Sibling Violence: My Struggle to Stop Hating My Abusive Brother

Written by Catherine Braun

faith_siblingviolenceI hated my brother. He teased and tormented me relentlessly. I was only ten. My hatred buried itself deep within me, like a worm eating holes in my child’s heart.

Maybe it began with typical sibling rivalry – a two-year-old boy dumping his new baby sister out of her bassinet, expressing displeasure over her nervy intrusion. I realize now that he had legitimate emotional concerns of his own. Nevertheless, his unacceptable actions toward me persisted for years. Unchecked, malice crept into his heart like a weasel into a hen house. I became the target of his aggression.

Screaming for justice

My memory categorizes the assaults by residence. The earliest serious injury occurred in my first home, high on a hill overlooking the ocean where the vista called for serenity. When I was four, for reasons I can’t remember, my brother picked up a piece of scrap iron and split open the back of my head. I screamed for justice from my parents. None came.

When I was eight we moved to the country into a rental property while our new home was being built. The Dutch doors, divided in half across the center, fascinated me. I spent endless hours incorporating those doors into fantasy play – a storefront, a cage at the zoo, sections of door opened and closed at my will. One day my parents left us unattended; my brother burst through those doors. Wielding a mop handle, he delivered a crushing blow, raising a bleeding, purplish egg on my forehead.

“Look what he did!” I bellowed later that afternoon. My mother failed to carry through with effective discipline. My father ignored the incident, as he did all the others. He was an abuser himself. For years, all of us watched him abuse my mother physically and emotionally.

Our new home was not finished, but we moved in anyway. There my brother finished off the back of my left hand with a nut pick, carving it up with raking stabs. “Don’t you tell anyone at school how this really happened,” my mother warned. By now, I was my own defence. I rebelled and, defying her, told the first person who asked. Nothing changed.

My shinbones collected permanent dents from kicks by hard-toed shoes. My developing breasts ached from closed-fisted blows accompanied by sexually disparaging insults. By now, I knew there was no point even mentioning it. Instead, I not only let the sun go down on my anger but I pulled the shades on my emotions. I locked and barricaded the doors.

By our mid-teens, my brother’s abuse waned and then stopped altogether. The story was no longer about my brother, but about me. My placid and good-natured inborn temperament was what most people saw. However, it covered my white-hot rage, converted to an iceberg, lurking below the surface waiting to rip apart some – any – passing ship. It was there in those icy waters that Jesus met me, not with condemnation, but with love.

A change of heart

I needed to revisit Scriptures I had read as a child, but this time I asked Jesus to help me understand them correctly.

Being a perfectionist, I had tried to follow the law. But Jesus did not expect me to be able to stop hating. He only wanted me to recognize my hatred as sin. I was heading down the wrong path, taking matters into my own hands. He wanted me instead to come to him with it. He is the only one who can make the kind of heart change I needed.

Over time, Jesus helped me see that I believed many things that were untrue. I believed I had to earn God’s favour by being good. I believed that no one cared about me and that no one was interested in protecting me. I believed my needs did not matter. I believed I was not worth loving or protecting.

My childish interpretation of God’s Word caused me unnecessary pain. I now understand that if Scripture does not sound like good news, I am probably not grasping it correctly. Were I to revisit my childhood experience with Jesus, our talk might go like this:

“I hate my brother!”
“Yes, I know. I’m glad you could tell Me so.”
“You mean it’s okay?”
“No, it’s not okay, but you’re okay with Me. Tell me your story, pour it all out. I’ll listen.”

And I’d sob away the hurt, the anger, the feelings of helplessness, knowing that He believed me and understood.

“What your brother has done is wrong. Your parents should have stopped him.”
“I’m sorry this happened to you. I love you.”
“Yet, you know that your hatred is also wrong. You need to admit it to Me and let it go. I’ve forgiven you. Now it’s your turn to forgive him, or your hatred will eat you up. Forgiveness will take time. When you’re willing, I’ll make it possible. Think about it and we’ll talk again soon.”

Encouraged and strengthened, I’d move back to the neighbourhood of my hatred to face what was true about me, to confess it and be forgiven, and let it go. This is what the love and forgiveness of Christ makes possible: to face ourselves at our ugliest, never for a moment losing the assurance of God’s love and forgiveness.

I confronted my brother many years later. To his credit, he acknowledged his wrongs and expressed genuine remorse over the pain his actions caused me. By then I had already uncovered and let go of most of my painful feelings. It was good to hear his confession, but he might have chosen to withhold it. I would have needed to forgive him anyway.

Today my brother doesn’t mistreat me in any way. We are friends and enjoy a playful relationship. Yet there are still times I need to stand up for myself with him. He is often intrusive, pushing beyond reasonable boundaries. I must verbalize my stand: No, you may not do that; no I will not allow that; back off; give me some space. It’s not good for him, for our relationship, or for me to allow behavior that generates fresh anger in me.

Take a look at your life.  How would you describe it? Contented? Rushed? Exciting? Stressful? Moving forward? Holding back? For many of us it’s all of the above at times.  There are things we dream of doing one day, there are things we wish we could forget.  In the Bible, it says that Jesus came to make all things new.  What would your life look like if you could start over with a clean slate?

Living with hope

If you are looking for peace, there is a way to balance your life. No one can be perfect, or have a perfect life. But every one of us has the opportunity to experience perfect grace through a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here’s a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? You can pray it right now, and Jesus Christ will come into your life, just as He promised.

Is this the life for you?

If you invited Christ into your life, thank God often that He is in your life, that He will never leave you and that you have eternal life. As you learn more about your relationship with God, and how much He loves you, you’ll experience life to the fullest.

Henri Nouwen wrote, “Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all of us love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour – unceasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.”

It’s easy to find fault in others. It’s even easier when they have committed a clear sin. It’s much harder to forgive and then to honestly assess – and correct – faults in ourselves. Fortunately, we have a Savior who helps us do just that.


