I have NO-ONE for support. So-called friends have dropped out of my life as my family has ostracised me... I worry about what I'm doing wrong that scares the whole human race away, but really, honestly, cannot figure it out. 
A woman who I know both from yoga classes and as a member of my professional association came to my rescue as my Responsible Adult for my surgery. I felt uncomfortable to start with as I felt that it was too much to ask of someone I barely know, but we've now become good friends out of it.  
It's a wonderful experience, at nearly 53, to finally have a best friend! Even my best friends at school didn't really return the favour - they already had someone else for their best friend, so I was only ever a tag-along. This new friend related a story of taking one of her daughters to hospital late one night just after she'd left her husband, here in Australia where she has no relatives. When asked for the name of a next of kin for the admission form, she burst into tears because she had no-one. I think that's why she was so keen to help me - because she knows what it's like. 
I too have a great desire for my unpleasant life to be over, for all the pain to stop, and I have done all my life. When people say that it's a terrible thing to do to those who love you, I have always felt that they were giving me permission to take my own life, because there has never been a single person who cared enough about me to miss me. It's a weird feeling, after feeling this for over 40 years, to have to think that there really is someone who actually would be sad. There's nothing sexual about our friendship, it's just two women who turn out to have a great deal in common, emotionally and intellectually. And we laugh! 
Many women would probably be astonished that I find it remarkable to have a good female friend: doesn't every woman have a best friend? - well, only in the same way that all families love and support each other. 
What I'm trying to say, Cecelia, is that a)you are definitely not alone, a freak, or even the slightest bit unusual, and b)while you might be down, poor, alone and dumped on by life and family, there are possibilities out there for improvement that you can't yet imagine. 
The only thing that has kept me alive all these years has been my animals - two cats of my own and a passing parade of orphaned wildlife that I rear and release. 
If you can no longer afford to keep your dog, maybe you could volunteer at a dog's home? An animal's love is a wonderfully healing thing, plus you'd meet other good people, gain a range of skills which would help your employment status and exercise your 'altruism' muscle which is a great way of taking you out of yourself so you can move on from the bad things that have brought you down.  
I hope you don't have to go too long without at the very least the love of your dog.
Posted @ Wednesday, January 23, 2013 12:22 AM by Liz
Hi Cecelia, 
It has been six months since my step daughter has spoken to me. She keeps our grandchildren from us. My mother and sister live in the same area and they have lied so much about me to the rest of the family, no one ever calls me or writes to me unless they feel they have to do so. When you are lonely, there is not much that consoles you. It may sound trite to some, but to me it has saved my life -- I lean hard on God and my relationship with Jesus. I'm not a "religious" person, but more down to earth -- which has made my relationship with God more sincere and realistic. Somehow, and I don't know how He does it, God answers my prayers. Kindness comes from unexpected places and unexpected people... and perhaps you still have the dog for that very reason. Dogs are great therapy. They listen and love us unconditionally when we can't find it anywhere else in the world. Don't belittle that blessing in your life. You may be surprised at how much your dog can "take" and how much your dog really does care.  
 
One thing is for sure, though... as well, if you have come to this place and are talking with us, you are certainly not alone. You are in my prayers and in my thoughts today and will be. My heart is full of love for you and others here who are experiencing what I have experienced.  
 
It is difficult to combat lies with the truth sometimes. All you can do is step back and allow the truth to eventually be revealed. There is something about truth that is comforting. It is unchangeable. Lies change. People change. Situations change. Truth does not change. You have that and know it in your heart. No one can take that from you no matter how much they lie about you. You have not become what they said. That is in your mind. If you had become that person, you would not be here writing this. People who have been never been abused do not understand the victim mentality that follows those who have been abused. It follows us in all areas of our lives and sullies our decision making process. It causes us to distrust all people. It causes us to test other people and their sincerity... and often times (believe it or not) our tests can be unfair. Let new people into your life. Don't always expect the worse. Remember that every person has flaws just like us... and don't forget, we don't know what other people may have endured that they don't readily speak about. This has helped me open up my heart to others. It is not easy -- but it is doable.  
 
