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Sibling Abuse Survivors and Our Adult Children

I am a Sibling Abuse Survivor and mother of an Adult Child. 

I no longer know him. 

Sibling Abuse impacted my life in childhood and in adulthood.  I care deeply about my country and want to share a unique perspective about our present mental health crisis. I believe that it is emanating from the massive estrangements and cut-offs of the adult children of Sibling Abuse survivors-parents.  I speak from my mother heart. I have had a very hard, instructive life because of what my sibling did to me in childhood. Wisdom and knowledge have come from my life experience and my consults with other survivors. The upgraded brain that I am utilizing to form these words is only twenty-three years old.  Twenty-three years ago my traumatized brain was upgraded by a particular therapy called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitizing and Reprocessing).

 

I have days where I feel guilty because of what I did

and didn’t do as a parent.

Estrangement can test your will to live.

Sibling Abuse butchered many years of my life. To say that it affected my relationship with my son is a complete understatement.  I miss my son every damn day. And I have earned merit to speak. Many like me can’t and will not talk about Sibling Abuse. Unfortunately, many get silenced about talking about their estrangements/and or cut-off from their adult child(ren). Our loss commands our nation’s attention regarding the present mental health crisis.

Sibling Abuse is a crime that can no longer be hidden.

Sibling Abuse survivor US statistics

I write for millions of other survivor parents. Moreover, I am making a plea to therapists who, for the most part, are oblivious that we are sitting in front of them. Subsequently, we are repeat clients and are often money makers for therapists who do nothing for us.

Sibling Abuse taxed my soul. I spent many years in the wrong therapies and with the wrong therapists. Finally, one week before my son left our home, I was given a correct diagnosis: PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I was also briefed on what therapy would change my life. Because of my research to teach curriculum as an adjunct professor, I realized that I had CPTD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Surprisingly, it was mind-blowing to read that it was one of the most “resistant-to-change” mental classifications. In the therapy process of assessment and intake, Sibling Abuse is rarely pinpointed as a cause for mental dysfunction. On a repeated basis, Sibling Abuse survivors get misdiagnosed, and they are drugged by the medical establishment. Many are channeled into therapy practices that are not only dangerous, they are also ineffective. The wreckage and pillage to our lives is unfathomable.

The United States has 40 million Sibling Abuse survivors.

The vast majority are parents.

Researchers estimate that we have 13 million children. We are a huge sector of our population and amount to 53 million people. In our present world, the family unit is under attack. The world appears to be in readiness for “The New World Order.” Unfortunately, the importance of family has been tragically diminished through lockdowns, quarantines, political divisions, conflicts about the vaccination, and fears of transmission of the virus between parent and child. For many survivors, parenting heightened their sense of pride and worth in this world. CRT (Critical Race Theory) shredded the parenthoods of millions of adult survivors.

Mothers are now referred to as “birthing people.”

Consequently, the bonds between a Sibling Abuse Survivor and their adult child(ren) have unraveled at alarming rates and no one is either listening or cares.

 Sibling Abuse survivors are the “core” of our mental health crisis.

 survivors are among the mental health crisis in the US today

 

Survivors have not only lost contact with their adult children, but also their grandchildren.  Surprisingly, an additional risk factor is the fact that many are are estranged or shunned by their own families.  To amplify mental health risks for survivors, many can’t cope with this chaotic, ever-changing world.

Many survivors are on disability and/or welfare because the cost of inflation is causing increasing stress.

Many can’t work because they have difficulties with supervisors and authority figures.

Many are involved in domestic violence.

Many are worried about paying their rent or keep their lights on.

Many are having their cars repossessed. Unfathomable suffering is occurring now. 

Because of the aggression by our sibling(s) in our childhoods, the beginning neurological development of our brain was not only impacted, it was physically altered. We experienced overwhelming amounts of stress that and in the majority of life scenarios, it came from a sibling(s) who shared our own DNA or lived in the same home with us.  The processing of this huge betrayal caused many of us to have mental illness. 

Unfortunately, many survivors have never received either important trauma treatment or made the connection that Sibling Abuse affected their life. Instead, many believe that Sibling Abuse couldn’t impact either their adulthood or their parenting.

sibling abuse takes a toll on people, especially survivor parents with adult children

Interestingly enough, a rare research study in 2013 by Corrina Jenkins Tucker, Associate Professor of Family Studies at the University of New Hampshire, which was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatric, June 17th, 2013, documents that sibling aggression “significantly” impacts adulthood. Adult survivors embody the crimes of an aggressive sibling(s) through: 

  • Psychiatric Hospitalizations,
  • Prescription usage for anti-depressants/anxiety,
  • Disability,
  • Domestic Violence,
  • Drug/Alcohol addictions,
  • Unemployment,
  • Hospitalizations,
  • Poor Parenting,
  • Emergency Visits,
  • Gambling,
  • Overspending,
  • Bad Relationships,
  • Divorce,
  • Numerous Doctor’s Visits,
  • Psychiatric Admittance,
    Homelessness,
  • Imprisonment,
  • Suicide
  • and more

When we were hurt by a sibling(s) in our childhoods, many of us weren’t soothed by a parent or told that the aggressive actions of a sibling(s) were wrong. Additionally, the many of us were never privy to witnessing our sibling(s) being reprimanded or punished. Early in our young lives, our beginning brains were flooded negative cognitions of distrust and  helplessness. We were given instruction to have the mindset of a victim. In many of our parenthoods, our child taught us our first lessons in how to trust, love, and feel acceptance from another human being.sibling abuse survivor

When a Sibling Abuse survivor is estranged or bonds are severed from an adult child, it is equivalent to a parent losing a young child to death.

Unfortunately, survivors don’t have a lot of support when they are dealing with abandonment from their adult child. We also don’t often have access to supportive siblings or relatives who might help in a reconciliation. Unfortunately, we are often in a family role of “scapegoat” or “misfit.” Consequently, family members often gossip and laugh at us regarding our lifestyles and decisions.  The term “black sheep” is often utilized to convey that we are flawed, unwanted and a genetic-family mistake.  In the inner dynamics of many families, we are considered criminal for accepting money. When we don’t pay it back, we are disgraced. Eventually, our debts are utilized in family gossip to push us out of our family group. 