164 Responses to “Sibling Violence: My Struggle to Stop Hating My Abusive Brother”

  • Always Lonely says:

    I am sorry to say I cannot be with the only one I ever loved. just because I failed to get myself free from a parasitic sibling who I thought to be indirectly and cleverly blocking my life path / goal. That person has married someone else. And I am done with myself.

    I warn you, do not do sexual or private things with your siblings for fun and never ever allow them to do anything sick with you. It will only make them confident to torment you for the rest of your life. And I agree with Sandeep here, that such elder siblings are total losers and that’s why they need to do such a thing with their OWN siblings so that they can remind themselves that they are at least better than you, so they scar you for life make your self esteem low, hide your talents and qualities and rather highlight your mistakes and make you more dark in front of others. They may make you feel useless, yet they are useless themselves on certain levels. SO forbid yourself to run your lives according to others

  • Sandeep Singh says:

    Qualities are something that prevent you from being violent/intimidating.

  • Sandeep Singh says:

    To add,
    The abusive sibling acts violently only to remind himself/herself that he/she is not [expletive removed] (because that’s what he/she is actually is) and they need you as a reminder. Once you develop yourself and your career and your path and be independent and separate from that parasitic person, he/she will eventually realize what they had lost. and also try to see the hidden qualities of that person so that you may one day remind that person that he/she was unnecessarily violent. But do that only when they’re genuinely regretful and at a heavy loss. Otherwise you don’t need them and they don’t need you.

  • Sandeep Singh says:

    Hello everyone,
    I think the key to avoid such an abusive relationship especially with a sibling, is how you act in front of that sibling. No matter what has happened with you anywhere, you don;t deserve to be treated badly by anyone in your house on a daily basis.
    Do not let anyone know your weak or vulnerable side except your trustful parent.

    Suicide is not the solution…
    Killing yourself because of others is not going to do good to anyone including you. Its gonna put everyone in your house, even the one very kind to you in danger and in custody. because ultimately your closest ones couldn’t prevent you from being abused. Standing up for others is what counts so that others stand up for you.

    Lastly, talking about my own experience, its true I cannot love him, but I don’t have to hate him. He’s an opportunist scummbag, so I must always find opportunity to learn from it.

    So learn from your pain and sufferings, what mistakes you did on your part and how you came to allow others to take control of you as a part of guilty complex, that was truly unfair and deceitful on others’ part.

    If your sibling calls you names, then think of a name that fits him/her appropriately.
    Example “PARASITE”. You don’t have to say it out aloud, but always remember what he actually is, accept it as a fact. Do not mean the title negatively or with anger, as it will only put more negativity inside you. Instead think pitifully and as a matter of fact. That with sooth you.

    Learn to deal with your own problems effectively and efficiently so that you do not have to depend on others at any level. Do not discuss with the abusive sibling about your problems. Especially in the case of Mr. Saad here. I am so sorry to hear your case is so severe at such an age you are still facing and not free from that crap of a brother you have. You have to accept your mistake that has made you stuck in such a situation.

    Pray to God, ask for help and quickly execute anything that is useful in repairing your relationship or getting out of that torture chamber/negative area.


  • Doris Beck Doris Beck says:

    Dear Sam and Rain,
    I’m so glad you found this site and this article and have a place where you can know that you are not alone and that’s it’s not only ok to stand up for yourself, but also the healthy thing to do.

    Anytime we are in an abusive relationship we need to know that first of all we aren’t ‘causing’ the abuse and that it is the fault of the abuser. In your case Rain, the fact that your brother is trying to make you feel guilty for not forgiving him proves that he hasn’t really taken responsibility for his past actions. Forgiveness does not mean that we forget what has been done to us nor that we automatically trust that individual. Trust is earned and must be built.

  • Alexis says:

    You need to REMOVE yourself from harms way. Have NO CONTACT AT ALL with people that treat
    You bad or disrespectfully. Think about moving starting fresh and surround yourself with people you choose wisely that will respect you – BE WISE, BE STRONG!!!!
    Getting a pet is great esp a trained dog to protect you. Get out of town! Never stand for ANYONE BULLYING YOU!!! Make changes, at first it will seem impossible, with time you will
    Wonder way you hadn’t made the changes. Put all the disgusting past in the past!
    I have done it. I Lived through tremendous abuse and have been physical impaired. I should have stopped contact a long time ago!!
    My life is great now, I have chosen a great mate and enjoy life. Yes, that so called brother (moron) inflicted long term physical damage
    And I try each time when those bad feelings come to condition myself to think otherwise get involved with new projects, learning, traveling
    Whatever makes you happy, do it. Think about yourself. It took me a long long time to do that.

  • Jonathan says:

    Dear Sam,

    I would encourage you to do what Rain says, but at the same time, please pray for him. The beauty of Jesus Christ is that He bore our sins, He bore our punishment when it was suppose to be us, and so our old self is crucified with Him, and we are resurrected with Him into new life. That is the beauty of the gospel. God bless you :)

  • Rain says:

    Dear Sam,
    I can relate on the level that my Mother refuses to stand up for me but apologizes and say’s ” I hope you can forgive me ” but everytime she has the chance to make it right, she doesn’t. Now she has mild cognitive dementia so her memory isn’t what it was. I just have to accept the fact that she could not truly face what he did or she could not love him the same anymore. She has always managed to cope with bad things by pretending things are normal. I believe that’s called denial. Now in your case, I am baffled. How could she stand up for you but then turn around and allow him back into your life, especially with her not living there!!!!!! You have to take control now because she won’t. Here is what to do. You have I believe 6 to 8 years, ( look up your State law on abuse ) to report him after you turn 18 and even file a lawsuit against him. Get it on record or you have nothing. File a restraining order against him, and get him away from you and your younger brother for good. I unfortunately did not know my rights when I was young so I missed my window. I am almost 50 now and STILL dealing with the nightmare of my brother and my Mom being too spineless to defend me. Take the power in your hands, there must be abuse help groups in your local area that can assist you. It may be a gut wrenching process but at least you won’t feel helpless anymore and at his mercy. Forget your Mom doing the right thing, do it for you before it’s too late.