God bless you and I pray you find hope and love. It is sure that you have found it here and you have it from God for sure. I don't mean to sound hokey or "religious" but it is true and God really does care.  
 
God counts all of our tears. He puts them in a bottle. He is our avenger and He IS a God of justice. He says, "Vengeance is mine," sayeth the Lord... for a reason. He would not say this if He did not intend to avenge those who are betrayed and bullied and are helpless. God is our vindicator. God loves truth. Stick to God and to truth and you will find solace in the knowledge of this. Remember that no one can steal the truth from you. No one can take God from us - no matter what!  
 
Blessings, 
Rachel
Posted @ Thursday, January 24, 2013 8:32 AM by DKay
Well said Rachel. 
None of us is alone because there are just so many of us being abused in one way or another by so-called family. There is safety in numbers and we are legion. 
What we need to do is to get organised so that we can help people in Cecelia's predicament. We need a chip-in for a start so Cecelia can keep her dog. That dog is very important and needs to be there with her. 
I was surprised to find so many sites on the internet about suicide and it struck me how many of those people looking for a painless death had families just like ours. They had a crap start in life as a result, got crap educations, crap jobs, made crap marriages and just got a crap deal all the way. They aren't really suicidal at all, they are desperate for support and direction and an end to their emotional turmoil. 
If we got behind them too it would change their lives and add to our numbers hugely. 
It would change all of our lives. 
We don't need our abusing original families because we have each other. We just need to get organised. 
Shall we start with a website? 
Posted @ Thursday, January 24, 2013 2:43 PM by Karen
That's an excellent idea, Karen. It's been encouraging and heartwarming to see you all supporting one another through comments on this blog post, but you're right, a Web site has the potential to help many others. Social support goes a long way in helping people heal. Some of you have talked about mindfulness and its healing potential, and I think most of you recognize that the way forward is to discover your strengths and build on them, and a Web site could be a great tool for that goal.  
 
Of course, those who have hurt you in the past have problems, but you can't fix them--they have to work toward that in their own time if they are lucky enough someday to realize that they need to change. The best "revenge" so to speak (although vengeance isn't really a helpful emotion or tactic) is to look forward each day, to build on your own natural talents and strengths and to use them to reach out to other people who need your help.  
 
You are all an inspiration to me.
Posted @ Thursday, January 24, 2013 3:30 PM by Gina Stepp
What a great idea!  
Here in Tasmania, we are mopping up after a catastrophic series of bushfires. ONE ordinary person had the great idea on about day one to start up a Facebook site to coordinate all the offers of assistance that came flooding in from normal people (because the government wasn't doing anything). It has become THE go-to place for the whole bushfire support and recovery operation. ONE person. 
Karen, shall we act on your idea while it's fresh? 
It's easy and free to start a Facebook page (rather than a website). A couple of names that I've thought of are: "Beyond Family" or "Framily - friends for when family has let you down." 
Any other suggestions? I'm happy to set up the page (I'm a bit of a geek...)
Posted @ Thursday, January 24, 2013 3:52 PM by Liz
Liz, I think that is a great idea to start a Facebook page. I like your idea of using "Beyond Family" because it is anonymous enough and also has a loving and friendly name! I wonder if we should name it something about bullying or if that may bring too much unwanted attention. I'm not sure... I came here because I saw something about being bullied by family... Maybe we can call it "Beyond Family -- Sanctuary for People being Bullied" I'll let you decide. If you set it up, just let us know. Many of us don't want our family to know we are speaking about this to others, so we need a way to keep it discreet. How can we do that for everyone? I'll let you give us some ideas. Thank you! :) 
Rachel
Posted @ Thursday, January 24, 2013 5:52 PM by RachelKay
Yes Liz, we should get onto it asap. A facebook page occurred to me after posting my message here (not the sharpest pencil in the tray!) and if you are a bit of a geek Liz then you are our man! 
Let's do it and Cecelia pls join us. All of you. And then we need to go looking for the rest of our number in all the usual places. 
We're everywhere, like 'weeds', and just like weeds we need recognising as healing herbs. 
My email is rsl1989@ihug.co.nz 
Let's get organised and get helping each other. If Habitat for Humanity can do it to help people find homes then we can do it to help people find truly supportive families who genuinely care and help each other in times of need. 
 