When Sibling Abuse has ravaged our lives and is noticeable, we are often looked upon as the enemy who is a threat to the cohesiveness of our family. Generally, open communication about what happened to us as child is rarely discussed. When we try to disclose, we are often screamed at and told that we are crazy.  Concurrently, we are re-victimized “again” by a family, that through time, often become adept at being able to skillfully emotionally abuse us. They know everything about us and are skilled in the espionage about our lives and that of our precious children.  

In the void of no contact with our child(ren), Sibling Abuse survivors are often catapulted back to terrifying places where we were all alone with our abusive sibling(s).

Unfortunately, the world doesn’t want to talk about “estrangement” or “Sibling Abuse.” Both topics are met with discomfort. When we disclose that they have lost contact with an adult child, we are often met with criticism, lectures and advice. Moreover, this dynamic can also be apparent in our interactions with friends and partners. Most counselors are not trained in their curriculum on how to identify or work with us. Finding a supportive, compassionate person to be a listener for the loss of our child is very rare.  Isolation and silence are usually our only options. 

From long ago, we were overprogrammed to think that we were bad, stupid, disgusting, etc. When we are cut off from our child, waves come of guilt, shame, and self-hatred wash over our psyches. We are in the 107K Fentanyl deaths. During this one day in America, countless numbers of survivors will want to end their lives. Many will succeed.

Even though our numbers are massive, we have no leader, organization, or hotline. Literary sources, as well as qualitative research on Sibling Abuse, are few.

Our lives are embedded in the following statistics:

In the U.S., 43% of adults experiencing a mental illness are not receiving treatment.

In 1 year, an increase of 664,000 adults in the U.S., are suicidal.

100,000 Americans have died from overdose.

Estrangement ruptures the identity of a survivor-parent. The formation of scar tissue is almost impossible because loss causes severe anxiety and tears into long ago wounds. Survivor-parents can be consumed with unending questions: Where did I go wrong in parenting? What could I have done better? How can I get over hating myself for hurting my child? Sorrow and grief are ever present.

Understanding how to proceed during estrangement, is difficult  when a survivor-parent is dealing with depression, anxiety, and the usage of alcohol or drugs. Estrangement ignites denial that the separation ever happened.  Feelings of not having control are present. A clear confirmation of whether the adult child has made a choice to sever all contact or will reunite, is agonizing. The hope for many survivor-parents is that one day they will be acknowledged, once again as a parent and loved again. This painful process is characterized with emotions that plummet from helplessness to hope and back again.

Sibling Abuse Survivors have hope to get through traumaPower Thoughts for Sibling Abuse Survivors

 Try to select one or both and write at least 5X’s a day. Mindfully repeat them throughout the course of your day. 

I have no control over my adult child and am aware of my worth.

I have put focus on my own precious life that I will help nurture it to reach my dreams.

 keep moving forward to get through their pain and trauma

 

Closing Thoughts to Sibling Abuse Survivors & Supporters

You are important to me. Please share this blog with family members, partners, and therapists. I hope it will help in the healing a survivor, create interventions, reconciliations, and understanding. I hope it saves a life. You are worthy of “the good life.” If I knew your name, I would speak it.  You are unique and are the true meaning of persistence and courage.  At this point, you have searched for the truth for so long. Your journey is commendable and your knowledge on how to survive is vast. Finally, I hope you never forget when it gets hard and you feel overwhelmed, afraid, alone, unheard, didn’t know which way to go, and wanted to stop, you kept going

Forever Forward,

Nancy Kilgore, M.S

Resources 

Healing Trauma: A Guided Meditation for Post Traumatic Stress PTSD Research Proven Guided Imagery to Reduce Symptoms in Trauma Survivors, First Responders, and Caregivers by Belleruth Naparstek [CD]

Beyond Done With Crying-More Answers and Advice for Parents of Estranged Children by Sheri McCregor, M.A.

 

Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief by Martha Whitmore Hickman

 

Hotlines:

National Sexual Assault Hotline

Hours: Available 24 hours. 1-800-656-4673

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish. 800-273-8255

Depression & Crisis Hotline 1-800-784-2433
Families Anonymous (Addiction/Recovery) 1-800-736-9805
Al-Anon Family Groups (Addiction/Recovery) 1-888-425-2666

 

Sibling Abuse: True Story of Impact to Childhood and Adulthood by Nancy Kilgore, M.S

    • SIBLING ABUSE SURVIVORS
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    • Life Coaching for Sibling Abuse: Therapy Referral (National) for EMDR

    • SIBLING ABUSE SURVIVORS
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    • Get it here

 


About the Author:

Sibling violenceNancy Kilgore is survivor of sibling abuse. Furthermore, she is a consultant who does referrals on EMDR; she is also a Coach on Sibling Abuse. Nancy received her  B.A. and teaching credentials from Sacramento State University and her Master’s from the University of Oregon. She is an author of The Sourcebook For Working With Battered Women, Every Eighteen Seconds, and Sibling Abuse: True Story of the Impact to Childhood & Adulthood. She is a national trainer the United States Department of Justice, rape and domestic violence coalitions, and adjunct professor for universities, and has written for Counselor Magazine and has appeared on radio and television. Website: hope4siblings.com

 


 

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sibling abuse survivors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOOD ONE 2

Sibling violenceNancy Kilgore is survivor of sibling abuse. She is a consultant who does referrals on EMDR; she is also a Coach on Sibling Abuse. Nancy received her  B.A. and teaching credentials from Sacramento State University and her Master’s from the University of Oregon. She is an author of The Sourcebook For Working With Battered Women, Every Eighteen Seconds, and Sibling Abuse: True Story of the Impact to Childhood & Adulthood. She is a national trainer the United States Department of Justice,  rape and domestic violence coalitions, and  adjunct professor for universities. She has written for Counselor Magazine and has appeared on radio and television. Website: hope4siblings.com

You are important in exposing the largest, silent and secret group of crime victims: Survivors of Sibling Abuse.  I am one of them.   Survivors  experienced overwhelming amounts of stress and trauma from our own sibling(s). This impacted our beginning central nervous system and put us at risk in the present mental health crisis.  Attention to our needs is imperative because we are the “core” of the mental health crisis. Many Survivors are alone and have not only lost a sense of safety in this present world,  we are also estranged or cut off from their adult child(ren) and grandchildren.

sibling abuse survivors

A child, for many survivors, was our first trusting relationship.