  • Sam says:

    My brother is abusive as well. Not to the extent as yours was but he has an occasion whipped my siblings with dog chains, etc. My mother kicked him out of the house numerous times, he even choked her one time on the way out, but she always let him back in. He is now 28 and I am 23. Last month, my mother apologized to me for letting him get away with being so abusive towards me for so long. Two weeks ago, she let him move back in. She does not live at the house anymore so it’s just me and my little brother having to deal with him. I do not talk to him or invite any kind of relation. Last night he all of sudden got physical with me and again so i locked him outside. I broke the door down and I called the police. The police said there is nothing they can do.
    I hate him. I am not religious. Nor is he. I feel I will die with this hate.

  • Jonathan says:

    Dear Rain, if that is the case, then you should tell his church about his behavior, there is no excuse. And please pray for him. I hope, one day, he will come to his senses. God bless :)

  • Rain says:

    Thank you Johnathan,
    Unfortunately, he is just wired wrong I have come to believe. He thinks in his head he has tried to ask my forgiveness and the only half assed attempt he made, he said his peace and when I tried to say mine, he cut me off and said, “We just need to stop hating each other.” How could he hate me when I had done no wrong to him? Today, he tried minimalizing what he did to my Mom and I can tell he has made it all in his head that it was not his fault, not intentionally doing it, claimed he only did it for a short time, etc. This is how he has chosen to deal with it in his mind. How do you convince crazy? He still will not accept the blame and chalks it up to unintentional. Now he tells me I am the sinner and we are even because he won’t forgive me for mot allowing him on the property to visit my Mom. Ugh, it’s just so ugly, to this day, I am still tormented. I went through YEARS of therapy myself trying to take down the invisible wall I created so long ago that affects my marriage to this very day. I have no idea how to dismantle that wall as it has become an integrated part of me. When I see him, my stomach goes into knots, I get shakey and cannot think clearly as that scared little girl is still inside me.

  • Jonathan says:

    Dear Rain,

    I would advise you to at least to agree to at least talk in a public place during daylight. Find out if he is really sincere. Also, if he is really sincere he will prove it. He must be willing to admit his mistakes and show through his actions that he really has repented. His actions must prove his words are true.

    If he really proves that he is sincere, be cautious, open up to him, but slowly, do not be alone with him at any moment. Ask him to go to a therapist to assess his condition.

    However, if he gets self righteous then then you can get a restraining order against him. And you should tell his church as well anot his behavior.

    Also, I should add this, Christians can’t forgive, not by themselves. The Holy Spirit gives us the strength to forgive and live our enemies, even going as far as dying for them. If you can’t forgive him, then give it time, pray to God to give you the strength to forgive him.

    God bless Rain, I pray for you :)

  • Rain says:

    Hello everyone,
    Another struggling (abused as a child) adult here. It was my brother and I was the youngest (the only girl) of four siblings. My brother started this when I was about 7, he was 12. He would forcibly make me drink hard alcohol first, if he left the room for a second, I would run and pour most of it down the sink and tell him I drank it all. Then he would tell me he was going to hypnotise me so what was about to happen wasn’t REAL. This happened a multitude of times and I was terrified of him. I felt such shame as I knew it was REALLY happening, like some kid would know hypnosis! Finally, after this kept happening, I was staying at a friends house overnight and burst into tears. She asked me what was wrong so I told her. She told me I HAD to tell my Mother, my Father had left when I was 2 forcing my Mom back to working fulltime to support us. I told her I was afraid but she kept saying you MUST tell her and ahe would even go with me for support. What a mistake! She was with me as I told my Mom and my brother screamed “She’s lying Mom!” My mother just could not process or believe what I was telling her and worse, in front of my friend!!!!
    The subject was quickly dismissed and never to be brought up again until much later. This of course meant the abuse continued. It was not just sexual, it was him tearing me down verbally, beating me up if he felt I deserved it so I learned to just stay quiet because if I ever told my other brothers, they would let him have it and ultimately, when we were alone again, I would get beaten again. It became my method of survival staying quiet and slowly, unconsciously, began building my invisible inner wall of protection around my heart. Had I reported the sexual abuse to my other brothers or God forbid, my Father who lived a short distance away (also a former Marine) he would have beaten my brother within an inch of his life and there again, I would have paid mightily the moment we were alone together which of course, was inevitable.
    So, I walked in silence, did poorly in school, had terrible self esteem issues, acted out by being rebellious, eventually getting into the party crowd and doing drugs and drinking always chasing an escape from my reality. The blessing was I never turned into a drug addict or alcoholic, just temporary escapism. I did not care whether I lived or died, I had no value to myself.
    Then there was the day I finally confronted him at 21. He was a manipulative, selfish jerk his whole life and I had finally had it with him. I told him I hated him and why. First silence. Next, denial. Then he actually tried that hypnosis nonsense on me and basically said, “That’s how you wanted it.” I started shaking in disbelief he would blame me!!! I called my Mother again, reaching out for help, begging her to help, telling her what had just transpired and she assured me she would take care of it. The next morning, Mom and I were discussing this and she announced that if we (my brother and I) could not work this out, we could both move out of the house. I was shattered! Again, I was on my own and I would have rather slept in the back of my car than spend one more night under the same roof with him.
    Not knowing what to do next, I appealled to my current boyfriends landlord that had an extra room in his house. I told him my story with tears streaming down my face and he took pity on me and allowed me to stay there. I had nowhere else to turn. Shortly thereafter, my Mom called to tell me my Father had passed away. I knew that was coming as he had cancer but I refused to go to the funeral since I knew my brother would be there. Nobody knew why I didn’t attend.
    There is so much more to tell but it would end up becoming a novel. Cut to today. Here I am, living on a property with my Mom who has dementia, not really bad yet but it will eventually get there. When I noticed she was slipping mentally and physically, I asked her what she wanted to do since she was not safe living by herself, driving, going upstairs by herself. She said she wanted to find a place where she could live next to my husband and I. I did not think I could find such a place but I managed to find the perfect set up. Sold her house, got new house, now I am caregiver. I even switched careers to learn how to professionally care for her in her further decline.
    I knew getting a place together would mean the monster would have access into my life again but I figured, it’s her son, I can’t stop him from visiting her. So, I turned the other cheek until I found out everytime he was here, he was extorting money out of her for one reason or another. She never could say “No” to him so I finally had enough and told him he was no longer welcome on the property. His reaction caught me off guard, he said, “You can’t have all Mom’s money!” Wow! I would have hoped he would have made a bigger gripe about spending time with her, not her money!
    Now he is texting me telling me he has found God and goes to church and went to confession, and begs me to forgive him and say’s, if I don’t, I won’t make it into Heaven. Another manipulation now using God and my soul as his weapons. There again, my Mother, what do I say to him? She still has no idea how to defend me and stand up for me to him. Iam the victim but I am still being blamed for not just staying quiet and allowing him to selfishly take advantage of her now that she is not mentally capable. He is a piece of work. He tried to minimize what he did to me, not take any responsibility by saying, he has no idea why he did what he did and did not INTENTIONALLY do it!!!! Are you kidding me?!?!? Everything he did was carefully planned out and now he takes no responsibility and telling me I am the sinner not allowing him to comeon the property to visit Mom. I never said he could not see her, I just requested she meet him outside the gate. But now that he lied to her and minimized what he did, I told him I would go and file a restraining order on him putting on public record what he has done. Now, I am to blame once again. How does one forgive that?

