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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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).
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.