It was one where we finally not only felt accepted, it was a precious human relationship were we experienced a sense of safety.

Survivors of Sibling Abuse are everywhere and have been a part of our world since it began. Without us this world would not have been made.  We are the largest population of crime victims. We are sisters, brothers, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, neighbors, co-workers, and friends.  We have always been a part of mankind and we have been ignored. We are the core of the mental health crisis. Survivor-parents, are often gallant warriors in regard to parenting. Culture told us that they were blessings and a gift from God. We stood guard as parents even though the echoes of the battlefield of our childhood were ever present. We desperately needed comfort, support, and someone who could listen to our needs. We did heroic things as parents. We pulled long hours and watches and at the same time we knew something was wrong with our mind.

Because our brains stopped developing at the points of abuse, in our parenting, we were navigating at very young ages. Estrangement of our older, adult children, causes us to question who we are.  Many survivors mentally collapsed and felt hopeless. The grief process defies closure. Healing is difficult because the rejection led us back us back to our childhoods. We weren’t able to escape because our abusive sibling(s) lived in our home.  In our adulthood, our child was an assurance that the world had some control.  The separation from  our child is a mentally jolting experience that puts us in a paralyzing experience where we are  between the present and the past.

In America Alone There are 40 million Adult Sibling Abuse Survivors. 

80% of all Adults Have at Least 1 Sibling.

sibling abuse survivors

Down deep we are all worried about whether the human race is going to survive.  Because of societal propaganda to erase the importance of family, lockdowns, quarantines, political divisions, conflicts about the vaccination, and fears of transmission of the virus between parent and child, vast numbers of Sibling Abuse Survivor-parents are suffering and also  grieving. Many are in perilous places of poor mental health. Millions, in the course of this day, will want to die. No survivor’s health and wellbeing should ever be ignored or allowed to deteriorate. We must honor each one. 

In the U.S., 43% of adults experiencing a mental illness are not receiving treatment.

In 1 year, an increase of 664,000 adults in the U.S., are suicidal.

100,000 Americans have died from overdose.

SIBLING ABUSE SURVIVORS

 

Defining Sibling Abuse

Sibling Bullying and Estrangement with My Adult Son

The Impact of Adult Child Estrangement & Mental Health 

HOPE: Strategies to De-Program Victim Mindset

Empowerment Thoughts

Closing Thoughts to Sibling Abuse Survivors & Supporters

Resources to Change Behavior Patterns

sibling abuse survivors

Defining Sibling Abuse 

Sibling Abuse, it isn’t about sibling rivalry or normal competition. The level of violence is parallel to the assessment guidelines utilized for battered women involved in domestic violence. Sibling bullying is defined as repeated aggressive behavior between sibling that is intended to inflict harm either physically, emotionally, or sexually. Sibling Abuse is never asked for by the victim and it is not age appropriateMany survivors have been traumatized by sadistic siblings, psychopaths, narcissists, and sociopaths.  Many were subjected to threats or attempts to murder. A psychic shift of disorientation and a loss of control is what many victims experienced. As adults, vast numbers still have stress hormones, specifically, cortisol, in their bloodstream.  Sibling Abuse damaged and altered the developing brain that is resistant to being “completely” reformatted to its original form. 

sibling abuse survivor

The vast majority of survivors of Sibling Aggression, at the time of the crime, weren’t protected or supervised by their parents or caregivers. This tragedy is overlooked by parents, health professionals, therapists, and society. Sibling crimes are rarely prosecuted.  Throughout the evolution of civilization, murders perpetrated by siblings were predominately, for  covered up or evaluated as accidental. Survivors of Sibling Abuse are in various stages of recovery. Many had support and were able to get life-altering therapy. Many can’t remember what happened or rationalize that their abuse wasn’t so bad or a necessary part of growing up.

sibling abuse survivorsSibling Bullying and Estrangement with My Adult Son

I can never forget that I am a mother. I went through the labor pains of childbirth without painkillers.

A lifetime ago, I couldn’t fathom that at this time in my life, I wouldn’t have a relationship with either my son or grandchildren.

In my childhood, the abuse perpetrated by my older sister was very severe. I am glad to be alive.  Throughout every year of my parenting, I sought therapeutic help to recover from what had been done to me. For twenty-eight years of my life, I couldn’t remember what had been done to me at 10. For many years in my parenting, it never occurred to me that anything was wrong with me or that my birth family was dysfunctional. The offense, however, was criminal. In my adulthood, I was fiercely loyal and very proud of not only my family, but also of my abusive sister.  When my son was conceived, I was oblivious to the harm done to my young life. I wasn’t prepared to either be a parent or an adult.  Sibling Abuse cast long shadows on my adult life and was deep in my psyche.  I had the huge task of being a  single mother and was both a mother and a father role model. I was a woman-child and made decisions from the mindset of a very young child. Because of Sibling Abuse, I had a maladapted identity.  As a parent, my identity was largely connected to being my son’s mother. I wanted someone to love me.

From childhood, I had longed to have a loving family and continually sought information on how to parent and improve my confidence.