  • Sandra says:

    Eric, make a plan for your life. Study hard and ask a teacher you trust to help you get a scholarship to a college far from home. Work hard and do not look back. Someone close to me went through something similar and he now has a great job and loving family, but he had to stay away from his toxic family for that to happen. If college isn’t for you then go and learn a well-paying trade.
    Praying to Jesus isn’t enough, we have to help ourselves. And any parents reading this: wake the hell up! If you have an abusive child you are protecting a criminal.I had to warn my brother that I would kill him if he ever touched me again for him to leave me alone. But even as an adult, he still tries to hurt me every chance he gets. Does his damage behind my back, telling our senile father I don’t love him, like the coward he truly is. The man is a sociopath, can put on the ‘George Clooney’ charm when anyone of authority is around, but is a snake when you dare not put up with his abuse.
    Jesus said ‘forgive’, not ‘forget’. The only way to survive is to get yourself as far away from your abuser as possible if the Police, Abuse Help Lines or Family Services can’t help you.
    And with all due respect Aldo: if I had stuck to praying to God, I’d have been killed before my 17th birthday, and my brother would have made it look like an ‘accident’. Sometimes you have to draw a line in the sand: either challenge the bully and/or make a plan to get out of the situation. The Lord helps those who help themselves!

  • Jonathan says:

    Laughing Man, if you read this, I need to say this, forgiveness does not mean you don’t put any boundaries. A woman whom her ex husband had cheated on her does not need to remarry her husband if he apologises.It can be as simple as “I forgive you, but I cant go back to marriage with you.”

    Also, let me say this, forgiveness is not easy, but it is worth it. However, I fear that you may have gone too far. It’s one thing to hold a grudge against your brother all these years, its another thing altogether to actively ask people who are trying to forgive to embrace hatred. You have absolutely no right to ask someone to actively embrace hatred and anger against people, especially when all it does it eat you up on the inside and lead you to hurt others. Do not embrace the hatred. Let it go. By all means, get a restraining order, call the police, make boundaries, but don’t let the hatred eat you up, it is not worth it at all.

    I don’t ask you to look to me, as the bad things that my brother has done to me cannot even come close to what your brother did. However, I ask you to look to Jesus. Jesus was so tremendous, leaving His throne of heaven to be born in a family in poverty, and even going so far as to wash the feet of His own followers, despite the fact that He is the King, yet He voluntarily did the work of a slave. But even after all the good He did, Jesus suffered tremendously on the cross, having one of His own closest followers deny Him, going so far to invoke a curse on himself, the people whom He cared about kicked Him, mocked Him, looked down on Him, and most of all, He bore all the grief and sadness and shame our sins were suppose to bring on us. He did that all for us. He suffered all of that because of your sins and my sins. My suffering is not comparable to yours, but His is. He understands completely your pain, because He went through all the pain in the world, therefore He is more than powerful enough to give you the wisdom and strength to let go of your anger, to love your brother. I know it may seem so hard, but trust me, it is worth it.

    Don’t look to me, look to Jesus Christ.

    God bless you sir. I wish you all the best :)

  • Rae says:

    To KyleDC:

    I read your comment with a heavy heart. I understand that it is very hard to be stuck in a house with an abusive brother, because I lived through that myself. I was SO glad to hear that you are working hard in school, Kyle, because that is going to be one of the keys to getting out of your situation. There are some things you can do to help yourself.

    First, you must continue to work hard on your school work and get good grades. That is going to help you get in to college and away from your abuser. Next, it is of utmost importance you do not get involved with drugs, marijuana or alcohol. We like to do those things because we feel it takes away the pain, but in the end mind altering substances block us from being able to heal and ruin our lives even further. So be sure to remember to say no if anyone offers you anything like pot, a drink or a drug – all of it is terribly bad for you, Kyle, so see it as poison to your system and stay away from it.

    Third, you are not a robot being programmed by the outside world to feel the way you do. You and I have both suffered, but we don’t have to be defined by that suffering. You are going through great difficulty as a teenager. That doesn’t mean you will always be suffering, unless you choose that when you get out of the house someday. When you are a kid you don’t get a vote on what will happen to you, but once you are 18 you will be able to choose what you want in life. Its going to be very important that you choose wisely and prayer can really help with all of the above.

