Did your siblings pick on you?

Avatar for cmkarla
Registered: 01-03-2001
Did your siblings pick on you?
Wed, 06-19-2013 - 9:08am

Did your siblings pick on you? It may have led to anxiety according to Health Day News. "Being picked on by your brother or sister may seem like a normal part of growing up, but for some kids the bullying may be a source of depression and anxiety, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that among 3,600 kids in a U.S. survey, those who were pushed around by a sibling -- physically or verbally -- had higher scores on a measure of depression and anxiety symptoms." read more

Your thoughts?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-1998
Mon, 06-24-2013 - 10:36am

I have tons of thoughts on this topic, but will try to keep this short.

I grew up in a house with a sibling who tortured me- it was probably considered bullying, but unlike bullying at school, you don't really get away from something that takes place in what should be the sanctity of your own home.  I blame my parents; they didn't stop it, they let it happen and in doing so, condoned it.  In my 30s, I came to decide that my mother actually enjoyed the fact that this sibling behaved this way- she got a lot of attention and drama from his behavior and she loves that sort of thing whether it is good or bad.

One of the first experiences I had after starting CBT for anxiety was walking into a dark room and forcing myself to stay there instead of run back out, because something horribly triggering happened when I stepped into that dark room that night.  As I stood there in the panic attack, I realized that the monster I feared in dark rooms was my sibling- he loved to hide in dark places and attack/scare us other kids (mother thought this was just funny and in some ways encouraged him). So yes, it programmed me for decades of fear response that I wasn't even able to understand until I was almost 40 years old.  Better late than never, I suppose.

To me it seems perfectly logical that when you systematically chip away at a kid's sense of security and confidence, you will have a child who grows up to be an uneasy adult.  If you don't feel fully safe and protected at home, where can you? 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-11-2013
Wed, 09-11-2013 - 2:13pm

I am in my 40s and have had an extremely difficult, hurtful relationship with one of my siblings. Although we are both grown, he attacks me verbally. I suffer from anxiety and there are times I cannot go somewhere. If it involves a family event, he will call me, swear at me call me names. He also suffers from anxiety, however I don't ever get involved in his life and I am very supportive when he goes through tough times reagrding this condition, He has a lot of power in our family, that was given to him from our parents. There are no bounderies with him. My husband is the only person that he is afraid of...or intimdated by. For so long my husband did not want to get involved, but recently has had to.  I am fortunate in the fact that my husband is who he is and supports me. It doesn't take away the pain or anger of the situation. My anxiety, depression always goes up after an altercation. I have tried to stay clear of him, as soon as I put my guard down again and feel like I can be closer to him in a healthy way, something happens and the same exact pattern is repeated. I have prayed for years, I have tried to talk to him, I have struggled to forgive. It is so difficult because now he has a beautiful little daughter and it is so hard. The things that he calls me ring in my ears and soul. I don't know sometimes what to do with the anger I feel, at the same time I don't understad what motivates him. He cuts me down to my husband, Instead of being happy for me that I have such a good husband, he tries to get him on his side when we fight, He does that with our entire family. I am so mentally tired from this, I don't know what to do. I love the holidays, but I dread the interaction.