For much of my parenting, I was shunned by my own family and didn’t understand why. I deeply loved my son and if I had to, I would have given my life. Through the years I did my best to assure him that I knew what I was doing in regard to our little family. I, however, was impulsive and immature.  I always conveyed that we we  would have continuity in knowing each other.  Unfortunately, in my precious time of being a parent, I was not only misdiagnosed, I was in the wrong  type of therapy. It took almost three decades to get the right diagnosis: Complex PTSD. With  EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing), many of my old fears and behaviors were replaced with healthy patterns.  This helpful therapy was started two weeks after my son left home. He was eighteen. To this day, even with extensive trauma therapy, I know I will never quite be put back together. I do feel less anxious and feel more purposeful. Thankfully, my life improved and I feel more empowered.

sibling abuse survivors

After Therapy helped me with the trauma from Sibling Abuse, my adult child was very angry at me.

I was called a horrible mother and was asked why I hadn’t given him up for adoption. My son also told me that he was ashamed of me. My world was turned upside down. After he left our home, I wasn’t completely sure where my son lived or how to contact him. His rejection was very painful. I was completely decentered. I didn’t have a compass or map for how to proceed.  When my son did call, he was emotionally abusive. After his calls I often cried for several hours.  My college background of education pertaining to child development mocked me. I felt lost and abandoned. The void of not knowing my son seemed endless. Everything that happened to my life “before” felt definitive.  I was re-triggered back to what I felt when I was abused as a child: worthless, anxious, paralyzed, etc. The anxiety attacks were terrifying. Sometimes I couldn’t see pictures of my son and avoided photo albums and hid them. I didn’t want to go on another regimen of anti-depressants. In many dark nights of soul  my mind wished that I had known that Sibling Abuse my son’s precious life.  The emotional abuse that I received from my son was supported by not only by his girlfriend, but also my own family. My abusive sister enjoyed knowing that my son was critical of me. Every cell in my body hurt. I was stripped of being a mother. My son looked at my sister as his mother.

I continued trauma sessions. My personality changed; I was forty-eight years old.

I was angry at the world, God, and myself. My son’s birthday, Christmas, and Mother’s Day was never easy for me. I rarely received a gift. Instead of my birthday being remembered, I was punished with no call or gift.  My grief couldn’t be cured. I questioned myself for whether I was grieving too much, for too long and too intensely.  The relationship of my son was worth every tear. Sometimes I couldn’t eat because eating was for the living. I wasn’t sure I was alive. I didn’t sleep. The absence of my son lived in the center of my being. I became grateful that I couldn’t remember my son’s voice. An actual death or funeral never occurred. My mother-eyes looked for him in every crowd and in every young man. I searched for our common, unique DNA in young children. A replacement was never found. On rare occasions, there were hopeful reconciliations and we participated in therapy sessions that were only on a “one” time basis. Subsequent sessions weren’t done because we lived in different states. When he did call, I was often told that I needed to abide by his rules. I was told that I was to never ask for any help or live by him. I was told that I stole and ruined his childhood.   I kept asking un-ending questions: Where did I go wrong in parenting? What could I have done better? How can I get over hating myself for hurting my child?  I felt that my son had been murdered. I wanted to find who had done this to me.

Sibling Abuse Survivors

A helpless victim mindset had to be discarded because my bitterness was off the charts.  I had to learn how reclaim myself. I had to learn to re-inhabit my being.

Thankfully, a new perspective came.  The greatest gift was self-compassion.  The estrangement with my son made me acknowledge not only my own worth, but also my past. After my master’s degree, I had contact with survivors in my national trainings as an adjunct professor, in radio programs, and a Facebook group.  I was often stunned to hear that they too had experienced estrangement with their adult child.  I was deeply moved by their willingness to not only love their children, but any human being. They were mirrors of my life. They were my heroes. I tried to never miss an opportunity to tell them that they were courageous and brave. My sense of belonging increased. Even though my son hated me, I was determined to love myself. 

The Impact of Adult Child Estrangement & Mental Healthsibling abuse survivors

A rare research study in 2013 by Corrina Jenkins Tucker, Associate Professor of Family Studies at the University of New Hampshire, which was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatric, June 17th, 2013,  https://www.unh.edu/unhtoday/2013/10/sibling-aggression-and-mental-health  substantiates that the impact of sibling aggression impacts adulthood.  Many adult embody the crimes of what was done to them in childhood through: 

Psychiatric Hospitalizations, Prescription usage for anti-depressants/anxiety, Disability, Domestic Violence, Drug/Alcohol addictions, Unemployment, Hospitalizations, Poor Parenting, Emergency Visits, Gambling, Overspending, Bad
Relationships, Divorce, Numerous Doctor’s Visits, Psychiatric Admittance,
Homelessness, Imprisonment, Suicide etc.

Victims of Sibling Aggression often have crisis filled adult lives.  In our childhoods, when the aggression by a sibling was perpetrated, the vast majority of us weren’t soothed or told by a parent that the aggressive actions of a sibling(s) were wrong.  For the majority of us, we didn’t witness our sibling(s) being reprimanded or punished. This played a huge part in our adult mental health challenges and also impacted our parenting. Early in our lives, overlearned how to be victims.  For many survivors, our child is an anchor of validation and is helpful in our first lessons of trust.  The parent-child relationship is education on how to be a social human being.

Unfortunately, when we did experience estrangement from our adult child, we often don’t have access to supportive siblings or relatives who might help in the reconciliations with our “adult” child. Many of us have been met with lectures and criticisms about our child being separated from us. In our separations from our, we learned that seeking support was dangerous. The outside world didn’t want to know either about our estrangement or Sibling Abuse.  Many of us experienced  toxic interactions with family members, our own friends, and also partner that put us at mental risk. We rarely found support or a compassionate, non- judgmental person.  We often isolated were consumed with shame, guilt, and self-hatred.  Suicidal ideation was often present.

In the void of not having contact with our child(ren), we are often catapulted back to terrifying places in our childhood. 

sibling abuse survivors

Understanding how to proceed in the midst of estrangement, is often  unclear and the difficulty amplified when a survivor-parent is dealing with depression, anxiety, and the usage of alcohol or drugs. Estrangement ignites denial that the separation was either a dream or temporary. Feelings of not having control are always present. A clear confirmation of whether the adult child has severed all contact or will ever be seen again, is agonizing. The hope for many is that one day they will be acknowledged as a parent and loved again.  The ability to detach is often perceived as impossible.  Emotions plummet from helplessness to hopelessness and back again.