Posted @ Thursday, January 24, 2013 6:08 PM by Karen
How about "Beyond the Bullying Family" Rachel? 
I know that I found this page by googling 'bullying family', others are likely to use similar key words. 
If you are still trying to deal with your families you won't want them know what you have said about their abuses of course, so can't you have another facebook persona that they don't recognise? Or is that a problem with fb? 
For me that isn't a problem as I recognised long ago that I couldn't change them, I could only change me and finally that suffering their abuse endlessly was just a bit silly so I told them straight why I had divorced them. 
Made no difference to their behaviour of course but they needn't be surprised about me 'outing' them. Some of you are not in that place yet, and for fear of losing your 'families' may never be, so we do need to protect you from what your 'family' will do if they discover that you have had the audacity to announce that the emperor has no clothes! 
How can we assure that anonymity?
Posted @ Thursday, January 24, 2013 6:15 PM by Karen
Another alternative to a Facebook page, which may be more private and anonymous, is a Forum like this one: http://silver-lining.freeforums.net/index.cgi  
 
You can use any user names you like.
Posted @ Thursday, January 24, 2013 6:24 PM by Gina Stepp
Yes, forums are another good way to go. Thanks Gina. 
Posted @ Thursday, January 24, 2013 6:36 PM by Karen
Hi Karen -- I like the name. I think you are right that we need to keep it so people can readily find it. I would just sign up under a Facebook alias, which is not hard to do. I don't think FB cares what names you use. I have one for my business and one for family. I have also learned how the "family" that haunts me is unable to see much of my facebook page anyway. But, for this, I would just use a different Facebook page altogether -- which would be okay. No -- my family TRIES to find more things to haunt me with so I wouldn't want to them to find me on a bullying page because they would just use it against me even more so. Incredible huh? The less I have to do with them the better. The only reason they are on my Facebook is because some of them honestly don't think they have done anything wrong in treating me the way they do... That is incredible too... So I just "friend" them and then kind of block them from seeing all my stuff. They don't know the difference because they all are set up the same way -- the group of them who bully me. There is a long story, but I found my real father's family and my mother would be totally pissed at me if she knew. I have them as friends on facebook, but my mother, sister, brother, aunt and all on my mother's side have no idea. I want to keep it that way. They don't want to know my real father's family. My real father's family is super good to me and my mother would poison them if she ever got their ears, so I am glad things are this way. I adore my father's family and thank God for them! I finally found something that my mother and sister cannot steal from me. Sorry for venting there... LOL  
 
Just let us all know what the new page name is and maybe give us a link. :) 
 
