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The story below is real. The author sent it to me so I could put it on this website. She wanted everyone to understand what can happen when one sibling abuses another almost every day of every month year after year. When we spoke on the phone I could hear her pain. It was difficult for me to hear that she had to shut herself off from her sister in order to survive.
The story's purpose is two fold:
1. To help those suffering from sibling abuse, it is a testimony as to one person's way of surviving her sister's abuse.
2. It is meant to open the eyes of parents to the reality of sibling abuse.
These sisters never had the chance to love one another because one of them hated the other so much she would try to kill her. I hope you will listen to the story as you read it.
This story is being told every day by young children who are being tortured by their sibling. Just as her mother was unable to control the situation, thousands of parents every day feel helpless to end the violence in their family. If this true story doesn't open your eyes and tell you to take action in your family, then your children may face the same conclusion.
Can you imagine living with the pain of never speaking to your brother or sister for the rest of your life, or theirs?
Once you have read this story we have another true story of sibling abuse titled "My Sibling Abuse Story" you should also read.
Stop the violence of sibling abuse in your family today!
By Staci Shands
Sibling abuse has almost been forgotten in subjects that surround abuse and children. Sibling abuse is a physical or emotional mistreatment of one sibling by another. The physical aspect can range from pushing and shoving to extremely violent behavior. The emotional side of it can lead to name calling and belittling. Most parents do not recognize the abuse for what it is. Typically, parents and society think that is it normal for siblings to fight from time to time and because of this, sibling abuse is not seen as a problem until serious injuries occur.
I am a survivor of sibling abuse, and for the first time, I decided to share my story in an unfamiliar open forum.
I am my mother's youngest child and my father's oldest. My mother was married before she met my father and gave birth to my brother, Ricky and less than two years later she had my sister, Toni. That union lasted just a few years. My parents met when my older siblings were still babies. I was born six years into my parents' relationship. Ricky was nine-years-old and Toni was seven.
From what I was told, starting on the day my mother brought me home from the hospital, Toni became enraged with jealously, and over the years, those feelings never subsided. I heard stories about how Toni used to abuse me when I was a baby. One particular event happened was when I was just a few weeks old. Toni fed me strawberry jam. I started to choke and she continued to feed me. Once my mother realized what was going on, she made Toni stop and asked her why was she feeding me strawberry jam. According to my mother with Toni's confirmation, she responded by saying "I was trying to kill her."
As a baby Toni just did not like me. If she was asked to do something for me, such as get my bottle, she pretended she was doing something else. My sister used to shove and hit me as a baby. Toni used to say my parents waited too long to have a child because she was the youngest for seven years and got used to the attention. As a juvenile people believed that story but as an adult she was still saying the same thing.
By the time I started school, my parents had broken up. Toni was responsible for taking me to school and picking me up. She hated doing that. My sister would complain that she never had time to be with her friends because she had to pick me up from school. Toni was also responsible for me until my mother came home from work. My mother was a single parent raising three children on her own and thought her oldest daughter should be the one to help her with her youngest daughter.
Toni's weekly allowance was more than Ricky's because she took care of me but that was not enough. At a young age I remember Toni beating me up or just being mean because she felt like it. As years past, she turned her friends against me, made up untrue stories about me, ruined or stole my things and clothes, encouraged her friends to wear and steal my things and clothes and she even had the ability to turn our cousins and my friends against me!
Toni also liked to take important things. For example, when I was seven-years-old, my grandmother gave me my father's Dog Tags he had in the Air Force and Toni stole them. She would also cut holes in and the elastic out of my socks so that they would fall to my angles.
Toni also beat my dog and she even threw the dog down the steps to hurt me. Plus Toni would get my dog high by blowing smoke from a joint in her face right in front of me. The dog would bump into things and act crazy and she would just laugh. I would cry and that would make Toni happy. I remember her taking my dog for a walk and tying her up someplace. She returned and said "I got rid of the dog because she chewed up my glasses." My mother would make her bring the dog back but she would do it again. Matter of fact she tied my dog up someplace a few times within one year. Every time Toni did that, she made up a ridiculous reason. But the real reason was she just wanted to hurt me.