    Do you have a school counselor, a teacher you really like or a friend who has a nice parent you can talk to about your problems at home? Reach out and find one good, solid person you feel you can trust and share with them what is going on at home.

    Mainly, you are not defined as a human being by other people. YOU are a valuable human being, Kyle. We each have to make up our minds how we are going to react to what happens to us. When we grow up with abusive people we can fall into the trap of being angry all of the time, get in to drugs/weed/alcohol, get involved with bad friends at school and so on. But since you are smart enough to realize this isn’t right, you can begin to alter how you react to your brother and what is happening in your house. Do you have a lock on your bedroom door and do you have your own room? If so, go in there and lock the door if you think your brother is about to clobber you.

    Finally, don’t you ever let anyone put you down, Kyle! You are worthy of love. If you don’t feel your family treats you with love, then YOU need to begin to learn how to love yourself. You can do it! You make a plan for your life and pray about it. Ask God to assist you in making a good plan that will take you down the path God wants for you and you’ll find that you will do well. In fact, if you turn all of this over to God and ask Him to give you good advice, then listen with your heart, you’ll begin to walk out of this and someday you’ll find yourself feeling truly loved and cared for by yourself and God. You hang in there – your life will get better as you begin to work on it in a productive way. Good luck!

  • Tom Tom says:

    Thanks for sharing here.

    I think you answered your own question when you wrote, “I still don’t know what to do, but at least I can love him.” That’s exactly what Jesus told us to do. Showing your brother Christ-life, sacrificial, unconditional love whenever possible is an extremely powerful tool. Letting him see how Jesus living in you makes a difference can be a magnet for him to seek to find the Lord himself. My pastor was saved after observing his brother’s dramatic change after trusting Christ. I pray the same will happen with your brother.

  • Jon says:

    I should also write that I clicked on the link thinling that it was an article where I could use to generate more hatred against my brother. yet, I know that he is not completely bad. I thank God that you showed this Rae. God bless :)

  • Jon says:

    Saad, I actually know a little bit about what you’re going through right now. I actually searched on google for abusive brother because I was angry with rage. I am sick of how he expects me not to be scared when he keeps threatening with his body language ti attack me. No, its not in my head, he was balling up a fist and was very clearly aiming it at me. Moreover, he will complain later about, “Oh, now I feel bad”, and now I’m thinking, “Yes, you should, I would never do such a bad thing to you.” In fact, in the past two years, it has been like what, he hit me like 50 times vs me zero???

    Also, I feel like I cant say anything, If I do he would somehow use it against me later, and that no matter what I say, he is always right.

    Moreover, this morning, I was in a rush to go out and he said to me,”Why didnt you wipe your side of the table?”

    Hionestly, I was a bit frustrated because I was in a rush and I said, “I thought the last person who eats wipes the table.”
    (He was still eating)

    Then, he decided to get into a fit and then he wiped the dirt in the floor and asked me to clean it up. And then he decided to into a long lecture about how he never complains about cooking (I have helped him plenty of times), disregarding the fact that I wash up the dishes 95% of time, make his breakfast 80% of the time, without complaining.

    And he said, “Whenever I ask you to do something, do it.”

    Seriously??? So I’m suppose to obey orders without question and he expects me to agree with that. Ugh, and the things I’m most angry about is the fact that he would tell me not to be scared, but then he balls up a fist at my face. How do you not expect someone not to get scare???

    But, this article has helped me to forgive. I am definitely not perfect, and I have definitely wronged him. And I thank God that He has used this article to help me to forgive him. I still don’t know what to do, but at least I can love him.

    God bless :)

  • Chris says:

    eric…i am standing with you with faith in jesus name for the salvation of your brother….lord draw this brother to you. free him from this tormenting spirit and give him your steadfast love so he too can be a loving brother to his other siblings and be the person you have designed him to be. by faith i thank you now jesus for the changes that are coming to this life. give eric your superantural strength, peace and assurance that acts 16.31 will be fulfilled!

  • StrongFaith says:

    Everyone should be educated about sociopaths. They prey on the weak, the lonely, and those with money. While not all abuse is caused by sociopaths, even psychologists, psychiatrists and corrections officers often can’t identify an abuser as a sociopath. While God protects us to a certain degree, you should learn about sociopaths and their true danger to individuals, society and the entire world.

  • Eric says:

    I…my brother torments me even today both verbally and physically though nowadays verbally mostly. He’s 23 and I’m only 16. My older siblings except him have moved out as they don’t want to deal with him but my mom refuses to kick him out despite what he does to me and her. Heck when things get bad and i call the police they constantly tell her, “he’s an adult he needs to grow up” but she won’t and keeps protecting him…i don’t think i can ever forgive him and it’s eating at my heart. I don’t know what to do but just talking about this helps in a way. God give me strength…

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Saad, have you asked someone to help the two of you discover healthier ways of relating together? Have your parents ever tried to intervene or another sibling? Perhaps there is someone else that the two of you trust and respect who could help the two of you discuss a better way forward.

  • Saad says:

    Oh, and I forgot to mention that his behavior and my mild case of autism gives me suicidal thoughts, I’m 32 years old and my brother is 35 years old, I tried telling him that I don’t like how he treats me, he doesn’t care. We both live at home and he’s home most of the time, I don’t get him, he acts like hates me but wants me to hang out with him, I don’t think that he’ll ever change. The only way to get away from him for good is through suicide or if I move out. If I get mad at him for misbehaving with me he would tell me to calm down and would also tell me that I need anger management. How am I supposed to not be mad when he continues to be in violation of my boundaries?

  • Saad says:

    I’m having trouble as well. My brother teases me, insults me, tries to intimidate me, points out my short comings, tells me that I’m too sensitive, violates my boundaries, invalidates how I feel, dehumanizes me because I don’t look a certain way, tries to make me feel guilty for what I do, attacks my identity, tries to control me financially, and tries to control how I think. He does things for me and thinks that it gives him permission to misbehave with me, it’s like nothing I do is good enough for him. Lastly he tells me that I need a lot of work, I am mildly autistic. It has ruined my self-esteem and is why I’m depressed and suffer from anxiety, my brother makes my life worse by making me feel more depressed, by keeping my self-esteem low, and by making me suffer from even more anxiety.