The family that the survivor once inhabited with their child has no one in it.

The rejection by our adult child makes it difficult for us to perceive them as gifts. We feel often feel the same betrayal that we felt when our abusive sibling hurt us.  Anger and criticism from our adult child drowns out the whispers of love in our hearts. We wind up distrusting our own children. The pain of coming to this reckoning is often me with sadness. With great mental exertion, we try to understand why we were abandoned or discarded.  We miss seeing their beauty, their light, abilities and eyes. They, however, are not sweet accepting children anymore. They are critical and have come away from unconditionally loving us. The loss can’t be calculated. 

Survivor-parents often have an additional level of estrangement that emanates from their own birth family. Massive numbers are the family scapegoat. Many are shunned by their own family. This often happens at a time when survivors need the embrace and support of their family. When a child leaves, many are overcome with feelings of helplessness and hopelessness…the same feelings that were felt as a child.

 

 

HOPE: Strategies to De-Program Victim Mindset

As survivors we need to learn new skills. Take what is helpful for your life. I will share what I personally learned and what was suggested by other survivors. Take time for you. It will help you persevere and also survive. It will help you maintain a positive perspective about the way ahead and all your wondrous decisions. If your child returns, they will experience a stronger “you.”

      *If you are contemplating calling your adult child, check in with yourself. Are  you are seeking validation and are in low levels of confidence? Be mindful if you are feeling clingy, codependent, helpless, or angry.

Get off the phone if you are screaming and trying to make a case that they are either hurting you or that they are ungrateful.

Avoid contact with an emotionally abusive older child who is in alliance with your family, taken your money and won’t pay it back, or who wants you to feel guilty for parenting them. Never call a child who doesn’t want to speak to you. Honor their boundaries. Your lack of contact, hopefully, will help them think more clearly. If you participate in a negative interaction, be mindful of how you are feeling and then jumpstart your mood and feelings by focusing on the millions of things that you did to help your child to feel loved, nurtured, and educated. Here are a couple of things to review: birthday gifts, getting or making a birthday cake, celebrating holidays, teaching manners, reading to them, showing them how to talk and to write, dressing them, bathing them, not adopting them out, etc.

 

     *Refuse to hate yourself for your tour of duty in being a parent. Be mindful that many adult children want to blame their parent and have no understanding or education about Sibling Abuse. Learn self-compassion. In each day of your life, from this day forward, let self- compassion be your #1 focus. Read everything you can on self-compassion. You have always had worth. Uphold your self respect and call a hotline before you get involved in a call that could cause you to have self doubts, be depressed, or suicidal. It will not be worth the countless days that it will take to make you love life again.  Many survivors are re-triggered by their adult children and can isolate after a bad call with a rejective, hurtful adult child.

 

     *If your child consents to therapy with you, research a particular type of therapy called IMAGO. It encourages anger to be shared in a manner that isn’t combative, but rather informative and peaceful. Most therapists are uneducated about Sibling Abuse. Do your research and be proactive when interviewing a prospective therapist. They work for you and many aren’t trained in how to handle either estrangement from an adult child of a Sibling Abuse Survivor.  Many therapists, who are not trained about Sibling Abuse, cause more harm in parent-child sessions by creating arguments. Empathy isn’t often established about what a survivor-parent went through as a child.

 

     *Improve your communication skills. They  can be utilized when you talk to yourself, your family, or your adult child.  Become skilled at Active Listening by being coached by a therapist or minister. On YouTube there are several helpful videos that will assist you in understand the basics of Active Listening. It is a helpful skill to learn detachment and maintain wellness.

 

     *Grief is hard. Take care of your mind, body, and spirit. Be mindful of  negative statements you might be saying to yourself in regard to your separation with your adult child. Remember your worth. Our negative statements affect our mind, body, and spirit. Try not to be a martyr. Eat. Sleep, Re-direct your negative inner statements  by writing in a journal. Say the exact opposite to what you are saying to yourself: “I am a complete failure as a mother,” to “I have worth and it isn’t dependent on how my child treats me.” Throughout the day remember to say positive statements about yourself. Compliment yourself for the many things that you do to survive. Remember what you did to help your child survive. Start your focus on something small…even if it was taking paying a bill or celebrating your child’s first day of school. Learn to meditate or have 30 or an  hour of no stimulation from the world. Track your thoughts and turn them around!

 

     *Seek professional help if you can’t sleep, are isolating, aren’t enjoying your life, starting to drink or use drugs, etc. My recommended therapy is EMDR or Mind Mapping. You can learn about them on Google and YouTube.

 

     *Estrangement from an adult child, is something society doesn’t want to deal with or hear about. Survivors are often perceived as being bad parents and the separation is probably justified. If you are seeking to vent with a friend about your estrangement with an adult child, choose one who isn’t controlling, doesn’t give advice or lectures. Stay away from a friend that insinuates that you are to blame. When wanting to share with your family, consider if you are a low ranking family member and if you are shunned or not accepted. Also evaluate who you trust in your family. Know that whatever you have shared, if you are the family scapegoat,  your statements about your estranged child, will probably be incorporated in family gossip. Call National hotlines on Domestic Violence and Suicide Prevention. You are in Domestic Violence if your  physically threatens you. You don’t need to be suicidal to call a Suicide hotline.

Sibling Abuse SurvivorsPower Thoughts to Stop Victim Mindset

The following are tailor made for a survivor. Try to select one or both and write at least 5X’s a day.

Mindfully repeat them throughout the course of your day. 

I have no control over my adult child and am aware of my worth.

I have put focus on my own precious life that I will help nurture it to reach my dreams.