Blessings, 
Rachel 
Posted @ Thursday, January 24, 2013 6:42 PM by RachelKay
I think we can also set up a Yahoo Group which is free. Whatever you all decide to do would be great with me. It is really a great idea to reach out to others who may also be suffering this way.
Posted @ Thursday, January 24, 2013 6:48 PM by RachelKay
I've set up the following page on Facebook: 
http://www.facebook.com/BeyondTheBullyingFamily 
Please share, contribute and make it something that works for us all. 
I've put this forum's address on the page, and if anyone wants to add any other links (like the silver lining forum Gina mentioned) please do so. I think, though, that we should concentrate on making it a strong, central resource.  
I'm visualising it like a library, where we can meet and talk (yes, you are allowed to talk in libraries these days!!!), with lots of good info right here, but with links to other resources where more specialised information might be found. 
It's a page for all of us to make our own.
Posted @ Thursday, January 24, 2013 8:56 PM by Liz
How interesting Rachel that so many of us have family 'secrets'. My father's name is not his, he was a grubby little secret as the result of an affair and his name is that given to him by his mother's husband for the sake of propriety, who then abandoned her and the daughter he did father never to be heard from again. 
This is another common theme that trends through such messed up clans. One of my nieces has ditched my brother's (her father's) name to take her mother's - an exercise in sucking up to her mother who applied parental alienation syndrome to poison her kids against their father just as my mother did against my father - and so the mess goes on. Speaks volumes about the stupidity of playing the happy family game and thereby failing to address the anger and resentment that bad behaviour espouses. 
So, my father's name is not his, my brother's name is therefore not his, and his children's names (and mine) are not rightfully theirs. So we all end up carrying names that mean nothing. 
Good job. Not. 
Posted @ Thursday, January 24, 2013 9:11 PM by Karen
I thought I'd put this up, but maybe the cat deleted it on me... 
 
I've started the following page on FB, please contribute and share. 
 
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/BeyondTheBullyingFamily
Posted @ Thursday, January 24, 2013 9:21 PM by Liz
Good job Liz. Thank you. Now we just have to proactively find people who so need this support. 
First point of contact in my experience is to find those wretched souls who think killing themselves is a good idea. NOT. 
They are at the precipice and need us first.  
Google something like 'painless death' and you will be horrified how many people are in that state of mind with families who couldn't give a toss. Those families are the only reason they feel like that. 
We are their safety net and they are our safety in numbers. 
Let's go save and join. We can teach each other and help each other.
Posted @ Thursday, January 24, 2013 10:26 PM by Karen
Yes Liz, Thank you so much. It looks great!!! :)
Posted @ Friday, January 25, 2013 3:08 PM by RachelKay
I am not sure how to pick this up again except with thanks to every single one of you for sharing your experiences.  
 
I also cannot describe how taken aback I am at seeing the responses to my situation and can only come up with one word: thankful. 
 
I am thankful to see this hope of kindness in reaching out from others in an otherwise seemingly flat black situation.  
 
The update on my dog/s. 
 
The dog my sister will not take back is better off away from her. I must include that I have three dogs total. Until Sunday. Then it will be 2. 
 
Allow me to include more. 
 
I have shown and comepeted in a variety of dog events both obedience and conformation for over 20 yrs. Our first rescue was when I was 7 and said sister adopted a large breed. She eventually began showing and breeding with spay/neuter and take-back policies to ensure none of her dogs ever became abandoned should the owner need to surrender the dog.  
 
Please understand that we cannot always predict our future. I never thought after 20 yrs of marriage to a by the book show no emotion man, that I would walk away and do worse. But I did. I did not leave because I did not love him. I left because I loved him and no amount of trying to connect deeper than HI HON I AM OFF TO WORK AGAIN SEE YOU IN A FEW DAYS would work. he was a workaholic and it killed our marriage. His idea of love was to be a provider and never show any emotion. Granted when kids are small it is easy to get caught up in perfunctory mundane going on without connecting. Just to get through the day. And when the bottom line comes up it is make or break and he chose to sit their looking through me as all of my family had for yrs. I was willing to go on antidepressants and counseling to save the marriage. I was sinking. His family was angry so I got it from both sides. My family and his. His family hated that he was 23 when we married and I had a baby on the way. I never coerced him to marry me. We knew we would probably marry with or without a child in the issue so we did so.  
 