  • It seems that you are so sad that you has written it at 12:06 am . But you should not to be so sad . I know that what happened to you only you can feel but it is not right that you commit suicide. I thanksgiving to God that you failed . Just remember what we say is less worth than what we do . If you were successful in that how I got a friend like you . I want to share an experience that i never share to anyone that happened to me in real . Once I was in my uncle house with his family they Spit on food in front of me and forced me to eat and I had to. I was 5 year old at that time and now I am 14. I don’t forget that but the journey called life goes on . In a journey you have experienced many good and bad things same as life . At least some are worst and some are happiest some are craziest but one thing is common at least there should be experiences so that we can can say them as good and bad . The life is always changing and making us bold . Every comment you have got and emits each word worth more than anything . Think deeply and act wisely and do that foolishness again . I wanna tell you a joke . I hope you like it :
    Once there was a hen? who married with an eagle ?. One day a cock? asked to the hen , “why do you marry with an eagle?. Are we all died that you did it.” Then the hen? answered , “I wanted to marry with you but my father wanted that the men to whom I marry should to be in the airforce .”??????????. When I first heard it my face was like it.? be happy and believe in your strength . I know I am stranger to you but you can share anything if you want . My email is [it is our policy not to publish personal contact information] Thank you friend.

  • Chris says:

    Kyledc… can help you stop this violence in your home. you dont have to put up with is illegal but you will need to use your citizens rights to experience them. even paul appealed to cesar. acts 25. praying jesus gives you the courage to stop your brother today!

  • KyleDC says:

    My brother is a abuser.. Too everyday im with him He always hurts Me.. I dont know what to do… Im always crying but no one is comforting me. My mom and dad doesnt muchly care. I wish God or jesus will come down to earth to talk to him. I commited suiced still failed. I know i have much to live for. But i cant take it anymore. My brother leaves me couple red bruses in my body for sometimes i thought of why am i born in this world. If god is good why does life hurts. I need someone to comfort me still it hurts. I hated my brother since i was 6yrs. Old he was the blank in my brain and heart. Why did god gave me this style of life. My brother gone this much abusive when he was in high school his friends and girlfriends made him so abusive
    Its like just im the black sheep of the family.. But no one understands me even my parents. It feels so sad that i have these parents i made a book/diary. Now i wrote what they did to me everyday. I did many good things but still why is the payback to me is No fair to me or why does have to be painful i did not learn a lesson from anything. Im a just focused on my education. Pls give me a fast comment. And im sorry what happened to you too ill pray for you too and as long as you pray for me for my brother to stop. Thank you so much.!!

  • Elkay says:

    Anu and No Contact, I am very sorry for what you are going through and there is no excuse for it. I wish there were words to offer and make the pain go away but there are not and I do not want to give you empty platitudes. Yours is a very difficult state for people to be in; God in His Word, does not guarantee us a pain-free life and over the centuries, people have been very hurtful to one another for inexcusable reasons as your brothers are doing.

    Prayerfully, in the years ahead, the abuse will stop, and meanwhile, you do need Jesus alongside you to get to that point, so please make sure you have entered into a relationship with Him, trusting Him as Savior and following Him as Lord. Then you will be an adopted child of God and know that He is working for your well-being, no matter how long it takes. And you will have the hope of a future restored heaven and earth where there is no pain nor tears nor memories of what you are going through. Meanwhile, we pray . . .

    “Heavenly Father, nothing is impossible for You and You have invited us to come to Your throne of grace to find help and mercy in our trials. Anu and No Contact are in very difficult places with abusive siblings. This cannot be pleasing to You and so we ask that You intervene in a divine manner and bring this wrongful behavior to an end in a way that makes clear that You are the source of help and healing. This is our prayer in Jesus’ name, amen.”

  • Kate says:

    Anu – please do not kill yourself. Your soul is a gift in this world. This will pass and good things will come. Please talk to friends if possible, try to get help but do not give up on life.

  • Anu says:


    I am beaten by my brother, only because i had an affair few years back and he got to know about that he is younger to me still he is angry with me and beats now and then i was being beaten by metal rods on my head, few days back he dragged me by holding my hairs.. and thrown a glass of tea on me.. I am so scared dont know what to do.. i think to kll myself..


  • No Contact with the slimeball says:

    Dont hate the abuser brother at all, just wish his abuse was exposed, ruin his life like he tried to ruin mine, for all the harm he caused karma would give it right back to him, cant see why he gets to go on with life like he deserves living. Parents were useless at intervening, forgives him everything he did like it was nothing- their complicit in raising their disgusting sons to be abusers. Avoid all of them like the plague as an adult.

  • Alfred says:

    Hi Kara, you mention problems as well as great solutions. It is indeed important to think positive, look for the good and help others. I am so sorry that you have to battle drug addiction and mental health. Yet, even there you are expressing hope! I would like to encourage you to read the Bible daily. The Bible is God’s “love letter” to us, and it puts us in touch with our Creator who has all the answers. God loves you, Kara, and wants you to feel good about yourself. We all make mistakes, but this journey we call life is a learning process. God will never allow us to be tempted or tried beyond our capacity to come out stronger. Take courage, and count on Him to help you daily, even hourly to remain drug-free. It is also important to thank God for every little victory. HE gave us life, and He will see us through! Remember that I’m praying for you, Kara, and will look at this blog again in a week. Blessings.

