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Sibling Anger

by Diana
(Houston, Texas)

I grew up as #4 of 6 children. My oldest 3 sisters were put in charge of taking care of the 3 little ones. They did the best they could, considering they were only children also, but growing up without a responsible parent bothers me.

I am 55 yrs old and I do not speak with any of my family. Every time I do my sisters respond:

#1 Female tries to advise me and gets angry if I to not follow her advice.

#2 Female leaves me alone to find my own way
makes for a 'make or break' situation

#3 Female gets angry because I have more than she
does and I do not follow her advice.

#5 Female just wants to talk about how she needs
someone to take care of her, always ill

#6 Male at 50 yrs old is just getting started
supporting himself and his wife; no
children. #1 is constantly trying to
take from #6 even tho #1 is set
financially.

Just hearing their voices or thinking of them reminds me of how much I suffered at their hands. Example: My sister and I (#4, age 6, & 5, age 4) were left inside the car at church. #5 needed to go to the bathroom; we were warned that if we weren't in the car when services were over #1 would leave without us. #5 began to cry so I took her to the restroom.

We ended up walking 2 miles home. I remember being so tired and thirsty that all I did was get a drink of water and go to bed. #5 told me that mother found out what happened and literally beat #1 with a belt. Then myself and #5 got hit by #1 for telling.

This went on until I left home at 18. I ran away several times, but always came back to rest.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hi Diana, and thanks for your submission. I'm not sure entirely what you're asking for here, but I will offer some input that might be helpful.

You and all of your siblings were victims of neglect by your parents. Your siblings' neglect and/or abuse of you was mostly your parents' fault for putting them in charge of a job that was over their heads.

Now, as adults, you are all responsible for your actions and reactions. So, how they treat you and how you respond today is no longer your parents' responsibility. In other words, we are victims of our circumstances as children, but we are responsible once we become adults.

I suggest you embark on an emotional healing journey, starting with the journaling exercises on this page. Do all of them, in the order that they are presented, and it will help you a lot.

Next, take each of the traumatic memories you have, and use these imagery processes for emotional healing to resolve them.

Meanwhile, I suggest you stick with your plan of not speaking with your family members, since it consistently brings negative emotion. After doing some of the above emotional healing work, you may be able to begin developing a positive relationship with one or more of them--that would have to be your call.

Focus on yourself, believe in yourself, and never give up on you. Create the life you choose for yourself, and your relationships will fall into harmony with that process.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore
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