Does this count as emotional abuse?

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I’ve been having issues with my older sister lately. Well, technically, the issues have existed since we were little, but they’ve been getting progressively worse and worse. I can’t do anything without receiving some form of harsh criticism from her, and she ignores everything that I try to say to her by yelling at me and always telling me to shut up or that I’m stupid. She’s also really controlling and tries to make me do only things that she likes to do. She always tries to make me hang out with her friends, or watch tv shows that only she likes, and when I try to object, she says I’m an antisocial *sshole or that I have no taste in anything. I always end up having to hide from her. And a few minutes after events like these, she’ll shortly act like nothing happened and wonder why I feel the way I do. She treats both me and my mom like this, yet when we’re around my dad, it stops. I think she knows perfectly well what she’s doing. I know perfectly well what she’s doing, yet there are times where I believe the crap that she spews at me constantly, and I feel like shriveling up and dying. I even told her at one point that I was suffering from depression (she’s the only one in my family I’ve told- it was one of the rare moments where I actually felt like we were bonding, and I suppose I was vulnerable), but then the next day, it began again. She continued to toss my emotions to the side and to lash out at me every time I did something that she apparently didn’t like. Sometimes, I can’t even say hi to her without her screaming at me. Or sometimes I’ll pet or talk to “her” cat (the cat that she technically adopted, but doesn’t bother to take care of), and she’ll scream at me. Or she’ll yell at me just for looking at her, albeit for maybe two seconds. And then there are times where she criticizes me for having low self-esteem. I really don’t know what to make of it anymore. I keep switching between blaming her and blaming myself.

Category: asked January 23, 2015

15 Answers

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I've told her that before. She doesn't listen. She simply yells at me more and tells me to shut up or that I'm stupid. I've tried telling her to stop many times, but she never has.
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Also, it's interesting that you have the same name as my sister.
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Nope. She has never apologized for anything. Every time I ignore her and appear upset, she never seems to know why I'm upset or acknowledge that I'm upset. And when she does, she says that I'm too sensitive.
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She stops around your father? And it happens around your mother? There are some communication and parenting issues going on here if your mother does not intervene and/or hasn't told your father. If it is your father that your sister respects, take that authority and use it to stop the abuse.
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My mom and I have told my dad multiple times, but he doesn't believe that it's that much of an issue, mainly because he hasn't seen it happen.
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Why your sister able to treat your mom (HER mom) that way? Anyway, try to tell your dad about what happened, maybe your family can have a little discussion about it. And my advice is try to ignore her, every time she screamed at you just remain calm, and ignore her, act like you didn't give a shit. If she's getting more physical, just say slap you, I think you can slap her back. Its an act of self-defense.
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I think my mom is just as afraid of her as I am. Anyway, like I said, we've already told him, but he really doesn't seem to notice or care. Also, I've tried taking that approach before, and it DOES NOT WORK.
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There was one time that she hit me several times because I didn't want to wash all of the dishes in the sink that I didn't use (we're all supposed to wash our own dishes), but that was a few years ago.
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Yes, that's an emotional abuse and tend to be physical abuse at anytime. I think you need to be brave enough to stand up for yourself and to tell her that what she did to you is bad, or it may gets worst in time.
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Firstly, you may want to seek advice from a counsellor, since you mentioned that telling her off didn't work. I suppose a counsellor could provide you professional advice. At the time being, you may want to distance yourself from her toxicity. Since she's too dense to understand you, you may want to limit activities with her whenever possible, until you find a way to deal with it. What in particular pisses her off? Try avoiding that. She probably has some psychological issues from the way she's treating you. When you feel a situation heating up, walk away, don't add fuel to the fire. Do not give them the reaction they want. Also you may want to think why is she being so mean? Is she jealous? What makes her act that way? Understanding her behaviour would allow you to make sense of her actions, and then you might just be able to find a solution to end this nonsense.
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My sister can behave similarly, and it's really difficult when you feel upset and vulnerable at home, where you're supposed to be safe! The best thing to do when she does start at you is to respond calmly (I know it can be difficult!) and remove yourself from the situation. I suggest speaking to your mom about it, privately, and then maybe raising the issue with your father. It sounds like she needs to speak to a therapist, and hopefully your family is open to that, and maybe family counselling where you can build relationships as a family! And as hard as it is, try find a way to speak to someone about your own depression. I'm so sorry that your sister treated you badly when you opened up to her about something so important.
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I tried going to a counselor before after my parents caught me self-harming (that was probably the lowest point in my depression and in my life). He didn't help with anything. Also, when I tried to tell my parents I was depressed, my dad told me that happiness is a choice and that I could choose to be happy. After that, I retreated further into my shell, and didn't talk to anyone.
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I should also add that shutting her out of my life would not be very easy for me to do. We both still live in the same house because I'm only 17 years old, and she is currently attending college while living at home, so it's inevitable that we are forced to be within close proximity to one another on a daily basis. I'm trying to see if I can get into a different university that is farther away from the house so that I can live in a dorm room and be away from her, but it'll still be a while before I find out and before I actually start attending.
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Try just not speaking to her. I did this with my siblings, and it actually works. Not like pretending they don't exist, but just choose not to argue with her, just say ok, but without the manipulation. don't let her manipulate and make you do things you don't want to do. Just treat her like she's there, but you could care less. If she's a good sister, after a while it will concern her, or when you do speak to her she'll chill out. Good luck, it's not easy feeling like you're being attacked in your own house.
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I've done that, too, but I don't always have to speak to her for her to get mad at me. I'm always doing something wrong.