  • Kara says:

    I had a brother and he was one and a half years older than me. He started to become violent when I was ten years old, and my older sister, whom was five years older encouraged him to do so. I just thank God that I did not inherit the need to be violent even with the vulnerable. I can never understand how someone could treat anyone with violence. Eventually, at age 14 my 16 year old brother was sent to live with my father. I was still scared to see him when he came to visit, I felt he was going to kill me. One day I pray that he died and the abuse would go away. He was killed a few weeks later in a car accident. Now I must battle drug addiction and mental illness. If your children are abusing each other, you need to get help immediately for your family. I do not want him or anyone else to go to hell for what they did, he even tied my cat to a tree and shot him. It all lies in the parenting. Parents need to solve these problems with the help of counseling services. Every child deserves support and a chance. If your family will not change, stay away from everything that will depress you. Try to get out of the house more and stay busy with positive activities, and kind people. Peace

  • Sandeep says:

    A struggle to stop hating oneself for being a [expletive removed] and having no self respect to protect oneself because I he/she was taught that way.

    To protect oneself is human nature. Which is part of nature given by God.

  • Sandeep says:

    Tell me Aldo,
    Correcting yourself and your faults, it is a good thing in general, but what if it doesn’t matter at all to other because they want to remember you as that faulty person forever and stand in your way like a bully, and that is your own sibling/family member.

    In the above story, this girls skull was cracked open by her own brother. How is someone supposed to forgive if that person is sill around. Talk about making a stand in life earning and making your own path, but if brother stands in that path like an obstacle just because you don’t rise up and gain respect and so thT he can torment you even more and you stay at one place.

    Tell me what to do if someone seriously wants you disrespected by all and forever.

  • Sandeep says:

    Aldo, thanks for advice.
    I have learned to not hate anyone entirely. And that alone heals me. But the painful aspect is not hating another person. It is hating yourself because of another person. The other person (your own sibling) belittle you so much and so very often, even when you’re working/studying. Then it makes you feel that you are burden on earth and deserved to be treated that way. No one stands up for you, no one objects and rather you are told you are the cause of misery. That is how innocent people suffer. By blaming the helpless victim for their own misery.
    Is it so unfortunate to be born the youngest in a family.

    And is it alright to hate oneself for no reason. On one end if you’re told do something in your life, stand up for something. On other end you’re put down when you even try or about to achieve something. What does that insill in the mind of an individual? That he/she is totally useless [expletive removed]? A burden on family? If we do something then wrong, if we don’t then also wrong? And not a single day goes by without that?

    I’ll tell you one thing Aldo, even after all this, I don’t hate my brother, but I hate myself for what he does to me, all those years I believed in the cajoling and sweet lies told by my family that made me tolerant and non responsive to abuse. Respect for elders doesn’t mean they will rape you in your mind and [expletive removed] and you won’t say anything about it. And if u say or complain, then you are called snitch. Another name to torment the already devastated mind. To what degree can a mind be pushed? If it must be pushed at all but in the right direction rather than non productive.
    I say I dont hate him as human. I hate myself for the fact that his [expletive removed] is so much gathered and now so deep and involuntary in my brain that I can’t get it out. It has become unconscious secondary nature. I hate myself that I’m not able to deal with it like I used to at an earlier stage.

    When I try to put myself in his place, I still cannot understand how a person can do this to other. That’s because if I had done it to other then I will hate myself for it. But this guy feels pride in it. That is so sick, so so so so utterly sick. It makes me sick.

    I will definitely forgive this person if this person will go as far away as possible and also repent and face same consequences by other bullies and realize his mistake. But even after that I don’t want to see his face as I will remember him for that only and I can’t believe in good or power of good deeds as long as he’s around. As it is proven futile.

    Asking to forgive your tormentor, give me a break. You’re supposed to teach them a lesson.

    I can’t ignore my mistakes for which I am scolded but I also can’t ignore his mistake either for which he’s not told anything. His mistakes against me, father, mother and family as a whole.

  • Aldo says:

    Another survivor, it is quite reasonable to desire justice to be done, but that justice must come from God either through the courts, or directly from God- Romans 12:19
    “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.”

    In fact, it would be much better to pray for your enemies and do good to them, than to call down wrath upon them.
    Matthew 5:44, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”

  • Aldo says:

    Prince of Princes, it is truly terrible to be a victim of abuse especially from a sibling, but it is more terrible to harbor the hatred that you say you have for your brother, because it will eat you up from the inside out. Hatred has more of an ill effect on the hater, than it does on the hated, whereas, forgiveness has a healing effect on our bodies.

    I suggest that you repent of your hatred, confess it to God, ask for forgiveness, and experience its freeing power.

    May God, in His mercy, lead you to doing just that, in Jesus Name I pray, amen.

  • another survivoe says:

    I find it odd that in the catholic church cases the abuse was litigated but no lawyers want to take on the cases of adult survivors of incest, sexual abuse, physical abuse, etc. Somehow, someway, adult survivors need to form a class action lawsuit and get the laws changed so that we can sue for torture – because that is exactly what it was, and the thought that the predator sibling goes on to live a merry life carrying on as if nothing they ever did was punishable is enough to make every victimized person out there even sicker that the PTSD they have been left with. Its not about hate at this point, it is about JUSTICE.

  • Prince Of Princes says:

    I hate my brother! He is so abusive and self-centered, and always punches me, now my knee is swollen, damn any sibling like that, when you have siblings like that who needs enemies.

  • Keta says:

    Thank you so much your story helped me in so many ways I can not help but say you are litterally a life saver thank you so much for sharing your story

  • Aldo says:

    Ali and Sandeep, enduring abuse from anyone is a terrible experience, but much worst when sustained from a sibling. I suggest that you both seek Jesus’ help as the writer of the article did. He (Jesus) is the one that made the difference in her life of abusive treatment.

    Father God, I ask that You would draw Ali and Sandeep closer to You and to the Savior, Jesus Christ. Grant them a relationship with You, in Jesus Name I pray, amen.

  • Sandeep says:

    Nowadays people don’t deserve to have their younger siblings around them. They’re such pricks that they will go out of their way to harm their younger ones.

  • Sandeep says:

    Dear Ali!
    I feel your pain, and I feel the pain of other people who are abused by their sibling in any manner or way, in any sort, be it physical, sexual or mental.