  

sibling abuse survivors

Closing Thoughts to Sibling Abuse Survivors & Supporters

You are important to me. Please share this blog with family members, partners, and therapists. I hope it will help in the healing a survivor, create interventions,  reconciliations, and understanding. I hope it saves a life.

What we learned as a child was a lie. We were always free. It is time to celebrate our birth and freedom. I believe in your wisdom to recover and thrive. I am elated that you are here. You are strong and worthy of “the good life.” If I knew your name, I would speak it. You were conceived to make your mark on this world. You came to this world to walk on this earth and make deep, confident footprints. You are unique and are the true meaning of persistence and courage. No one has parted the air before like you have. You have searched for the truth for so long. Your journey is commendable and your knowledge on how to survive is vast. You have talent enough and courage enough to step into the brightest life. May you never forget that when it was hard, and you were overwhelmed, and felt afraid, and walked alone, and felt unheard, and didn’t know which way to go, and wanted to stop, you kept going

Forever Forward,

Nancy Kilgore, M.S

 

Resources to Change Behavior Patterns

CD- Healing Trauma: A Guided Meditation for Post traumatic Stress PTSD Research Proven Guided Imagery to Reduce Symptoms in Trauma Survivors, First Responders, and Caregivers  by Belleruth Naparstek 

Beyond Done With Crying-More Answers and Advice for Parents of Estranged Children by Sheri McCregor, M.A.

       

Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief by Martha Whitmore Hickman 

National Sexual Assault Hotline,Hours: Available 24 hours 1-800-656-4673

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish. 800-273-8255

Depression & Crisis Hotline 1-800-784-2433
 Families Anonymous (Addiction/Recovery) 1-800-736-9805
Al-Anon Family Groups (Addiction/Recovery) 1-888-425-2666

Sibling Abuse: True Story of Impact to Childhood and Adulthood by Nancy Kilgore, M.S

Thanks for coming into this blog. Let me know what was helpful!

sibling abuse survivors 

ALERT! Alarming Bullying Statistics Linked to Epidemic of Sibling Abuse

Bullying statistics relate that we are now experiencing a massive, epidemic that is spiraling out of control. The societal impact  will have lasting impact on us all. The aftershocks will be felt through vast increases in domestic violence, addictions, prostitution, disabilities, incarcerations, psychiatric hospitalizations, welfare, homelessness, domestic violence, etc.

bullying statistics

 The alarming bullying statistics, don’t expose the #1 cause of it: siblings bullies in the home. The majority of bullies aren’t at school. They are in the home.  The present increase in bullying is fed by the epidemic of sibling abuse in the home.  In millions of homes, children are in quasi-marine-boot camps and are learning to utilize aggression  onto their own siblings. When  children are victimized by bully sibs, they will act it out on children outside the home. When a child experiences abuse from a sibling, they are set up to be bullied by other children in school settings, the internet, etc.

bullying statistics

bullying statistics

 Millions of adults know this all too well. They know that bullying statistics don’t capture the hell of what they went through by their bully sib(s).  Bully siblings, biological or nonbiological, are a reality that millions of adults experienced in their childhood. Many have been silent about this crime and carry internal, mental scars. Many relate that they were also bullied by children in school settings.  Because their beginning brain was altered by trauma stemming from an aggressive sibling/cousin(s),  the debilitating aftermath went with them into adulthood. 

bullying statistics

 The word bullying is actually a verb and implies superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants. Bullying is connected to the following words:

Persecute, oppress, tyrannize, browbeat, harass, torment, intimidate, strong-arm, dominate, coerce, pressure, push, and intimidate.

 Bullies, who are aggressive siblings, have never been considered an important societal issue. Generally within the mindset of society,bullying a sibling or sibling abuse,  isn’t considered harmful. It is. Sibling abuse is often perceived as a competitive rite of passage, helpful to thriving in adulthood.  Since the beginning of mankind, children within families, have been bickering and trading aggressions. The real focus, however, hasn’t been on how harmful bullies, who are sibs, can be to adulthood. No one really cares about sibling abuse. Adults, bullied by their sibling(s), will educated the world what the real cause of the bullying statistics are. They will finally speak. Right now they are not organized. They can be organized and should be organized. They have, as well as our country,  has paid dearly for, not only, the ignorance of sibling abuse, but also the massive toleration of it.  The survivors of sibling abuse must put glaring focus on how harmful bullies, who are sibs, can be to adulthood.

bullying statistics

The torment and fighting that is often shrugged off as normal sibling rivalry can be very harmful to the lifespan of a life.

 I am a survivor of sibling abuse. Over the years I consulted, first hand, with adult survivors of sibling abuse who struggled with a wide range of emotional issues.  Sibling abuse is very eroding to the identity and skills required for functioning in adulthood. The victim of sibling abuse can constantly worry about what will happen to them in the future.  Because of in-home bullies, they  have inability to trust their self with decisions and/or contact with human beings. The negative outcome for many big decisions is often self criticism. 

I want to share beneficial and much needed empowerment information for recovery for the adult survivor’s life. They are offered to strengthen and heal from sibling abuse. 

1. Understand the Brain & The Hippocampus

 The “hippocampus” is often activated when a victim of either sibling abuse or bullying, is in circumstances that seem familiar to the originating trauma. This portion of the brain can send the victim into a high alert state with pervasive feelings of anxiety, helplessness, and panic. New research suggests that aggression from sibling abuse can inflict psychological vast impairment to mental patterns and can last a lifetime.

 According to what little research has been conducted, adults, subjected to sibling abuse, who were attacked, threatened, intimidated in childhood/adolescents, have an increased risk of PTSD, depression, anger and anxiety. Negative information and beliefs are actually over learned and stored in the hippocampus.  The function of the hippocampus is to store memories.  The hippocampus “forever” archives the aggression from a sibling and has great difficulty ignoring its presence. Actual knowledge of the physiology of trauma and the hippocampus is helpful in reducing shame and hopelessness.