I adored him. I worshiped the ground he walked on. I did not worship the abuse his family hurled at me. Later in life I worked it out with his mother. I found out his dad was the one driving the anger towards me. My ex told me I was not in the picture and his parents decided that he was to be a work horse - there is no emotion in life - do what you are supposed to and dont think too much.He prided himself on being a "machine" and bragged upon it. Those repetitive words slit through my heart as I wished for more. His family was also unfortunate to have an alcoholic mother and grandmother (very severe) and eventually his mom developed cancer and passed on. I had made peace with her and I was not allowed to attend the funeral.  
 
So back to this weird family dynamic. After the divorce, I became afraid but somewhat tough. My kids looked to their dad and saw s financially stable parent (well that is all he did all his life. I cared for them and bowed out of working as per his and his family insistence. ) FFWD 20 yrs and here is mom - owner of her own business that flopped in 08 as did many. My credentials meant nothing and still do not.  
 
Kids did the push pull btwn parents. He won. Money won. My daughter still hates me but pretends to care. She looks upon me with pitied disgust but makes nice with a dash of passive aggression. My son also followed suit as his dad expressed disgust with my inability to get a job and as my money ran out - so did my kids. It has been hell.  
 
I miss them so much. This is not just empty nest but empty nest with a twist of EFF YOU MOM. I see them but I am only human and feel sadness at the loss of not only my marriage - but empty nest, no purpose, no job, no family. Have I exhausted my resources yet? 
 
I get up every day. Sometimes with dread. I just placed one of my snakes. Yes I am a snake lover. My daughter finally took her cat. I have three dogs not one. 
 
I put an APB to the list serv on which I belong. I have worked in rescue independently for over 18 yrs. I have saved plenty of animals and helped rehome them without judgement when I had security (financial) during my marriage and helped w transport.  
 
My sister has shown and bred dogs longer than I have. I was given this puppy during a hard time in my life (divorce) and when she was angry at person who bought the dog and never would show up to pick it up. She refunded the money and sent the puppy to me. I had asked a long time ago for a puppy from this line. So here was her oppty to piss off the owner and give the puppy to me. 4 yrs later I have this dog and I adore her. I cannot tell you how much. My animals like me even if I smell disgusting, cry, feel down. They do not judge me for screwing up even when I mean well. So this departure of losing not only my marriage, but my family, my kids, my pets my home. All of this is very hard. People always say WELL YOU HAVE YOUR FAMILY. BS. I do not nor have I ever. It has ALWAYS been through bullying or coercion that I had contact. I had to put up and shut up in order to have a family. I had to be act and say what they wanted in order to have approval. And even then I was not enough. I was the punching bag and only through your stories was I able to see this. 
 
My other two dogs are a diff breed. I have shown rescued and competed in dog related events for yrs. with these breeds. Out of all the times I have helped others with these breeds via shelters, independent need, public education, training etc., I have NEVER asked for help. I finally had to and put this on my network of the list serv. The pres of my local breed club for this breed has known me and supposedly a friend - but due to her severe drinking to point of being very very ill increasingly, there is a selfish cruelty towards me as her condition worsens. Functional still but not well. She can hide it from public. They would not help.  
 
I found a lady to help me. I am going to include her org in my will. One of my dogs leaves this wk to her and she will help me w transport. The sick feeling I have inside despite her help cannot fix all of the crap that comes from this but it is an act of necessary kindness.  
 
I cannot accept money from anyone to help me. I just CANNOT do it. I can't.  
 
I saw a homeless young man around 22 walking the streets with his dog by his side and the rage I felt for this boy and his companion and the lack of family to help him reflects the truth of the breakdown of our families.  
 
As a mom - I adore my kids. I cannot IMAGINE doing to them what mine has done to me. Even if they hurt me.  
 
I certainly made mistake and I apologized for them and took on apologies I had no business owning. I over apologize. 
 
I try to kiss anyones butt to like me - a problem I have got to stop. It comes from trying to fit in to families that don't want me. My own. My exes. The power families have is strong. We trust them to care for us as a child. 
 