    Ali, first of all I am so sorry you have o face that from your own brother. Secondly, I have been desperately searching for something related to sibling abuse on internet and trying to find something related to me, but all I got was just a few girls stories, that initially led me to believe that only girls get abused by siblling and the abuse faced by boys has never been reported. That made me think I am stupid and girlish and that my brother is right that I am just a girl in a man’s body, which totally broke my spirit and disheartened me.
    But on reading several other stories I found it that is not the case. No one has the right to belittle you, or mentally torment you so much that his face remains in your mind for even the most private of your moments that you can’t even enjoy your life.

    I am facing exactly the same as you are by my elder brother. He is only 1 and a half years older and has a Job as a call center employee. All of my family members favour him in everything although he shouts, abuses or torments anyone openly and doesn’t give any respect. And the reason they give for his harsh actions against me is that I do not study or do not have a Job. but reality is that He has been tormenting me as long as I can remember. yes I did have a good time with him but that did not hide his true feelings against me, that is of jealousy and hatred and malice.

    And all the things that you said exactly match his behavior except that he never gave me permanent physical scar. But my mind is totally snapped out.

    When my parents and eldest brother prohibit him from beating me, he turned to mentally abusing me, calling me meaningless names, poking me, and even provoking me, when I react, I am always shamed by him and other family members. That led me to total helplessness, so much that when I was 14 years old I started beating myself up, to get the mental tormenting out of my head. Yes I did some funny things and some mistakes in the past but that are totally forgivable because I am guilty of them and realize them. But my Brother does not want to feel guilty that’s why he hides it by shouting and even more abuses. He is such a greedy person he used to steal parents money and when he eats his own food, he eats from my plate too.
    And he became taller and healthier than me and made me constantly weaker.

    Sometimes I get so fed up by his behavior towards me that I start beating myself in my head and stomach, it hurts so bad later. When he sees me doing that, he even starts beating me, and on other days calls me a psycho and laughs and taunts at me. And goes out of his way to even poke me and provoke me and when I react, bea tthe hell out of me. He treats me like an object.

    I couldn’t believe what was happening with me

    When I was 24 he still treated me like a child calling me names belittling me by forcibly kissing.
    And he did that when I was doing either my College work or Freelance work on PC. In the name and implied ‘brotherly affection’, he used to come to me to disturb in between my work, hinder my work physically and start treating me like child. He didn’t even care that I was concentrating. I shook it off as just mental behavior and his habit, but then he used to come again and again many times in a row. sometimes he used to come and go and pretend he is done with, but returned 5 minutes later to disturb my peace and he did this 10 times in a row while I was working. One day, against my mom’s wished I shifted my PC upstairs because I couldn’t work at all when it was on the same floor as my brothers.
    Apart from that he constantly calls me names even though he knows I don’t like that.
    He makes me get things for him as if I am a servant and not a member of the house. and when I get him his things he still calls me names and doesn’t have any regard.

    He spoiled my life by making me do a course that I didn’t want to do and my parents got scared for my career so they also forced me to do a graduation course against my will. I am so ashamed I couldn’t protest in the right manner and tactics, I almost wasted 4 years of my life doing different things until finally my Mother realized that I am meant for creative field only.

    At first I felt very good that at last I am doing what I am interested in and I am also good at it and appreciated for it. But slowly my brother found other means to torment me by taking control of every situation, causing misunderstanding and not listening to me. No matter what he always scolds me and makes it look like its my fault and gives no chance to explain. That way he makes me guilty and finds a way to torment me and punish me.

    So even while I do my thing, his behavior and mental torture haunts me.

    I thought several times to separate from him but my family comes in between and tells me not to cause divide between him and me unnecessarily. But they do not understand relationship works mutually not with one person totally taking the right of others.

    I am scared how will I ever forget the shame that I had to beat myself, hurt myself even though I knew that, that is not the answer.
    I would not be able to respect myself like I used to do before. And I always think, how will I scope with this socially, how will I sit between my relatives again. And what will happen when I get married, will he mistreat me in front of my wife? And even my children.

    I am thinking of separating and leading a healthy life with a healthy future. But with the looks of it, I will not be allowed to do so. And even if I do I don’t know how I will relieve my mind of it. I’m afraid I will not be able to live fully.

  • Sheila says:

    I’m very. Sorry you all went throug . This I pray that you will find. Gods. Healing

  • Ali says:

    So my mother is always at work from 2pm (6am every time she has overtime, which is QUITE often because we don’t get money from my abusive father), until 10pm. And since my eldest brother learned how to release his aggressions through beating on me, smoking, drinking, yelling and throwing tantrums even at 22 years of age to get what he wants (which my mother gives to him), swearing, and verbally and emotionally abusing me all throughout the years of ages 6 years to 18 years. I also have a twin brother, but he never stands up for me whenever I get a beating. My scars still hurt from when her tackled me to the ground and made a cut on my head. He has done nothing but abuse everything and everyone he knows and has, saying that he’s an adult and that he can do whatever he wants, and that I’m still a child even though I’m 18 years old, and that I’m to answer his commands and respect him no matter what he does to me, and that if I tell the cops that he abuses me, that he will drag me down with him if they catch him (I called the police once for verbal assault and he put on the best act ever, saying that I was mentally ill and that I hadn’t taken my medicine yet, though I’m VERY sane and HAD tooken my medications as requested by my mother, and he got away with everything, and beat me until he got tired and locked me in my room, and his the key under my mom’s bed, where she finds it). I try telling my mom that he NEEDS to leave the house at all costs, but she refuses to do it because he’s her firstborn son and she’s paying for his car that HE was supposed to pay for. And while she’s at work, I’m at home, and my brother’s off from work, he’ll torment me and threaten me. I don’t even know WHY I’m not dead yet.

  • Aldo says:

    Rae, thank you so much for the positive praise of the article, and for the encouragement you gave to those who have suffered abuse from family members.

    May God continue to use you in ministering to others who have suffered similarly.

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