 

Reclaiming the hippocampus to its normal state is very difficult. Many therapists aren’t trained in how to unravel what an aggressive sibling has done. It is extremely important for the survivor to not only know the parts of their own brain, but be proactive in acquiring knowledge about what therapists and treatments are helpful. Consideration of the following is helpful: EMDR, NLP CBT, etc. Recovery can be done and it needs to be done with the right therapist and the right trauma treatment. 

 2. Practice Meditation & Positive Inner Communication 

Because the hippocampus is altered, an adult survivor can live an inner life time of never ending torment. The inner self often says:

*Can I be free of my past and move on?

*Will I ever have a normal life?

*Will this anxiety ever go away?

*Why do I keep attracting the wrong people?

Meditation is helpful  because it calms the brain and helps it to be in present time, rather than the past. Within a state of calm the brain has more of an opportunity to notice the stored negative beliefs from a state of detachment. With skillful discipline and the assistance of the trauma therapy, the brain is able to oppose negative conditioning. (Therapy Referral/see website).

bullying statistics

Helpful anchor statements are:

I am good, I have opportunities, I have abilities, I have empowerment, etc.

Helpful affirmations to repeatedly say to self. Try writing them 3 x’s a day by hand.

I have a river of peace running through me.

I have solutions for my (financial, relationship, home environment, etc) and I hold to my inner strength.

I have organized my home so I feel safe and comforted.

I hope that this has been helpful and I look forward to sharing with you again. It is never too late to recover from what a sibling did to our lives.

*If you need a therapy referral, contact me on my website.

Nancy Kilgore, M.S.

Click Here For Info on Bullying

CLICK HERE FOR SIBLING BULLYING

CLICK HERE INFO ON DEPRESSION

 

Bullies in our Homes: Adult Recovery Strategies From Sibling Abuse

Bullies in the home are a reality  that millions of adults have personally experienced it by their biological or nonbiological sibling(s). Bullies, who are aggressive siblings, has never been considered  an important societal issue. Generally within the mindset of society it is considered harmless.

bullies

Bullies are often siblings living in the home.

 Acceptance of bullies who are siblings has come about  about because it is perceived as a competitive rite of passage that is helpful to adulthood. This unfortunately is firmly still in place. Since the beginning of mankind, children within families, have been bickering and trading aggressions. The real focus, however, hasn’t been on how harmful bullies, who are sibs, can be to adulthood.

bullies

Bullies are very hurtful to adulthood.

Bullies, the majority, aren’t at school. Bullies are more prevalent in the home. The #1 origin of the present epidemic of bullying comes from the present epidemic of bullies who are siblings. When many child are victimized by bullies who are sibs, they will act it out on other children. When a children are victimized by bullies who are siblings, they often send out signals of being a victim and in turn attract bullies.

The torment and fighting that is often shrugged off as normal sibling rivalry can significantly alter the brain of a child.

bullies

Bullies who are siblings, can alter the brain of the child.

 I am a survivor of sibling abuse. Over the years I have consulted with survivors who struggled with emotional issues and sabotaged themselves in their careers because of  humiliation they experienced in their own home at the hands of bullies who were  sibling(s) cousin(s), step, etc. I discovered that this little acknowledged type of abuse,  is very eroding to the identity and self esteem. The victim can constantly have doubts and worries about their ability to perform. Because of in-home bullies, they often have inability to trust their self with decisions and/or contact with human beings. The outcome is often excessive self criticism. 

I want to share beneficial and much needed empowerment information for recovery for the adult survivor’s life. They are offered to strengthen and heal from sibling abuse. 

1. Understand the Brain & The Hippocampus

 The “hippocampus” is often activated and sends out pervasive feelings of anxiety, helplessness, and panic. New research suggests that even when there are no physical scars, aggression from sib bullies can inflict psychological scarring to mental patterns that can last a lifetime.

bullies

Bullies often alter the hippocampus of a child’s brain.

 According to what little research has been conducted, adults, subjected to sibling abuse, who were attacked, threatened, intimidated in childhood/adolescents, have an increased risk of PTSD, depression, anger and anxiety. Negative information and beliefs are actually over learned and stored in the hippocampus.  The function of the hippocampus is to store memories.  The hippocampus “forever” archives the aggression and has a difficult time ignoring its presence. Knowledge about this portion of the brain is helpful in reducing hopelessness and shame.

Reformatting the hippocampus to its normal state is very difficult. Many therapists aren’t trained in how to unravel what an aggressive sibling has done. It is extremely important for the survivor to not only know the parts of their own brain, but be proactive in acquiring knowledge about what therapists and treatments are helpful in reformatting the hippocampus which is trauma work, EMDR, CBT, etc. This information helps in not feeling fated or that abuse and aftermath, by bullies in the home setting, has no hope or remedy for recovery.

 2. Practice Meditation & Positive Inner Communication 

Because the hippocampus is altered, an adult survivor can live an inner life time of never ending torment. The inner self often says:

*Can I be free of my past and move on?

*Will I ever have a normal life?

*Will this anxiety ever go away?

*Why do I keep attracting the wrong people?

Meditation is helpful for many survivors because it calms the brain and helps it to be in present time, rather than the past. Within a state of calm the brain has more of an opportunity to notice the stored negative beliefs from a state of detachment. With skillful discipline and the assistance of the trauma therapy, the brain is able to oppose negative conditioning. (Therapy Referral/see website).

Helpful anchor statements are:

I am good, I have opportunities, I have abilities, I have empowerment, etc.

Helpful affirmations to repeatedly say to self. Try writing them 3 x’s a day by hand.

I have a river of peace running through me.

I have solutions for my (financial, relationship, home environment, etc) and I hold to my inner strength.

I have organized my home so I feel safe and comforted.

bullies

Sibling bullies and the aftermath requires positive thoughts.

I hope that this has been helpful and I look forward to sharing with you again. It is never too late to recover from what a sibling did to our lives.

Nancy Kilgore, M.S.

