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I was verbaly and mentally abused by an older brother as a

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child. I am 46...
I was verbaly and mentally abused by an older brother as a child. I am 46 years old now and it still hurts me to the core. My mother did nothing to stop this abuse and actually told me it was my fault. No one helped me, everyone turned away. I have been trying to find information on sibling abuse but there is not much out there. Why do I still feel tortured all these years later by what happened in that house.
Submitted: 7 years ago.Category: Mental Health
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Answered in 16 minutes by:
12/1/2010
Mental Health Professional: Dr. Rossi, Psychotherapist replied 7 years ago
Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4,627
Experience: PsyD, LPC, CHt
Verified

Hi,

Abuse is hard to deal with even if it is verbal/emotional. The body holds the memories of it and your thinking continues to cause you to relieve the pain over and over.

You've mentioned that you've been to counseling and had resorted to self help materials. What had taken place is in the past. As long as you allow yourself to ruminate about it, the past will have a grip on your present emotional and mental state of mind. In your case ongoing anguish.

The goal of counseling should have been to help you with changing your cognitions. Some people's conscious mind resists making these changes and at that point you can resort to using hypnosis and neurolinguistic programming which, targets the subconscious mind.

Another issue is the fact of accepting the past (it can not be changed) forgiving the abuse (maybe that is all they knew. If it is not, then they made a bad choice and will eventually have to pay for their actions) As long as you dwell on the past, you would feel the exact same way you're reporting having problems with.

You are not responsible for what he did, not responsible to fix the past but are in control of your thinking and your emotions even if it seems difficult to acknowledge. He should not be allowed control over you even now.

it would be helpful to work with a hypnotherapist specializing in NLP.

Forgiveness Is a Choice: A Step-By-Step Process for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope (Apa Lifetools) by Robert D. Enright (Hardcover - May 2001)

Your Thoughts Can Change Your Life: The Twelve Essential Attitudes for Health, Harmony and Happiness by Donald Curtis (Paperback - Aug 1, 1996)

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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

I have spent years trying to find a way to let go of it yet for some reason it just keeps coming back to haunt me. I have tried desperately to forgive but it is hard to forgive when no one in my family would ever or has ever acknowledged that anything happened and they never will The abuse was horrific. I spend every day of my life locked in a tiny 4 x 4 bathroom I was so afraid of him. The ironic thing is, I am more angry at my mother for absolutely denying, turning her back on, blaming me for this abuse. I never had a family of my own, no children of my own because I found no joy or pleasure in the family unit in any way shape or form. The family I was born into was cold as ice. Talking about feelings, showing emotion, was a sign of weakness and the consequences were horrible if I crossed this boundary in my brothers presence. Once he smashed my face into a table as I commented on the birds flocking around in the yard. As the blood gushed from my face, my mother handed me a towel and without a word, continued cooking lunch.... How do I forgive, how do I let go? books , therapy, helped very little. I want to I just can't find a way to do it. The memories play over and over like an old movie I can't shut off.

Mental Health Professional: Dr. Rossi, Psychotherapist replied 7 years ago
Your family may have reinforced your feelings over time with not acknowledging how you felt. You have to accept that what had happened is in the past. Forgiving takes the decision to move on on your own whether or not someone else agrees with you or says sorry. Regardless of what they do or say, you claim your life and refuse to dwell on the wrongdoings. There are no easy ways but it is also not impossible. Pretend you're looking at your life objectively- 1/ a person (you) is being abused, 2/ you feel lonely and broken, 3/ you start to carry on the feelings of anger and depression with you, 4/ you mourn the time of your life where time was wasted by being abused and sad/time that you can never recover back 5/ you observe yourself not being in the abusive situation physically but holding onto the memories and the feelings 6/ you decide to accept that no one may come back to fix the past or become good people and treat you well 7/ you accept the lost time while you were being abused, the lost time while you dwelt on the feelings you carried onto with you into adulthood, 8/and decide that there is no point of carrying these feelings into the present. they don't serve you except to remind you of the lost time when you would have been able to be happy, laugh, appreciated, etc. That time is gone. Those who abused you may never change. What do you do now? You make your own reality. Let go of waiting for someone to apologize, for the past to be corrected, for others to admit their wrong doing and say how sorry they are. At this time you are the one who allows what thoughts to enter your mind, how long you keep them there and what feelings you evoke as a result. If counseling had been hard to arrive at that point in your life, try hypnosis as it helps you by pass your conscious critical mind and habitual self talk. If you do not make that change, nothing will change within you out by itself. I have the right to tell you this because I've been there myself. It's up to you now. Your experiences make you who you are. As a result you understand how wrong it is to abuse others, how the past can ruin your present should you allow it to do so, and you also learn how to be compassionate and be there for others that may need you.
Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4,627
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