I hated her. I told my mother everything but she did not do anything because she did not know what to do. My mother would just listen or yell at me for telling her. Toni was a true "wild child" and gave my mother more problems than any of us. My mother told me she would talk to Toni about her feelings towards me but that did not solve anything.
As I got older and did not need her to take care of me anymore, she came up with the excuse that she treated me so badly because I received more material items than she did and I always got what I wanted. Toni would become angry when my father came to pick me up. If it was not one thing it was another. Her behavior was very hateful.
When I was 14 and 15-years-old everyday Toni picked a fight with me. She would go out of her way to make me miserable. The fights were verbal and physical. By then, her drug habit increased to cocaine and heroin but that was not a reason for her hate towards me. Remember, she had ill feelings for me when I was a baby, so the drugs were no excuse for her continued behavior.
One night, when I was fifteen, Toni picked a fight with me. It got physical. For the first time I won and she went ballistic. I scratched her face terribly and to this day she still has scars. My mother had to hide me in her room because of how crazy Toni was acting. She also called my brother and asked him to come over to calm Toni down because she could never do it.
Toni had the power to act pitiful and made it seem as if everything was my fault. A few months later, we had one more physical fight because she wanted to get even. I had just gotten my hair braided and she pulled all of my beads out. She was victorious and celebrated with cheers and jeers. All I could think of was when I won the fight I had to hide and shut up. My mother did not tell her to do that. When I protested, my mother told me to "shut up before I get my ass beat again." I still felt victorious though because Toni had scratches on her face that never healed.
After our last fight she changed her method of abuse. It was no longer physical. It became one hundred percent mental. That included my sister:
Stealing more of my clothes and personal items
Wearing my clothes without my permission and ruining them on purpose. Mind you, I had better not touched anything she owned
Letting her friends steal and wear more of my clothes and personal items
Continuing to turn people against me
Telling all kinds of weird lies on me
Reading my journal and telling her friends and mine what I wrote
Embarrassing and cursing me out in front of my friends
Blasting the radio while I was doing my homework
Inviting her friends to our room 2 or 3 in the morning to socialize and sniff or smoke cocaine knowing I had to get up in the morning and go to school
Having her male friends call my mother and say that I was having sex with them
Trying to convince several men to sexually attack me while I walked to and from school
It was non stop. I felt alone as if no one was on my side. I continued to tell my mother everything. I went to her for protection and as far as I am concerned she did nothing. Toni used to move in and out of the house all of the time. When she did not live at home, to cause friction between my mother and me, she should visit and steal my mother's jewelry. My mother knew who took her stuff but she still asked and blamed me.
I have a younger sister named Angelique by my father and I wanted to be the big sister to her that I never had. My mother became envious of our relationship. I did not see or talk to Angelique that much but when I did, and my mother knew, she would pick a fight. My mother wanted my relationship with Angelique to be the same with Toni. She clearly knew why it was not but that did not stop her from feeling jealous.
My friends were not helpful either because their parents told them to stay out of it. So when I talked to them about my situation they acted as if they did not care and did not want to hear my problems. So I definitely felt all alone.
As an adult I often blamed my mother for the things Toni did to me. "I went to you for help and you did nothing," I would yell. "All you did was pay the bills. Toni ran the house." I would say that whenever I needed to feel better. I completely separated myself from Toni. But that did not stop her from starting some mess. She would make up rumors about people we knew and say I said it. Unbelievable!
About six years ago Toni developed a brain tumor. Ricky died from a brain tumor six years prior to that. Toni elected to have surgery to remove the tumor. She had several surgeries and my mother called me worried. I knew my mother could not handle the situation by herself especially since her oldest child died from the same thing. So I asked her if she wanted me to come to the hospital. She said yes and I dropped everything and took the next flight to New Mexico where my mother and sister lived. Toni could not believe I was coming and when I arrived she cried saying "I love you and I am so sorry for everything I did to you." Family and friends could not believe I was there either.
So we slowly started to build a new relationship. But that lasted only a couple of years. Soon the same jealous feelings began to leak out. I guess she could not help herself and all of those apologies meant nothing. So in order to keep my sanity and health, I decided to stay estranged from Toni. That is the type of relationship I plan to maintain.
Outstanding Woman in Achievement 2008-09
Abuse is a very serious epidemic and can tear families apart. Those that are interested in helping families get the help they need may be interested in pursing online social work degree programs .