If any of you have ever cried about your family and have been terribly hurt you probably recognize the sound of a little kid sobbing. But it is YOU as an adult this time. And no mom, dad, sibling will come hug away the hurt they cause. It is cruelty. I never learned to self soothe well as a result. So I have a hard time with depression now. Most of it being situational. I am facing some horrid fall out. 
 
I have been alone in my thoughts and conserving every last cent prevents me from driving, engaging in or otherwise trying to get out as every mile is $ down the drain. Not a good recipe for the already bad circumstances.  
 
I am way off topic now and I am not ashamed to post this as if I find myself homeless in the future, some day maybe my kids will read this and know the truth when they are old enough to handle it.  
 
 
It is a message and wake up call to all families to realize that they have some responsibility to stop bullying and account for the long lasting damage it causes people like me.  
 
Sometimes the pain is so profound and deep it can destroy a persons ability to thrive. I am one of them.  
 
I fight every day - pray hard and act in kindness. I beat myself up for being "this". My daughter said she cannot help me in the way I need help. I laughed because I know this. And yet she left me behind and never spoke to me as she blamed me for the divorce. I try to put it behind me. The sadness and anger that my ex and she caused in alienating me after divorce is the one thing I cant release completely. The hell I went through after the divorce with her hating me was as bad as the divorce if not worse. it was reinforcement that I was a failure on all counts.  
 
She is safe, warm, loved. I dont know what that feels like. And she cannot know what this feels like. To see it as the truth may be too scary for her or my son. Both ignore me and look upon me as a loser - thanks to their dad and his family and mine as well.  
 
Maybe I am a loser. But I do know God has a plan for me. I do know I woke up today and I am still trying.  
 
And I do know that I am now aware of what the truth is - as you all said - nothing changes the truth.  
 
Even if this hurts - I am thankful that I was not insane as they all allege. I am hurt.  
 
As a kid - how could they all gang up on me. I cried. Tried to make myself tiny and disappear. Apologize as I am now, for existing. I really want to find hope. I do want to seek peace and stability. I dont want to wait for life to begin. I want to live today and be thankful for it because this IS my life right now. No one is promised tomorrow.  
 
Yes, a number of people DO want to give up as a result of being in this economy and lack of caring family. It is real. I have written to homeless people living in basements, trying to find work, hearing their stories, trying to help them as well. There is a huge netowrk of these people trying to reach out and find hope. A link to others to give them a sense of grounding. they are without family too.  
 
Sorry I am long winded. I am working on it.  
 
Thank you all for writing. Sharing your stories. I draw insight and strength to accept the truth from every single one of you.
Posted @ Thursday, January 31, 2013 9:05 AM by Cecelia
Hi Cecilia, 
For one thing, I love your statement: "But I do know God has a plan for me." 
 
Isn't that a wonderful source of strength. If you read Jeremiah 1:5 in the Bible, God says that "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart." It is true. God does have a plan for each and every person.  
 
One other thing I read today was about how God allows our hearts to be plowed like unfallowed ground (this is ground that has never been tilled up for gardening). The reason that we have to go through these painful times is so that God can use our hearts for His purposes. We become ready for God to plant the seeds in us and for Him to have a harvest of what He intends to do with us. The process is painful. God uses the analogy of silver in the Bible as well. Silver has dross in it before it becomes pure. It takes severe heat in the silver to burn out the dross. When the silver is molten and the melter can see himself in the drops of silver, then it is ready and pure. Doesn't that prove true with us. Those of us who have required more love from God -- more abandonment from others -- maybe we have reached out more toward God than anyone else and God rewards us for it. I sense this in my own life. 
 
Cecilia, you have a wonderful way of articulating your thoughts in words -- which is why you think you write too much. Have you considered writing a book? It may be an option for you. You can sell your books on Amazon.com. I don't think they charge a fee to list them, they just charge a royalty feel when you sell them.  
 
I'm a writer and an editor, so I see it in you. 
 