LINKS

CLICK HERE 4 Information on Bullying

Click 4 Info on Bully Siblings

Click 4 Meditation Strategies

3 Empowering Ideas for Optimum Recovery from a Bully Sibling

Bully sibling is a term that isn’t utilized in everyday conversations. A bully sibling was in my childhood and the aftermath  grew in my adulthood. As I write these words it is early spring in California and the poppies are rapidly coming up through the damp earth. The sight of this  explosion of poppies is a joy to my tearful eyes.  As I witness winter becoming spring, I am very aware that the present epidemic of bullying is directly connected to the epidemic of bully siblings or sibling abuse. Bullies are not falling from the sky and are being made in the American home. Our country doesn’t want to acknowledge that the #1 cause of bullying is actually aggressive bully siblings. For many years, my older sister was my “in home” bully sibling.

bully sibling

A bully sibling was in my own home.

In this particular new spring, I have reached a new appreciation for how hard I fought to recover from what the abuse of my bully sibling in childhood. For many years in my adulthood, I made no connection that my crisis-filled, dysfunctional life was the result of my bully sibling. Recovery has been difficult and done by trial and error because information wasn’t  readily available. I want to share 3 empowering ideas for a productive recovery from from a bully sibling.

It is never too late to recovery from what an “in-home”  biological or nonbiological abusive sibling(s) did in our childhood. Reclaiming one’s life can happen now…this very moment.

bully sibling

bully sibling are often emotionally abusive

1.  Recovery Requires Education

Challenge yourself to become knowledgeable about research, books, and resources on this topic. When you embark on this journey, you will feel liberated and validated.  You are a survivor!

In America alone, researchers estimate that there are 40 million

adult survivors of bully siblings.

Eighty percent (80%) of all human beings have at least one sibling.

The sibling relationship has the greatest longevity when compared to any other relationship between human beings.

Abuse by a sibling is more damaging than if it had came from a parent or a stranger. It is experienced as the highest betrayal.  It can be an overwhelming, uncontrollable experience that psychologically impacts the victim by creating feelings of:

Negativity, helplessness, vulnerability, impulsivity, loss of safety and loss of control.

There are few researchers who have conducted  research on this issue. Most researchers are seeking financial gain when they address “birth order” which is a great deflection and diversion from a massive ignored crime.

bully sibling

Bully Sibling researcher, Corrina Jenkins Tucker, PHd

 According to researcher Corrina Jenkins Tucker, PHd, in study published in the American Pediatrics Journal, June 2013, a bully sibling can have devastating and long lasting impact to an adult survivor’s life with:

Job instability, chronic depression, anxiety, addictions, incarcerations, bad relationships, hospitalizations, drug addiction, alcoholism, estrangement from family, homelessness, PTSD financial problems, and suicidal ideation etc.

2. Create Your Own Definition

Sibling abuse is the physical, emotional or sexual abuse. The physical abuse can range from more mild forms of aggression, such as pushing and shoving, to very violent behavior such as using weapons or household items. It can be destruction to pets or property.

bully sibling

Bully siblings are usually not supervised.

·        Often parents don’t see the abuse for what it is. As a rule, parents and society expect fights and aggression among siblings and don’t see the abuse as a problem until serious harm occurs.   The victim child is concerned with maintaining a ‘status-quo’ for their family and will act as normal as possible, while others may repress memories.

Sibling abuse is similar to living with a constant bully without an opportunity to escape and it is always emotionally humiliating.

Abuse by a bully sibling is very hurtful.

·        The victim child doesn’t want the abuse. It isn’t age appropriate.

One of the best authors and researchers for your personal definition is Vernon Wiehe. His book is called Sibling Abuse. Conduct a Google search on this topic and challenge yourself to gather information and form your own definition.

bully sibling

Bully siblings are often tolerated as normal.

 3.      Beneficial Therapies

 The aftermath damage of a bully sibling can be chronic mental impairment. The beginning neurological formations can be altered, jeopardizing the adult’s psychological development. Statistics about the pervasiveness of this issue do not tell of the anger, betrayal, fear, guilt and self-hatred experienced by adult victims. Every day millions adult survivors face the challenges of mental illness and many deal with a challenge that has four letters: PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). PTSD is a genuine medical condition; it is the fifth most common psychiatric disorder and can develop at any age. Untreated, it can become a life-shattering chronic illness.

Studies have found that a child who is subjected to intense threat or trauma from a bully sibling, is more likely to develop Complex PTSD.

Millions of survivors are misdiagnosed with chronic depression, borderline personality disorder, anxiety, attachment disorder, etc. Many are subjected to electric shock therapy. Many are medicated with antidepressants or tranquilizers and do not get the therapy they need.  Ignorance of this childhood crime has been incorporated within many mental health delivery systems.

*Many survivors can’t make the association that their mental health issues resulted from the aggression perpetrated by a sibling(s), cousin, step-sibling etc.

       *Many spend countless hours in unproductive therapy.

·Many therapists are not trained in how to pinpoint the occurrence  a client’s background.

Within traditional adult-therapy session, the survivor may be paralyzed or re-traumatized by approaches that dismiss abuse from a sibling(s) as irrelevant. Sibling abuse is rarely discussed in therapy sessions.

Abuse by a Bully Sibling is the most resistant to regular therapies.

One of the hardest challenges of a survivor is lack of trust in people, lack of assertiveness, and destructive patterns.

*Therapy Referral for Sibling Abuse (Click Here)

bully sibling

I was misdiagnosed. Many of my adult years were spent in the wrong therapy. From the ages of 21-38, I frequented many therapists’ offices and participated in talk therapy sessions that never shifted my outlook. Talk therapy doesn’t shift what was done to the brain’s neurological system. In my opinion, EFT, NLP, and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing). EMDR therapy are helpful repairing the psychological makeup of an adult survivor. It is controversial because therapists would rather keep a traumatized person in several sessions for revenue.

I hope that this has been helpful and I look forward to sharing with you again. It is never too late to change our adulthood.

Important Links:

Click here for Bullying & Sibling Abuse

CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ON Sibling Abuse

 Click here 4 Definition of a Bully

CLICK HERE 4 NBC NEWS ARTICLE