Born of our pain are words that soothe and help others. If you don't think you have a family or connections, consider those here to whom you are speaking. :)  
 
Love and blessings, 
Rachel
Posted @ Friday, February 01, 2013 8:48 AM by RachelKay
Hey everyone, where did you all fall in birth order? 
 
Is getting bullied, betrayed and excluded by family about middle child syndrome? 
 
Just a thought!
Posted @ Wednesday, April 24, 2013 8:17 PM by Karen
I have been bullied by my younger sister (younger by 2 years) since we were teens. I am finally coming to see that she will never change ( it's been 15 years now) and cutting her out of my (and my child's) life. I may lose my other sister in the process... She is mostly supportive but can also be manipulative at times. 
 
I do blame my father for standing by and doing nothing. No one believes me that a younger sibling can be a bully and do psychological harm - she is charming to outsiders and just targets me because she thinks I had it easier than her growing up. 
 
Your site is very helpful... The verbal abuse, character assassination, exclusion, etc are clear to see. I hope I can stay strong in my resolve and not look back. I don't know what this will mean yet for my relationships with the rest of my family, but I will be clear that I am no longer willing to tolerate the behavior I have received. 
 
There is evil in the world and we all do well to remember that. The weeds grow alongside the wheat.
Posted @ Saturday, November 16, 2013 9:10 PM by Emily
You can change no-one but yourself. 
 
Don't worry about the rest of the clan either. Choose for yourself and your child because you know that you don't want a sick dynamic to affect your child's choices and family ongoing. 
 
No need for anything to be said to anyone in the currently unhealthy family, just move on and away.
Posted @ Saturday, November 16, 2013 9:24 PM by Karen
Birth Order: I'm the oldest and I'm bullied by my mother and younger sister. I don't think it is a middle child thing. My sister & her husband are highly judgmental. My mother moved up north to be closer to her & because they gossip about what they think they know of my life. I have survived by remaining distant. I laugh because they don't know anything about me. They make up absurd things to judge me on anymore. Protection is in distance... Lots of it... And silence... And of course, prayer! Birth order does not matter. I'm the oldest & considered the blacksheep. Jealousy is rampant and disgusting and a big part of the reason for bullying. I just live my life apart of their mess as much as I possibly can.
Posted @ Tuesday, November 19, 2013 6:15 PM by Kay
You may have hit on something there Kay. Maybe it is much more about personalities than birth order. 
 
Gossiping and ganging up seem to be a pretty important tactic of the bullies.
Posted @ Tuesday, November 19, 2013 10:00 PM by Karen
It is true, Karen. I'm an overt person and my sister is one who sabotages. She is covert and sneaky. She always has been that way. In fact, I'm not even sure that my mother realizes how much she's become part of my sister's game. I think it is pathetic and sad. It makes me very sad, actually. Of course it hurts and when I have to be a part of family gatherings, I am super quiet about anything to do with my life. I am kind, nice and outgoing, but I don't tell any of them anything about me. My husband is smart and stays away from the jackals. They have all suckered my brother into it a bit as well. The truly sad thing is how my sister and her husband talk so badly about my mother and even my brother and his wife to me and others when THEY are not around! It is crazy!!! There is no trust and no true empathy in their hearts toward others. I choose not to have a real relationship with them. How can one ever trust people like that? I send Christmas cards and text once in a while. When we talk on the phone, I let my sister do all the talking (and it is always about other people). According to my mother, my sister could never do wrong. So be it! That's all fine with me. I have a good life. My hubby is my best friend. Many years ago, when my mother lived near me, she tried so hard to get me to divorce my husband. It was not fun. Recently, I found my real father and my mother does not know. I have always wanted to know about him but my mother always told me she'd disown me. Well -- duh -- who cares at this point? My sister wants nothing to do with her real father. She was adopted by my mother's 3rd husband. I was never adopted by any of them. My story of how I found my father is quite beautiful and I'll share it with the world someday. Right now, I'm just happy I found him and that side of my family. My aunts and uncles (his brothers and sisters) have shared photos of me with him and it is easy to see that I was definitely "Daddy's girl" and no wonder I never took to any of my mother's subsequent husbands.  
 
Just a bit more about me.... I've learned to cope by stepping away from it and above it. Let the jackals mire in their own mud... that is my advice to those of you who are being bludgeoned by those who "say" they care about you!!! Get yourself away from them!!! Find people who REALLY care. Go to a GOOD church (and there are bad ones) and find love in people who you can trust with your heart!  
 
Remember the cute forward that we all got many years ago about "things kids say about love" One of my favs was a little kid who said, "Love is when you can trust your name in the mouth of another." How profound is that! If you can't trust them, you have not found love! Hope this helps someone else! It does hurt to cut yourself off, but the pain is much less severe and the love you eventually find that is true is soooo much more rewarding.
Posted @ Wednesday, November 20, 2013 12:56 PM by Kay
Getting away does seem the only answer although it's a pretty hard step. I have done it finally and wish I had 'wised up' many years ago. 
 
I sure don't miss the lies and machinations and even theft along with disrespect and abuse. 
 
My advice would be to have more respect for yourself than to keep forgiving such bad behaviour just because they are your 'family'. No they're not, you just happen to have been born among such people!
Posted @ Wednesday, November 20, 2013 1:15 PM by Karen
Absolutely Right!!! Good on ya!  
 
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Posted @ Wednesday, November 20, 2013 3:13 PM by Kay
"No they're not, you just happen to have been born among such people! " 
 
I find this to be a really enlightening comment by Karen. 
 
I have 2 sisters, both with criminal records - and that's only for the awful things they've gotten caught for. One on one, I do not fear them. You see, one of their main tactics is to use their boyfriends and their gangs of criminal friends to intimidate me. They always try to arrange situations where I am outnumbered.  
 
My father always rolls over & kowtows to these to sisters. As a result I am viewed as the "bad guy" for avoiding them. In truth, my father is the coward for not standing behind me after they have robbed me or done some awful deed. 
 
At any rate, the problem with my two sisters intensified when my cowardly father (and stepmother) moved to an island, Martha's Vineyard and left me as the target for each sister. I know my parents have a right to move wherever they want. But keep placing expectations on me to "help out" these two awful sisters. They effectively left and are trying to use me as a human shield. 
 
Anyway, I eventually changed my cell phone number because of one of the 2 awful sisters. After the cell number change, they kept using my facebook account to bother me. My father perpetuates the problem by organizing family gatherings when he visits the state. He gets other relatives to pressure me to attend. I often dodge these events - but the whole ordeal is stressful whether I go or not.  
Now, let me add this: Vampire Sister #1 has a boyfriend (twice my size) who always threatens me physically. I actually think I'd have a chance against him in fair fight. But he's always has a gang of friends or brothers with him. And they have beaten up other people in their way before. And sadly, my father always treats these guys like gold because it's convenient for him. 
 
I've come to resent and hate my two sisters and father over all this. I'm seriously considering moving away, ditching my decent-paying job - all in the name of getting away from my awful sisters and their friends.  
 
Living in the same state, and having to stave off these 2 nasty sisters has become incredibly stressful - to the point where it has really affected my life - despite all my efforts to establish boundaries. No matter what I do I'm always fending them off. Maybe it's time to take my chances and bail out of here. Feedback is welcome. 
 
- Jason 
 
 
 
 
 
Posted @ Saturday, December 21, 2013 10:32 PM by Jason
Stand back Jason. 
 
This is not you - this is someone else telling this account. What would your advice be to that Jason? 
 
Is his life at risk? What should this Jason be doing about this rather unpleasant family? 
 
What do you need to advise this Jason to do?
Posted @ Saturday, December 21, 2013 11:03 PM by Karen
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